With more than 700 million active users logging into their Instagram accounts each month, you might not expect it to be too hard to grow your own following pretty quickly.
In fact, it’s not hard to grow your following, but so many businesses approach the process without planning and make critical mistakes that don’t just limit their success on Instagram, but can hurt their overall brand image.
If you’re interested in building your following and winning your share of the attention from Instagram’s massive user base make sure you avoid making these 4 mistakes along the way.
Not Focusing on Your Followers
Instagram is not going to be an easy place to market yourself if you simply distribute your own content and call it a day. If you’re not consistently engaging with those who follow your account and making sure to form connections, you’re losing.
70.7% of businesses are using Instagram in 2017. This means if you’re not connecting with the people who choose to follow you, they have very little trouble finding another brand that will.
Make sure you take time to ask questions on your posts, reply to comments, ask your followers to tag your account in a picture of them with your product, share photos generated by your followers, and just show that you appreciate their attention.
Doing this will strengthen the connections you make with customers and show the world that you’re more than just another business. Not doing this will lead to high turnover rates in terms of followers and you may find that for every 10 accounts that follow you, 11 accounts are dropping out.
When you focus on your followers you ensure that you’re seen as genuine and avoid sabotaging your own efforts to share content.
Buying Followers or Engagement
This mistake typically comes after a brand or aspiring influencer has made the previous four (or more!) mistakes and has become frustrated with the lack of results.
There are plenty of good reasons why purchasing followers or engagement is a terrible idea. In fact, Hootsuite actually conducted tests and shared all the gruesome details in a blog post, so I’ll expand on the basic lack of logic behind the practice and let you explore the details if you’re still curious.
Investing in Instagram as a place for your business to create connections with potential customers and generate revenue is a great move, but the success of that move depends on those connections being legitimate. When you spend money buying followers, you’re simply paying for a number and nothing more.
You might say that the element of social proof will come into play and when actual people see that you have a large number of followers they will be more inclined to follow you. However, growing your following is has much more to do with using the right strategies to improve your reach and making sure you add value with your content so users will want to engage with your account.
Taking this type of shortcut can have very damaging effects on your brand image as soon as your real target audience notices what you’ve been doing and calls you out for it. In addition to that, you can have your account penalized or banned by Instagram for making this huge mistake.
Focusing on Quantity Over Quality
Brands sometimes think that they need to be pushing out multiple pieces of content everyday to grow their following on Instagram. While it’s true that posting more often can get you better results, it still depends on the quality of what you share. Brands doing Instagram marketing right know this.
If you’re in content production overdrive but your posts don’t add value or otherwise interest your audience, you become a bother and will typically start to see a drop in engagement and follower count.
Have patience and make sure that when you share something, it makes sense and aligns with your business goals and brand personality. One very good piece of content will vastly outperform 10 valueless or otherwise off-branded posts.
If this means you can only share one post per day, that’s fine. It’s more about quality and consistency than quantity when it comes to growing your Instagram following.
Ignoring Instagram Analytics
The Instagram Insights tool has been around for long enough now that most businesses are familiar with it, but I’ve found that many businesses don’t regularly use the tool to guide decisions about their content.
This is a huge mistake.
The data you get from Instagram will let you know about your followers, their preferences in terms of your content, when you should be posting to the platform, and so much more valuable information. Without this information guiding you towards the goals you set on the platform, you’re effectively taking shots in the dark every time you post something.
If you’re objective is to grow your account, you’ll want to pay attention to your reach, at the account level and individual post level, engagement, times and day when you’re followers are active, and compare the results of different types of content (say, how-to videos vs. videos featuring your product) to measure and improve as you go along.
Make sure you’ve set the link in your description to a landing page that makes sense based on your content and the calls to action that you choose for profile. Once you have each aspect of your brand and the messaging working together along the funnel, use the Insights tool to measure the results based on the number of clicks.
When you use the data that Instagram provides you, it becomes much easier to identify places to improve and opportunities to exploit as you grow your following and make new connections on the platform.
Shruti is a blogger & a digital marketing consultant at Rankmebest.com with lots of passion to write about technology, startups & other niches. She has contributed to a number of famous websites. She live and breathe in digital marketing. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations. Stay tuned with her at:@shruti_gupta01 or via skype : shrutigupta2811