Brands are increasingly adopting Instagram marketing seeing over and over 25 million business profiles are now on Instagram. From Instagram hashtags to stories, videos, IGTV and a host of other cool features, Instagram is one network to be on.
Whereas many businesses are making a killing out of IG, others are making mistakes killing their IG game and negatively impacting their bottom line. In this post, we shall be treating certain Instagram marketing mistakes to not repeat in the new year, but before that:
What is Instagram Marketing?
Instagram marketing refers to the sum of marketing activities businesses and individuals carry out to promote their products, services or brands on the Instagram platform.
These include using the best Instagram hashtags for likes, posting photos, videos, comments, competitions, giveaways and such like.
The following chart shows how Instagram marketing is trending:
5-Year Google Trends of Instagram Marketing
Between 2013 and 2018 there has been a marked increase in the level of interest in Instagram marketing as seen above.
Why You Should Care?
This past year especially during the holidays we have seen product sales soar over the roof, and one of the biggest contributors is social media marketing, more precisely Instagram marketing.
The new year is around the corner and it provides an exciting new opportunity for businesses to leverage Instagram's marketing potential, but you must know that there are some practices that could undermine your entire efforts.
Here are the top 5 Instagram marketing mistakes to avoid as a business in 2019.
Top 5 Instagram Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Poor Audience Engagement
Comments, messages and other simple interactions on your profile boosts your engagement status which results in more followers, more recommendations and better growth.
But that doesn't happen automatically on its own, you need to to be available to answer your followers' questions, reply to their messages and even follow back in some cases.
This will make your followers happy and could, in turn, make them into loyal customers. Besides, Instagram notices your engagement levels and recommends high performing profiles at the top of Instagram Search and Explore section thereby increasing visibility and discoverability.
So stop creating poor audience engagement, start engaging more in 2019.
2. Making it too Personal
Showing a little bit of personality isn't bad but as a business, you have to keep things professional still.
You could be funny, otherworldly, corporate etc. Whatever your brand personality is, you should reflect that. But your followers and customers should not feel offended or bashed by your personal opinions.
Don't voice hate, rage or get down to arguing about some petty political issue on your business profile, it will affect your reliability in the eyes of the people, which can cause massive unfollowing.
A lot of businesses treat Instagram like they would a personal profile and that is their first mistake.
People have expectations and if they are not met professionally they will be put off, and run to other businesses to meet their needs and demands.
3. Not Using (the Right) Hashtags
Instagram hashtags are of great importance in case you are not aware. It serves in place of keywords on Instagram, without it, no one can find your content.
improve your chances of being found by many folds, if used properly that is, which is simply avoiding overused hashtags such as #love and steering clear of banned Instagram hashtags. Using those will not improve your chances of being found.
Use best Instagram hashtags for all your posts. You may create your own unique hashtag for your business or brand especially if you are running a promotion. Pampers’ #welovemommy campaign is a good example of using custom Instagram hashtags for particular campaigns and promotions.
4. Making your Profile Private
Apart from Instagram hashtag mistakes, this is another big mistake most businesses make on Instagram. No one has all the time in the world to wait for your approval before viewing your posts and what you have to sell.
For a personal profile, it's okay but business wise this is not a popular move.
Make your profile public, in case you have it on you, can change it in the options menu in the top right-hand corner of the app. Also, make sure that you are using a business profile.
5. Failing to Fill Out Captions
When you share a photo or video on Instagram never leave empty caption fields. Captions can be used to pass additional information like addresses and contact info.
Business slogans and most importantly your CALL-TO-ACTION usually goes onto the caption.
Your audience relates to those tiny short messages in ways you can't imagine. It causes people to interact, one way to make that happen is by asking questions in your captions.
"How adorable are these knitwear? Aren't they just cute." A caption such as this along with an image of some knitted clothing naturally will prompt your followers to respond as long as the pictures or photos are cute.
Other popular unpopular Instagram marketing mistakes include posting random stuff on your business profile, like comedy skits and vines that detract from your core business identity, totally avoid that. Not filling out your bio info, not adding a link to your website, etc.
Social media marketing is evolving more and more every day. You have to learn as fast as you possibly can in order to stay a step ahead of the competition and to avoid making marketing mistakes like the ones listed above.
This year's sales is not over yet, if you happen to be committing any of these Instagram marketing blunders there is still time to redeem your Instagram business profile before the start of a new year.
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who has been featured in scores of blogs including Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, Successful Startup 101, Small Biz Club, Small Business Bonfire, among others.