Mistakes help you grow, but not on Instagram.
Instagram mistakes hurt your growth, your brand, your revenue and your conversion rates. In extreme cases, they may completely destroy the reputation and trust you worked so hard to build.
Even if you are an influencer, your following and engagements can seriously suffer due to your errors.
You must be trying to pin-point all the blunders you have been making on Instagram right now. Well, we have you covered with this blog post.
Read on to learn about ten common Instagram mistakes that you don't even realize you have been making and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Having an Unidentified Niche
Before going to any social media platform, the first thing you need to do is identify your niche. Otherwise, you will just end up posting a little bit of everything, which would make it extremely difficult to succeed.
While most of the brands have their niche figured out already, a few influencers often find themselves posting everything and anything on their Instagram. This tactic is bound to fail. Those who followed you for your writings are not going to be very excited about your beauty tips. And those who loved you for your music will find it very unappealing if you started taking a political turn.
Think of it this way, if you move a little to the west and then the same amount to the east afterwards, you go nowhere. That’s exactly how you move when you have not niched down enough.
In order to niche down your content, you need to start with a broader idea of what your work should be about –are you currently posting in the Beauty and Fashion Category? Or do you find yourself posting in the Entertainment Category more? Once you have that, you simply need a sub-category small enough so that not many people are talking about it, but large enough for you to never run out of content.
Sounds complex? Well, it isn't really.
Take @aberhaam, for example. It is an entertainment account where a young student posts videos of his Arab mom trying to read and talk in English. This niche is working so well that he has been featured in DailyMail, Buzzfeed and Sarcasm Therapy.
Mistake #2: Being Colour Inconsistent
Colour consistent posts make your Instagram look tidy and well-kept. Not only it is professional, but people also find it easier to identify you because your Instagram colour gets etched in their mind.
Colour consistency doesn’t always have to be blatantly visible. Sometimes it’s just a little touch that ties all your posts together.
Some people might be following a very strict colour palette but if you do not want that, just choose one colour for all your posts to have along with others.
You should automatically choose your brand colours in that case. But if you are an influencer, go for something that relates to your work. For instance, if your Instagram is about cruising, the most obvious choice for a base colour is blue or white.
Mistake #3: Posting Irregularly
Posting whenever you feel inspired or feel like it won't get you the engagements you need. The more regular and scheduled your posts are, the more your followers will expect them and the better your analytics will get.
Another benefit of making an Instagram schedule is that you can figure out the exact time your followers are most active and plant your Instagram posts accordingly.
If you are not ready to make such an effort, we have several ready-made Instagram stories and feed post calendars and planners to cut down the amount of work you have to do. Check them out here!
Mistake#4 Buying Followers
More often than not, we are so fixated on the numbers that we forget the things that are far more important –and in our case, that is engagement and loyal followership.
The follows you buy to make your Instagram account look good are not going to help you. They will not repost your stories, leave heartfelt comments or send you DMs. And hence, you won't get engagements.
An Instagram account is dead without any real interaction of the followers. You can't hope to make sales, a reputation or a name for yourself with such an Instagram profile.
If you have already bought Instagram followers, don't worry. You can rectify your mistake by ensuring that all your future followers are there because they like what you are doing. This you can do by posting:
- engaging stories.
- quality feed posts with killer captions.
- user-generated content .
- and interacting with your followers through comments.
For more details, read this post.
Mistake #5: Posting Low-Quality Images and Videos
Instagram is a visual platform, and that means quality is the ultimate king there.
Posting grainy photos, low-resolution videos, cropped, or distorted content will never work out for you and your growth.
Go to Instagram Help or any other Instagram post size guide to determine the aspect ratios and dimensions for your feed images, videos, IGTVs and stories. Use the guidelines to edit your content accordingly, and you will find your feed looking many times better.
You can also purchase editable ready-made Instagram templates. If bought from a good source, such templates are already the right size and resolution for Instagram. And all you need to do is tweak them a little to match their feel with the rest of your posts.
Not only does that save your time, but it also provides you with the quality that you, otherwise, might not be able to achieve.
Click here to see our extremely affordable collection of social media bundles!
Mistake#6: Ignoring the Power of Instagram Stories
Instagram created Stories to help you keep your account active and interactive.
Unlike the feed content, your IG stories don’t have to be top-notch quality –although it doesn’t hurt if they are!
You can ask your followers a question, tell them a visual story, get their feedback, and make a big announcement and much more using IG stories.
Not using this feature might be one of the most damaging Instagram mistakes you are making. In fact, one of the researches says that almost 500 million people view Instagram stories per day, and one out of five send in a direct message for an inquiry. Whoa!
If you are ready to invest some energy into stories, the first step would be to plan your content. Once you have your entire schedule done and dusted, start creating a few templates you can use as a base for your stories. These templates will ensure that your content looks consistent, original and professional while still being engaging and exciting.
If you want, you can always post behind-the-scenes videos of your projects, short interviews, message of the day and other things to capture your followers’ interest. However, giving the most basic touch –for example, a border, a squiggly arrow or a colourful flower at the corner of your story with the colours from your palette –will give your Instagram Stories a nice hint of professionalism.
As for the frequency, try posting Stories outside the working hours. This can increase your reach to about 5.82 per cent.
Want more information? Click here.
Mistake#7: Not Using Hashtags
Posting without using relevant hashtags is hurting your reach for sure.
Instagram has hashtags to allow public pages get a nice amount of exposure organically. By tagging your stories and your posts with popular hashtags, you can get featured on the Explore page and the Hashtags' catalogue page.
And how does that help?
It puts your content in front of a larger audience, including those people who have never interacted with you before.
You can use up to 30 hashtags for Instagram posts and 10 for a Story. But that does not mean you need to go all-in with your IG Hashtags.
Look for trending hashtags related to your post by using Instagram Search Bar. For example, by typing in #muffin, you will see multiple related suggestions below that you can use in your hashtags.
Use 1-3 hashtags in your stories and 11 in your posts if you are a small account. However, if you already have a good number of followers, you can even make your own hashtags to catalogue your content!
Mistake#8: Posting without CTAs
Call-To-Actions or CTAs are an integral part of any web copy, and that includes Instagram captions.
CTAs tell your audience exactly what they need to do with the post. With their help, you plant an idea into your viewers’ minds of what you want them to do. For example, you can ask them to tag their friends, comment what they like about your post, shop from your store, book a call with you or anything really that relates to your product/business.
Here’s how Goodreads uses a CTA to send the audience to a link:
Mistake #9: Having a Private Account:
You can choose to keep your Instagram account private or public. But as a brand or an influencer who wants more and more audience to follow and engage with their profile, a private Instagram account isn't the right way.
If you keep your Instagram account private, the content isn’t going to show up in the explore section to your potential audience, your followers won't be able to share your posts on their Instagram stories and the hashtags that you use -such as geo-hashtags- aren't going to appear on the hashtags pages. All of this is going to restrict your reach to the users outside your following list.
Private Instagram accounts surely give a feel of exclusivity to the followers, but if you don't already have a substantial following, this isn't going to do you any good. A public account will show your content to the users, apart from your followers as well, increasing your chances of gaining new ones.
You can make your account public by following these simple steps:
- On your Instagram, go to settings.
- Go to ‘Privacy.’
- Under ‘Account Privacy,’ turn off ‘Private Account.’
You are ready to enjoy the benefits of a Public Instagram account!
Mistake #10: Not jumping into new features
Although Instagram started as a simple picture and video posting platform, it has been evolving since its launch in 2010. It has introduced many new features -like the Instagram stories and its stickers, and IGTV videos.
When a new Instagram feature appears on the platform, people are usually reluctant to use it as much as they use the old ones. But just like a brand that advertises its new products or services extensively, Instagram also gives the new features a higher reach by making it appear more in people's feeds.
If you are not using these new features, your competitors who are using them will start to show up more to your potential audience and steal those followers and engagements that you could have gotten.
You can use the new features along with the already present ones to complement each other. For example, Instagram recently launched its Reels that are short 15 seconds multi-clip videos. If you are a brand, you can use them to create small clips of your product in action after posting a trailer of it on the feed post. As an influencer, you can pair up some behind-the-scenes Reels with the final content on the feed.
This way, after watching the Reels, due to their extra reach being a new feature, more audience is likely to end up on your profile.
Like what you just read? You can learn more about Instagram, its algorithm and features by reading the rest of our blog!