Instagram has grown into one of the best social media platforms for marketing. A big reason it’s so successful is because of how easy it is. With its visual, fuss-free interface, it’s the perfect place for easy browsing. With Instagram’s engagement rate being 15 times higher than Facebook and over 20 times higher than Twitter, it’s the perfect nesting place for online marketing. Brands, influencers, entrepreneurs, and celebrities have not only taken note of this but have capitalized on it. Marketing strategies have quickly shifted to include social media and accompanying tactics to engage their audiences.

That’s all well and good if you know what you’re doing. While brands and influencers may have adopted this new way of marketing, it doesn’t mean they’re any good at using it. There are several Instagram rookie mistakes that are not only embarrassing but can be detrimental to your brand. Here are our top 4 screw-ups to avoid.

  1. Having a private Instagram page

Let’s start off easy. While this seems like a no-brainer for anyone wanting to grow their following, you’d be surprised how often this marketing blunder happens.

Unless you’re a private individual or a members-only brand (which is silly), your profile should be set to public. Having your content accessible to everyone, followers or not, is necessary for them to see, like, share and connect with your brand.

Keeping your profile set to private is basically telling potential new followers that you don’t really need them. Having a private account requires people to buy the car before testing it out. They’re forced to blindly choose that you’d be an interesting account to follow. As most people want to keep their follow count low, they’ll probably decide they don’t need you (which you’d deserve if you’re on private).

  1. Not responding to users’ comments/questions

If you’re the owner of an account with a large following, the questions and comments you receive can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s not uncommon to get the same question or comment over and over. Don’t let this dissuade you from answering though.

Comments on your content are engagement rate gold and so encouraging them is important. Engagement not only leads to growth but to retention as well. While they aren’t a sole ranking factor for your post, having a lot of comments signals to Instagram that its users like it and allows the post to get boosted by their algorithm.

When users take the effort to comment on your content or send you a direct message, it’s your responsibility to answer it promptly. This will build trust and make your followers feel valued. Just like when texting your crush, there’s nothing quite like an unanswered message. Ignoring them will be interpreted as you not needing them which will lead to an un-follow. When responding, make sure you @ their Instagram handle. This’ll not only make them feel loved, it’ll have them coming back to your profile.

  1. Not having a link in your bio

If you have a website, traffic is the blood that runs through it’s e-veins. With over 1 billion likes on Instagram a day, there are a ton of people able and willing to engage with your content. That includes visiting your website.

Having a link and/or a call-to-action in your profile bio is a must. With Instagram only allowing one clickable link on your profile (and that’s in your bio), not taking advantage of it would be foolish. You can include your website’s homepage, your latest promotion or a newly featured product. In order to capitalize on this, make sure to refer to it in your daily posted content by directing them to the “Link in bio”.

  1. Posting repeat photos

This one seems obvious. If I have a girl on my Instagram posting achingly similar shots of her with a slightly different pose, chances are i’m un-following her. The same goes for business profiles. Loyal and new Instagram followers alike are quick to notice when they start seeing similar or duplicate photos on their feeds. It’s boring and no one wants to be bored.

Sure. Every now and then there may be a legitimate reason to post a duplicate photo/video, but very rarely. The ultimate goal when posting content is to make it unique, engaging, and entertaining. If you’ve already posted it, it’s none of those things.

 

Instagram marketing is here to stay and so learning the dos and don’ts is imperative to your success. Leveraging the power of social media to generate website traffic, grow your audience, and build a loyal following will help your business grow. Along with these 4 screw-ups to avoid, others include being over-promotional, buying followers/engagement, not posting videos, posting at the wrong time, and focusing in quantity over quality.