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7 of the Most Common Instagram Mistakes Marketers Need to Avoid

In order for your profile to stand the highest chance of getting seen and keep growing, it’s actually vital to avoid some of the biggest marketing mistakes. So we’re presenting the 7 most common Instagram mistakes in the hope you’ll avoid them and lead a more successful marketing strategy on Instagram.

1. Lack of a Marketing Strategy

Just like any other marketing channel, Instagram requires a well-defined strategy. Aside from just getting started with your first profile, you have to figure out what you want to accomplish on the platform by developing a content plan that will answer questions such as-Who is your target audience? What value can you bring to them? What kind of posts are they expecting?

Yes, these are basic questions, but any Instagram marketing strategy should begin with these fundamental components; otherwise social media managers risk wasting precious time and resources on irrelevant or ineffective campaigns. That’s why it pays to start off small and test your profile before expanding into more elaborate and complex endeavors.

Conducting market research on who uses the platform, identifying influential users within your niche, gathering an idea bank of high-quality images and videos-these are all important steps that should be taken before taking the big plunge. It takes patience and fortitude to adapt a winning Instagram marketing strategy which is why it helps for marketers to get their feet wet with smaller goals before making their way up the ladder.

2. Not Understanding the Complicated Instagram Algorithm

Although many brands have hopped on the Instagram bandwagon, some don’t even know what hashtags are for. They use them occasionally when they think they should but otherwise, haven’t put much thought into why or how to use them. The truth is, hashtags aren’t going anywhere. In fact, your brand needs to invest in intelligent and effective hashtagging if you want to succeed on Instagram. Here’s where a little research and understanding of the complicated Facebook algorithm come into play.

Yes-hashtags can help drive engagement but not always-and that’s because of how Instagram prioritizes content on users’ newsfeeds; posts are only displayed to a certain extent based on an algorithm that determines who sees what posts in their newsfeeds. This means that if you hashtag everything like all of your posts with #love, #beautiful, and #funny, your content will be pushed back (or never even posted) because it effectively “over-tags” your content which can make it less visible in newsfeeds because these words are too common and used by other brands as well.

To make sure you’re hashtagging correctly, conduct research to see which hashtags best suit your brand and target audience. After that, take cues from the bigger Instagram players in your niche who have made it a point to keep their hashtags relevant and up-to-date with the latest trends. With all of this information in mind, implement a system that allows you to consistently add new hashtags into your posts as you create them. Remember: your Instagram plan should factor in your choice of hashtags, so be sure to consider both when creating and executing any marketing activities on the platform.

3. Not Using Hashtags Effectively

Now, let’s rewind just a bit because it’s important not to assume that you know what constitutes effective hashtag usage or why it is so essential for brands on Instagram. The truth is, hashtags can be used to promote your brand in many different ways; they’re not just limited to mentions on the platform. Firms can use hashtags to increase visibility of their posts by:

Removing spammy hashtags (which may include malicious or rude hashtags) from their content. This is particularly important at the start-up stage because brands shouldn’t forget that some of these keywords are more effective than others. Using unique and relevant hashtags that target your ideal customer and target audience. Gaining more visibility for your photos by targeting popular images with popular posts with terms like #bokeh or #vintage which are commonly used and relevant keywords in comparison to the photos being tagged.

So-if you’re unsure about how to use hashtags effectively, keep an eye out for “top” tags in your niche. For example, users in the Instagram space can often be found using #Makeup, #foodphotography, and #wedding. When your brand has a unique point of view and will benefit from being discovered through these keywords, start using them but make sure they re highly related with what you’re posting.

4. Not Following/Interacting With Influencers

A lucrative way to expand your brand awareness is to connect with other like-minded brands and influencers on the platform that share similar values-and who are also trying to expand their audiences as well. By building a connection with prominent representatives within your niche that you admire, you can work together to promote each other’s content organically without having to pay for advertisements or links or sharing content from third-parties.

For instance, if you’re a cosmetics company looking for any way to increase visibility of your products on Instagram, why not reach out to an influencer with a big audience and many interactions in the beauty space? ; in other words, they are posting lots of photos about beauty products which could translate into increased brand visibility for you.

This is just one example of how you can leverage the power of influencers on Instagram. Another effective method is to collaborate with high-profile users by asking them to promote your content or include a unique piece of your brand’s information into their posts. This will only work if you make an effort to connect with these users, however. So take the time to follow-back and engage with top profiles in your niche; they’re likely doing the same and will come back wanting to know who you are if you’re reaching out first.

5. Not Creating An Engaging Instagram Biography

A very common misconception among new marketers is that a brand’s bio isn’t going to make or break their activity on Instagram. They think that it’s going to be so simple to create a profile, post some photos, and start gaining followers without paying much attention to the quality of their descriptions or hashtags-which is where they get it all wrong because no matter what people are posting, they shouldn’t assume that their audience cares about that enough for them to do anything else beyond uploading pretty pictures left and right.

So, if you’re one of those people who haven’t put much thought in the bio section, trust us-you’ll need to. Although many brands think that it’s best to keep their descriptions short and sweet, your Instagram bio is where your brand can stand out from the crowd. Take time to craft a unique and captivating profile that will entice users to follow you.

Inlude your company website or other contact information in your bio so that users can get more information about your brand right away; this is a great way to initiate communication without having to reach out manually. Think about it: it’s not uncommon for users on Instagram to post photos of products they want others on the platform to know about which is why it helps for marketers to include relevant material so that when users view a product they like from other accounts, they can check out exactly where they can find additional information and buy what they see.

6. Not Interacting With Instagram Users

As mentioned earlier, engagement is a crucial aspect of Instagram marketing. If you’re not engaging with your audience on the platform, you will likely miss out on the chance to meet more people who can help you expand your reach and your brand awareness-and that’s never a good thing. And although it might seem like most users are simply “lurking” in order to learn more about the latest products which they can’t afford at the moment, there’s a certain percentage of users who are using Instagram as an opportunity to build an online community which they understand, engage with and get personal recommendations from other followers.

By following these users back, engaging in comments and liking their photos (for example) you’ll be able to gain valuable insight about what users want to see or how can can apply future improvements to your content strategy. The other side of this coin is that it doesn’t hurt if you’re interacting with them because at worst, knowing that people don’t like or find things interesting enough in your content, will help you adjust your strategy.

To make sure you’re genuinely interacting with your followers, remember to consider their interests as well as their needs. For instance, if you’re a cosmetics brand that’s looking for a way to promote products in your niche, ask users to share photos of their beauty routines or skin-care regimens. Then, when users are replying to those posts on your feed and seeing how other women are using products in the same niche, they’re likely going to click on your profile because they want more information about what you have available. This is exactly why some brands promote user generated content with interesting insights for their fan base.

7. Not Posting Quality Content

Taking a closer look at the comments and likes that your posts receive, you should note the level on engagement your content is getting. If you notice very low numbers compared with the numbers of followers you have, then something isn’t right and it needs immediate adjustments.  If you can see a lot of similar photos from brands in your niche, this doesn’t mean you need to publish similar things just because you believe it’s cool right away-because chances are, users will quickly get bored and uninterested in what you have to offer. In most cases, these images will quickly get pushed back on users’ newsfeeds which is a bad thing for your brand reputation and visibility. To effectively promote your brand awareness on Instagram, focus on making sure the content you’re posting is high-quality, relevant with your brand and also visually compelling.

Mario is a social media marketer and programmer from Italy. Mario began his career as a social media intern for a small startup and quickly learned the ropes of the industry. He then went on to work as a social media manager for a mid-sized company before starting his own agency. Mario is also a skilled programmer and has created software programs that help businesses with their social media marketing efforts. In his spare time, Mario enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. His motto: "Keep your skills sharp and your networking active, and you'll always be in demand."