Whether you are an Instagram pro or a novice in the field, you probably know how the platform can increase the success of a company substantially. Better yet, it is built to communicate solely through visual elements. While Instagram’s primary demographic is between 18 and 35 years old, out of which 65% are visual learners, your main priority is to communicate effectively through images and videos.
However, images and videos are not the most essential factor in the Instagram equation. To succeed on Instagram, you need to know everything from engagement, hashtags, algorithm changes, and your target audience behavior on the platform. While this is highly emphasized by every marketer, people often fail to listen.
We are here to point out some small mistakes you are probably doing on Instagram with the hopes of getting you back on track.
- Not posting often enough.
This sounds like we are nagging, but the truth is, you don’t post enough. Each Instagram account you are handling has particular posting requirements based on the level it is currently at. If you have a new account, with not so many followers, posting once a day, will not get you far. In fact, posting should be aligned with a strategy you establish first and then plan to act upon that strategy.
Always define the level of your account, create a posting schedule that will increase the exposure of your account. For new accounts, your posting target should be between 3-4 posts, and for an already established account, you should have an average of 1.5 posts per day.
- Failing to act on a plan
Instagram sounds easy because all you do is deal with images. But failing to establish a clear strategy before you start to create an online presence as a brand and post quality content will leave you without a clear goal in sight. Your plan of action or strategy should serve as a guideline for the type of content you curate or create. Without such instructions, your audience will not receive your message as it was intended to be communicated.
To provide a solution to this issue, take small steps towards establishing and pursuing your account goals. A good course of action would be to create competition audit first, seek inspiration from what works, gain an understanding of what is the visual trigger for your audience and finally, create an actionable plan! Always refer back to your plan and adjust according to the results and data you are getting.
- Not engaging with your community.
The platform has grown to such exponential value because of the online community involvement on each account. A community is established when there is mutual communication between users and in the case of Instagram account, the account owner and its followers. Failing to actively and genuinely communicate with your audience will not only project yourself as an inauthentic account, but it can possibly result in a loss of followers as well as the loss of brand authority.
The best way to be active with your followers is to use analytics tools such as IGBlade and track the progress of your account. Such a tool can emphasize how your engagement and followers are reacting to your actions, so you can adjust your community management activities.
- Making it a numbers game
Likes, followers, and comments are the building blocks of Instagram – that is until they roll out the new update! We’ve all been there, we love to see a lot of engagement, we can show our achievement in terms of likes and follower growth, but that is not always the best way to measure success. Looking at Instagram as a numbers game will make you lose sight of what’s actually essential for your account. Large followings and many likes don’t always equate with a loyal following.
Your account will be better off with fewer followers and likes from genuine people than inflated numbers that don’t convert well at all. Focus your attention on attracting the right crowd to your account rather than overhyping your account with clueless users.
- Overusing hashtags
Hashtags are one of the best ways to expand your reach, find new followers, and target accordingly. One of the more common mistakes people make when using hashtags is that they use a lot of general hashtags that are either hard to rank on, or are unrelated to the topic of the post. Misuse of hashtags can have a disastrous effect on your account, as your account can get shadow banned (which is more prevalent now than ever) and your potential reach will decrease drastically, taking away all those days of hard work.
A favorable option is to use hashtags analytic tools to look for best-performing hashtags to increase your reach and attain new followers and create a list of hashtag sets that you alternate to avoid being shadowbanned.
- Staying off Instagram
If you have already started posting content, and you suddenly pause your activity and aim to resume it in the following couple of weeks, your engagement and account visibility will be hindered. Taking a pause of just a few weeks will affect the reach of your posts and Instagram’s algorithm will not index your posts accordingly, regardless of how hard you try to regain momentum.
It can take up to a few months until your account is back in full swing.
As a possible solution to potential time limitations, make sure that you post at least once a day and maintain some consistency in your posting. You can always use Instagram scheduling software to plan a week or months of original or curated content.
- Posting bad photos
We all know the power a visual asset can have on a person, and that is why Instagram is highly prevalent. However, the platform always looks for quality images that have the potential for high organic engagement. Even though we know how essential quality images are, at times we completely forget the power HQ imagery can have on our engagement rates. Posting low-quality photos and pictures that don’t have a similar ‘wow effect’ will receive a low amount of interaction, even from your most loyal followers.
Always put your critic’s hat on and measure whether the image you want to post would impress you as a follower. Better yet, directions from professional photographers on what constitutes a quality image can come in handy in situations like these. Or, you can always hire someone that can create quality images to help you boost your accounts social proof.
Always analyze what you are doing.
Whether you are making one of these mistakes, all of them, or even more, you always need to take a step back and analyze your actions. It will give you more time to be self-critical and spot out the minor errors that are often overlooked. Make use of market available Instagram analytics tools to measure your actions. They will help you better your execution and allow you to spot those minor errors we’ve been highlighting throughout this article.
Vincze Kalnoky is a co-founder of IGBlade.com one of the leading Instagram analytics platforms on the web. Longtime social media specialist and entrepreneur he specializes in all things Instagram. He also co-founded followplanner.com, a popular Instagram growth platform.