What You’re Doing Wrong on Instagram
Instagram is a straightforward platform to use for personal reasons, but achieving your business or brand goals is another matter. It can be a challenging platform to navigate — how do you expose your content to your niche audience and grab their attention? Instagram is saturated with other accounts trying to do the same thing.
Using Instagram for marketing purposes is not a precise science, but there are a few tried-and-true techniques that you can take advantage of. Here are some things you might be doing wrong with your Instagram account that is holding you back:
Not posting regularly enough
Instagram users appreciate consistency. If you’re ever in doubt about what to do, put yourself in your followers’ shoes: what would you like to see from your own account? It’s likely not inconsistent posts that only come once in a while. You want to see new content on a regular basis, so make sure you post often enough that your followers stay interested.
Post at peak times, too. There are social media tools that can tell you when your audience is most active throughout the day. Publish new material right when people are most likely to see it. Otherwise, the abundance of other content may drown you out.
You’re only posting, not engaging
You’re making a mistake if you think that success on Instagram only requires posting top-notch content. Followers will not flock to you if you publish material without doing anything else.
Instead, engage with your audience. Answer their questions, respond to their comments, and thank them for re-sharing your posts. This way, users will see that you do not sit idly by and expect them to interact with your posts without incentive — they’ll see that you are excited to interact with them, too.
Don’t limit yourself to just your followers, either—network with other users. Consider reaching out to influencers to check out your page. Find the virtual corners of Instagram where like-minded people hang out and participate in the overall conversation.
Buying fake followers
Why do you want to build an Instagram audience? Maybe it’s for sales opportunities, proving your thought leadership, or connecting with like-minded people — but it’s also for the social proof. The more followers you have, the more popular your account seems, which suggests to new users that you are a profile worth following.
Don’t buy fake followers for the clout, though. It’s wrong, and people will be able to tell if you have a high follower count but a disproportionately low engagement rate. It’ll damage your reputation. Instead, you can buy followers that are real if you are struggling on your own.
Being too inconsistent
You have expectations of the accounts you follow. If you follow a nature photography account, then you are excited to see incredible pictures of wildlife and landscapes. You did not, however, sign up to see images of the photographer at a backyard party or pictures of baked goods.
It’s a fine line to balance. You want to operate within your niche by not surprising followers with irrelevant content, but you also don’t want to repeat yourself and never shake things up. Be consistent with the kind of material you share, but make sure there is just enough variation that your followers don’t grow bored.
Forgetting to use hashtags
Hashtags are an excellent Instagram tool. They are what make posts discoverable. When you want to search for something on your Explore page, such as travel photos or extreme sports videos, it shows you posts tagged with relevant hashtags.
You need to include hashtags on your own post. Without them, how are people supposed to know you exist? Sure, they might stumble upon your profile accidentally, or see you conversing with another user, but one of the best ways to put your content in front of the right people is to make it discoverable for people who are making a point to search for it.
You left your profile on private
This tip is simple, but it will make a tremendous difference if it turns out to be true: is your profile on private mode? If so, then people cannot see your content! Only your bio is visible. Making your profile private doesn’t necessarily make you “exclusive,” either — if you want an audience, then you need to be accessible.
Instagram is a tough platform to crack, but you can build your audience if you conduct an audit of your strategy and identify all the things that are holding you back. What are some mistakes you have made on Instagram, and how did you remedy them?