Chances are your competitors already know through their own bitter experience what works and what doesn’t and they’re sitting back right now in the wings, having a little giggle at your expense, as they see you commit #instagramsuicide yet again.
So many people will happily tell you what they think works but what about flipping that on its head and educating you about what doesn’t work? What are the worst Instagram marketing mistakes you can make as a brand, guaranteed in the long run to turn off not on your engagement.
We’ve picked out 5 #fails you should swerve right now.
1. Boring and lazy copywriting.
Don’t think for one minute that just because Instagram is predominantly a visual platform that your captions aren’t important. They are. They provide context and give your feed a voice. They deliver that all-important call-to-action and they encourage your audience to get engaged. There’s no excuse for vapid and boring copywriting. Use the space for storytelling. To ask provocative questions and to really drive authentic engagement.
2. Bad hashtags are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard!
Don’t be tempted to use an app to identify the top 27 most popular hashtags on Instagram this month then simply copy, paste and regurgitate. Popular doesn’t equate to relevant, but it most certainly does mean your posts are likely to be buried somewhere in the ether, never to be discovered. Use niche and related hashtags that are likely to reach an audience actually interested in your brand.
Also, remember that even a targeted and responsive set of hashtags can lose their effectiveness so incorporate newness and freshness. The whole point of your Instagram feed is that you are trying to build and retain an engaged audience. Your hashtag strategy matters.
3. Erratic and inconsistent posting.
It’s a case of Marketing 101. To build trust, you need to be consistent. Your audience expects and wants to know when they can see new content from you. Don’t spam them but don’t leave them in a hiatus either, wondering when there’ll be some newness on the gram! There are plenty of apps and scheduling tools that will provide you with insights into peak engagement and traffic times. Don’t ignore these vital markers.
4. Falling into the trap of thinking, it’s just a numbers game.
Your sole focus of attention should be on having a genuine and engaged audience who are real! Sounds like an obvious one right but so many brands think that the Like for Like or Follow for Follow strategy will work. Short term, maybe, but is that new audience genuinely engaging with your content? If your page is little more than a jumped up vanity project maybe that strategy works fine for you, but if you are a brand and truly want to add value, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
5. Buying fake followers and engagement. Or even buying so-called 100% authentic ones!
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a loyal and engaged audience for your brand be. Sure, you might quickly rack up a couple of thousand genuine followers but if you’re an anti-aging skincare company geared towards more mature females and you discover that 80% of your audience is predominantly “genuine”teenage males based in Malaysia, are they really candidates for your latest wrinkle reducing product? We thought not!
Don’t try and shortcut the system; otherwise, the one thing you can be sure of is that you will continue to fail while your competitors carry on building their loyal and engaged following.