10 Instagram Mistakes You Should Avoid
Instagram mistakes affect your online presence, your brand and your conversion rates. In some cases, it may even destroy the reputation and trust you worked so hard to build.
Mistakes help you grow, but not on Instagram.
You must be trying to pin-point all the blunders you have been making on Instagram right now. The good news is: We have you covered!!!
We have listed ten common Instagram mistakes that you don’t even realize you have been making and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Having an Unidentified Niche
Before going to any social media platform, the first thing you need to do is identify your niche. Otherwise, you will just end up posting a little bit of everything, which would make it extremely difficult to succeed.
To niche down your content, you need to start with a broader idea of what your work should be about –are you currently posting about Beauty? Be specific and start posting about Lash & Brow. Once you have a niche, you can have a sub-category to complement your main topic.
Sounds complex? Well, it isn’t really.
Take @elleebana, for example. We post all things Lash & Brow. However, we also love a meme. Who doesn’t? It’s fun, quirky and attracts a lot of attention. Lash artists love sharing it and writing a comment about it which means better engagement for us!
Mistake #2: Being Colour Inconsistent
Colour consistent posts make your Instagram look tidy and well-kept. Not only it is professional, but people also find it easier to identify you because your Instagram colour gets etched in their mind.
Colour consistency doesn’t always have to be blatantly visible. Sometimes it’s just a little touch that ties all your posts together.
Some people might be following a very strict colour palette but if you do not want that, just choose two or three colours.
You could also use your salon brand colours. That would complement your branding.
Mistake #3: Posting Irregularly
Posting whenever you feel inspired or feel like it won’t get you anywhere. The more regular and scheduled your posts are, the more your followers will expect them and the better your engagement will be.
Another benefit of making an Instagram schedule is that you can figure out the exact time your followers are most active and schedule your Instagram posts accordingly.
Mistake#4 Buying Followers
We can be obsessed with numbers that we are likely to forget the things that are far more important –and in our case, that is engagement and loyal followership.
The followers you buy to make your Instagram account look good are not going to help you. They will not repost your stories, send you DMs or increase your engagement.
An Instagram account is dead without any real interaction of the followers. You can’t hope to make sales, attract students to a course or build an online reputation with such an Instagram profile.
If you have already bought Instagram followers, don’t worry. You can rectify your mistake by ensuring that all your future followers are there because they like what you are doing. This you can do by posting:
- engaging stories
- quality feed posts with killer captions.
- user-generated content.
- and interacting with your followers through comments.
Mistake #5: Posting Low-Quality Images and Videos
To make Instagram work for your business, you’ve simply got to have great photos. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take photos. Your mobile phone is your best friend when it comes to Instagram photography. Here are some tips to get the best photos when using your phone:
Use natural light. No one looks great with a flash lighting up the oiliest parts of their face and casting weird shadows on their nose and chin. The same is true for product shots. Natural light just makes shadows softer, colours richer, and photos nice to look at.
Avoid harsh light. Late afternoon is an unbeatable time to take photos. Cloudy days are better than sunny ones for mid-day shooting.
Use the rules of thirds. Your phone camera has a grid built in to help you follow this rule. According to Apple, you should always have the focal point within the centre square of the grid.
Try different angles. Crouch down, stand on a chair, do whatever it takes to get the most interesting version of your shot (as long as it’s safe to do so, of course).
Mistake#6: Ignoring the Power of Instagram Stories
Instagram created Stories to help you keep your account active and interactive.
Unlike the feed content, your IG stories don’t have to be top-notch quality –although it doesn’t hurt if they are!
You can ask your followers a question, create a poll, get their feedback, announce a new class or service you’re adding to your salon menu. These simple tricks can skyrocket your engagement!
Research shows that almost 500 million people view Instagram stories per day, and one out of five send a direct message for an inquiry. You should definitely take advantage of this data intel!
If you are ready to invest some energy into stories, the first step would be to plan your content. Taking your audience behind the scenes can grow your business. Remember: People buy from people and people connect with people. Therefore, showing your brand as human with real dreams, visions, aspirations and your motivations behind why you wake up everyday makes you more relatable.
If you want, you can always post behind-the-scenes videos of your projects, short interviews, message of the day and other things to capture your followers’ interest. However, giving the most basic touch –for example, a border, a squiggly arrow or a colorful flower at the corner of your story with the colours from your palette –will give your Instagram Stories a nice hint of professionalism.
As for the frequency, try posting Stories outside the working hours. This can increase your reach to about 5%.
Mistake#7: Not Using Hashtags
Posting without using relevant hashtags is certainly harming your reach.
Instagram has hashtags to allow public pages get a nice amount of exposure organically. By tagging your stories and your posts with popular hashtags, you can get featured on the Explore page and the Hashtags’ catalogue page.
And how does that help?
It puts your content in front of a larger audience, including those people who have never interacted with you before.
You can use up to 30 hashtags for Instagram posts and 10 for a Story. But that does not mean you need to go all-in with your IG Hashtags.
Look for trending hashtags related to your post by using Instagram Search Bar. For example, by typing in #muffin, you will see multiple related suggestions below that you can use in your hashtags.
Our tip is to use 1-3 hashtags in your stories and 11 in your posts if you are a small account. However, if you already have a good number of followers, you can even make your own hashtags to catalogue your content!
Mistake#8: Posting without CTAs
Call-To-Actions or CTAs are an integral part of any web copy, and that includes Instagram captions.
CTAs tell your audience exactly what they need to do with the post. With their help, you plant an idea into your viewers’ minds of what you want them to do. For example, you can ask them to tag their friends, comment what they like about your post, shop from your store, book a call with you or anything really that relates to your product/business.
Mistake #9: Having a Private Account
You can choose to keep your Instagram account private or public. But as a brand or an influencer who wants more and more audience to follow and engage with their profile, a private Instagram account isn’t the right way.
If you keep your Instagram account private, the content isn’t going to show up in the explore section to your potential audience, your followers won’t be able to share your posts on their Instagram stories and the hashtags that you use -such as geo-hashtags- aren’t going to appear on the hashtags pages. All of this is going to restrict your reach to the users outside your following list.
Private Instagram accounts surely give a feel of exclusivity to the followers, but if you don’t already have a substantial following, this isn’t going to do you any good. A public account will show your content to the users, apart from your followers as well, increasing your chances of gaining new ones.
You can make your account public by following these simple steps:
- On your Instagram, go to settings.
- Go to ‘Privacy.’
- Under ‘Account Privacy,’ turn off ‘Private Account.’
You are ready to enjoy the benefits of a Public Instagram account!
Mistake #10: Not jumping into new features
Although Instagram started as a simple picture and video posting platform, it has been evolving since its launch in 2010. It has introduced many new features such as the Instagram stories, stickers, IGTV and Reels.
When a new Instagram feature appears on the platform, people are usually reluctant to use it as much as they use the old ones. However, just like a brand that advertises its new products or services extensively, Instagram also gives the new features a higher reach by making it appear more in people’s feeds.
If you are not using these new features, your competitors who are using them will start to show up more to your potential audience and steal those followers and engagement that you could have gotten.
Written by Sol Menezes – Elleebana Marketing Manager