7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making on Instagram

instagram mistakes

With one billion active users, Instagram is a great platform to use in your social media marketing strategy. It has a simple user interface, stories for easy daily posting and great ecommerce tools. It can be a perfect place to connect with potential customers. While it is easy to create a business Instagram account and start posting, it takes a strategic approach to build your brand and gain a following. Consider these horrible mistakes that others have made before you populate (or continue to populate) your Instagram feed.

While it is easy to create a business #Instagram account and start posting, it takes a strategic approach to build your brand and gain a following. #socialmedia Share on X

Mistake #1: Keeping an inconsistent posting schedule

When you commit to using an Instagram account in your marketing strategy, you want to develop a routine with your followers. They should hear from you often enough to keep your brand top-of-mind. Develop a content calendar to ensure regular and consistent posting. Use a social media scheduling tool (like Buffer or Hootsuite) to schedule content in advance and track your posts and engagement.

Generally, the best times to post to Instagram are 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM, when people usually have lulls in the day. As you grow your audience and data, check your Instagram insights to see when your followers are on the platform. Tailor your posts to that schedule. Be sure to recalibrate your schedule as your follower base changes.

Mistake #2: Promoting your business too often

Like most social media users, your Instagram followers do not visit the app to see your advertisements. When users are looking through their feed, they want to see content that adds value for them. That may be an entertaining post, a visually appealing graphic or just sound advice. Keep your audience’s goals in mind as you post content. A good rule of thumb is to promote your business in one of every five posts. This balance will attract users who want to learn more about your brand without flooding their feed with digital ads.

Mistake #3: Limiting engagement with followers’ posts

Instagram is a social platform, so just posting your content and replying to comments on your own posts will not cut it for most brands. In fact, engagement is a great way for small brands to stand apart from their larger competitors. If you want to build your brand and gain more followers, engage with other users, even initiating conversations. (This is an absolute must for business development professionals.) You can follow users who post in the same hashtags your business does and like their posts. You can also comment on their posts to start a conversation. But don’t forget to continue engaging with users already commenting on your posts. Write captions that invite your followers to start a conversation with you and maintain it. Add a question for them to answer and create a social community. You will gain more meaningful followers (read “potential customers”), and your brand will continue to grow stronger.

Mistake #4: Forgetting links in your bio

Since you cannot post clickable links in Instagram posts, you need to utilize the one link you can use in your bio. You can use a singular link to your website or another online digital asset. You can update your bio link when you feature new products and mention your link in bio when you post. Alternatively, you can use Linktree, Lynx or a similar service, that allows you to expand the number of links in your bio. Use these links to drive traffic where you need it and change it up depending on what you need at any given time. Consider linking to other social media accounts, your blog or published digital articles that feature your brand.

Mistake #5: Sharing duplicate photos

Instagram is a visual-driven social media platform. When users visit your account, they will be able to see all the photos on your past posts. If you share the same picture two or more times, it will be reasonably easy to spot. You can fix this by choosing different photos, adding text to an existing photo or using the carousel option to select more than one picture. Keep in mind that even when using the carousel option, Instagram will show each photo in the carousel in your followers’ feeds at differing times.

Mistake #6: Using hashtags inappropriately

Well, a bigger problem would be not using hashtags at all. Hashtags allow your posts to be more easily found in search. You have a limit of 30 hashtags you can use in each post. Use hashtags to reach your target audience. Use a mix of hashtags that are popular with millions of posts and those that are very specific for your industry or niche. The smaller, more specific ones give you a better chance to be featured in the top posts for that hashtag. Use hashtags that are relevant to your business, your industry and the content you are posting. No need to use the same hashtags for every post you publish but have some that you regularly include. Use hashtags that set your brand apart from other accounts and attract attention to your business.

Mistake #7: Posting without your audience in mind

You want to tailor your posts to your audience, both the one you already have and the one you are trying to get. Only use high-quality images and check your captions for grammar and spelling. Make sure your content is interesting or entertaining, catering to your followers.

Avoid these Instagram mistakes and you will be well on your way to establishing a stronger digital presence for your brand.