Are you on Instagram? If so, you aren’t alone. There are over one billion accounts on this social media platform. This makes it hard for your posts to stand out from the rest of the crowd, especially if you’re making a number of mistakes.
You need to not only be yourself (or represent your brand identity) on Instagram, but you also must avoid doing these eight things.
1: Posting Photos That Are Blurry or Unclear
Since Instagram is a visual medium, you need to post photos that are clear and in focus.
One of the biggest mistakes that users make is putting up pictures that are cloudy, foggy, blurry, or unclear. People go on this social media site expecting to see interesting photos of things that they can discern.
Even if you’re running an “artsy” account full of photos that are meant to look unusual, you still shouldn’t post unclear images. You’ll turn off many of your followers.
2: Not Responding to Your Followers
There’s no rule stating that you need to respond to every single comment that your followers make. However, you do need to interact with them.
This means answering any questions that pop up in those comments, spending some time “liking” the comments, or even responding to the first few. This shows that you care about what your followers have to say about your posts.
You aren’t just posting things and then moving on. These interactions matter.
(Related Read: Strategy to Build More Instagram Followers in 2019)
3: Posting Inconsistently or Posting Too Often
One of the worst things that people do on social media, especially on Instagram, is post inconsistently. There are general ground rules about how many times you should be posting on each form of social media in order to keep your follower’s attention and make sure that your updates don’t get lost in the algorithm.
For Instagram, you need to post at least once a day. However, you shouldn’t over-post either. No one wants to see a flood of your posts pop up on their feed. Don’t unleash five or six updates at once. That’s overkill.
4: Not Disclosing Paid Content
According to the FTC, you need to disclose every single paid post on Instagram. This means that you need to include the “ad” hashtag and disclose in the post that you were paid to share it. Otherwise, you are essentially breaking the law.
In addition to this, the lack of transparency on your part will make you look bad in the eyes of your followers. They need to know that they can trust you, so when you post a photo stating that love a particular product – and you were actually paid to make that post, but don’t disclose it – then you’re breaking that trust.
You’ll lose followers this way.
5: A Lack of Hashtags or Too Many Hashtags
Hashtags are designed to help people find what they’re looking for on Instagram. The problem lies in either using too many hashtags or not enough. If you’ve been holding back on the hashtags, then your content is popping up when people search for relevant material.
However, if you use too many hashtags, then you’re turning people off. You need to make sure that every hashtag that you use is completely relevant. On top of this, don’t include any more than four or five hashtags per post.
6: Ignoring the Instagram Stories Option
Instagram stories not only attach a video to your profile (it appears as a colorful circle around your profile picture) but it also provides that video towards the top of the app, in a row alongside all of the other stories that have been recently posted. This gives you more visibility on the platform.
Plus, people love the stories option – more so than the traditional posts, according to some experts. If you aren’t using Instagram stories, then you’re missing out.
7: You Purchased Followers and Likes
There are dozens of online companies that sell followers and likes on Instagram. While it’s not illegal to purchase their services, Instagram is actively cracking down on the practice and deleting accounts run by these follower “farms.”
You’ve no doubt seen photos or read news articles about the people running these companies. They are operating in a legal and ethical gray area, which is why you should be careful to watch out for Instagram follower scams and ransomware. That is why the best thing to really grow your Instagram following is to avoid these services and obtain your followers, comments, and likes legally, by producing great content.
8: Your Content Isn’t Cohesive
Is your content all over the place? While you can get away with posting random things on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram requires a little more curation.
This means that you’ll need to spend some time thinking about what your overall plan is and then execute it.
In other words, what’s your brand? You need to make sure that every post fits the overall “persona” that you’ve created for yourself or your company.
|Sameer Panjwani is the Founder & CEO of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps digital marketers track rankings, monitor site stats, and research competitors. A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.|