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5 common mistakes businesses make on Instagram

by Sofie Kerremans, Mar 18

Nowadays, there are various social media platforms out there. We all know it can feel overwhelming to know which channel you should focus on. More than half of the Instagram users is aged 35 years or younger. If this is your target audience and you choose to use Instagram, it is important to create the right content and attract those who you need to boost your business.  

The popular platform has now over one billion monthly users worldwide, which means that you have over one billion reasons to make sure you are making the most of it. There are several mistakes that keep your efforts from generating results. We highlight the 5 most common ones that companies make on their Instagram, and give you tips on how to do it better in the future.  

Is Instagram the right platform for your business? 

Let’s recap before we dive into this article: Many companies feel the need to be doing something on the platform. Don't be afraid to realize Instagram just isn't a fit for your business. For example, if your target audience is more present on other social media platforms, it won’t make sense to put lots of energy into Instagram. While there's no harm in exploring it as a branding or customer engagement exercise, don't be disheartened if you don't see immediate results.  

If your target audience is active on Instagram, you should probably be too. Not seeing the impact you’ve been hoping for? Chances are that you are making one of these common mistakes:  

1. No engagement with your community 

Engaging with your followers and target audience will eventually lead to growth. You get the opportunity to know what they expect and need from you. Users like your post and leave a comment when they are genuinely interested in your content. You should always reply to them, as it makes them feel that their contribution is being recognized. It also means that they want to connect with your business. Never ignore them.  

If the comment is positive, appreciate it. If it is negative, take it as an opportunity to improve. Reply to everyone’s comments so that they know you are open to interact. If you do not respond, your community will not bother interacting with you. Keep that in mind!  

2. No professional appearance  

Instagram is visually driven. We can't emphasize enough that it is important to post photos that are of good quality, do not contain too much text (a quote can be included) and have a professional look. Especially as a company, you want to stand out among all the others. The competition is tough but with a certain approach you can easily distinguish yourself.  

You do this by having qualitative photos taken that are in line with your corporate identity and services. Create content that fits your look and feel. The photos or videos that are ‘less perfect’ can be used for Instagram Stories. This also ensures a more realistic image of your business. In this way, not everything you share needs to be 100% determined.  

3. Using the wrong hashtags 

Is your business already using hashtags on Instagram? Because it allows you to reach people who are not following your account. Be careful not to use too many hashtags, considering this can come across like spam.  

Try to select five to ten hashtags that best fit your image, message and business. The more specific, the better. By doing this you can be sure that you are on the right track. You will attract the right audience and can still be found by people who are not following you.  

4. No specific strategy or plan 

Without a strategy, you are posting content on your Instagram feed without a defined purpose. As a result, they will generate very few results. When building a social strategy, you ask questions like: ‘Who do you want to reach? What is the reaction you want to trigger? How do you make the posts recognizable as part of your business?' You can only create content if you know who you are talking to.  

We encourage you to think beforehand what your company can share with its community. You need to give them an experience with your content, considering your presence on Instagram is the online continuation of your offline brand perception.  Are you going to inspire, entertain or inform them? Have a straightforward content plan so that you don't have to think ‘What are we posting now?’ every day.  

Always remember: Instagram will perform best when you create content uniquely for the platform. 

5. Limited knowledge of the analytics 

Data is knowledge! And it doesn't have to be as complicated as it sounds. Try to figure out why one post got more likes than the other. Make sure to keep this in mind when you create new Instagram posts. Many businesses on social media focus on getting as many likes and comments as possible. Of course, that interaction is very important, but there is a higher goal that you can't overlook.  

With Instagram you can tell interesting stories, build a connection with your target audience, boost sales, generate traffic to your company’s website and so on. You can't measure everything with likes or comments, but you can measure it with, for example, the number of clicks to the website, how long people stay on your website or what action they took after visiting your Instagram profile.  

Measurement answers questions that allow you to improve your strategy and therefore better address what your followers may need or expect from you. You can measure some analytics on the Instagram application itself (profile visits, reach, impressions, your audience) but it is also possible to use a separate website or platform to keep track of your statistics.  

Sharing posts on Instagram is easy but maintaining a social media strategy with good content and getting real results requires some knowledge. We hope that this article gave you some insights on how to promote and boost your business on Instagram.

If you still have any questions, feel free to get in touch - we are happy to help & advise

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