If you’re using social media to promote your brand at all, you probably already know how important Instagram is. With more than one billion active monthly users, this is a channel all brands can use. And you’ll get even better results if you avoid these five mistakes.
1. Misusing Hashtags
Hashtags are a huge part of Instagram culture – but they’re not as random as they may seem at first glance. As we covered in our recent post of 51 Instagram stats, even one hashtag can boost engagement by 6%, but 9-12 hashtags are ideal. Be strategic in your use as Instagram’s updated API only allows tracking of 30 unique hashtags per authorized user.
Quantity isn’t all that matters, of course. You want to choose hashtags wisely to encourage engagement and brand visibility. Since 70% of hashtags are branded, consider creating your own. And use social listening to find out what other hashtags your audience is likely to respond to.
2. Using a “Post and Ghost” Routine
It might seem like all you have to do on Instagram is post some cool shots and wait for fans to notice, but that doesn’t fly. (It doesn’t fly on any social network, actually.) You’ve got to interact with fans to inspire organic engagement, sales, and whatever else you want to achieve. Images and videos shared on Insta aren’t the end-game – they’re an entryway into fans’ hearts.
Use sentiment analysis to understand what inspires the most love, and then keep the conversation rolling. Ask questions, answer questions, respond to comments – be present!
3. Spamming with Stories
It’s true that Stories are a powerful tool brands should take advantage of. The 500 million daily active Stories shared keep users on Instagram longer, and account for up to 37% of total impressions for businesses.
But these results won’t apply to your brand if you’re using Stories to promote instead of engage. Stories should be personal and authentic – a glimpse behind the curtain of your brand, with exclusive content that gets your followers excited to watch before they disappear.
Don’t waste that opportunity to connect on generic marketing messages.
4. Being Shy About Going Live
Similarly, using Instagram’s live video option is a brilliant way to get personal while also building excitement. Because live videos disappear when the broadcast ends (unless you share a replay in your Story) you can create a real social event if you promote your broadcasts in advance – or encourage viewers to share what special perks they got by interacting with you live. Consumer FOMO is real!
Instagram Live is great for Q&A/AMA sessions, new product sneak peeks, and anything your social analytics tell you your followers are interested in. And because they’re so personal, they help build a stronger relationship between your brand and followers.
5. Not Taking Advantage of (the Right) Influencers
Another Instagram Live perk is the way it points to potential influencers – because Instagram “curates live videos based on view count, location and language.” If you see a user that’s live – you should explore if they’re a fit for your brand.
Instagram is an influencer hotspot, but that doesn’t mean all influencers are equal, so do your due diligence.
Be wary of “inflaters,” – those who “play” at being influencers, but won’t really get you anywhere. Also don’t be swayed by large follower counts without verifying they’ve got the engaged audience to match.
Finally, be sure all influencers have a business profile – or Instagram’s API changes will keep you from tracking their success or failure. And without that, you won’t know what’s driving their results for your brand.
Instagram has a lot to offer brands – so be sure you’re not missing valuable intel by making the mistakes above. Every advantage you miss is one your competitors will gladly take.
Want to learn more about how our social analytics tools work with the new Instagram API? Schedule a one-on-one consult with us today!