Instagram is constantly growing. It has more than 25 million business profiles, and researchers say that more than 200 million people are visiting at least a few business profiles daily. Since there’s so much traffic, this social media site isn’t the easiest for businesses to master. Getting the attention of an audience gets tricky when everyone gets so easily distracted, but by learning about which mistakes to avoid — and we cover more mistakes to avoid during our free webinar training — brands can help their business grow by effectively using a powerful social media platform.
1. Not optimizing your bio
If your biography isn’t adequately optimized Aaron Ward says you’re making a big mistake. Writing a bio is fun, but it should be about gaining a new customer and growing your audience. Figure out the best way to pull potential customers in by writing an excellent bio.
While it may seem obvious to write a great bio…
Thousands of Instagram users don’t optimize their bio towards their conversion goal.
What does optimizing your bio towards your conversion goal mean?
It’s actually very simple.
It means that if you have a business and want to sell your products:
You should be writing a bio which reflects how your product(s) provides a solution for your customers needs.
So how do you write a conversion focused bio?
Here’s the secret to writing a great bio:
You should know what problem your product or service solves.
This is as basic as it gets when it comes to running a successful business.
Here’s some examples to get ideas flowing:
Our product helps people get started with growing their own vegetables without any experience.
Our watches are affordable and luxurious; anyone can afford them and look stylish.
We make 100% cotton super soft affordable tshirts, that are part of every man's essential basics.
We offer a subscription to high quality razor blades, so you don’t have to spend lots of money on the big brands.
I help people grow their Instagram followers and engagement which helps them generate more sales.
You will then want to place this in your bio.
The idea here is to let new visitors understand what it is that you do and why should they care.
This will be the Opening Line of your bio. Think of it as an quick introduction for someone who has never heard of you.
Secondly, you will want to include Social Proof. Things such as:
Seen on XYZ
Trusted by over 40,000 members
1000+ 5 Star Amazon Reviews
Featured on XYZ
This lets people instantly know you’re trusted by others.
Finally, you want to end on a call to action. This should be directing and specifically telling visitors to your Instagram profile what you would like them to do.
Shop our latest Hurricane Blade Watch:
Click below to join our free XYZ training:
Want 25% off your first order? Click below:
It’s here! Click to see our new best seller:
The idea here is to GIVE A REALLY GOOD REASON for someone to click your Instagram bios link.
Think about what makes you want to click a link. Usually it’s because you’re going to receive free value in some form, like a free training video or course. Maybe it’s because you’ll get a discount. Likewise, it could be cause of interest (clickbait) and you just had to see what it was all about.
Make sure you give people a good reason to click the link in your bio.
2. Incorrect use of hashtags
If you’re not using hashtag correctly, then you’re missing out on a lot of people not seeing your content. Content Marketing Institute says that hashtags are essential for effective Instagram marketing, and in addition to gauging how well your hashtags perform, you must learn how to use them to your advantage strategically.
Hashtags are an important part of Instagram marketing. They can be a great way to increase your reach to other people in your niche and to get discovered by customers and fans who are interested in your content, products, and services.
However, for hashtags to be effective, you have to use them – and do it correctly. Using too many hashtags can have a damaging effect on your brand on Instagram.
How to avoid: There’s no single formula for success when it comes to hashtag strategy. Track the performance of your hashtags to see which ones resonate more with your audience and lead to increased engagement. Then document those characteristics to help detail your hashtag mix strategy for future posts.
Though hashtags are a great way to get discovered, don’t focus too much on them. Instagram prioritizes great content over hashtags. Use hashtags sparingly with relevancy being the qualifying criteria. Create branded hashtags with a long-term vision with the intent of reaching new audiences and sparking conversations.
Jeff Bullas also discusses how else to make use of your hashtags. Stick to hashtags that coincide with your photo and niche to get the best response.
What defines “correct” hashtag usage?
First of all, your hashtags should be searchable – that’s the whole idea behind categorized hashtags.
Second, they should be short and relevant because #we #all #know #how #annoying #a #hashtag #overload #is!
Plus, make sure you are following popular hashtags that are relevant to your niche.
Not using hashtags at all is another mistake many brands and businesses make. Hashtags provide reach to others in your community and vice versa. As a result, it creates a “gateway” for more potential fans and customers who are also following and contributing to popular hashtags you frequently post to.
2. Using poor quality images
Instagram is all about your photos, so make sure you don’t post poor quality photos! Hootsuite explains why poor quality images can damage your brand and what you need to do to get excellent photos that speak well to your audience.
When a potential customer first looks at your Instagram page, what kind of message are you sending? If the message is “blurry photos and videos that look like they’ve been shot on a potato,” you might want to reconsider your visual strategy.
Using bad quality images immediately discredits your brand and gives off a less-than-professional vibe—especially on Instagram. When you have lackluster visuals cluttering up your Instagram page, it sends the message that you don’t take your business seriously.
First impressions matter when it comes to your brand’s social media presence, so make sure you’re serving up the best looks possible. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money—some simple tweaks can make a huge difference.
These are a few tips you can put into action today:
Use the right tools. For example, I’ve found that lighting makes the biggest difference when it comes to my Instagram images. If I can’t get a photo in natural light (always the first choice) I won’t post anything without first adjusting the lighting in the Adobe Lightroom CC app. For more image-enhancing apps and tools, check out these 14 great resources to create beautiful images for social media.
Mix up the perspective. Don’t rely on the straight-on shot or flat lay in all of your posts. It’s important to provide your audience with different views and angles to keep things interesting. Close-ups, super far away shots, and videos all provide variety that will not only engage your audience, but will simply look better on your Page.
Carefully consider the background. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a potentially beautiful shot ruined by what’s happening in the background. Whether it’s a piece of garbage or a cluttered table top, make sure you put as much thought into the background as the subject of your image. For example, single tiles in natural stone or pretty patterns (from any home improvement store) can provide aesthetically-pleasing backdrops for a number of shots. For an extra professional touch, you can also buy a lightbox online for under $50.
3. Posting without purpose
Posting for the sake of posting isn’t the way to do things, which is why Curatti urgest Instagram users to create an effective marketing strategy. Posting at random doesn’t work, which is why developing a smart strategy is essential.
A solid marketing strategy is an essential part of any marketing effort. If you simply toss photos into the universe and hope for the best, your followers may have a difficult time getting your message. Before you upload another photo, sit down and come up with a solid strategy for your Instagram posts. If you already have a strategy, review it and determine where Instagram fits in with the other work you’re doing.
4. Too much self-promotion
Promoting your brand is one thing, but Content Marketing Institute reminds us that there’s also such a thing as promoting your brand too much. There needs to be a balance between promoting your brand and effectively engaging with your audience in other ways too.
Instagram is meant to be interactive. Too much self-promotion is one of the most anti-interactive things you can do on the platform. It makes you look desperate and boring.
Though you might have tons of great stories to tell about your business, resist the urge to tell them all at once. Seeing five photos in succession in one’s feed coming from a single account is a turnoff for many users.
When was the last time you posted something unusual, snarky, funny, or timely? If you can’t recall, you are probably suffocating your audience with the same boring self-promotional content.
How to avoid: Promoting your brand on Instagram without overly self-promoting calls for a bit of creativity. An engaging post typically evokes an emotion followed by a caption that provokes a reaction.
Moreover, if you have a lot of content to post, use the interactive story features such as Instagram stories, go live, or the ask me anything (AMA) feature.
5. Not following back
If you get followers on Instagram, make sure you follow them back! Jeff Bullas says you’re making a big mistake if someone follows you and you don’t follow them back.
Clever marketing strategies usually call for “getting to know your customers as best you can”.
If your fans decide to follow you, make sure you treat them with at least a follow back. You don’t have to comment or communicate with them on their personal account, of course. However, following your followers will give you the chance to get to know them better and find out what interests them.
With this information you’re better prepped up for getting their attention and meeting their needs.
Instagram has a huge audience that you can use to help grow your brand. If you’ve been holding back on Instagram, consider how to best use it to improve your company. We often discuss how to use social media to your advantage during our free webinar training as well as how you can set up a new business online and make a profit!
Sources: Content Marketing Institute, Jeff Bullas, Hootsuite, Aaron Ward, Currati
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