Whether you are an influencer cashing in on sponsored posts or a brand capitalising on a successful campaign, the opportunity to generate revenue through Instagram is infinite thanks to its vast reach. But with so many eyes watching, there is also huge room for scrutiny these days. In an age where one of the most well-established, successful fashion retailers in the world (ASOS), even has a parody Instagram account dedicated to its failures (@asbos_sos); emerging businesses really need to err on the side of caution when it comes to establishing their brand identity on the platform. Here are ten Instagram mistakes which could be killing your business:
1. Not Having Defined Branding
It all starts with a story, it is crucial to decide what yours is and how you would like to tell it. In order to break through and attract a loyal following, you will need to have a well-defined sense of brand identity from the get-go. Your story should then be brought to life in each of your posts, conveyed through the tone of voice used in your captions and displayed through a cohesive curated aesthetic.
2. Lack Of Strategy Or Plan
Consistently posting content which is relevant to your brand and representative of its values will be near impossible without a strategy. Planning, on the other hand will allow for growth and creativity. A good social media strategy will build a buzz, allow you to attract new eyes and will keep the audience that you already have interested, whilst executing well thought-out campaigns will maximise results.
3. Not Measuring Your KPI’s
It is pointless planning and strategising if you do nothing with your results. Keeping track of your KPI’s is imperative when building an Instagram presence. After all, if you don’t know how much traffic is being referred to your site, how will you be able to track your ROI? You should consistently be deriving patterns from these metrics and re-strategising in order to improve problem areas.
4. Not Knowing Your Audience
This is one of the biggest social media mistakes a brand can make. Use your analysis as a tool to get to know your audience. Recording the number of comments you receive will allow you to gauge what kind of content resonates with them, knowing when they are active will help you schedule your posts in order to drive optimal engagement and working our what interests your followers have will help you to plan future campaigns.
5. Not Being fluid
Social Media is ever-changing, so being afraid to test new network tools will only leave you at a disadvantage. With over 400 million daily viewers, Insta Stories have already taken over and IGTV is not far behind. Whether you use the feature to showcase new product, offer styling advice, or to give your audience a behind the scenes insight, Instagram users are hungry for video content so feeding them will only grow your brand awareness further.
6. Making It All About You
Treating Instagram as one long sales pitch is still the downfall of many brands. Creating a sales-focused presence with no personality and failing recognise the platform as a community creates a boring feed and nobody has time to listen to a boring brand. You should have a healthy mix of engaging, exciting content relevant to your audience. Use the platform to create dialogue with your followers and build a loyal following who you will then have an opportunity to sell to.
7. Spelling And Grammar Mistakes
Your page is the window of your business, so you can’t afford to make a bad impression. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes wreak unprofessionalism and negligence and people have zero tolerance for content which wastes their time, so make sure to check and double check all of your content before allowing it to go live.
8. Deleting Or Ignoring Negative Comments
Negative comments are an inevitable fact of life when it comes to Instagram, but they shouldn’t be a source of fear. Use them to capture feedback and insights, learn where there is room for improvement in your business and showcase your brand’s integrity through your responses.
Consumers value transparency so be forthcoming in your social interactions. Responding to negative comments and allowing the dialogue to be seen by your audience is the best way to prove you have nothing to hide and that you are a brand to be trusted.
9. Not Having A Social Media Policy
Assuming that your social media team know what you deem as irresponsible or insensitive content is dangerous. Avoiding controversial content that you know will polarise your audience may go without saying to you, but not to your team. Adopt a policy which clearly outlines what is and what is not acceptable content, what themes are off-limits and make sure that all of your employees adhere to it.
10. Relying Too Much On Automation
Consumers appreciate the immediacy of social media and the sense of community which it creates through personal interactions. So if people feel like their exchange with your brand is impersonal or automated, they will distance themselves from you. Be careful not to lose your authenticity and alienate your following by posting too much generic, irrelevant content.