With the number of users on Instagram galloping past the 800 million mark and heading towards a billion, it is not surprising why most businesses have made an effort to make Instagram a significant part of their online marketing strategy. However, many businesses trip up on realizing the actual potential of Instagram by making an assortment of mistakes. Some of the top ones that you should take extra care to avoid:
Not Tracking the Metrics
Many businesses go all out to acquire a decent number of followers and engage with them but don’t take the trouble of analyzing the metrics. Unless you investigate the numbers, you will not know if you are being able to consistently grow your followers, whether your posts are receiving likes and comments, whether your publishing schedule is working to your best advantage, what types of content are being liked more, which captions and hashtags are working more effectively, and much more that can help you to fine-tune your marketing strategy.
You may even discover that while you have created a vibrant Instagram community, the action is not translating to website traffic and sales. There are a number of analytical tools that you can use to get a grip on the numbers; Instagram’s own analytics tool, Insights, can help in letting you know the performance of each and every post.
When you are trying to build a robust and vibrant community of followers, it can be very tempting to try to buy them to impress others with your statistics. However, buying followers simply does not work because typically, they do not have any involvement with the brand so there is a near-total absence of likes and comments. Also, if you do decide to take a closer look at their profiles, you will perhaps be shocked to find that they are not the right fit for your brand and may cause the brand image to be eroded. The entire purpose of social media marketing is to engage with followers for Instagram who will be involved with your brand and be potential users of your brand.
Hashtags are extremely important for searching for posts; while it is possible for you to insert as many as 30 of them, it can be counterproductive to do so as the level of engagement is seen to drop drastically. It has been seen that an overwhelming number of posts have anything between one and seven hashtags; when you include too many, you end by up undermining the value of your posts and losing credibility as they are unlikely to be very relevant. However, if you do not include the right hashtags or fail to include any, the chances of your post getting visibility is so much lower.
Instagram can be a fabulous vehicle for showcasing your brand and building user engagement. However, you need to craft your Instagram marketing campaign wisely so that the impact is excellent without it seeming overly promotional. Making mistakes does not help your cause and can result in undermining your efforts.
Author’s Bio: Michaela Jones is an avid observer of how businesses are trying to use the social media to connect with customers. She has recently written a detailed report for a leading marketing journal regarding how large businesses are trying to lock in their followers for Instagram.