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With 1 billion active users, it is clear that almost everyone seems to love Instagram. Whether it’s brunch, business, or the beach, we’re all wondering ‘is it Instagrammable’. Whilst the image-sharing app may have started as a holiday picture sharing platform, it’s come a long way and is now the go-to place for advertisers, brands, and influencers alike. If your brand isn’t on Instagram, you need to ask yourself why you aren’t tapping into the large chunk of your target audience that are scrolling away at their feeds as you read this.

Maximise your Instagram Marketing

Mistakes happen, that’s life. Unfortunately however, Instagram mistakes happen in public. To avoid the humiliation that comes with an Instagram faux-pas, and to ensure you are maximising your Instagram marketing, we’ve listed the 7 most common Instagram marketing blunders and how to steer clear of them.

1. Not taking the time to plan out an Instagram strategy

The beauty of Instagram is that it gives brands the stage to tell their story through the use of visuals. However, just as if you were putting on a theatre production, you wouldn’t just create content in the hope that some people like it and it brings in sales. When devising your social strategy, it’s vital to have a clear action plan of who your target audience is, what content they like to see, what brands they currently engage with on the platform and what actions you need them to take to help you reach your business goals.
Whether your Instagram strategy is based on building brand awareness, promoting a product line or adding a human voice to your brand, each piece of content you publish should be carefully thought out to add value and help you attain business goals.

2. Not sticking to a consistent posting frequency

Historically it was thought that posting as much as possible on Instagram would create more engagement and get your brand more followers, however recent studies have shown this isn’t the case. There has been a shift within the marketing community to focus on quality over quantity – finally! Deciding how many posts you want per week is a delicate dance, and you need to find a happy medium that factors in your own resources, such as time and marketing budget.
Watch your followers online using your own account analytics, and experiment with your posting schedule to discover what their content tipping point is.

3. Not tapping into your own analytics

Speaking of analytics, another huge mistake brands and marketeers make on Instagram is to ignore their own data. Tracking your results is vital to understanding the success of your campaigns, as is looking into the analytics provided by the platform on your follower base. Not only does this help you understand your audience, but it will show you when the best time to post is, inform your campaign content and help you understand how your marketing is fairing against that of your competitors.
This way you are able to see what content is working for your brand, and what is wasting resources – no more late nights spent creating content!

  4.​ Focusing on gaining but not retaining followers

Instagram is a social media, therefore you need to be SOCIAL! The whole point of the platform is to have conversations, so user engagement is vital in building brand value and driving conversions – which underpins your whole strategy! Brands on Instagram need to build trust among the target audience, and this is done by engaging regularly with those who follow you. Replying to comments on your posts is an opportunity to build rapport and shows you care – giving a human side to your brand that people will respect.

Another great way of engaging followers is posting user-generated content (whether that’s testimonials or images) and posting content that users can actively participate in. Many brands do this well using Instagram Stories to post polls, Q&As, and quizzes. This gives people a positive and memorable experience with your brand!

 5. Being too sales-y

There is an art to promotion, and it goes well beyond just shouting about your business. Whilst not doing it enough could be catastrophic for your brand, overdoing it can be equally damaging, if not more. You need to find the right balance to promote your products, services, and offers, without irritating consumers of your content. It’s key to be consistent, and the quality of content should always be the main priority. It’s quite hard to keep finding new ways to promote the same offer, and sharing the same posts multiple times is a fast track ticket to losing all your followers.
Therefore the key is in providing content that adds value to your user base, and tells a story that either solves a customer’s problem, educates or inspires them! Any content that continuously pushes a sale is a huge turn off for consumers, therefore use promotional content wisely, and sparingly!

 6. Incorrect hashtags use

If you’re not using hashtags in your Instagram copy, then you’re missing out on a juicy opportunity to get your content discovered by new (and relevant!) users, who are more likely to convert into followers and even better, customers. However, there is always too much of a good thing. Be careful you don’t fall into the bracket of brands who overdo it on the hashtag front. Whilst the platform allows for up to 30 hashtags on each post, anything more than 10 can lose the post credibility by making it ‘hashtag spamming’.
The easiest way to approach hashtags is to use them to genuinely find people who might be interested in your content, and not trying to trick the Instagram algorithm by including hashtags that aren’t relevant to the context of the post.

 7. Posting low quality or stolen photos

Images are everything on Instagram. For your brand to look professional, you need to post good quality pictures and videos that talk about the calibre of your products and services, or the problems your business can solve for users. All content should be of a high resolution and sized correctly for the post type, as awkwardly cropped images are a big red flag for followers. If you don’t have a lot of high-quality imagery to hand, you may now be contemplating pinching content or photos from another account.
This is a big no-no on the platform for many reasons, ranging from the fact that someone else’s content will never be a perfect fit for your brand visually and content-wise, to it just being downright unethical.  So if you are tempted to hit that screenshot button, remember it’s technically copyright infringement and you could actually be held liable. The solution is to get out there and create some of your own awesome content!

Whilst you might be guilty of making some of the mistakes listed above, it’s never too late to tweak your strategy and get on the right track! Instagram is a fantastic platform for promoting brand awareness and generating sales, but for that to work, it has to be done right.

If you need a helping hand or some Juicy inspiration to get those creative ideas flowing – do get in touch!

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