Instagram has evolved so much from when it was all about the images – now brands and businesses can use it as a powerful tool for marketing success.
But with so many updates, new features, and accompanying rules and regulations, it can be easy to overlook some of the finer details of the platform and miss out on opportunities. Or even worse, you could be making a key error in your approach, limiting your success.
To help, here are four Instagram mistakes you might not know you’re making – and how to correct them to improve your strategy.
1. Not Using Instagram Like Your Audience
When running an Instagram account for your brand or business, it can be easy to get caught up in metrics, and rules. A major Instagram mistake you might be making is forgetting to use the network like your audience does.
Remember to use the Explore page to search hashtags and location tags to find accounts in your niche or that fit your target audience. Watch and respond to Stories, leave comments and like photos.
Engaging with your audience as a person will only benefit your brand, and help you build an engaged community.
2. Missing Out on Emoji Traffic
Emojis can be a life saver, especially when you can’t find the right words for a caption, or if your caption needs a little more context and fun.
What you may not be aware of is that emojis can also be used as a searchable option on Instagram – switch to your emoji keyboard in Instagram search and you’ll be able to get an idea of emoji-related usage and top accounts for each.
Try including some emoji hashtags for a little extra traffic.
3. Not Having A Visual Strategy
Creating and having a visual strategy for your Instagram account can help you stand out from competitors and reinforce your branding.
You can see how these three brands have used a defined color palette and style with their Instagram posts
Your aesthetic will also attract your target audience, so consider them in your choice as well. If you’re not sure where to start read “How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Theme”
4. Not Using Instagram Stories
I left the biggest mistake for last – don’t ignore your Instagram Stories.
It can be an easy Instagram mistake to make because it might be a little intimidating to create a story for your business. Since the feature has launched, it’s evolved significantly, with Instagram providing extra ways to not only connect and add value to your current audience, but for others who may not follow you to discover you via story hashtags and locations.
Brands have gotten super creative in the way they use Instagram Stories too – here are a few ways you can use Instagram Stories:
Tease Content/Build Buzz
Hosting a Facebook Live Video session? Need a few more registrations to your webinar? Instagram Stories is a great tool to remind your audience you have something going on today and that it’s their last chance to get there.
Create a short video or image to drive last minute sign ups, or get some added traffic to your latest blog post.
If you have over 10,000 followers you can even use the “See More” link feature – which enables viewers to swipe up and go to your link without leaving the app.
Gain Instagram Followers
How can you gain followers from Instagram Stories? Well, now you have Instagram-exclusive content – an added bonus for anyone following you.
You can also use location tags and hashtags within your story. Both these kinds of tags are searchable, adding an extra way for non-followers to discover your account. Your location tagged story can also be pulled into the city based stories on the explore page which exposes your account to a larger audience.
How To’s/ Tutorials
You can use a series of photos and 15 second videos to create a step-by-step, how to or tutorial using Instagram stories.
Last but not least you can use Instagram stories for engagement. Create photos or videos to entice your audience to message responses or direct message you.
Your Instagram stories don’t have to be too complicated, and the built in tools like video, Boomerang, filters, text, stickers, and free writing pens can help you add personality.
As you can see, there’s a range of new and evolving opportunities on Instagram. Are you utilizing these tools to best effect?