By now most of us are well aware that Instagram is growing at a rapid pace. This week, TechCrunch reported that Instagram now has 800 million monthly users, and 500 million daily active users. With these numbers, it's no wonder that Instagram is a great platform for businesses. But how do you know if you're utilizing Instagram to its fullest potential? Below are 10 common mistakes we see businesses making on Instagram, and how to solve them.
1) Your Account is Private | Instagram can help businesses increase brand awareness, gain a loyal following, and create authentic and genuine connections with their customers and audience. But none of this can be achieved if your audience can't access your account. While it may be tempting to keep your Instagram private at first in order to accumulate content, we always advise keeping your account public. You never know who may stumble across your service or product because of a hashtag used, etc.
2) Your Bio Doesn't Include Enough Information About Your Business | Where are you located? What are your store hours? What's your website URL? What's the name of your business? How can I contact your business? When a customer can't get answers to these common questions, instead of wasting time searching for the answers, they'll likely take their business somewhere else. Don't miss opportunities by having a vague or scarce bio.
3) You Don't Use Geotags | When you add your location to your Instagram posts, it allows you to be seen by users that may not already be following you. And as found on AdWeek, Geotagging your post can increase engagement up to 79%! You should add a (general) location to every post you make, no matter what, especially if you have a brick and mortar business.
4) You Don't Use Hashtags | When you add a hashtag (or 10) to your posts, it allows you to be seen by users who may not already follow you. Most people search through hashtags when they're specifically looking for something, whether it be beauty tutorials or stores in a certain location. By hashtagging, you make sure that your posts appear and are available to a much larger audience.
5) You're Not Timing Your Posts Correctly | If you have a business account (...you should), you have access to your page's insights. In short, this tells you the makeup of your followers (gender, age, location), as well as when they're the most active. You wouldn't give a speech to a half empty room; you'd wait for it to fill up before starting. Similarly, you shouldn't post on Instagram when your audience isn't tuned in; use the insights provided to figure out best posting times, and schedule your content accordingly.
6) Not Partnering with Other Companies | Partnering with other companies is a great way to build brand recognition and reach new audiences. If there's a company with a similar audience, but a different business model, brainstorm ways that you can work together to build your following an increase your engagement. Host a giveaway, tag each other in your posts, etc. (Did you know @mentions inspire 56% more engagement?)
7) You Don't Have a Visual/Creative Strategy | Instagram is all about the aesthetic. Your audience doesn't want to see dimly-lit pictures of your product, nor random photos of your dog that are thrown into your feed every few images. Think about your brand and how you'd ideally portray it through images, video, and GIFs. If you're unsure of how to do this, come work with Imagine Media Consulting! We can create custom, engaging content with stunning visuals for your business.
8) You've Failed to Find Your Niche | Maybe when you started your business, you solely focused on health and wellness. But then, you also started to include posts about your love of animals. And maybe you're now starting to throw in a few birthday shoutouts to friends. Suddenly, your feed looks and feels completely random. When using your page to market your business, focus on your niche and stick to it. Save all of the other fun posts for your personal page.
9) You're Making It All About You | With 500 million daily active users, there's more reason now than ever to engage with your followers. When a business page receives comments or questions and they're ignored, that page's audience will begin to leave. Make sure you're giving the love back - respond or "like" comments to encourage engagement.
10) You're Ignoring the Numbers | Your Instagram insights can tell you a lot about your audience - what posts they like best, which receive the most comments, etc. Make sure you pay attention to the analytics and tweak your feed, as necessary, to stay one step ahead.
Story by: Isabelle Edwards