7 Instagram Sins Every Marketer Should Avoid
Instagram now has well over 700 million users. For everyday consumers, the platform has quickly become the most popular place to check in on friends and get a daily pulse from the world. For brands and marketers, the growing platform has become a haven for social media growth, turning simple accounts into viral memes in literally hours.
While the potential for opportunity is huge, most brands miss out on the glory and end up, like the rest of us, stuck with low engagement and following. To stand out as a marketer, and win in the long term, you have to always be on your game. Even the simplest mistakes can set you and your brand back - and in a game this competitive, there is no room for error.
Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve learned from past mistakes and know how to avoid many massive, yet common pitfalls.
This article goes over 7 Instagram sins every marketer should avoid.
1. Optimizing for Short Term Revenue
The easiest way to “dehumanize” your brand is to optimize for short term revenue rather than customer engagement. Selling your audience for short term profit will hurt you in the long run, and destroy any connection or trust that you have built with your followers.
Before posting anything, ask yourself, if I were a follower, what would I want to see? Many marketers skip over this process because they feel like they need to begin monetizing their profiles early to improve the return on company investment in social media work. The better way to think about monetization is in the long view - and that the value of having an audience is not to make a quick buck, but rather to form a long term relationship filled with many transactions.
2. Glazing Past The Bio
In the social media world, like many other parts of business, the little things make all the difference. Whenever possible, optimize and test!
Many marketers jump right to the posting (because that is a. most fun and b. Feels the most efficient). But the reality is that taking the time to craft the perfect bio copy can go an extremely long way. Remember that your bio is one of your only opportunities to make an impression on a user visiting your profile.
It is your rare chance to make an impression and possibly convert a user to a follower, or even better, to a customer. A cool and useful trick is to use detailed insights to track the number of click throughs on your link in bio. That way you can use data to formulate the optimal copy.
3. Posting During The Wrong Times
You know the feeling when you create the perfect piece of content and all you want to do is hit publish on it. You must resist the temptation and wait to publish during an “optimal timeframe.” This optimal time frame will vary with the demographics of your audience, but fine tuning your posting process will make it so your post is more likely to be seen and clicked on by more people.
Doing your research, though a small investment of time and restraint, can separate you from the rest of the marketers out there!
4. Begging Your Audience
The harsh truth is that the Instagram marketing world is very competitive. There are lots of smart and talented marketers trying to grow accounts. While there are many unique things you can do to stand out, you should never be caught begging for attention. None of your followers want to hear you pleading for likes, comments, and new followers.
Stick to your mission of delivering value to your audience and you will avoid this super common “growth” pitfall.
5. Writing Lengthy Copy
There is this misconception going around that more is better on Instagram. In the case of your photo caption, this is generally very wrong. In understanding your audience, you must realize that none of them want to spend minutes reading your expose in your caption.
Less is more. Be concise and clever - that is far more memorable than copying and pasting some long winded expose in the caption.
6. Buying Followers
We have all had the urge to find hacky ways to grow our profiles as fast as possible. While it is generally done with the sole intention of growth, buying followers is one of those methods that will not work long term.
First of all, you are likely to get banned for buying followers. Secondly, even if you are not banned, these “bot” followers will not provide you with the engagement you need to build your audience. Having lots of followers is really just false validation - you should avoid optimizing for count of followers and instead focus on things like comments, new conversations, and unique customers generated as a result of your instagram account.
7. Stealing Content
If it is not content that you own, do not use it without asking for permission. And if the rightful owner of the material does not give you permission, simply do not use it. No exceptions. Stealing and plagiarizing other accounts’ material is risky, unethical, and not worth your brand’s reputation.
Time and time again marketers do this because it saves them a few minutes of real work. Do not be lazy...and ask yourself if you would mind if people were stealing your content? Your audience will know the truth!
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