I recently wrote an article on Influencer Marketing and how it changed with the advent of social media. Since then, I have been thinking about who has influenced me the most and motivated me to reach my goals and potential. Today I have had an epiphany.
The person who has influenced me the most is Seth Godin. If there is one thing that Godin has taught me through his books, motivational speeches, and TEDTalk is to take risks. He taught me that if you do not go out there and try and inevitably make mistakes, you will never learn. Failure can be paralyzing; however, it should not make anyone not give something a try just because there is a chance it might not work.
So back to my article on Instagram…I have been working with Instagram marketing for a little over three years. I’ve deleted my account a few times because I simply was not getting the engagement and results I wanted. Over the years, I kept poking at it. Trying to get my footing in the door! Finally, I hit the jackpot (well, sort of!). It is still not perfect…but I feel I am reaching my goals.
I am sure that my mistakes on Instagram are not unique. Reading through some of the social media forums on Quora, I realized that other social media marketers were making the same errors. In this blog post, I share the common errors we make when using the popular photo-sharing app and will provide expert tips on how to overcome them.
1. Inconsistent Posts
Instagram users look for consistency. In social media in general, and not just on Instagram, following a schedule when posting is paramount. You cannot be posting every day for a week and then all of the sudden take a one month hiatus. This type of thing will not fly with your followers. Upon returning from your hiatus, you may find that your posts are not getting much engagement (e.g., new followers). You may also find that your current followers are unfollowing your account. The more consistently you post, the more your followers will engage with and around your content, and the more ammo it gives you to convert followers into paying customers.
2. Spam – Excessive Hashtags in Posts
Instagram hashtags can be a great way to engage with and get found by your audience; however, it is important not to abuse them. While Instagram allows users much more freedom than Twitter, you should only use hashtags that are specific to your brand or relevant to your image. Hashtags like #FavouritePets and #CatLovers, for instance, will get you in front of a lot of people, but you probably will not get the followers you want…unless you are a pet store or are selling pet food etc. I always tell my customers to read their Instagram messages twice; once with the hashtags and another without the hashtags. If the message stays the same, you can post the message with the hashtags. If the message becomes convoluted, remove all hashtags before posting. Instagram posts without hashtags have as much potential to garner engagement as posts with hashtags.
3. Spam – Excessive Posts
Going overboard when posting videos and photographs on Instagram is also a poor practice that we all are guilty of. In the Instagram marketing world, you want to aim for quality over quantity. That means not uploading 20 photos and videos at a given time into your feeds. You may see engagement drop and the number of followers dwindle, as a result. For better results, I suggest you upload a curated gallery of photos and videos as opposed to a place to dump random pictures and videos that your followers may not want to view. Meaning the videos and photographs all have to have a purpose and must represent one aspect of the bigger picture your want to pass on.
4. Blank Captions
Captions on Instagram are not meant to be left blank. They are meant to be used as opportunities to engage audiences and followers and to draw their attention. Ask a question, share some interesting information, or write something that does more than describe what is in the picture. If the post is a promotional one, you could also direct the reader to a link in your bio section. Another best practice is to encourage followers to tag friends who are interested in viewing the post.
5. Bot Followers
If you see that you have ghost/bot followers (sometimes they slip through the cracks even without paying for followers) it is important to block them! Half of them are fake and the other half will try to plagiarize your work! Having bots and questionable accounts following you may make it seem like you yourself are a bot or a spam-based account, which will prevent real users from following you.
About iRISEmedia | Social Media Agency | Toronto
At iRISEmedia.com we are specialized in social media management, digital marketing, online reputation management and online branding. Our team helps clients manage and grow their online presence and branding to increase qualified web traffic and online leads. We service clients in Toronto and throughout Canada and the U.S. Contact us today if you would like to discuss your digital or social media marketing plans.