There’s no doubt that with a 4.21% engagement rate, businesses and brands are flocking to Instagram with the hopes of increasing brand awareness and audience engagement. But as with all social media platforms, if you aren’t following best practices, you could damage your brand image and reputation. Here are three major Instagram mistakes to avoid when increasing your brand’s presence on Instagram.
Most phones today boast advanced camera technology that deliver high quality images, so if you’re settling for anything less, you’re compromising your brand on Instagram. Followers want to see valuable, unique content, and if the photos you’re sharing don’t showcase quality worth double-tapping (also known as “liking”), your follower count will begin to dwindle, causing you to lose huge opportunities for audience interactions and engagement.
There are plenty of photo-editing apps like Afterlight and VSCO Cam that offer filters and customizable features like contrast, saturation, brightness and more. But if the camera on your phone still isn’t doing it for you, it might be time for an upgrade.
Have you ever witnessed the shameful Instagram post that has what seems like a million hashtags posted beneath it? Hashtag abuse is an issue that causes followers to quickly become disengaged un-followers in a matter of seconds.
Hashtags should be used sparingly (we recommend three at most) and selectively to identify your brand and connect with a wider audience. The purpose of a hashtag is to help Instagram users find posts relevant to what they’re interested in, but using too many is not a best practice. Does your company have a slogan or tagline that defines its identity? Are you a #PRgirl or #justdoit champion? Use short, shareable hashtags that help your brand create a connection with your audience.
There are certain times when automating content can be appropriate, like when you’re sharing evergreen content. But when you’re trying to create authentic engagement experiences with your followers and audience, ditch automation. When you automate your account to begin following users with certain keywords in their Instagram biographies or posting specific hashtags, you’ll not only clutter up your own newsfeed and make social listening more difficult, but followers will perceive your brand as disingenuous —a huge turn-off for meaningful engagement.
If your goal is to increase the number of unique interactions with your audience, create new, fun opportunities for them to do so. Patagonia does this by listening to their audience, and reaching out to them to ask if they can share a user’s photos on the company Instagram profile. This tactic us not only flattering to the specific user, but useful in creating user-generated content for Patagonia. Genius? We think so!
If your brand is in need of an Instagram content strategy to increase followers and drive meaningful brand engagement, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll schedule a complimentary assessment call to discern if we can be of assistance.