7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making On Instagram
January 13, 2017
New clients come to us all the time with their Instagram accounts and ask us, “Why aren’t we getting more followers?”
A lot of times, it’s pretty easy to see the flaws in a client’s Instagram strategies. However, don’t get us wrong! You can have amazing content and still struggle to move forward. It doesn’t mean your account is terrible, only that you may need to tweak your strategy slight to achieve your ultimate social media goals.
So, what are the common issues we see?
Your Account Is Not Public
We had a restaurant client come to us with an Instagram account that private. Needless to say, it’s really hard to engage or follow a public brand that’s completely locked off. I mean, why? Are you a secret business? No? Then take you account off private.
Your Photos Kinda Suck
Yeah. Who would’ve guessed? Photos matter on Instagram. They really do. The higher resolution, better quality photos are more likely to get attention from your current and potential followers. Go the extra mile – whether you’re curating or creating – spend time finding quality images to post or use with your content.
You want images that are crispy clear! You want the lighting to be perfect and the photos to be relevant. We change our color palette every week for our Quote of the Day features. And it works! For us. But what we do, might not work with everyone. Some brands work well by following a continuous theme. Ideally, if you are posting bright flat-lay photos – stick to that! Keep on theme.
You Never Use Hashtags… Or Maybe You Do, But You Use Them Wrong
Ok, Instagram is basically two things: photos and hashtags. If you aren’t paying attention to these crucial elements then you’re basically failing at Instagram.
Think of Instagram like a library of photos; your hashtags are going to help your photos get discovered. Utilize them.
It helps to research the hashtags that will best promote your brand (both generally and locally). And always use 30 hashtags.
To avoid your hashtags meshing in with your text, we suggest posting your content and then adding your hashtags separately in a comment. Here is an example of a set that we sometimes use for a local restaurant photo featuring a tasty dish:
#igersboston #bostonlove #bostonusa #bostonfoodies #foodstagram #foodiegram #instadaily #photodaily #bestoftheday #eaterboston #forkyeah #bostoneats #topcitybites #eaterboston #igdaily #bostondotcom #eatstagram #bostonbloggers #foodphotography #bostonevents #likefoodboston #eatfamous #foodandwine #bosfeed #tasteofmassachusetts #newengland #travelfoodie #instsalove #instafood #foodiesofinstagram
We should note, typically we might add hashtags about the type of food or dish.
Another mistake that people often make is that they find a set of hashtags that works and then they reuse those hashtags for EVERYTHING. Do not do this. Just because the set above worked on image, it may not necessarily translate to an image of somebody being proposed to at the restaurant or behind the scenes of the staff garnishing dishes. Always be careful when choosing your hashtags – make sure they are relevant to your photos!
You Have No Vision
What we mean here is you basically have no visual strategy. This can be difficult! However, if you plan accordingly, you can definitely create an aesthetic that will be appreciated by any visitor to your page. Just like any another social media account, you can’t just post randomly and expect things to magically work. You need to identify your goals and uncover a posting method that works best for your brand.
Some photographers and models post three images during the span of a day – this creates a pattern in their images. Maybe they are three of their favorite photos from a photoshoot. It’s nice to attempt an aesthetic but again, don’t stress this aspect too much. Maybe your brand has a specific voice that it uses, or maybe a certain style of photo taking. Whatever it is, make sure its what works best for your brand and its what speaks most to your audience. As always, stay on theme. Consistency, timing and teamwork makes the dream work!
You’re Being Boring
You know what we hate? Salons that post the same boring ‘back of the head’ shot. Yes, it can be cool but spice things up! Don’t copy what you see everyone else doing – try to find your own path. Find new ways to display your content. Yes, consistency is key but if you are presenting the same style of photos and the same type of contrast/light – you’ll do just fine. Keep your images clear, consistent, pretty and unique.
You Don’t Respond to Comments
Talk to people, damn it! Engagement is crucial on Instagram. Trust us, you’re going to gain some traction if you spend awhile interacting with the people hidden in your discover feed. Make sure you respond to the comments you’ve received and take time to visit the pages of people who have followed you. Make a genuine attempt to interact with individuals and you will be pleasantly surprised by the relationships and loyalty that will most definitely form as a result.
Write Something In That Bio
You have a bio. Use it to your fullest advantage. Be witty, be funny, relevant – whatever you want; just don’t leave it blank. Add your contact details and a valid, functioning website to it and you’ve got yourself a winner!
Check out our other posts about Instagram.