4 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid When Promoting Your Instagram Account
Instagram can be a powerful tool for generating revenue, unless you make these common mistakes when promoting your Instagram account.
When it comes to digital marketing, Instagram can help to take your business to the next level. Boasting more than one billion monthly active users and becoming a widely accepted shopping platform, Instagram is a gem for businesses looking to achieve their marketing goals.
However, to make your Instagram account a selling machine or a popular place to visit for your target audience, you need to overcome a bit of credibility crisis on social media. This crisis is an outcome of avoidable mistakes that many Instagram influencers and brands have committed, which undermined customer trust in businesses employing similar techniques.
For example, customers know it very well that fake followers in influencer marketing cost brands about $1.3 billion in 2019 plus a lot of upset potential customers. Not every influencer is trustworthy even despite having millions of followers; perhaps the best example is an Arianna Renee, an Instagram star who had 2.6 million followers but couldn’t sell 36 T-shirts from her new clothing line.
Well, as you can see, there’s a lot of mistakes to be made here, so in this article, let’s explore 4 of them. We’ll start with the basics and move on to more complex ones.
Mistakes in Instagram Profile Promotion
Not Optimizing the Profile Description/Bio
Whether you’re managing an individual or business profile on Instagram, a bio is a concise portfolio, a business card, a welcoming message, and a website, all wrapped up into one. Besides being very concise, it also has a few seconds to make a great first impression on people who read it.
A fine-tuned and optimized bio meets at least two of these requirements:
- Not only describes your business but its values and mission
- Has keywords that people might be using to find similar businesses or entrepreneurs
- Speaks to the target reader by using the language and style they find
- Has clickable links that you included by using “@” or “#” to direct people to other posts, campaigns, and branded profiles.
Let’s see some examples now. Moment, a go-to destination for photography gear, has a succinct description where they mention what they do, how to find their other profiles by using hashtags, and provide a link to inspirational posts for photographers (#shotonmoment).
Next, Binging with Babish, a popular Instagram influencer, uses the description to lead visitors to his new episode on YouTube.
Kicking Horse Coffee, on the other hand, takes an opportunity to share the brand’s philosophy and provide a brief description of their product. The link to their official website is also there.
Next, check out how Timberland summed up the brand’s mission in one, concise sentence. In addition to that, they also took the opportunity to promote their latest campaign, #NatureNeedsHeroes, and share the link to its dedicated page on their website.
As you can see, there are many ways to leverage the power of the profile description to promote your business, so make sure that you optimize it.
Wrong Use of Hashtags
Instagram marketing is all about using hashtags to reach wider audiences, but if you rush to post without checking your posts for a proper hashtag use, you may damage your reputation. Even though there’s no universal formula on the application of hashtags, there are three major ways in which one can screw up their use and effectiveness:
- Using too many hashtags
- Making mistakes in hashtags
- Not doing hashtag research (tracking the performance of hashtags as well as their search volume).
Let’s talk about these in more detail now. Using too many hashtags is actually a common occurrence because some brands tend to follow “the more hashtags, the wider reach” strategy. However, by including a whole bunch of them in a post, a brand can actually hurt their visibility because people can perceive it as a spammy tactic.
But how many hashtags are Instagram users including in their posts? According to this data by Statista, the largest share of posts – 35.2 percent – have 1-3 hashtags.
While 3-4 hashtags could be a great starting point for you, don’t hesitate to add a couple more if you need to (for example, you might need to include additional holiday hashtags or local hashtags). This is also backed up by evidence: studies suggest that profiles with between 5k and 10k followers perform best when using 5 hashtags (those with fewer 5k are advised to use 6 hashtags).
Next, check your hashtags at least a few times before sharing them. Only one misspelled word can hurt the visibility of the post and make you look unprofessional and careless in the eyes of potential customers. This applies to all content that you put out there to promote your Instagram account, so running the copies by experts from the dissertation writing services is definitely a good idea.
Hashtags are another critical consideration. They are like keywords, so you can’t just come up with a hashtag and hope that it works well. You can start by searching for popular keywords manually, but if you don’t feel like doing that, check out Hashtagset.
The tool generates a list of hashtags along with their popularity based on your input and is totally free to use.
If you need more help, check out this Ampfluence guide on finding the best Instagram hashtags for more reach with step-by-step instructions and tools.
Talking too Much about Your Brand and Products
Many businesses had to rethink their approach to targeting the Instagram community after employing the so-called “machine gun” approach. The essence of this approach lies in the idea that sharing a post after post with product descriptions provides potential customers with more buying options, which helps them to make a good choice.
In actuality, what the “machine gun” does is building the image of your brand as one that’s too preoccupied with meeting sales objectives. With the days of hard sell gone, this is obviously a sure-fire way to fail: many people who see an Instagram feed that looks like a product inventory will leave.
One customer group that will certainly prefer other brands is Millennials. It’s a known fact that they care about socially conscious brands with purpose and love storytelling, so the “machine gun” is a terrible approach to targeting them on Instagram (and everywhere else).
One good example of an Instagram influencer selling products from their own line while not talking about them at all is NFL player Julian Edelman’s posts. In the shoppable post below, he shares one of the latest items in his collection, the Relentless Beenie, in a really awesome and authentic way.
As you can see, the sign at the bottom left corner of the image shows that there’s a product present, but you’ll find nothing salesy or pushy. While this is a technique that mostly well-known businesses and influencers should follow, it supports the idea that impressions don’t mean purchases and only real people with real stories can make an impact on customers.
Not Sharing User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content, also known as customer-generated content is any type of content that was created by consumers or a product or a service without any incentives. For many customers, UGC is much more interesting because of the fact that it was created by people, not brands, so it’s widely accepted that UGC will be the next wave of truly authentic marketing.
USC has a great ability to bring authenticity and trust to brands, which are critical for building online followerships and selling more. Here are some stats suggesting that status or a trusted and authentic brand is something that every entrepreneur should pursue (courtesy: Social Media Today):
- 57 percent of customers think that less than half of online businesses produce authentic content
- 30 percent of Millennial consumers report having unfollowed a brand based on unauthentic content
- Only 23 percent of consumers consider social media posts and reviews from influencers “impactful” in purchasing decisions.
And, to top it all off, UGC is perceived as the most authentic content by the vast majority of consumers – 60 percent.
Source: Social Media Today.
There are many ways in which you could encourage your customers to create UGC; for example, you can run contests and other engagement techniques and make them spread the buzz around your products on Instagram. Also, you can simply ask your followers to share their best moments and experiences.
However, the best thing you can do to give your customers an avenue where they can brag about how good you are is an excellent service and quality products or services. Be helpful and relevant, and many people will want to buy from you.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot to overcome when it comes to promoting your Instagram account, but this is something you have to do to stand out from the noise. Instagram is too good not to take advantage of, but you definitely need to employ a comprehensive and well-informed approach to achieve your promotion goals.
Hopefully, this article was a good read for you to understand how to overcome the current social media credibility crisis and follow the best practices to promote your Instagram account. By avoiding these 4 mistakes, you can make it one of the most valuable tools in your digital marketing arsenal.