Things NOT to do on Instagram

Instagram is still one of the newest photo/video sharing applications. With over a 100 million users, Instagram is also a essential tool in branding you or your company. Just like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram plays a vital role in showing another side to you or your brand. You can share photo and video updates about your business or brand. Even if you just created your profile or you’ve built up a loyal following, avoiding these 5 common Instagram mistakes will set you on the path to a more engaged and loyal community.

1. Making your Instagram account private
If it was your personal account, then that would be fine. On a business account, as soon as a user sees the private icon, they’re likely to stay away. Their follow request has to be approved, depending on how often you check Instagram, it can take anywhere from 1 hour to a day. They can’t see any content from the profile, so they have no idea what type of content or messages the business is sharing.

    2. Thinking Instagram is only for major brands
Some believe that only brands with significant marketing budgets can leverage Instagram. A few self employed artists and vendors even say that Instagram helps them create sales leads or traffic to their music. Even startups are on Instagram: MailChimp, Dollar Shave Club, and Birchbox. With Instagram allowing small businesses within their advertising programs, we are noticing a rise in small business and independent artist growing their brand via Instagram advertising program.

      3. Unbalanced follower/following ratio
People who follow an account back just because the account is following them won’t probably engage in the account’s content, pushing down its engagement ratio. What can you do if you have an unbalanced followers/following ratio? Well, time to go spring cleaning. Don’t be afraid to unfollow accounts that don’t offer you value. If they stop following your account it’s ok, they probably aren’t engaging with your content. Grow your account by targeting your niche with the right hashtags.

     4. Not using hashtags
People often think hashtags are only for Twitter. Failure to use Instagram hashtags on your posts means your business is missing out on a huge chance to get discovered by new fans. This helps the content get discovered by people following those key terms. Pay attention online to the best Instagram hashtags for your industry and look to incorporate these into your posts or videos. If you want to monitor specific content around your business, you can also create your very own hashtags & promote this to your followers (e.g., #WJENTGROUP)

        5. Follow and unfollow you 6 times in a month
This happens because automation software/service follows accounts that use a certain hashtag or followers of a certain account. Sounds like a good idea but can really hurt your brand as well. If your business or brand can afford to have an automation software welcoming your new followers into your brand, good for you. Most businesses are better off by organically engaging and growing a proper community that really cares about the amazing things that your brand is advertising. From there you aren’t wasting time on false leads or valuable advertising dollars.

Whether it’s best practices or tips and shortcuts, there are a lot of ways to use Instagram effectively. However, there are a lot of things you might be doing which will actually hinder your success. As with other social platforms, to get the best results you should have a plan, follow through and try new things until you figure how to get the most followers and the best engagement.

Founder & CEO of WJ Enterprises

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