In line with the evolving algorithms, Instagram marketing best practices are constantly changing too – but there are a few common no-no’s that still apply.
Like many of the other dominant social media platforms, Instagram has come a long way since its genesis. First launched in 2010 as a photo and video sharing network, images were uploaded, edited with some now pretty questionable filters, and organised by hashtags and geographical tagging.
Now, Instagram has over two million monthly active users and is ranked as the world’s third most popular social media platform. With newer additions such as Stories, Reels and IGTV, learning how to master Instagram marketing as a business is getting harder with each passing day.
While this is largely because of the ever changing algorithm, or what Instagram deems as content worthy enough of being promoted on organic feeds without paid advertising, the reality is that Instagram marketing will always have a few golden rules, and a few common mistakes to avoid – but what a few of the most prominent no no’s?
What Not To Do When Using Instagram For Business
For e-commerce brands, Instagram has long been the social media platform of choice. As the format is heavy on visual content, it makes sense that Instagram marketing methods specifically highlight features and inclusions on physical products, which is why this type of content often dominates our feeds.
However, its popularity as a business tool goes far beyond the images and videos. In fact, Instagram users are more than simply engaged – they’re also commonly online shoppers. According to a recent study, 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram, with the most popular categories being clothing, makeup, shoes, and jewellery.
While your brand doesn’t necessarily need to trade in these types of goods and services to find success through Instagram marketing, the same rules apply to all of the players. Despite the onslaught of new features in recent years, there are still a few basic things to avoid when using Instagram as a marketing tool for business.
Ignoring Your DM’s – Like it or not, the basic Instagram algorithm knows who you write direct messages with, how often and if you reply to your DMs at all. While ignoring direct messages from customers is a big no no purely from a service approach, you also risk your brand being ‘blacklisted’ and will show less of your content to the platform’s users.
Not Posting Consistently – Like all social media platforms, consistency is key when it comes to finding success through commercial Instagram marketing methods. By keeping to a regular posting schedule – which can be done via a content calendar – you’re essentially letting your followers know what to expect from you, and that your brand isn’t going away anytime soon.
Using Too Many Hashtags – While it’s tempting to want to maximise the amount of search based opportunities via hashtags, using too many risks your post being viewed as spam. In fact, new research indicates that using over ten hashtags on a social media post can reduce engagement by up to 68%, so aim for three to five to stay in the safe zone.
Poor Quality Content – Regardless of whether you’re uploading images or videos, one of the fundamentals of Instagram marketing is that the quality of your content matters just as much as its topic or subject matter. Pay careful attention to the specs that Instagram provides, and don’t use too many filters that have the potential to degrade your content.
Using The Same Formats – Given the rapid rise of short form video, there’s a reason why Instagram has introduced more features like Stories, Reels and ‘going live’. Instead of sticking to a carefully curated content calendar that only uses still images, capture your audience’s attention and lift engagement by experimenting with different types of ‘Gram formats.
Posting At The Wrong Time – Even though you might have carefully crafted a content marketing strategy, are using a scheduling calendar, have built sales funnels and have created on brand posts, all of your work might be going down the toilet if you’re not posting at the right time of the day. To calculate when your users are most active, do a deep dive in your analytics.
If not actioned properly and without a well thought out plan of attack, marketing efforts on social media platforms can result in a lot of work with minimal results. Ultimately, every post should be a part of a bigger content plan, with the end result being to drive brand awareness, lead generation opportunities and ultimately bigger and better profits for your brand or business.
However, if you’re one of the many small business owners who lack the time, energy or experience necessary to master content marketing for your website and social media platforms, the good news is that it’s never been more affordable to offload this task to the experts – but where do you find them?
The Key To Good Marketing Is Great Content
Here at Content Hive, producing top quality digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as blog articles, social media posts, videos and even animated Instagram stories. By using this model, we believe that it enables us to produce high quality content with faster delivery times.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your digital marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book in a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.