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8 Common Marketing Mistakes with Instagram and How to Avoid Them

If you’re looking to grow your business, a strong Instagram marketing strategy is critical. You can create brand recognition through your posts and use ads to generate visits. But what should you avoid doing?

Keep reading to learn 8 common marketing mistakes with Instagram and how to avoid them!


1. Using Bad Photos

When you post an image on Instagram, make sure the photo is clear. Even the blurriest photo can’t be fixed with a filter. When in doubt, take multiple photos from multiple vantage points and edit them down to find the best one.

Similarly, you don’t want to post photos that fail to show off your brand or product. You could be standing too far away from someone modeling your latest scarf, for instance. Or there may be too many busy patterns or colors that compete for attention.

Take time to learn how to take better photographs. Use the rule of thirds to ensure pleasing compositions. Avoid backlit photos and crop in on your subject matter.

Keep our visual style consistent, too. In other words, if you’re regularly posting images with bold colors and captions in a cheery tone, don’t suddenly switch it up. Moving to achromatic images with minimalist text won’t help you build a cohesive brand identity.

2. Messing Up the Hashtags

Instagram Hashtags

Anyone developing an Instagram marketing strategy knows that hashtags are important. But it is possible to do hashtags the wrong way. Loading a post with hashtags that are too broad — or just too overwhelming — is a problem.

Don’t bury the rest of your image caption text in hashtags. After all, you want people to see valuable text that describes the product, promotion, or location. You’re able to use up to 30 hashtags per Instagram post, but it’s advisable to keep that number around 11.

Using too many hashtags reeks of desperation. Plus hashtags that are too general won’t help you ascend the search results, either. If you use the #Friday for a post you make on Friday, know that it will be competing for visibility with tons of other posts.

Create your own hashtag that goes beyond stating the name of your brand. Use it in each post to build recognition. Ultimately, after a few weeks of consistent use, you’ll end up with a gallery of images related to it for anyone who clicks.

Sprinkle in other hashtags related to your content, too, when crafting a caption. And do your research. See what hashtags are trending on a given day, and weave those into each post.

3. Keeping Your Profile Private

Make Instagram Profile Public

When you keep your account private, you limit your audience. That’s the biggest reason to choose a public account. Besides, even if your profile is private, people still can track you down on social media platforms like Instagram.

You want people to see your latest kitchen remodel or painting. And most importantly, you want them to be able to share your content. With a private account, no one will see your hashtags aside from those who’ve asked permission to follow you.

So, don’t expect engagement metrics to be favorable if you keep your account private. Instead, take a smart approach to create a public account. Just don’t share personal information, like a personal address or visual clues as to where you live.

4. Not Getting Mileage from Your Bio

With only 150 characters at your disposal, an Instagram bio is pretty short. But completely neglecting it is not the answer to your Instagram marketing strategy. Instead, take advantage of that small area of text.

Include a link in your bio to your website or the product page. Even better, change the link every week or as new products become available. Likewise, spice up the text to promote a specific item that’s brand new.

Make sure that you use the # or @ so that anyone checking out your bio can click the links you include. Share what you believe in as a business — and speak in a tone that will connect with readers.

5. Marketing Mistakes with Instagram Include Infrequent Posting

Instagram Business Marketing

What’s another big mistake to avoid? Only posting when you feel like it means that you won’t get the consistency you need to attract an audience. To keep people interested in your account, you need to make a habit of posting every day.

Do you feel like you’re too busy to come up with a clever post each day? Then make your posts in advance! One of the benefits of Instagram is that businesses now can schedule posts.

Save time by lining up a week’s worth of posts. Better yet, if you have a social media manager for your business, assign them to this task. And remember that not every post has to feature one of your products.

As another social media marketing step, track what time of day to post. For some social media platforms, the weekends are a dead zone and it may not be worth wasting a post on a Sunday afternoon. You’ll generally have more luck capturing new audience members on weekday afternoons.

Take users behind the scenes to see in-progress photos. Or post content that connects to or supports your brand. For instance, if you make artisanal cheeses, feature a company that makes artisanal soaps.

Proofread your captions, too. You want to project a sense of professionalism. And when someone comments on your post, take the time to respond!

6. Skipping User-Generated Content


Your Instagram marketing strategy should include using user-generated content (UGC) to your advantage. User-generated content is imagery, text, or video that features your brand — but was created by other people. An example could be a man posting an image of himself wearing your bowtie, and hashtagging your brand in the post.

Using UGC allows you to diversify your posts while engaging with clients of customers. Each week, spend time tracking down posts that tag your brand. Share these images as a way to boost your brand and give someone else the spotlight.

While you’re at it, follow your followers. It’s a simple gesture that can go a long way toward creating stronger connections. When you follow someone else, you signal that you’re ready to help endorse their posts with a simple like or even a comment.

There’s a better chance that they will reciprocate with your posts. Plus there’s always the possibility that they’ll share your content. You can use them as a research tool, as well, and figure out what kind of content they like.

7. Purchasing Your Followers

Purchasing followers may help grow the number of followers at the top of your profile. But it won’t help you build true followers who will engage with your content in a meaningful way. You’ll only divert money to these purchases that could be more effectively used toward ads.

Most purchased followers are bots or fake followers who will spam your account. You could wind up seeing lewd posts from fake followers, too, which you’ll have to monitor. On top of that, it will be tough to track engagement accurately.

You can grow your followers more organically. But your success with this stems from choosing a target audience on Instagram. Since you can’t appeal to everyone, decide who is most likely to click with your brand.

8. Not Using Video and the Latest Instagram Features

Instagram may be known for letting pictures be the dominant feature. But it allows videos, too. And when you’re building a social media marketing strategy, you can’t afford to ignore videos and stories.

In 2016, Instagram introduced its Stories feature. This feature lets users post mash-ups of videos, images, and text. The stories disappear in a day, but they’re a great way to provide insider coverage or special features.

The latest Instagram features make it easy to learn the tools so you can put together a winning story. For example, if you run a performance venue, capture video footage of the latest production in rehearsal. Or interview actors or stage managers to provide the inside scoop.

Splice your videos together with a few still shots and some text. Within a matter of minutes, you can have a compelling story that entices people to look further. And, of course, don’t forget to include a few hashtags or credits to the actors.

Find the Right Instagram Marketing Strategy

With some awareness and planning, you can avoid marketing mistakes with Instagram. You’ll be able to finetune your hashtags and connect with your customers more organically. All of this can translate to better visibility and business growth.

For more marketing tips to keep your business in top shape, check back for new articles!

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