Since running The Social ButlerfIy, I have been very active checking out feeds of small businesses, start ups, solo-preneurs trying to grow their Instagram account in the hope of growing their business.
And I noticed that, they are not optimizing their Instagram accounts. A few simple tweaks could just open floodgates of growth and engagement.
We get a lot of questions on why my post is not performing? Why is my account not growing in followers? Why is my engagement dropping? And yet, we take a look at their accounts, we could easily point out 10 to 15 mistakes.
So how can you make sure you’re using this viral social media platform to it’s fullest marketing potential?
Well, we’ve managed to grow the many Instagram accounts from 100+ followers to a few thousands in a matter of 3 months. Some travel accounts can even gain a few thousand followers a week!
You can have that same kind of serious growth too.
Not trying to show-off here, but since we’ve mastered it, I wanted to share my best tips with you to grow your audience.
Lesson Learnt: If You’re Posting for the sake of Increasing Post Frequency, You’re Hurting Your Business.
So I’ve compiled a list here of every single mistake I’ve seen on Instagram and how to fix them so that you won’t be one of those cringe-worthy accounts.
Are you guilty of any of these mistakes?…
1. There are No Links to Drive Traffic
There are so many ways you can link your Instagram and so many of you are not doing it!
a. Link in Bio
Not including your link in Bio is possibly one of the Largest Mistake you can make. If Instagram is your marketing page, the Link in Bio has got to be your Shop address! Without the link, there is no way anyone can find you!
b. Product Tagging (limited to a few selected countries)
This has got to be a game changer and a behaviour disrupting feature. You can now tag your products directly on your page! That means, anyone can tap on your post, click see the price and click straight to your website to do the purchase! Talk about seamless transactions and encouraging impulsive buying.
Credits: H&M (@hm)
For more details, check out Instagram's official help page.
c. Insta-Stories Swipe Up (limited to min. of 10k followers)
If you still haven't use Stories, you should start using! Insta-stories increases some serious engagement on your page!
So once you have more than 10K followers on your page, you will unlock this feature known as stories swipe up where you can add a link to your videos or static pictures in stories.
2. There’s No Description in Your Bio – Or It Just Sucks
What defines a sucky bio description?
- all about you
- only about your products
What’s even worse? NOT HAVING ONE AT ALL. It makes you look unprofessional.
What defines an epic bio description?
- describes the “why” or mission/philosophy behind your products
- concisely describes what you do/sell
- the achievements/awards your products have received
3. You use the same @username and Name
Well its pretty common to use the same username as name. Yes, it defines your brand or personality. I get it!
What you didn't know is that both those in bold (@username and name) are searchable on Instagram
Leaving you with a narrow exposure if you were to use @janedoe as username and Jane Doe as name.
Now, don't go about changing your @username as yet. Keep that, but what you can change is your Name.
Think of a few keywords that best describes you or your brand and use them. There is however a limitation of 30 characters so use them wisely.
4. Low Resolution Photos Are Scaring Away Potential Customers
Think of it this way… the higher the resolution, the higher your level of professionality. Or at least that’s how it looks on IG. So take advantage of that. No matter how big your brand is, you should look totes professional if you want sales.
*Tip in Mind*
Make the resolution of your photo 2x the recommended size so when it gets compressed it still looks fab.
So for IG, your images should be 1280px by 1280 px.
5. Where did your Lifestyle Go?!
It’s not enough to just have product photos. It looks llike. "SALES! SALES! SALES! We want only sales!"
What about your Brand? Your intangibles? Behind the scenes on how the goods are produce? A little insights into your Brand? The story?
You ALSO need lifestyle photos showcasing your products in use. Why? Because they give context and your customers will be able to imagine themselves using your products! If they can’t imagine themselves using them, there’s no way they will buy them!
Below is a content board that may help you start on planning your content!
6. You’re not Posting Consistently
I see a lot of people being too sporadic with their postings.
The most common thing I see is that someone will be super active and post 3x per day for a week, and then drop off the face of the Earth for a month. You can’t do this! Your followers need to know what to expect from you!
So being consistent it key. 1-2 posts per day is solid… as long as you do it every day!
Okay, I know I know, posting everyday is tough, you need quality post etc...
So here is where stories comes in. Use Insta-Stories for uneditted, behind the scenes, non Instagrammable.
Use polls, ask me anything questions to keep your followers "sticky" to you.
There is no excuse not to be on Instagram now with all these tools in place!
No idea of what to post on a weekly basis? Here is a sample content board!
Download the PDF version for FREE! Click here!
7. You’re Posting At All the Wrong Times
It’s super simple.Don’t post when your people aren’t on Instagram! Post when they ARE!
If you aren’t sure when your audience is most active, test out some different times of day. Then use Iconosquare (not sponsored) to view your statistics. It will show you which posts did the best, and when your optimal times are for posting. There are other tools out there, google is king when it comes to this!
8. Not Using Hashtags for Exposure
Instagram posts allows up to 30 hashtags. Ok, if you don't want to look spammy, use about 20 or less.
However, the crux lies in how you do the research!
Here is an example, if you use hashtags with large postings tagged to it, you may get tonnes of eyeballs, but the drawback is you get buried within 1 second
On the flip-side, if you use a hashtag with little postings, you get insufficient eyeballs to rank.
So use the stair steps method where you use 1/3 high postings hashtags, 1/3 mid postings hashtags and 1/3 low postings hashtags.
9. Expecting Followers to Just Come to You
Unless you already have a well-known, highly searched brand, chances are your Instagram account won’t just be found by potential followers.
It’s up to you to bring them to you. How do you do that? You find them first!
- Use the hashtags your followers use because then your images will be categorized with the photos they are already posting and looking at… TA DA they can find you there
- Search those hashtags and comment on the people that use them (theoretically these should be your target audience). Write nice comments, “Diggin’ this photo!”, etc. They will appreciate the fact that you found them and took the time to engage with them… and that appreciation often translates to followers. Use the 1.80 strategy by Gary Vee!
- Engage with your potential audience with Follows or Likes. As far as we know, these are the few interacting tools that will show your @username on your audiences' notifications when you interact. (Remember to use a @username that speaks about what you do!)
10. You’re Not Using Location Tags
Use location tags to widen your post exposure. Use them in your post and in your stories!
Statistics has shown that posting with a location tag gets you 79% more engagements. Not using? Use IT!!!
So there you go, avoid these 10 mistakes and you are almost there!
Post with an intention! And intention to put a point across without having to look salesy and at the same time get eyeballs on your page.
We all know that its just a numbers game, but if you don't have the numbers on your side, how are you going to convert?
Have the mistakes in mind and avoid them at all costs, your posts will be primed for growing exposure, more followers, and increased sales!