Boss Lady

6 Instagram mistakes you really want to avoid

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You may think you know what it takes to be successful on Instagram, but do you? It entails much more work and strategy than taking cool pictures, posting them with an awesome filter, and hoping that followers flock to you like ducks to bread (side note: do not feed ducks bread, it’s bad for them).

There are also right and wrong ways to approach different marketing techniques. Yes, follow other people — but follow the right people. Post often — but don’t post too often. If you’re having a difficult time figuring out what you’re doing incorrectly, here are some Instagram mistakes you’d be wise to avoid:

Buying phony followers

Buying fake followers is a no-go. We get it; you want the social proof. The more followers you have, the more likely other people are to assume that you are worth following, too.

Purchasing phony followers is not the way to do this, though. It’s unethical, and it could hurt your brand reputation if people notice (yes, it’s more noticeable than you think; it’s obvious when you have a massive audience that doesn’t seem to do anything, and you don’t follow many people, either). If you’re struggling to put your content in front of the right eyes, companies like ViralRace can help you connect with real followers that will engage with you.

Neglecting your audience members

Again, you cannot post pictures or videos and leave it at that. Engage with your audience. You are a person, and so are they. Even if you run a business account, avoid thinking that you’re too important to interact with the people who follow you. Why else would they? Why bother commenting if the poster is never going to respond? You don’t have to answer every comment, of course, but it helps to acknowledge a few.

Thank people for their comments. Answer questions. Don’t shy away from direct messages if you have the time for it. Let people know that you care what they think.

Falling for follower-loop traps

Loops can be a great way to gain followers — for a day or two. Many people on Instagram are follow/unfollowers, which means that they’ll follow you so that you follow them back, and then unfollow you as soon as you do. It’s annoying, and it’s common. Loops are threads where people acknowledge that they are willing to follow for a follow, but not everyone sticks with it.

Follower loops can help you grow your audience if you do them right, but be careful about thinking that it’s the secret trick. Of course, don’t be that person, either.

Not making Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are incredibly important. It’s true that they only last for 24 hours, but you can highlight them so that they stay at the top of your profile forever.

When someone finds your page, they will likely browse your posts and decide if your content is interesting or not. They will also check if you have an active Story. Once this person follows you, they may not even scroll down their feed to see your new posts; they’ll just watch the string of Stories at the top of their home page. Don’t neglect Instagram stories — sometimes, they’re what people pay attention to most, and there’s a world of possibilities you can do with them.

Using the wrong hashtags

Hashtags categorize Instagram content and make it discoverable. When you look at a travel photo, you’ll undoubtedly see a collection of hashtags beneath the caption, such as #travellover, #explorer, and whatever the location is. This is so when people search the term “travel lover,” that post is included in the results.

Tag your posts with hashtags. Not just any keyword will suffice, though. It’s usually practical to include 8-12, so make sure the specific hashtags you use are relevant to your content, not oversaturated with millions of other posts that will drown yours out, and include a few that are trending (but again, relevant).

Being lazy with your captions

They say pictures are worth a thousand words, but captions are still vital to your posts’ success. An image or video can be incredibly compelling, but is there an explanation behind it? Any background info that would intrigue followers, or some context to help them understand it better? Make your captions funny, informative, authoritative, clarifying, something else, or any mixture — just don’t underestimate their importance.

It’s easy to make mistakes on Instagram because it’s so nebulous. A technique you imagine will be successful might end up failing, so be flexible and amend your strategy accordingly. Mistakes happen, but there are ways to address them swiftly. What mistakes have you made on Instagram that you now avoid?

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