Boss Lady

Instagram mistakes you really want to avoid


This guide outlines the top Instagram mistakes that can undo all your hard work on the social media platform — and even sink your brand.

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.

Instagram mistakes you must avoid

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 and one of the biggest Instagram mistakes. 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, professional promotion agencies can help you connect with real audiences 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, but loops are one of the key Instagram mistakes. 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.

Although Instagram is an image-focused social network, the captions that accompany the posts are also important – and deserve special attention, especially to correct mistakes. Typing and spelling errors are common. However, when committed, they are often considered serious faux pas and associated with a lack of professionalism. And what causes this to happen? Not correcting posts! There is nothing wrong with making a mistake when writing a message. However, lack of attention to correction makes the post appear sloppy and can make the post lose credibility.

Using low quality images

On Instagram, a picture speaks a thousand words. The social network is entirely visual, so if you’re going to post something, it’s important that the image is pleasing to the viewer.

If access to photography equipment is limited, bet on a smartphone with a cool camera and take advantage of natural light or neutral backgrounds, in order to enhance the image and create an interesting aesthetic for the publication. With plenty of image editing services, there’s no excuse for posting sloppy photos. Seek to optimize the quality of images in apps and bet on filters that enhance the photo.

Posting too little

Instagram’s algorithm values ​​frequency in publications. Thus, one of the biggest Instagram mistakes you can make is posting too little. The inconstancy of posts can make the platform stop delivering your content to the audience, leading to low engagement.

So it’s important to find the ideal frequency to post. The ideal, in most cases, is at least two publications per day, which can vary between feed and stories. Identify your company’s demand and organize the publications calendar for Instagram, according to the times when your followers are online and ready to interact.

Not using analytics

Data doesn’t lie, so don’t ignore it. Metrics are extremely important factors that can help you identify what’s wrong with your social media marketing strategy. In addition, the analytics also contribute to identifying trends and brand growth. Without knowing your engagement rate, how will it be possible to devise strategies to increase it? Data can be great allies for your company’s growth on social media.

Using too many hashtags

Hashtags are great tools to help Instagram users find your content. However, too much can be harmful to the delivery of posts, causing them to be considered spam — one fo the dangerous Instagram mistakes. Instagram allows the use of up to 30 hashtags in a post. However, experts recommend the use of up to 11 of them. In this sense, finding the middle ground is critical. Experiment until you find the ideal amount for your brand!

Publishing irrelevant content

On Instagram everything happens quickly. New publications appear every second and to stand out you need to offer quality content, relevant to the audience. Think about it, you want the public to get involved with your publication, right? For this, it is necessary to create content that solves people’s problems or makes them identify themselves. Thus, your publications will gain engagement. So, create posts that get your audience to like, share and comment. Posts with little relevance and which are, for users, boring, are the first to be ignored. Keep an eye on Instagram trends here.

Not investing time in strategy

Working with social media requires focus and a lot of planning. It is not enough to publish periodically and expect the results to appear overnight. Where does the company want to go by investing in social media? Without a clear goal, you will get nowhere. So create a strategy.

Does your business want to gain followers? Increase brand authority? Capture leads? Make sales? Set this into a good strategy. Set goals and develop a clear strategic plan, indicating where you want to go and how to go about it.

Not thinking about visual identity

As you know, Instagram is a visual social network. It is the images that make up the users’ experience and, therefore, they must be in tune – even more so in the profile of a company.

Imagine that each new post is a page that is added to a book. Therefore, it should complement the story and also match the other pages. Have you ever thought about reading a book where each page has a completely different aesthetic from the previous one?

Even though it is a continuation of the story, the inconsistency makes the reading experience unpleasant. And the same applies to social media. Therefore, when creating a publication, try to maintain a visual identity that connects them all.

Not engaging with the public

Another common mistake – and a very serious one – is the lack of involvement with the public. If people are following your Instagram profile, it’s because they care about what you have to say and appreciate your content.

But, far beyond transmission, social networks are exchange platforms. Therefore, the connection with the public is necessary. Social networks revolve around conversations. And as we all know, a conversation depends on more than one part. So when your followers speak or react to your posts, respond! Without engagement with the audience, any profile is doomed to fail.

Sharing links in posts

Last but not least, sharing links in posts can be a detrimental factor to your Instagram strategy. When posted in comments or posts, Instagram does not generate a clickable link. Therefore, to access that page, the user needs to type the URL in the browser, and only then, access the destination site. The process is laborious and, in reality, few users will actually type the URL into their browser to access the page.

As an alternative, people and brands use the famous “link in the bio”, signaling followers that they can click accessing the profile’s bio. The tactic is simple and saves a lot of headaches.

But remember: create a short, clickable link that doesn’t look suspicious to your followers. Thus, everything is more organized and easier for the user to access. There are even specific tools for this, such as the Link Tree.


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. Now that you know what are the main mistakes made on Instagram and, mainly, how to avoid them, it’s easier to organize your strategy on the social network.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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