Are you a business owner and you are using Instagram as a tool in marketing your business products and services? How has been your return on investment and do you wish to continue?
It is one thing to realise the potentialities of marketing a business on Instagram and it is another thing to market it the right way. While it is common knowledge that there is yet to be a proliferation of paid adverts on Instagram in comparison to same on its parent company, Facebook, available data suggests that those who toe the paid advert line correctly on Instagram have been able to record phenomenal follower increase.
So what happens when you decide on marketing your business on Instagram, and deplorably do it the wrong way? How do you even know some of the marketing strategies you deployed are not replete with mistakes? This post will open your eyes to some of these flaws. So read meticulously.
1.) Where do we begin? Let’s look at the Instagram Account Setting
Two weeks ago, an old time friend started following me on Instagram. Upon seeing the notification from Instagram I clicked on the link which led to her Instagram account so I could follow back.
Upon landing on her account page, I saw these words, “This account is private, follow to see their photos and videos.” To say the least, this piqued me. I clicked back and went to my feeds. I mean, why follow someone whose posts you haven’t seen, at the least to know if they’re interesting or worth following?
Now, this is an individual. What if the act was done by an artificial person or a company? How will you view this? Perhaps, you’d be pissed off just as I was. And when you feel this way you lose interest in the company and whatever it has to offer.
To stop making this marketing mistake on Instagram you must understand that Instagram is a community where you build connections based on how open, accessible and engaging you are.
So, if I go back to my story above, you’ll discover that this is what will happen if you were in my shoes just as it happened to me: when you go ahead to click on the “Follow” button, it doesn’t qualify you automatically as a follower. You’d have to wait for the person to approve your follower request. This may take hours or forever depending on how regular the person is on Instagram.
This leads to the second mistake on a correlative angle, not necessarily in order of arrangement anyway.
2.) Failure to Post on a Regular Basis
Another Instagram marketing mistakes you may be making is not updating your timeline regularly. To maintain relevance on Instagram and most social networking sites where demographics and traffic is a huge player, you’d have to keep on with some degree of density and consistency.
You may have heard the witty saying, “Out of sight means out of mind.” This is so true of social media, and of course, Instagram. Posting regularly on Instagram becomes the right thing to do. You can base your post on your products and services and sometimes make reference to your clients or customers (in your Instagram post) who are satisfied with your services. Doing this will make your followers build trust in your brand.
A word of caution: Do not post more than you should. When you post beyond what is regular or balanced, some of your followers take offence at this and see this as uninteresting, childish and inconsistent with the good corporate brand you claim to have.
Depending on the kind of business you are operating, you should be able to tell what amounts is enough for you. For some businesses, once in a day is okay while for others posting twice or thrice daily is ideal.
Understand also that followers are not mere demographics, indices or sheer statistical confabulation. They are real human beings. And a basic human need is socialisation. It is important you network with your followers. It makes each of them, especially those whose comments you respond to; feel important, loved and cared for.
Talk to them, interact with them, and take their views or comments seriously. To downplay this will make you appear cynical and this isn’t the impression you’d want your potential customers to have of you!
Instagram just like its parent company, Facebook, and some other social network, viz Twitter, LinkedIn and so on, are designed with this core basic human need for socialising, hence the “Comment” button, the “Share” button, the “Like” button, irrespective of the dissimilarities in nomenclature from site to site.
Having this information in mind, it is important that I re-emphasize that when a follower or followers make a comment on your post, it is important that you respond to same. A person who fails to respond is giving a bad image of himself or business to his followers. Perhaps, some followers may see this as a sign of arrogance or a feeling of superiority over others.
3.) Inappropriate or Incorrect use of Hashtags
In my own way, I compare hashtags to signboards on street corners that point or direct members of the public to the address of an organization. Picture in your mind those sorts of myriads of competing signposts at street junctions common on many roads.
Use of hashtags on Instagram isn’t any different from the scenario explored above. Inappropriate use of hashtags will deface your chances of converting business interests. The hashtags you use should relate clearly to the nature of post you put up.
It would be incongruous and absurd to use a hashtag that says, #BuyYourShoes or #BestSuitsInTown, for a post displaying android phones to your followers!
Start by knowing the basics. What are the most popular hashtags in your business niche? Remember, when typing a hashtag on Instagram, the system automatically generates series of suggested hashtags for you to use.
When these suggestions pop up on the screen, you will see the number of times Instagram users have made use of that hashtag. By knowing the popularity of existing or already used tags and doing a comparative analysis of its relatedness to the content of the post you are about to put up, I am certain you will be properly guided on what passes for appropriate or inappropriate use of hashtag.
4.) When your Post lacks Good Quality
Yes, I have said you must maintain some degree of density and consistency in your posts. The same is also true that such posts must not be dull, uninteresting, or irksome to your followers.
Also, true is the fact that the contents of your post should be spiced with varieties of what you offer—products, services etc. Although yours is a company with a brand, you are not precluded from pasting pictures or videos of the cordial work relationship amongst employees at their workplace.
So, apart from the regular post that shows your followers, pictures and videos of your latest fashion designs (i.e. if you are a fashion design concern), you should spice your posts too with pictures/videos of your workplace, employees, satisfied customer/clientele base, etc. a good dose of motivational quotes designed using Coreldraw or sophisticated picture apps can add variety to what makes for good quality post.