You may be aware that Instagram is a leading photo and video sharing social network, and individuals and brand marketers are leaving no stone unturned to reach the 500 million daily active users.
Instagram has been an active part of the digital world since 2010, but many of you are new to the platform. As such, it’s completely natural to make common Instagram mistakes as a novice Instagrammer.
Don’t fret if you have already committed some bloopers because there are ways to overcome them. But make sure you don’t make them again and again as it may severely affect your reputation as a user, and ultimately your follower numbers.
The Instagram Mistakes You Must Avoid
Here are a few Instagram mistakes you must not be making at all cost:
Having the same name and username
As an Instagram user, you must know that the name and username are two different fields. Your name is the name that appears in your Instagram bio, while the username is the @name you use. All your posts, likes, and comments will appear with your Instagram username. More often than not, your username will have one word in lowercase, unless you decide to use symbols like a dot or underscore.
Your name can have uppercase letters, spaces, symbols, and simple formatting. Since both fields are so different, their usage should also be different. Even if you or your business in one word, you should use a single word for your username but have a descriptor or differentiator in your name.
Using an irrelevant username
One of the worse Instagram mistakes that people make is using an irrelevant username, something that does not resonate with the audience at all. This mistake can completely ruin your Instagram reputation and cause your follower numbers to plummet drastically. Sometimes, people use Instagram to promote their business, but their username is some goofy variation of their real name. Doing so makes them look extraordinarily amateurish and unprofessional.
As such, you have to choose your username very carefully. You must use a name that reflects your personality or your business and promotes recognition and memorability. This can help you paint a professional, more appealing image on the platform.
Turning on the “private account” option
Some people tend to set their Instagram account to private. This could be an inadvertently done Instagram mistake, but it’s certainly a major one. You can use the private account option if you are an individual user and wish to keep your images and videos personal. This, however, doesn’t make any sense for a business as it is meant to be marketed to the public.
You could stumble upon any individual or business on the platform who might be interested in your business or your offerings. When you set your account to private, you lose the opportunity to tap such users. As such, you should keep your account public so that you can increase your follower base and reach potential users.
Leaving the “bio” section empty
Your bio is the first thing your followers will read to know more about you or your business. Leaving your bio section empty is a gesture of sheer lack of professionalism, creativity, and humanity. It gives your followers no idea about what you do and offer. This is one of the worst Instagram mistakes that an individual user or a business can make.
As such, you must include a crisp and well-written bio on your Instagram profile. This is an excellent way to explain your business to others and giving them an idea of your offerings. Make sure your bio is attention-grabbing, entertaining and descriptive. Doing so can truly help you make a mark on the platform.
Not using hashtags correctly
Some people go mad over hashtags. Yes, hashtags are extremely important but it doesn’t mean you use them anywhere and anyhow. One of the most common Instagram post mistakes that people make is tagging each and every word in the post. Not only does this nullify the purpose of finding engaged followers but also makes you look extremely unprofessional.
What’s worse is that some people use hashtags even in their bio! It’s completely redundant and serves no purpose. You must stop doing it now. It’s always a better strategy to use a few relevant hashtags that push your SEO efforts. It’s best to use three to four hashtags in your post description and up to fifteen hashtags in your first comment.
Posting low-quality images
Instagram is essentially is an image-sharing platform where visuals mean everything. But choosing low-quality images is one of the most common Instagram post mistakes that people make. Bad or blurry photos not only look bad but also paint an unprofessional picture of your business or yourself on the platform. Some people also don’t pay attention to their display picture, which can severely hamper how others perceive you and your business.
You should always try to post aesthetically pleasing images that are color-corrected and well-cropped. You don’t have to invest in an expensive camera for the purpose—your phone’s camera works fine. If you are using Instagram for business, you must ensure that your display picture matches or is similar to what you use on other platforms, provided they are clear and well-edited.
Not paying attention to captions
Besides the quality of the image, you must also take care of your captions that describe your post. Instagram is all about sharing photos, but leaving out the caption can ruin your Instagram strategy completely. Anyone who uses the platform will know how important captions, hashtags, and call-to-action is. Not writing them at all or writing short ones can make you look like a rookie amidst all the experienced users.
To make your posts more effective, you must craft appealing and attractive captions. Write a couple of sentences instead of short paragraphs that everyone can read. It should be relevant to what you are posting and should convey your message clearly to your audience.
Following an inconsistent posting schedule
On Instagram, consistency holds the key to a huge fan following. Just like any other social media platform, your followers on Instagram are following you because they expect something valuable from you consistently. Posting consistently makes you predictable, something that your fans and followers really appreciate.
At the same time, some users post too often, which spams their followers’ feed. This is one of the most disliked Instagram post mistakes. As such, you must maintain a consistent posting schedule to maintain the interest of your followers and retain them forever. Make sure you spread out your content in a way that keeps you active on the platform without annoying your followers.
Having a badly organized feed
Some of you may be posting random images and videos that are misaligned with the rest of your Instagram feed. A little of everything creates unimaginable chaos. If you wish to wow your followers on the platform, you have to ensure that your feed is cohesive and well-curated. Not only does it make your profile more appealing, but also help you garner more followers.
You should pay close attention to the aesthetics of your Instagram feed. Look at its color, shade and other relevant aspects. If you find something that’s not in line with your existing agenda, you should consider removing it from your feed. Try to reproduce posts that maintain your profile’s theme and aesthetics.
Not following back
Instagram is two-way traffic, and you have to know your followers well to be able to establish a close connection with them. A new follower, who can be friend, colleague, relative or any other user, follows you. Consider that good. But such followers won’t stay if you don’t follow them back.
As such, you should always follow somebody back when they follow you. You don’t necessarily have to communicate with them or comment on their posts so much. But it’s always a good gesture to follow them back. Doing so gives you a chance to know them better and craft future posts in line with their interests.
Not commenting on others’ posts
Some of you may think that once you have posted your image or video, your job is done. But thinking this way is one of the biggest Instagram mistakes you may be making. Engagement is the key to building a wider fan-base, and the comment section below every post has a huge role to play in this. If you wish to build a strong community, you need to respond to others’ posts actively.
Commenting on others’ posts gives them the impression that you value their content. If you ignore comments, you may look disrespectful to some extent, making your followers click on the “unfollow” button immediately. So, it’s important that you listen to your audience and engage actively with them. Don’t hesitate to surf through your followers’ previous posts and comment on them if something interests you.
If you wish to boost your brand’s presence, improve engagement with your Instagram community and build a vast fanbase, make sure you don’t make the aforementioned Instagram mistakes. You are sure to get the best out of the platform by avoiding them.