There are many ways you can use your business on Instagram. However, there are also many ways you can easily turn people off so they do not want to follow you, which means they obviously will NOT want to do business with you either. This is where some mistakes happen that you can easily avoid.
Mistake 1. Your account is private, but you are also using it for business: Often I receive a new follower on Instagram. They interact with me, like several of my photos and they ‘may’ even have a great bio about who they are. However, their profile is private. This to me is a big and obvious mistake. I don’t want to follow someone that has a ‘private business’ unless there is some super duper cool reason to have a ‘private only business’. The truth of the matter is, I can’t REALLY see what you are all about. Photos say 1000 words and if I can’t see any then you really have nothing to say to me at that moment and I quickly move on. Solution: So, if you have a private Instagram account and want to use it for business I recommend that you make is public.
Mistake 2. You have way too many selfies: Oh the inundated profile with selfies. I am going to be blunt here, but you are not Kim Kardashian. I don’t want to follow Joe Smith’s selfie show. I mean don’t get me wrong…I love a good selfie now and again, but selfie after selfie after selfie shouts a very specific message and in my opinion it’s just not a positive one. You are saying LOOK AT ME! I AM SO IMPORTANT! You are important, but what you offer others is more important. So, think before you post selfie after selfie. Solution: Wait a bit before you post selfie after selfie and once you become Kim or Kanye, then you can post as many as you like and I am sure your fans will just love it! Use selfie’s sparingly. I’d say 1 for ever 20 or 30 photos.
Mistake 3. You are only interested in selling and not relationships: Yes, I get the follower that pops over to my profile likes a bunch of my photos, follows me and then when I pop over to peek at their photos I see wrap after wrap (to of course remove my fat & cellulite), or I see how make money easy, or another networking marketing opportunity. This to me is a HUGE turn off and what you are telling me is that you are only interested in ONE THING..SELLING. You are not interested in posting quality photos, you are not interested in telling a story about who you are and what you do. You are interested in one thing…my money and that is of no interest to me. Instagram is so much more than that. Solution: Build relationships with people and make your profile more about you and your life. Then every once in a while and I mean every one in a while wiggle in what you do for a living by talking about it’s benefits, as well as demonstrating it with short videos as well as photos.
Mistake 4. You have no or very few photos: Now this just might be naïveté, but before you start attempting to grow your followers on Instagram, It’s hard to follow someone that is brand new, barely has any followers and has only 1 or 2 photos that don’t tell me enough about who you are and what you represent. Solution: I highly recommend you post a variety of about 10-15 photos first. That at least gives any potential new followers a chance to see what you are all about.
Mistake 5. You have no bio: This goes along with mistake number 4….please, please, please complete your bio, especially before you start inviting others to follow you or trying to grow your fans.. Please tell us about yourself…what do you love, what do you like, what do you do, and what type of photos can we expect to see. This is so important. This is basically very valuable real estate and it should be utilized to the fullest. Solution: For example, I use my Instagram account for business and personal use. I like to build relationships with people and I share photos from my entire life. So, my bio lists what I do as well as things I love, like: coffee, dobermans, my family, Hilton Head Island and it also describes my personality a bit too. This helps people get a quick glimpse into who I am and let’s face it…these days you really only have a few seconds to grab the attention of others. So, make the most of it and feel free to change it up. My likes change over time, so I update it to reflect what I am up to. It’s not written in stone and perfection is not required either.
Mistake 6. You’re selling fake Instagram followers: This is just so obvious to me. First of all, do not sell fake followers EVER. These are HORRIBLE practices on Instagram and if you are doing this, you will be quickly reported as spam and your account will be removed. The other mistakes is that you might be tempted to buy or have bought fake Instagram followers. Solution: If you are doing this, find a better way to make money. Part two of this solution is NEVER buy fake followers. It says so much about you and is completely obvious when you barely have any comments or double taps on your posts. Grow yourself organically and if you want to learn how then please check out my blog post that has been shared more than 2000 times. It will help you grow super fast. Lastly, please report any spam to Instagram. They are very diligent about keeping Instagram a wholesome social network that sticks to it’s routes.
Mistake 7. You come across as glib by only writing one word comments: I notice lately that when I get a slew of new followers they double tap many of my photos and then they write one glib comment like cool, nice or amazing on one photo. Of course this gets my attention and I am curious as to who they are, but I am now feeling like they are this rote robot…just trolling for new fans to follow them and it no longer feels authentic or my best interest to follow them back
So, let’s think about this in a different way…let’s say you want to make more friends. Your friend tells you something about their life like a new kitten they just brought home or they share a very insightful bit of advice (in this case they are telling you in a photograph on Instagram) and you just respond with nice, or cool and walk away. Now my question becomes, how strong do you think that relationship with be? Do you think they will feel ‘REALLY’ important to you or that you are ‘REALLY’ interested in them? Probably not. It just makes you sound glib and it makes it obvious that you are just looking for a new follower based on a strategy you were taught. So, instead of writing the short blurb…write something more meaningful and substantial. It’s better to be more expressive, genuine and conversational as well as, double tap photos you REALLY like.
The truth is the cream in business always rises to the top and wins the day. Use best practices when it comes to Instagram and your business will sore. Be genuine, be authentic, have integrity and you will build a wonderful loyal community. It is a fabulous platform for sure!!!
Do you need help with your Instagram marketing? Feel free to reach out with questions below and I am happy to answer them for you.
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Amanda BrazelOwner/Expert Social Media Manager for Small Business. Read More.
Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You