This week at DMG, we’ve been looking at Instagram — and today’s Web 201 post is going to focus on what you’re doing wrong, or why you don’t have as many followers as you’d like.
by Lily Bradic
1. You're trying to sell
Over-promotion will sabotage your progress on Instagram (and online in general). Digital storytelling — or using images to narrate your brand — is far more successful than telling fans to buy things.
2. Your pictures are all the same
While some of your posts should be thematically linked to your brand, it’s also important to build exposure by posting things that are popular on Instagram — atmospheric city shots, photographs of incredible weather…and even the (very) occasional picture of your latte art or freshly painted nails. By doing this, you’re engaging with the community, showing you understand what Instagram is about, and letting your brand personality shine through.
3. You’re not playing the game
Imagine being part of a writers’ group and having one lady who showed up every week to write her grocery list. You, and other members of the group, would be thinking “that’s not what this is for!” and would probably stop involving this woman in your discussions. When you use Instagram to sell or force your brand on people, you become that lady with the grocery list, contributing nothing to the discussion, and not making any friends.
4. You’re not posting regularly
This is pretty self-explanatory. You don't need to post several times a day, but at least try to post three or four times each week.
5. You’re not using hashtags properly
It's awkward. I get it. Posting “#sky #storm #photooftheday #happy” feels really unnatural (and how people can actually tag their selfies “#cute” without hating themselves is a mystery). You will get used to it. The more hashtags you use, the more people will see your images. This list of top hashtags is really worth checking out in order to maximise your posts’ exposure.
Of course, converting Instagram followers to sales is something else entirely — but you can’t expect that to happen if you haven’t raised your Instagram profile first. For some brands, generating sales via Instagram might not even be viable — not all industries are well-suited to image-based social media. Knowing your brand will stop you wasting time.
Have YOU been using Instagram effectively? Take our Instagram quiz to find out what you could be doing to improve!