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Instagram can be a difficult social media platform to excel with. You read so many different supposed tips and tricks, but nothing helps. But what if what you thought was helping you, could actually be hurting your account?
Here are 5 mistakes you might be making on Instagram and how to turn them into real Instagram business tips.
Instagram Business Tips You’re Probably Doing Wrong
You’re Using the Wrong Hashtags
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags at a time per post. So what are hashtags supposed to do? They help you gain visibility to reach people who aren’t currently following you.
This increases your viewers and helps gain followers and engagement on each photo. It only makes sense as Instagram business tips to use the highest used hashtags on Instagram. It’ll get you the most exposure, which will boost your account, right? Wrong.
Think of hashtags like SEO for writing a blog. It’s important to find relevant longtail keywords with a good number of searches. A high amount of searches typically means it’s a high competition rate.
The same goes for Instagram hashtags. If you use the hashtag “#family,” you are now placing yourself against 269 million other people who have used this hashtag. This includes accounts with millions of followers.
Work on finding around 40-50 hashtags that you can rotate between different types of photos with no more than 2 million posts. I like to keep my average around 500,000.
This means there is still a decent amount of posts on there, so people are using the hashtag, but your competition is much less. You’ll have a higher chance to get into the “Top Posts” section and stay on the “Recent Posts” much longer.
You Follow Everyone Who Follows You
Now here is a constant complaint I hear about Instagram all the time. Why do I keep losing followers? I follow them back, but they still unfollow me. What am I doing wrong? The answer to that is you’re following them back.
It can be nice to see a big account follow you. I once had Ashley Parker Angel from O*Town follow me and I freaked out. He found my account and wants to follow it?! I wish.
I followed him back immediately. Guess what? After 2 weeks, he unfollowed me. I had that same thought. What did I do wrong? I engaged in his content. Why did he unfollow me?
Avoid this Terrible Strategy
Turns out there’s a terrible strategy out there for social media. I see it on both Instagram and Twitter. It’s called the follow/unfollow strategy.
People will follow you, get you to follow them, then unfollow you. Pretty brutal, right? Want one of the best Instagram business tips you’ll ever hear? Please don’t do it.
People even PAY others to do it for them! Again, don’t do it. There are MUCH better ways to gain followers who are actually authentic and engaging.
So how do you prepare yourself for the follow/unfollow? The next time you see a new follow notification, go to their profile and look at their account. Do they have a thousands of followers, but only follow 1-2 thousand or even less? That’s a follow/unfollower.
Simply ignore the follow notification, don’t follow them, and they will unfollow you anyway in a couple of weeks at most. Now this doesn’t mean ignore every follow notification that comes through that has a higher amount of followers than they follow.
Just look at the difference in the amounts and then decide if you like their Instagram content enough to follow it.
You’re Not Following Anyone
This is one of the Instagram business tips that makes me shake my head. You may be posting beautiful content on your Instagram page, but how can anyone find you? Yes, you’re using hashtags, but is that really enough by itself?
To find new followers that are engaged and similar to your content, you need to help them find you. Think of it like a commercial or other type of advertisement. Would you know there was a new flavor of OREOs out if you didn’t see an advertisement for it? No.
The company paid to get that advertisement out in front of a new audience to spread the word. So do you need to spend money on this part? No. Think of it as free advertisement.
Search through Instagram, find similar accounts to yours, and follow them! For me, I love to follow other moms with toddlers. When you see a new follow notification come through, you go to the account and see who they are.
The people you follow will do the same. They may even go through your page and click on your bio link to browse your website!
Follow my Instagram account for the most updated information and content!
You Do Follow Loops
This one is tough. Follow loops can be rewarding when you do them right. Key word is when you do them right. I take part in the same follow loop every week on Instagram because I know how it works and it’s manageable and friendly.
There are about 2,000 people who also take part in the thread. Guess who are among those 2,000? Follow/unfollowers. Yep!
I made this mistake when I first started joining follow loops. I followed everyone I saw using the thread. It helped me gain 100 followers in 2 days! I was so excited.
I finally found the trick to gaining followers! Or so I thought. Another 2 days went by and I saw my newly added followers start dwindling, fast.
I personally thinks it’s okay to take part in 1-2 follow loops a week as long as you are being ethical about it. You also must find an app that tracks your followers and anyone who unfollows you.
This will help you unfollow them right back. I think of it as the way of having the last laugh in a discrete way.
You’re Doing Engagement Wrong
There are two issues with engagement you could have on an account. The first is having no engagement at all. What’s even worse than that is having engagement on your account and doing nothing about it.
Having No Engagement
When posting an Instagram photo, the idea is to get likes and comments on it. I see so many posts that I will like, read through the caption, and just scroll on. So, why did I keep scrolling and not comment? The answer is simple.
There was nothing to respond to. Here is one of the best Instagram business tips you will find. Make your caption create a clear and concise story. At the end, ask your audience a question that relates to the post and keep it as simple as possible.
No one wants to stop and write about the meaning of life. Think of things like, “how was the weather this weekend where you are?” “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”
Also make the question open ended. No one wants to read through comments that just say yes and no.
Doing Nothing about the Engagement you Already Have
So, you have 15 comments on your last photo. That’s awesome! Did you reply to the ones you could? If the answer is no, you’re doing it wrong.
People comment to communicate on Instagram, so communicate back to them! If they said they love chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and that’s your favorite, let them know!
Think of it as an opportunity to interact with your audience. The more engaging you are with them, the more engaged they will become. I have met so many great moms on Instagram through comments and messages.
They tell me about their lives, kids, and compliment me on my new posts!
All of this advice follows the same with responses to Instagram stories and the new Instagram Live.
What do you still struggle with on Instagram? What ways are you trying to improve that? Let me know in the comments below!