Instagram Changes Terms Of Service, Stirs Anger Among UsersMore and more companies are flocking to the photo-sharing app, Instagram. The massive social network has 200 million monthly active users and is continuing to grow. Instagram is a powerful tool, allowing you to use images and short video to enhance your customers’ experience and relationship with your brand. To make sure you have an effective Instagram presence, make sure to avoid these 10 pitfalls.


1. Posting Infrequently

If you only post once a week, don’t expect to have a high engagement on Instagram. According to data gathered by the social analytics firm, Union Metrics, in a study looking at 55 brand over several months, the average brand posted 1.5 times per day. This is a good rate to shoot for – or even try to surpass.

Some believe that posting too frequently will lower engagement rates on subsequent posts. However, the study found that this is not the case. So pump out those posts and increase your engagement!


2. Posting Similar Pictures

Okay, we get it. You sell watches. Just because you sell watches doesn’t mean every single Instagram post should be a close-up of picture of a wristwatch. Be sure to post a variety of interesting content that catches people’s eyes as they scroll down their busy feed. Check out this photo, it spotlights a watch, but it’s much more creative than uploading your 30th picture of a watch-face close-up. Plus, who doesn’t love an adorable dog?image1

For some more ideas, post images or videos of:

  • Products
  • Teases or new products/services
  • An office tour! (or tour of your location)
  • Events you hosted/attended
  • Employees and fans
  • Article or blog post teasers


3. Not Responding to Comments

Social media is about being social! Just like you should be sure to respond on Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to engage with your customers on Instagram to show you care and answer any questions they may have. Not to stress though, you may not have to tend to comments as much as you do on your other social networks. According to TrackMaven, for every 33 Instagram likes, you’ll get one comment on average.


4. Not Following Your Followers

Just because it’s a company Instagram doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reciprocate a follow. Follow some of your fans and follow other brands! It’s a great idea to follow other brands on Instagram to check out your competition and to get a little inspiration for your own Instagram presence.

Statigram is a great for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand. If you follow one of your customers, they’re bound to feel more connected to your brand, potentially making them brand advocates who will spread the word about your business.



5. Not Hashtagging or Hashtagging Randomly

If you’re not using hashtags on your company Instagram, you’re missing out on potential followers and engagement. Hashtags make it possible for people to find your content! However, on the flip-side, hashtagging a large chunk of random words looks spammy to your followers. Be sure to pick hashtags that are relevant to your content.

It was originally believed that even using more than two hashtags at a time was a social media faux pas. However, based on recent data on Instagram hashtags, this doesn’t seem to be the case. According to TrackMaven, larger brands with more than 1,000 followers received on average 21.21 interactions per post but surprisingly smaller accounts with less than 1,000 followers received 77.66 interactions when they used 11 hashtags on a post.

Having the right number of hashtags will increase interactions and make it easier to be discovered. Just don’t overdo it! Use industry-related hashtags and hashtags that are relevant to what you’re uploading so you can increase your visibility and interactions. Check out this Starbucks post! This post is a great example of hashtagging words that are relevant to the brand and products.Screen-Shot-2014-07-30-at-11.33.01-AM

If you’re looking for an example of what to hashtag, try:

  • Your city (#Boston, #NewYork)
  • Your industry (#Coffee, #Shoes)
  • Your niche type (#Marketing, #Fitness)

Want to know more about hashtags? Check out our post, The History of the Hashtag.


6. Not Showing Followers What’s Going on Behind the Scenes

Your Instagram followers shouldn’t have to make an office visit to see what you’re up to. Take users behind the scenes to show them how products are made, how you carry out your services, or your employees day-to-day at work! Show your customers your brand has a personality so your customers and prospects feel closer to you and your brand. Here’s a picture of our CEO, Lyle Stevens, coding and in the zone!


7. Posting Mostly Videos

About a year ago, Instagram released short 15-second videos to their platform. 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours. However, engagement with Instagram video doesn’t even come close to photo engagement.

Your company may have valuable video content, but photos generate more engagement. In fact, 96% of US Fortune 500 companies have adopted Instagram for photos where only 4% of big brands have adopted video. On average, 55 million photos are uploaded to Instagram each day and the average photo receives 37 interactions per 1,000 followers, according to TrackMaven. Videos fall short with only 24 interactions per 1,000 followers.

If you stick to photos, you’ll be sure to see a steady amount of higher engagement.  But, Instagram’s video platform is still young and experimenting with a mix between the two is probably best for the long run. Just make sure you have a strong photo presence!


8. Not Using the Most Effective Filters

You might be thinking we’re getting too nitty-gritty with the potential pitfalls, but it’s a fact, certain filters are related to more interaction! According to TrackMaven, the most frequently used filters by big brands are no filter, Lo-Fi, and X-Pro II. However, the most effective filters are Mayfair, with an average of 24.044 interactions, no filter, with 18.009, and Inkwell with 16.407 average interactions. So, although it is said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, keep these numbers in mind when posting to your company’s Instagram! Check out the graph below for a complete break down.



9. Not Paying Attention to Which Day You Post

Even if it seems like it wont make much of a difference, when trying to bring in the most interaction on your posts, every detail counts. Most large companies post on Thursday, but that actually isn’t the most effective day to post! Although there is no conclusive best day of the week for Instagram, a study by TrackMaven states the days with the highest interactions per 1k followers are Sunday, Monday, and Friday. For photos, because Instagram is pretty much 24/7, interaction levels tend to stay the same throughout the day.

Instagram videos, on the other hand, are best posted during off-hours from 9pm-8am bringing in around 33.44 interactions. This is most likely due to the sound component of videos. People want to be able to hear the video properly or they can’t risk sneaking a look during their workdays.


10. Not Engaging Your Community WTF-500x500

If you try to run your Instagram without reaching out and interacting with your community, you’re definitely missing out on strengthening your customer relationships. Instagram is a great platform for collecting your fans’ and customers’ personal content! Ask them to post and tag photos and then you can reply and respond with a regram (or repost) of their content. To inspire this sharing, simply ask your fans a question or try an Instagram photo contest! This way, you can get more feedback, grow your followers, and make your users feel more involved. Check out Lulu Lemon’s 30-day photo contest where they gave a theme for each day and told their followers to post a certain hashtag!

As you can see, Instagram is a great tool for generating engagement. Just be sure to avoid these mistakes and you’ll be good to go.

Now you’ve got an idea of how to effectively use your company Instagram, but is your Facebook page the best it can be? Check out our free Ebook for some helpful tips and tricks!

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