by Danielle Andrews, President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc.
Many businesses that are just starting off on Instagram are eager to jump in and let the world know who they are. Although the excitement is understandable, it is vital to put together a comprehensive strategy and figure out several things from your brand voice to your engagement strategies and much more. Just as there are many things you could end up getting right with Instagram, there is an equal number of things that you can get wrong.
Use the list below to understand the top Instagram Marketing mistakes to avoid in your pursuit of launching your business on Instagram.
Not learning your audience:
Engaging in social media marketing before you know who you are talking to can be a huge mistake. It’s not enough on Instagram to know your audience’s demographics, likes and dislikes, but you need to ensure your brand voice is speaking to them and the things that they care about every day. Knowing your audience is an essential part of creating a successful plan.
You want to know the answers to these questions and more:
- What causes are they interested in?
- Who are the top influencers they follow?
- How active are they on social media each day?
Don’t lump everyone into the same categories. Being too broad with your scope of the audience comes across as if you are trying to please and cater to everyone. Be specific and build a community with your audience. Studies have shown this leads to high customer retention and builds trust among your followers. All of these are necessary to analyze to make sure you aren’t coming across as tone-deaf with your posts and messages.
Not optimizing your Bio and Profile:
Don’t forget to optimize the bio and your profile in your account. Did you know that besides your account name, Instagram allows users to search the name in your account’s bio? You can utilize this space to increase your potential to be seen by people who search for more generic terms.
For example, if your business is a @KatesWeddingPlanning, your Instagram bio name can read “Halifax Wedding Planner” and when people search Halifax Wedding Planners, your account will show up.
Another good thing to note is that when people are searching to discover new businesses on Instagram, most users spend at least 3 seconds on a profile’s bio to decide if it’s worth scrolling down that account’s posts. You only have one chance to make a good first impression and in the world of Instagram, your bio is where this happens.
Choosing the Wrong Tone
Your tone and brand are what you want to project out as your business’ overall personality. Although for the most part, your tone will be set based on the type of business you do and what you offer, it is possible to shape your brand’s tone in a way that you feel would resonate with your intended audience. In this day and age, it is possible to break the walls down and remove messaging that feels “too official” or too authoritative, especially on social media.
There is an art to balancing your businesses’ persona while still remaining professional. You don’t want to appear to be boring because that leads to fewer interactions and engagement. You also don’t want to be too casual or laid back. People want wedding professionals that they can relate to that don’t come across as stuffy.
Not Responding to Your Followers:
Responding and engaging with your followers is a must. It is important for brands and businesses because it shows clear and transparent communications for a number of reasons. Everyday interaction is important, but it’s even more important when it comes to product hiccups when people come to your accounts page to notify you of a problem or have a suggestion. Your customer support should always respond to comments and concerns on the same platform where they were initially written.
Ignoring Trends and Analytics
It can be a hard concept to grasp for some, and to others, it may come more easily but ignoring trends and analytics is a big no-no if you want to sustain Instagram growth and build your presence online. For one, your analytics are there to help show you and guide you to what performs the best on your account so that you aren’t wasting time creating material that will not resonate with your brand’s audience.
Similarly, ignoring trends whether it’s Instagram insider industry trends, or trends across the globe in news or entertainment, staying on top of what’s happening in real-time is a huge factor in powering your brand on Instagram. It’s free (for the most part) knowledge that you can get at your fingertips to help improve your business account.
To stay up to date with what is happening, it’s wise to subscribe to some of the industry newsletters and archives that are available online. You can also use websites and Google Alerts to have trending news delivered to your inbox in a daily digest, that you can read through in about 5 minutes.