6 Instagram Mistakes You Might Be Unknowingly Making

In an online world full of bots, bought followers and often just plain unoriginality, it can be really difficult to get ahead of the social media game. It’s one of those things that will probably always be a labyrinth of strategy versus trial and error.

So, here are a few common social media mistakes that you might not know you were making.

Neglecting hashtags

Ah, hashtags. They almost need a whole blog post to themselves. Here are some common faux pas that people often make when it comes to hashtagging (or not hashtagging in some cases) on Instagram:

  • Adding hashtags to a post a while after publishing. When you search a hashtag, the photos appear in order of how recently they were posted – not how recently the hashtag was added to the post. So, if you upload a photo and decide later on that you’re going to add hashtags, just be aware that adding them later on will mean that much fewer people will see your post. In other words – add your hashtags whilst you’re uploading.
  • Not hashtagging at all. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags to be added to a post at a time. So, that’s 30 different opportunities you have for your post to be seen by other users. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?
  • Using the exact same hashtags every time. It’s time to stop copy and pasting the exact same hashtags into the caption of every post. Mixing them up will allow you to reach different people all the time and will stop you from getting shadowbanned in the long run.

Not identifying your target audience

How are you supposed to create a social media strategy if you don’t even know who you want to or who you should be targeting?

Whether you’re selling vintage swing dresses or driving traffic to your fan fiction blog, you’re always going to have certain groups of people that you need to be targeting. Once you’ve identified who those groups are, you need to start gearing your content towards them. If your content and tone of voice are irrelevant to your target audience then they’re never going to engage with you.

Being unresponsive

If you’re receiving comments, reviews and messages but you’re taking ages to get back to them or, even worse, not getting back to them at all then you’re only setting yourself up to fail. What’s the point in creating social media profiles for you brand if you’re not going to respond to your customers and potential customers? Giving people a chance to put a voice to a brand will build you a good rep in the long run.

People want to be heard so just make sure you’re listening to them.

Not keeping tracking of your progress

Analytics will tell you almost everything you need to know about whether or not you’re doing a good job. Whatever your business goals are, whether they be to increase brand awareness, send more traffic to your website or to sell your product/service, you need to work out how social media is going to help you get there.

If you’re not progressing as quickly as you thought you would or you’re not hitting your targets then your content or your strategy may need some adjusting. How are you going to know whether or not you’re hitting your goals if you’re not keeping tracking of them? If you’re new to analytics then it might be worth checking out the Insights section on the Instagram app. You can see your top posts in categories such as engagement, likes, profile visits and impressions.

Being afraid to experiment with different types of content

Photos. Blog posts. Boomerangs. Podcasts. Stop motions. Infographics. Videos. Polls. Limiting the content that you’re uploading to your social media profiles will only limit the impact that you have with your audience. Posting a healthy mix of professional, fun, informative and relatable pieces of content will keep your audience engaged. When they’re engaged, they’re likely to keep coming back for more.

Leaving your personality offline

There’s a time and a place to be sales-focused but that time isn’t ALWAYS. If every single post and story you’re publishing is “buy this”, “go here” or “do that” then people are eventually going to tire of your brand. Nobody wants to follow, engage or listen to a boring brand. Make sure that your feed contains a variety of informative and relatable content.

As always, thank you for reading!

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

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44 thoughts on “6 Instagram Mistakes You Might Be Unknowingly Making

  1. I only recently found out about the shadow ban thing when you overuse hashtags! It’s good though because its pushed me to be more creative with my tags and reach a wider audience as you stated:) Great Post!!

  2. Great insights. I didnt know you get up to 30 hashtags per post. That is useful to know. Also remembering to share my personality…good one!

  3. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to use hash tags. I always seem to #forget 😁 Thanks for the great information to help us all be seen more!

  4. I agree, letting more personal things in my Instagram feed made it so very much better, bringing a lot more engagements and follows.

  5. I’m new to Insta, and of course I have been doing all the above mistakes :). Thanks for sharing this good piece of information.

  6. Really great, concise tips that are spot on! Hashtags are a gold mine, and it’s incredible to me how powerful they are. You can find people in your niche and discover amazing content. And IG integrates hashtags better than any other platform, so I completely agree with you.

  7. These are great tips that all make sense to me. This would be a great resource for those trying to make a difference and drive traffic to their sites via social media. These ‘tips and tricks of the trade’ can often make all the difference.

  8. These are really good tips on how Instagram can be failing you. I think that it is especially important to use hashtags but also to use the right type of hashtags for your audience.

  9. Hello,
    This was a really awesome and informative list. I do agree that being unresponsive on instagram is a big no no! I also agree it’s very important to know your target audience. I’m still learning but this list will definitely help me in the future!

  10. Thank you for these helpful tips. We can’t ignore the importance of Instagram today and remembering these points will definitely up the social game. Great post!

  11. Very informative post here. I am glad to pick up some very important thing, such as hash tags and focus on the target audience. Great reminder and make me need to re-look about my errors.

  12. These are such great tips and some I really need to go and think about to help my social media – thank you.

  13. I need to work on responding, not just on Insta but on my blog. I try to reserve a day to reply to comments as I have so many!

  14. Not using hashtags at all is another mistake many brands and businesses make. Hashtags provide reach to others in your community and vice versa. As a result, it creates a “gateway” for more potential fans and customers who are also following and contributing to popular hashtags you frequently post to.
    When trying to establish credibility and grow your brand, the last thing you need is to get caught doing one of the blunders listed below.

  15. These tips are on point! About that hashtags, I mix them up too and I even have different sets of hashtags based on the category of my posts, e.g., travel, food, makeup, promoting new blog posts, and more. Haha. And every now and then I change my existing hashtags to widen my reach.

  16. There so much thing I have learned today. Especially the proper used of hashtags. I didn’t know that it was really important.

  17. Great post. I just wrote a 2 part Insta post for my blogging bootcamp course to try to help people through the process. Hash Tags are so important! I change them up all the time and never use the most popular ones. It seems to work since I just reached 10K followers!

  18. Very true. And Hashtags are really powerful. We ought to use them wisely. Your tips are very useful and helpful for everyone who uses Instagram or wants to improve their engagement.

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