Kaley Hart
November 7, 2017

11 Instagram Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Instagram mistakes

Instagram Mistakes To Avoid

Instagram may not have Facebook’s popularity, but it does have the “cool” factor, with 59 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 using the service. For advertisers, that age group has always been a goldmine, since they’re forming brand loyalties that will last well into old age.

But marketers are still trying to figure out image-based social media platforms, whose format differs dramatically from social media sites like Facebook. As a result, many brands miss the mark when it comes to reaching Instagrammers. So we’re presenting 11 common Instagram mistakes in the hope of helping you to avoid them.

1. Being Spammy

You’re likely eager to tell Instagrammers all about your great products or services. But before you post a blatant ad, take a pause. Social media users list over-promotion as their top pet peeve. Pay close attention to the type of content that engages users and focus on providing that and people will naturally want to learn more about your brand.

2. Not Showing Your Human Side

Some of the most successful brands personalize their social media accounts. Customers feel as though they’re a part of the “family,” which prompts them to continue buying from them. It’s no coincidence that some of the best brands on Instagram include people in their photos.

Let your personality show through, whether it’s through the use of humor or showing your employees hard at work.

3. Leaving the Link Out

Unlike other popular social media platforms, you won’t be able to add links when you post on Instagram. For this reason, you’ll generally see the words “link in bio” on posts on the site.

This is a workaround for marketers. You can update your bio each time you need to link to a new product or online post. You should make sure you have a link in your bio at all times. It doesn’t matter whether the link goes to your general website or something you’re currently trying to highlight. Just make sure to have one there.

4. Posting Bad Photos

Most brands don’t have the budget to keep a professional photographer on call for their social media posts. You don’t have to pay for a photographer or buy an expensive camera to capture high-quality photos. Use these tips from professionals to ensure your photos stand out on Instagrammers’ feeds. Keep an eye out for someone on your own team who may have a talent for photography and ask that person to help out with your Instagram posts.

5. Failure to Engage

Social media isn’t designed to be a one-way conversation. Use proven techniques to provoke discussion and stay around to respond. Regramming and commenting on customer posts about your brand can also promote brand loyalty.

Over time, you’ll find your Instagram followers come back regularly to see what you’ve posted lately. Most importantly, the information they provide in comments can be invaluable in learning more about what customers think of your products, services and employees.

6. Posting Without Purpose

A solid marketing strategy is an essential part of any marketing effort. If you simply toss photos into the universe and hope for the best, your followers may have a difficult time getting your message. Before you upload another photo, sit down and come up with a solid strategy for your Instagram posts. If you already have a strategy, review it and determine where Instagram fits in with the other work you’re doing.

7. Leaving Off Hashtags

As with Twitter, Instagrammers use hashtags to find content that appeals to their interests. But you can easily go astray with the practice. Don’t bog your captions down with dozens of hashtags. Instead, pick a few that best represent each post. Look at the most popular hashtags and find some that are related to your brand to help drive traffic to your posts. If you can make your hashtags location or industry specific, you’ll be even more likely to attract those who are searching specifically for what your brand offers.

8. Missing the Point

While Instagram is invaluable for reaching customers, it can also be a great networking tool. Whether your brand is B2B or B2C, interacting with others in your industry can be a great way to grow your business. Follow others in your field, as well as experts you respect. Learn how to regram and regularly comment and like the content of those you follow. Over time, you’ll begin to notice the favor is returned. This will introduce you to a group of Instagrammers who wouldn’t have otherwise known about your brand.

9. Not Using Stories

If you’ve only used Instagram to post photos, you may be missing the most valuable feature. Instagram Stories give you the opportunity to post multiple photos and videos to tell a story. You can give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your latest product, show what a day in the life of your business is like, and more.

10. Lacking Consistency

Whether you realize it or not, your brand creates an image through your Instagram posts. When someone looks at your Instagram profile page, what impression do they get from the collection of images they initially see there?

It’s important to occasionally step back and take a look at that to determine the type of photos you need to share to communicate your brand image.

11. Neglecting the Platform

With so many social media accounts, it can be easy to let one fall through the cracks – especially when Instagram is different from other platforms you use. But building momentum means setting and maintaining a steady publishing schedule, whether you post daily, weekly, or every couple of weeks. You can schedule this activity using a content calendar or use a social media tool to schedule your posts to go live ahead of time.


Instagram can be a great tool for getting the word out about your brand to younger demographics. However, it’s important to learn as much as possible about how to best use the platform to get the best results. In addition to these tips, pay close attention to how top brands interact on the site. You’ll likely be inspired on techniques that will work with your brand.

Over To You

Are you (or have you been) guilty of any of the above? Can you think of any other Instagram mistakes that I didn’t mention? If so, we hope that you share with your fellow readers. Please share your thoughts, below.


Kaley Hart is a San Diego based digital strategist and writes for Jumper Media social media marketing column. She loves working with small businesses, and telling their stories through social media. Kaley is very talented, but her most impressive quality is the ability to identify any dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. Go Bruins! You can connect with her on Twitter @kaleyhearts


Featured image: Andy Capaloff, Milan, Italy

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