Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for online marketing, especially for personal brands. Since so many people seem interested in this platform and the numbers continue to grow, entrepreneurs take notice and implement more of their marketing strategies here.
Due to the sheer number of active users, there are massive opportunities for any business, regardless of its target demographic or industry niche.
But, of course, the road of marketing on Instagram doesn’t come without its twists and turns. With the platform being complex (for some) to navigate and incredibly competitive.
What can you do? Start by reading our ultimate DOs and DON’Ts of Instagram marketing.
DO: Use Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags are essential for any marketing campaign you do on Instagram. They are the bridge between you and your potential audience.
With your content quite often quickly buried by the Instagram feed, hashtags offer another route to find additional reach.
With hashtags, you can find practical, targeted and effective ways to connect with your target audience, potentially leading them to follow you.
It’s important to use hashtags relevant to your post and to not use hashtags outside your league to avoid getting lost in the noise.
If your engagement is low, aim for hashtags with less than 100k posts. Add a few more popular ones and review the top posts to see if and where your post is placed. If you’re achieving the top posts easily, then slowly start to use more and more popular hashtags.
DON'T: Fail to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Too often, individuals and brands spend so much time obsessing on growth, they forget about the most important factor; content!
A solid content marketing strategy is an essential. You simply won’t grow without desirable and valuable content. Focus at least 80% of your time on this, it will make a difference.
For example, if you’re trying to drive customers to your business page or encourage potential clients to follow you, make sure the contents you post are relevant and highly valuable.
If you’re using Instagram as a way to engage with your audience and provide fun images of what it’s really like working for your company, then you may want to consider posting more creative and behind-the-scenes content.
Maximize Instagram by posting your content via Reels, Stories, Photo or Video Posts, and Lives with value-adding copies in the captions. Having content that adds value to your audience is one of the effective strategies you can use for marketing.
Read more about planning your Instagram Content Calendar.
DO: Create a Signature Look
Visuals, visuals, visuals. And Instagram is ALL about visuals or, for a better word, aesthetics!
The overall look and appeal to your profile is one of the first things a potential follower will judge. It’s your signature look, your brand. If you’re posting inconsistent images in terms of quality and branding, this will reflect poorly on your brand overall and confuse your audience. You want your audience to know what to expect when they follow you and recognize you when you post. So, give them consistency!
Of course, the aesthetic depends on your preferences. Don’t get limited with what’s in or out. Don’t be afraid to explore different colors and filters. You do you!
Expressing yourself in your brand helps you show more of yourself (personality, tone, and energy included!). The images and graphics should align with what you want to express.
It’s easier for your audience to know who you are as a brand if you are unique, making them remember and love you, for you!
DON'T: Forget Your Audience
Your total followers isn’t just a number game! These are real people who require value in order to continue following you.
- Offer specific value, “I will provide XYZ to make your life better”
- Deliver promised value consistently in the content you post
- Remind your followers why they should continue to follow you
Consider doing a simple survey to determine what kind of content will best resonate with your followers, and adjust accordingly. You should also review your analytics and determine which type of content your audience is interacting with the most.
DO: Ask Questions
With surveys in mind, it can help to know what best resonates with your audience — making you feel more connected and your audience listened to! And so, one of the best ways to connect with your audience is by asking them questions through your captions or Stories.
Your questions can be binary-answered (the YES or NO polls) or even open-ended ones to encourage your audience to comment and engage with you in more detail!
Don’t limit yourself to just asking questions through your feed posts. You can also ask questions through Instagram Stories. Maximize responses with the engaging stickers available like Questions, Polls, Quizes, or Sliders.
Doing these encourage your audience to engage with the content you post with minimal effort by tapping on what answer they feel like or sliding the emoji wherever they want!
Whichever works for you, do it with no pressure to your audience. What’s important is you get to stay connected and continue to improve the value of your content.
DON'T: Be Too Salesy
Generally, people on Instagram don’t like to be sold to! As a business, it is common to post content about your latest product or service. But, if you do this too often by just posting the product itself without connecting with your audience, you run the risk of getting unfollowed. Why would a user follow a constant advertisement, especially existing customers who have already purchased? It’s simple, most wouldn’t.
You may be thinking, “huh, but should this be normal since I have a business?” Yes, you indeed have a business that you market on Instagram. BUT, do you think you’re adding value to your audience by posting JUST your product without connecting with them?
No. You should be offering additional value on top of what you offer related to your industry or product.
For example, you might sell dog toys. Instead of posting the dog toy and sales constantly, offer dog health tips or funny dog memes. Your customers will feel rewarded for following you and often become more loyal. New followers may even follow you for your valuable content, then later convert to a customer on their own terms without being turned off by sales.
DO: Keep An Eye on Key Metrics
There are several metrics you can track and analyze when it comes to Instagram marketing. The important thing is that you know how to use these analytics to adjust your strategy to reach your audience in the best way possible.
If your Instagram is a Business or Creator account, you can review detailed insights of your account. You can view the number and percentages (showing your daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly views) of people you reached and engaged with you, as well as your total number of followers!
You can also find out the demographics of the accounts you reached and what time they are active online. What kind of content they’re interacting with, and where they’re coming from on Instagram. Identifying these trends will help you see additional ways to improve your strategy.
DON'T: Ignore Negative Feedback
Negative feedback hurts and some can be unwarranted. However, if you’re receiving, the same complaints from multiple members of your audience, it might be worth looking into.
Ignoring this feedback or hiding from it can make it worse.
Get ahead by addressing this politely and, if you agree, detail what steps you will take to improve.
You don’t want your audience to feel like you’re ignoring these questions or comments. You want to build trust with and swiftly respond if they have any issues with your brand, products, or services.
These situations are opportunities for you to connect with potential customers who may have had a bad experience in the past and turn them into brand ambassadors for your business!
DO: Repost User-Generated Content (UGC)
Celebrate your customers or followers who are promoting your brand!
You can reward users by reposting UGC. This can be a great way to build engagement and encourage more to do so. You can simply do this in your Stories.
Remember to always give credit. You’ll win points for paying attention to your customers, which can result in more conversions with your brand.
Instagram marketing is, no doubt, an excellent way to grow your business. But, be careful with approaching these strategies. If you do it right, your brand will see more engagements and possible conversions in the future!
Make sure you’re keeping your audience in mind at all times and offer them value every step of the way.