14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram (and how to avoid them)

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram clearly holds an appeal for brands looking to reach key target audiences.

But on the fourth-largest mobile app, it can be all too easy for brands to make very public mistakes.

The following are the 14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram, as well as how you can avoid them for your own brand.

Instagram mistake #1: Purchasing likes or followers

Often, the currency of social media (and Instagram in particular) centers around authenticity. 

Buying your likes and/or Instagram followers may give you quantity, but definitely not quality. And by doing so, you risk breaking the trust of your real followers and commenters.

We also don’t recommend paying for automated outgoing comments because it definitely makes your brand look more like a robot than a personality that people want to engage with. Plus, you’re missing the opportunity to authentically engage with your target audience.

Instead, focus on a strategy where you prioritize engaging content and meaningful interactions with other users.

Instagram mistake #2: Not optimizing your Instagram bio

Too many companies don’t adequately optimize their Instagram bios. Remember that beyond your post that could reach a user who’s unfamiliar with your brand, your bio is often the first impression you can make.

Keep your bio clear, concise and relevant. You can use links, emojis and even line breaks to make your bio unique and easy to understand.

Instagram mistake #3: The use of poor-quality photos or videos

Instagram is a visual-first social media platform. While you don’t have to have the most expensive photographer shoot all your photos and videos, you do have to be thoughtful in the images that you are publishing.

Beautiful is great, but even interesting or well-composed images also work.

Think about your lighting, finding a neutral background and the composition of your images. 

Fortunately, there are many easy-to-use photo editing apps and graphic design tools to edit your images as needed.

Instagram mistake #4: Your posting frequency is off

There’s a fine line to walk on Instagram before you end up posting “too much” or “too little.” It’s such an easy mistake to make.

With too many posts, your brand can look desperate to users. With too few, your brand’s Instagram account can appear inactive and forgettable.

The “right” number is not only ever evolving but can also depend on your industry and audience. 

For example, a news outlet could post multiple times per day, and that makes sense. A retail brand, on the other hand, would be more likely to post a few times per week.

Keep an eye on your analytics, so that you can find the sweet spot for your own brand’s posting frequency.

Instagram mistake #5: Ignoring your performance analytics

A huge (but common) mistake brands can make on Instagram involves ignoring your data, or at least not using your metrics enough to inform your strategy.

But go beyond the vanity metrics. It’s not only about likes. Keep your reach, audience demographics and more in mind as you publish your content.

Seeing what works and what doesn’t will only make your Instagram strategy that much stronger.

Dive deeper with our guide on Instagram Insights.

Instagram mistake #6: Using too many hashtags

A powerful tool on Instagram, hashtags (when used correctly) can help your content organically reach more users.

However, you can use too many and shoot your brand in the foot.

While you can use up to 30 hashtags, you’ll more likely see only a handful in use on any given post. Up to 11 hashtags is generally accepted these days.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #7: Inattention to sharing quality content

All content is not created equal.

If you allow the quality of your overall content to slide, then you risk publishing posts that are boring, spammy and/or out of touch. Big mistake.

Don’t post just to post. Always ask yourself if what you’re posting is intriguing, informative and/or fun. If it is, your target audience will more likely engage with it. What does your audience care about?

See our seven tips for leveling up your brand’s content marketing.

Instagram mistake #8: Being impersonal

Just because you’re speaking for and representing your brand, doesn’t mean that you’re not human. Many brands make the mistake of being too professional. 

Take a moment to think about your brand voice and how you should be engaging with and speaking to your target audience on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #9: Lacking an Instagram strategy

An Instagram strategy goes beyond just what you’re going to do, it drills into what your Instagram goals are and what actions should happen to help achieve those goals.

No matter what your goals are, it’s very difficult to achieve them without a plan to do so. That lack of a plan or strategy is a big Instagram mistake.

Dive deeper into what you should do with our 16 Instagram marketing tips.

Instagram mistake #10: Inconsistency with your visuals

This ties into your branding. What colors, aesthetics and tone define your brand? Inconsistencies with your overall visual presentation is a mistake.

Now, apply that to the compilation of all your Instagram images. When you look at your Instagram profile (and all your images in one place), is there a consistent look and feel?

Variations can exist, of course. But the idea is that overall, an Instagram follower should generally recognize your content when it appears in your feed.

Your consistent visual presentation can be included in your overall Instagram strategy. It could be as simple as a style guide.

Instagram mistake #11: Errors in your captions

Just like with any other piece of your digital marketing, typos put the perception of your professionalism and credibility at risk.

But even marketing writers can make mistakes. We’re all human.

So, include a proofing process into your social media publishing (not just Instagram).

Instagram mistake #12: Not embracing Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are not as new as they used to be, and about 500 million users use this feature. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this important feature.

Instagram Stories feature fun, authentic content in a vertical orientation that disappears after a day. Stories can be used to share behind-the-scenes moments, first-person narratives and more. The sky’s the limit as far as creativity.

Instagram mistake #13: Lack of engagement with followers

Social media is not a broadcasting platform, Instagram included. It’s about conversations.

Every time a user comments on your Instagram posts, that’s an opportunity to engage with him and her that can help build a trusting relationship.

Go beyond planning and publishing your content. Consider one of the many social media management tools that can help you not only schedule your posts but monitor all engagement actions on that content. Social media management in general can help you stay on top of all social media activity.

Instagram mistake #14: Including links in your post captions

Instagram does not allow for clickable URLs in post captions. By including “links” in your captions, not only will it look messy and not work, but you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing on the platform.

The best practice is to include your relevant link in your bio and refer users to click that. It’s a common practice. If you need to share more than one link at the same time, websites like Linktree and Campsite can create a “landing page” of links that can be found through a single link that you can include in your bio link.

If you have at least 10,000 followers, you can include links in your Instagram Stories as well.

In conclusion

Whether you’ve made any of these Instagram mistakes or not, it’s never too late to improve and move forward.

Check out our list of challenges and opportunities that small businesses face on Instagram.

Plus, you can think about the bigger picture with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you’re looking to avoid the biggest Instagram mistakes, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 biggest mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn (and how to avoid them)

LinkedIn remains a popular social media network for professionals and B2B marketing in particular.

The platform offers the ability to create a free personal profile, as well as a Company Page to represent your larger brand,

LinkedIn currently has 722 million users, which does make it the largest platform when compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, on the flip side, LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the U.S.

In addition, three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

So, whether your goals for your brand’s LinkedIn presence revolve around establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, generating more sales leads or hiring more qualified candidates (or all three), it’s important to avoid the following six biggest mistakes that businesses make with their Company Pages on the professional social media platform.

Mistake #1: Not publishing content

Often viewed as an online resume by many, some brands don’t take full advantage of content publishing like they would for Facebook or another social media platform.

Relevant content is critical to building your online presence, sharing your expertise and building a relationship with your audience. The best content helps your brand become the thought leader in your industry.

Company Pages that post weekly experience twice as much engagement with their content. Ideally, you’re sharing a mix of custom and curated content.

See our seven tips to help level up your content marketing.

Mistake #2: Not engaging with others on LinkedIn

Just because LinkedIn is geared toward professionals, it’s still a social media platform. Social media is a two-way street. 

Do more than broadcast at your following. Go beyond that by engaging with others on LinkedIn.

Comment on other posts, respond to comments on your posts and maintain responsiveness on LinkedIn. Commit to investing the time to building and nurturing your relationships because doing so not only helps your platform reach but improves the overall perception of your Company Page.

Mistake #3: Not optimizing your LinkedIn Company Page

Optimizing your Company Page on LinkedIn requires more than making sure that all fields are filled out, although that is a piece of it.

It’s really about taking a fresh look at your page as if you’re a potential customer or job candidate and determining whether you’re seizing every opportunity to tell your brand’s story to them.

Dive deeper into how to optimize your page and other LinkedIn marketing tips.

Mistake #4: Not having a company-wide LinkedIn policy

To be fair, every company should have some form of a social media policy that sets the expectations of at least public-facing employees and how they conduct themselves on social media that makes sense for both your company and your employees.

But when it comes to LinkedIn, it’s especially important to communicate expectations with your company’s employees because a majority of professionals will look each other up on LinkedIn before deciding to do business with each other. 

An inadequate presence and/or any detrimental messages is like the equivalent of passing out homemade business cards. It impacts how prospects perceive you and your company.

Mistake #5: Prioritizing the sale above all else

Just like with any social media platform, users largely ignore any brand that focuses entirely on sales (and sales only).

Take a look at your content mix and how you’re engaging with your followers. Is it all about the sale? Can you take a step back and evaluate what content would best serve the needs and interests of your target audience?

Be sure that you’re offering value, not just promotions about a free trial or discount on a service or product. While there is a place for selling in general, you must dilute that among a content strategy that aims to educate, entertain and inform.

Mistake #6: Disregarding the value of LinkedIn groups

More and more, social media is about building online communities around common interests. LinkedIn groups can help you connect with prospective customers and others.

If you’re creating a group, think about focusing it on a topic that your target audience is interested in. Think similarly when looking for LinkedIn groups to join. That way, you’re able to leverage your expertise in a place where you’re hitting people at the right time and place.

Go further than LinkedIn by learning about these 11 digital marketing mistakes that could be costing you money.

As you’re evaluating how you can avoid making common mistakes on LinkedIn, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.