More mistakes that are definitely not Insta-worthy.
Last week, we introduced three Instagram no-no’s that brands should avoid. In part 2, we discover more blunders that marketers should not make on the app!
4. Posting Too Little… or Too Much.
Our personal Instagram accounts have it easy – we post as and when we like, if we feel like it. Sometimes nothing happens for months on end, and other times, a flood of uploads might occur.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be done for branded accounts. Consistency is needed in order to keep your brand constantly visible to existing and potential users. Stop posting for more than two weeks, and viewers would think that you are officially ‘dead’. On the other hand, posting upwards of 20 pictures daily would only clog up a user’s feed, and they would be scrolling past your photos more annoyed than intrigued.
That’s where the matter of frequency comes into play; How many times should you post within a time frame? Most companies post on average 1.5 posts per day, which is a good benchmark to start from.
But remember, as mentioned in Part 1, planning is key. Posting daily should not be a chore done in the moment. Creating a schedule for a variety of content would ensure that you won’t go racking your head for ideas and end up producing sub-standard work at the last minute.
5. Lengthy Copy
Unlike Twitter’s 150, Instagram has a 2,200 character limit for their captions. However, more is not always better in this case. Granted, it means that brands can provide followers a more detailed explanation of their posts, but most users don’t have the patience (nor the time) to read through textbook-length copy. The moment they need to click to read more, their interest has probably waned.
Note that the app cuts off any remaining text after the first three lines. Thus, keep your words concise and simple, so your followers don’t have to process so much verbal info. Instagram is a platform to build brand awareness and conversation, not one to persuade and sell.
Include calls-to-action in your copy to highlight the post’s purpose and engage readers, but do not hard sell. (E.g. “Buy Now!”, “Click the link to shop!”) Your viewers should feel like they are interacting with a friend and not a pushy salesman. Besides, if your content is impressive enough, the rest would naturally follow.
Even if you do have tons to say in your captions – especially for posts that need detailed information like contest announcements – prioritize your content so that the important, attention grabbing parts like your contest purpose and call-to-action, come first.
6. Buying Followers
Numbers don’t lie – or at least from the looks of it. Follower count is a huge factor that influences the way people judge an Instagram account. The truth is, users are more likely to pay attention to an account with 50k followers, over another that only has 500 followers. Bigger numbers translate to popularity and a long standing reputation; A result of the time and effort put in building a presence.
Of course, setting up another social media account (again?) from scratch sounds like a terrible feat, and sometimes you just want the results without spending years attaining it. That’s where the shady practice of buying followers comes in handy. An open secret within Instagram users, accounts can easily prop up their following for an affordable price tag.
Example of ‘phantom’ followers – Accounts with no profile photos, no posts, or have questionable follower/following counts.
Photo Credit: Smore.com
Sounds like the perfect solution to all your problems? Perhaps only temporarily. Before you go spending money on phantom users, be warned that what you get in exchange are literally numbers, nothing more. Bought followers will not like, comment and interact with your posts, doing nothing to promote your post’s reach and visibility on Instagram’s new algorithm.
Most of all, buying followers will never work out in the long run, because the numbers won’t add up. It may be a great first impression, but users will soon be in on the act if, lets say, the number of post likes doesn’t match up to the follower count (E.g. 50K followers to a 100 likes on average). Integrity is an asset many consumers value in a brand. Having ghosts to boost your brand’s presence only speaks to real users a lack of dedication and transparency. And when trust is broken, it’s often harder to build it back.
Instagram is thus more than just posting fancy photos. Like any other marketing tool, it needs careful planning and an attention to detail to create the perfect visual post. Avoid committing these deadly errors, and you will soon be on your way to becoming an Insta-guru!
Written by: (www.script.com.sg)
Edited & Illustrated by: Script Consultants Pte Ltd