Common mistakes brands make on Instagram
Instagram has almost entirely shifted from its origins as a social photo sharing app by adding features to the platform which have solidified it as a key business tool for companies looking to develop their social media strategy. For example, Instagram insights for business and creator accounts allow users to see key analytic data including follower demographics, post reach, engagement, and activity times. With this in mind, it becomes clear why brands consider instagram to be a no brainer when developing their social media marketing strategies. Despite this, using Instagram to grow a brand is by no means a no brainer activity. There are many common mistakes that brands make on Instagram which actually inhibit their growth.
Being too impersonal and detached
One of the biggest differences separating traditional advertising vehicles (such as television or radio) from social media is the ability for brands to connect and communicate with audiences on a more personal level. Not only can brand accounts communicate with customers through the use of DM’s and comment sections, but they can curate content that feels a lot more personal to audiences. Whether it be a small business signing off a name in the caption, or a huge corporation offering a behind the scenes look of their office, thinning the veil of brand vs. human is a highly effective way to resonate with audiences. So with this in mind, running a brand account that assumes too professional or scripted tone of voice fails to take advantage of this opportunity. Although keeping it professional is important, overdoing it might inhibit a brands growth by making audiences feel disconnected. The human aspect of social media is an important factor that should not be overlooked.
Lack of consistency
Brand messaging is at the forefront of every marketer and advertiser’s mind when developing a campaign. They must continually ask themselves whether the campaign they are creating effectively communicates the brand’s messaging and supports it. Take a company like Coca-Cola for example. Besides the trademark red colour, coke campaigns may differ in content and subject but are consistent in always speaking to the brands key messaging of “Open Happiness”. In this way, instagram is no different. When creating content for Instagram, brands should ask the following questions:
- Does this reinforce our brand messaging?
- Does this fit the narrative of our brand?
- Is the visual branding cohesive?
Ensuring that branding is consistent helps to establish your brand’s recognizability. This is not to say that brands should never seek to innovate their content, but in doing so they should ensure that the brand messaging is not lost.
Lack of engagement
Circling back to the human aspect of social media is where we can see the role that engagement plays. Engagement with followers does not need to be hard. In fact, it can be as simple as a “Thank you!” response. Even taking the time to address a question or concern in your comment section can foster a sense of recognition within the customer and can display your brand’s credibility. Not engaging with your followers can lead to a sense of alienation and make your brand seem distant. It also negates the opportunity to build real and lasting connections with your followers. In the sea of brand social media accounts that exist, building connections with your following through engagement could be what makes your brand stand out.
Refusal to innovate
In many ways instagram has almost become a melting pot of features which differentiate it greatly from its previous form as a photo sharing app. Now, instagram allows for stories, reels, carousel posts, in app shopping, and IGTV. Some of the best brand accounts on Instagram have adapted to the changes of Instagram by utilizing these new features to stay ahead and differentiate themselves. Whether it be through fun reels or product demonstrations on IGTV, using these features is key to growing your brand. Although it may seem scary to stray from the
traditional photo posts to a feature like reels, refusal to innovate can mean the inability to grow.