Instagram is an ever-changing platform and after 2020 especially, there’s been a lot of changes and updates happening. Everyone is trying to adjust and figure out what works and what doesn’t with algorithm, but there are quite a few mistakes that I’ve been seeing over and over and it has to do with the overall Instagram strategy that is in place.
Instagram is a great platform for showcasing your brand, products, or lifestyle, but you have to know some basics that will help you grow your account. What worked 2 years ago (or even a year ago!), will most likely not work in 2021, and even though we used to see picture-perfect lives and beautiful photos with filters on, it is frankly quite the opposite these days. It’s still important to post quality photos, but what’s even more important is authenticity. This one word will rule Instagram, and you should remember it when doing anything on the platform. I put together the 6 biggest mistakes that people do on IG, so we can all avoid these and have a strong strategy for 2021. Are you ready?
You are Focusing on Your Profile Aesthetics More Than Your Content
Profile aesthetics or good looking so-called grid used to be one of the core things that you had to pay attention to. Having a cohesive grid, the same color palette used across it, and posting mainly photos along with one-line caption used to be a thing. However, even though the visual side is still important to some extent and your grid shouldn’t be messy, it’s not one of the most important things anymore. It should be eye-catching and cohesive, but you shouldn’t put more focus on aesthetics than content.
2021 is all about storytelling, about sharing valuable content. Put more focus on what kind of content you’re sharing rather than focusing only on what photos you are sharing and how you look on them. One of the current trends is actually around mixing photos with graphics, so it’s not all about pictures of you anymore. Get creative!
You are Not Posting Consistently
I see this all the time. Many people think that if they show up from time to time, post, and do a few stories once a week, it is enough. Let me break it down for you. It is crucial to be consistent on your platform. Consistency can look different for everyone – posting daily, every 2 days, or posting on the same days each week. It’s about making it easy for your audience to ‘be ready’ for your posts. If you post every second day, they will know when to expect the next post from you.
Being consistent is also helping the algorithm to recognize that you’re active on the platform and you’re doing engagement around it. If you feel you don’t have time or you don’t always feel like writing a post, plan ahead! Schedule your posts in advance and have it posted automatically. This way you’ll ensure your posts are out and you have more time for engagement.
You are Not Tracking Your Insights
Are you still looking only at a number of likes and followers and think these are the only numbers you need to track? Please erase this thought in your head right away and start tracking your insights! It’s about so much more than just basic numbers like likes and followers.
The key insights that you should track are reach and engagement. Reach is about how many people you’re reaching with your posts and stories. Engagement is a bit more complex and there are several things under it – engagement rate, saves, shares, and comments. These are much more valuable because you can see whether people engage with your content and if it resonates with them. You want to have an active community, not just numbers that are there.
You are Trying to Make It All Perfect
Embrace messy action, perfect, is out of fashion. 2020 was big on authenticity and showing the real people behind the Instagram handles. People love following accounts they can relate to and people who show both sides of the coin. Trying to impress someone by having it all figured out won’t cut it anymore. It’s easy to spot someone who is trying really hard to impress and someone who is just themselves, saying things as they are. People who are not afraid to admit they’re not perfect because let’s face it, no one is.
Show up and forget about what people will say. It’s about the message you share and valuable content that resonates with people. You got this, go for it!
You are Posting What you Want, Not What Your Audience Wants
This is a very common mistake that many people do. Instagram is a great platform for sharing your thoughts, your lifestyle, and for putting yourself out there. However, what many forget about is the fact that they are not talking to the walls but to real people audience.
Considering there is an audience, you need to investigate what your audience likes, what they want to hear more about, what their pain points are, and why they follow you. You should share content that brings value to your audience. Content that brings helps them solve their problem or guide them through their struggles.
It’s okay to post whatever you feel like if you use your Instagram for private use only for your friends. Although if you’re using it as a brand, you need to keep in mind, it’s not only about you but about your audience. Think about it next time you’re writing content and sharing something.
You are Always Using the Same Hashtags
If that’s you, it’s time to hear the truth. You should NOT use the same hashtags repeatedly. Period. The algorithm doesn’t like it because hashtags should be relevant to what your post and photo are about. If you’re always using the same hashtags, there is a very high chance they can’t be always relevant.
Create groups of hashtags and rotate them depending on what you’re posting about. Choose hashtags that will represent who your ideal client is, who you are, your industry and mix in hashtags that similar accounts to yours use. Keep an eye on what’s performing better by watching whether you’re trending under any of the hashtags and adjust the hashtags groups regularly.
What worked a year ago doesn’t need to work today. Instagram is an ever-changing platform, and you need to stay on top of it to know whether your strategy is up to date. There are a lot of mistakes that people do on Instagram, but they might not even be aware of it. The things that used to work a certain way, although it’s changed over time.
Some of the biggest mistakes would be putting too much focus on aesthetics instead of focusing on quality and valuable content. Not being consistent with your profile or trying to make it look all perfect losing on authenticity. Another mistake that I often see is when people are posting for themselves, not considering what their audience wants and using the same hashtags over again. Lastly, start tracking your insights to evaluate what’s working better or worse, so you can adjust your strategy, don’t just ignore it.
Share your thoughts on this topic or comment with any other mistakes that you’ve seen people do.