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Trish O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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Five Common Mistakes That Will Kill an Instagram Audience

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So, you’ve finally jumped aboard the social media bandwagon and you’re ready to boost your brand into the limitless sphere that is cyberspace. Before you dive into collecting your snaps and dealing them out upon your shiny new platform, it is important to consider that, as with any kind of marketing, there is an art to promoting your business on Instagram.

Unfortunately, many businesses fail to fully comprehend how this medium can be successfully employed to convert sales for your company. Instagram gives you a kind of liberty that in one sense is great for massaging those creative muscles yet, in another, fails to set up boundaries to keep your social media activity in line. I’ve compiled a brief but comprehensive list of the most common traps businesses tend to fall into when attempting to build a successful Instagram presence.

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  1. Failing to inject your brand’s unique taste into your account. It’s easy enough to plaster happy snaps of your products all over your account, but there is much more skill required in building a particular mood in the digital realm. Think of your Instagram account as your favourite magazine: it should set an atmosphere that is instantly recognisable, with each ‘page’ (i.e. post) threading together seamlessly and artistically by working around similar colours, language and styles.
  2. Making every single post look exactly the same. Okay, so I might sound like I’m contradicting myself here, but trust me, I’m not. There is a delicate line drawn between consistency and repetition. Posting images that revolve around an established theme and mood? Yes. Posting images that barely differ from the one you posted yesterday…and the day before…and the day before? No. Don’t bore your audience.
  3. Sounding like a marketing machine. The whole point of Instagram is to create a conversation with your audience. In contrast to the passive consumption of traditional advertising tools, social media is an interactive channel that gives your customers the chance to feel connected to you as a brand. Hence, it is reallllllllly important that you establish a particular ‘voice’ for your Instagram account. Imagine your business as a person, and try to translate those qualities into your language and images.
  4. Writing captions that are waaaaaaaay too long. By all means, draw followers in with a captivating voice, but make sure you set yourself (or your writer) a bit of a word limit. Captions that drag on or are full of pointless emojis and an endless sequence of hashtags will deter your audience from fully engaging with your post.
  5. Posting images whenever you feel like it (AKA whenever you have the time). Okay, so you’ve mastered a brilliant account with killer photographs and compelling copy, but if you’re publishing posts in a sporadic manner, you will slowly turn followers off. Make sure you time your posts accordingly, giving your audience a reasonable number to ponder over at a time. Falling into a frantic feed frenzy to make up for lengthy periods of Instagram abstinence means your audience is forced to skim through an erratic string of posts.

By avoiding these all-too-common errors, you are sure to see your business’s Instagram account gradually but effectively soar over time.

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By Trish O'Loughlin


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