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10 Mistakes Made By Brands On Instagram & How To Fix ‘Em

May 9, 2017

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By Tajana Pran, community manager at Kontra

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The mere fact that you’re reading this post suggests you’ve already recognized the importance of Instagram as a powerful tool for advertising your brand. Even though you did your homework and explored the main components that every Instagram profile should have, there are a lot of common mistakes you can make on your Instagram profile. You have to make sure to optimize your profile as much as possible to gain followers, keep them and delight them with excellent content. This post will cover top 10 mistakes made by brands on Instagram and why you should learn from them in order to have a successful Instagram profile.

#1 BAD PROFILE OPTIMIZATION

The first mistake brands make on Instagram is bad optimization of the profile. Pay attention to following:

  • Profile picture
  • Description and link in bio
  • Settings of the profile

We’ll start with a profile picture. If you don’t have a profile picture, followers are less likely to follow you for one simple reason – they can’t visualize what your brand offers. As a profile picture, brands usually use their logotypes, and we approve of this practice. Use your logotype as a profile picture and make sure it looks good and centered.

Another mistake is a bad description of your brand, or worse, not having a description at all. Description in your bio has to be interesting and inviting. Don’t just describe your products or services and make them boring as hell. Instead, tell users your mission, your vision or even philosophy of your brand. Tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Don’t write an entire story, choose your words carefully and make it readable. Also, don’t forget a link to your website in the bio description. This is a crucial thing if you want to drive traffic to your website through Instagram. You can put a link to your website or just a particular product or service that you’re talking about that week. This will be explained further on.

Next, setting your profile on private is the worst mistake you can make. If you put your profile on private, users won’t be able to see your profile instantly. This is a deal-breaker, so be smart enough not to do it. With private profile, you’re stopping users from seeing your content until you approve their request to follow you. Imagine yourself in this situation. Would you buy some apples if you’re not able to enter the fruit store? Would you wait for someone to open the store? That’s the point of letting your users see what you do the very second they find their way to your profile. Put your profile on public and let users explore it. This will make them follow you based on your content and that’s the kind of followers you want.

#2 BAD PICTURE OPTIMIZATION

This one is one of the most common mistakes made by brands on Instagram. People, you have to learn what Instagram is to be successful on it! It’s all about the visuals and you know what they say – a good picture is worth a thousand words. Take your time and learn how to use it. But, as we’re trying to tell you about some of the worst mistakes made by brands on Instagram, we would like to highlight the ones that make us cringe:

  • Low-resolution pictures
  • Discolored pictures

For the love of God, please check out the best sizes of pictures on Instagram even before you create a profile. There is nothing worse than seeing a picture that has low resolution and doesn’t fit Instagram sizes. Even though you can post vertical and horizontal pictures now, Instagram still loves the square shaped pictures. The higher resolution of your pictures is, the more credible and professional you look. It doesn’t matter if you have a small brand or a big one, pay attention to your pictures. Also, Instagram provides all sorts of filters, but be careful. Don’t use filters that’ll mess up the colors because it just doesn’t look good.

If you want to be on top of the game, you can use other photo-editing apps to make your pictures look impressive and to get that ‘wow’ effect.  We highly recommend VSCO, Snapseed, and Hyperlapse, because you’ll be able to make your pictures and videos pop.

#3 BAD COPYWRITING

This part is important for you to understand if you want to be successful on Instagram. You’re probably wondering why we emphasized this part when it seems so simple. But, there are a lot of brands that think that content has to be super long. Wrong! Would you like to scroll through pages and pages of some text? So, keep in mind the ‘Rule of thumb’. This means you need to stay away from long texts and optimize them in a way that followers don’t have to use their thumbs to scroll down to read everything you wrote about. This rule depends on the industry of your brand. So, if you’re a beginner, explore other similar and more experienced brands on Instagram and take their example.

#4 LACK OF CREATIVITY

We know that some days you just don’t have time to make awesome content. Sometimes you have to settle for less perfect content to stay within your plan. But there’s a mistake that brands often make on Instagram – reposting an old content, or even worse, making your posts look all the same. Think of this from followers’ point of view, and you’ll realize that this is unacceptable for a good and inviting profile. So, sit down and brainstorm what kind of content you can post in a long-term period.  Don’t think it’s a waste of time, it’ll be worth your while when you see how followers react to it. Creativity is highly appreciated by followers, and they’ll be more likely to engage with creative, awesome content than some boring one.

#5 KILLING THE FUN

This goes for all the brands out there that are killing Instagram with their ‘buy me, buy me!’ content and making it annoying as hell. If you sell products and want to have a successful traffic from Instagram, don’t make it all about selling stuff. People want to bond with your brand. Lifestyle content is the best way to bond with followers. Show them what your office looks like, who works there, what values you have, what your philosophy is or what you like to do. Some selfie every now and then is desirable, but don’t make it all about the selfies. Again, think as a follower, not as a brand!

#6 CONTENT WITH NO VALUE

Every now and then, you stumble upon some funny pictures, videos or something you really like. You feel the urge to share it with your followers and make them laugh just like it made you laugh. But, remember, this is also a mistake. This type of content is tricky as you don’t want to connect your profile with content that has no real value to followers. For example, you sell shoes and make content related to your products, you make lifestyle content which is also connected to the brand, take care of followers and then you post a video of some funny dog out-of-the-blue. Do you see what’s wrong here? We understand your intention, and it’s fine by us, but don’t post it on your brand’s profile. Post it on your personal profile instead. This is also a thing that depends on the industry you’re in, so think about it in a context of the industry.

#7 TIME FOR POSTING CONTENT

When you don’t have a clear plan of posting on Instagram, you’re doomed. Just imagine this from followers’ point of view. How can you expect followers to trust you and have a positive image of your brand if you post content every now and then? If you plan on posting whenever you feel like it, forget about it. This won’t work on Instagram or any other social network. Make a plan of days you’ll be posting your content on and stick to it. That way, followers will know that you’re credible, trustworthy and more likely to keep following you.

We can’t tell you what the exact and best time of posting is, but the best advice we can give you is to pay attention to reactions of your followers. Even though Instagram has no analytical side as much as we would want to (unless you pay for some analytics tools), it provides you with a glance at your overall statistics. The good news is that you can optimize your posting time to get the most likes and good reach by looking at information Instagram has already provided you with. Play with posting times at first, and after some while and fair numbers of followers, you should be able to see when to post according to the most likes you get at a given time. The story doesn’t end here, you have to track this constantly and adjust as your page is growing.

#8 HASHTAG IT, BABY!

We’re well aware that brands often misuse hashtags and don’t understand their value. Hashtags are there for a reason. It’s not just to look good or to make up some words that come to your mind. Hashtags represent symbols or codes that make web search engines understand and categorize pictures on Instagram. That way, when users search for a term that you posted in copy, your content is shown to them. Be careful with hashtags and don’t go wild with them by making up words without any meaning. Choose them carefully, and make sure they fit your content. If you decide to make your own hashtag with the name of your brand, stick to it and post it in every piece of content.

#9 FEAR FROM FOLLOWERS

Followers are your friends, not enemies. Remember this, and don’t be afraid to engage with them. Brands usually post content on Instagram regularly, pay attention to all the possible details and just forget to engage with their followers. Look, having an Instagram profile is not just about posting high-quality content and good copywriting, it’s also about interacting. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to interact with your followers. This doesn’t mean you have to be on Instagram 24/7, but you should check your profile several times a day. Doing this, you’ll be able to see comments, mentions, and likes on time and react to them in real-time. Followers like to be appreciated and have a feeling of connection with brands. You want to make your followers like you and interact with you in order to delight them. Also, engage with your followers by commenting and liking their content. This way, you’re bonding with them on a higher level and you seem an approachable and down-to-earth type of brand which is a nice addition to your positive image.

Another thing to keep in mind is the number of people that follow you and the number of people you follow. For example, if you follow 1000 people, and 200 of them are following you – it looks sad. We’re not saying that you should stop following people, but take care of who you follow. If you follow every person that liked your picture, no matter his or her real interests, the result will be just the same.

#10 TRAFFIC

As we have mentioned in the first part of this list, you can put a link to your bio description. Brands often forget about it completely, which is a huge mistake. In this situation, followers have to ‘google’ you and that’s just the thing they don’t want to do. Trust us, people are lazy. If you have an opportunity to post a link to your web page, a logical thing is to use it. The link in the bio should always be on your mind and you can play with it. If you have some kind of a blog, and you’re posting regularly, make a picture or a video of it, put a link in your bio and tell your followers that they can find a link to blog in the bio. That way you’ll intrigue them and make them want to read it which is just the thing you want them to do.

This goes for products also. If you have some product in your web shop that you want to present to your followers in a way that they go to your web shop and check out other products as well, make a content and direct them to the link in the bio. There are many possibilities to play with, and we highly recommend to use them. Sometimes it’s not the best solution to drive followers to your web page if you haven’t had the time to optimize it.

All in all, we recommend having a link to your web page in the bio no matter what it looks like, because, you know, it’s easier for followers to explore your brand. In this case, stay away from posting the mentioned content and highlight your web page until you actually optimize it.

We’ve come to the end of the list of top 10 mistakes made by brands on Instagram. It’s up to you if you are going to listen to our advice or not. Just remember to educate yourself, make your own strategy, be consistent and creative. If you follow this overall advice, we’re sure you’ll successfully sail through a stormy waters of Instagram. Oh, and if you want more advice from us, feel free to contact us. Happy Instagramming!

Blog post was originally published here

BusinessSocial media

Instagram Doesn’t Want to Let You Go

February 23, 2017

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Instagrammers can now post multiple photos or videos at once. Precisely what Facebook, Instagram's parent company, has already done for some quite years now. As of 22 February, the app began letting users attach as many as ten pieces of content into one post.

“When uploading to your feed, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. It’s easy to control exactly how your post will look. You can tap and hold to change the order, apply a filter to everything at once or edit one by one,” the company wrote in a statement. “These posts have a single caption and are square-only for now. On your profile grid, you’ll notice the first photo or video of your post has a little icon, which means there’s more to see.”

In short, the app doesn’t want to let you go off the platform.

BusinessSocial media

WhatsApp Goes Back To Its Roots

February 22, 2017

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WhatsApp, one of the most used messaging apps, introduced a new feature – status updates. The new version of status updates (an old one was also the app’s initial feature) is already available across Europe, and will likely roll out globally in the weeks soon.

When choosing between Instagram Stories, Snapchat and Facebook status updates, users will now be able to share their “feels” on WhatsApp. Launched this Monday, status update lets you share photos, videos, and GIFs with all your contacts at once. As WhatsApp recently redesigned its camera app, you can personalize media – with emoji, text, drawings and everything between. If it sounds and looks familiar, don’t worry. It certainly looks like Snapchat (or other rival apps)! When opening renewed Status tab, you can see updates from people in your WhatsApp address book. And like on rival platforms (Instagram, Snapchat), status updates expire after 24 hours.

“Starting today, we are rolling out an update to status, which allows you to share photos and videos with your friends and contacts on WhatsApp in an easy and secure way. Yes, even your status updates are end-to-end encrypted,” co-founder Jan Koum wrote in a statement. “Just like eight years ago when we first started WhatsApp, this new and improved status feature will let you keep your friends who use WhatsApp easily updated in a fun and simple way.”

CroatiaSocial media

There are 390,000 Instagram Users in Croatia

January 9, 2017

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As Croatian advertising agency King Kong states, Instagram is the social media platform that was subdued to the most changes in 2016. Photo-sharing app is also the second most popular social network (after its parent company Facebook) in Croatia with 390 000 users, the number that doubled between 2015 and 2017!

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Photo: Dreamstime

The agency put the number of users into perspective and also provided us with some interesting statistics, such as number of users by gender (its 65 percent female users versus 38 percent male) and the by age, the biggest target group by age are individuals aged between 18 and 24. This age group is followed by the group, of which members are in 25-34 of age. Most users are interested in sports, cars, football, beer and pizza. See the infographics below for more details.

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BusinessSocial media

Instagram Is Changing Its Comment Section

December 9, 2016

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On Tuesday, Facebook-owned company announced it is updating its comments so users can like each other's comments on posts, they will be able to turn off commenting on specific posts and remove followers from private accounts without using the block button.

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It looks like the lines between Facebook and Instagram continue to blur, as Instagrammers can now ‘Like’ other people’s comments on posts. “We’ll soon add a way to turn off comments on any post. Sometimes there may be moments when you want to let your post stand on its own. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts,” Kevin Systrom, co-founder at CEO at Instagram, wrote on the photo sharing platform’s blog. “In the coming weeks, we’re also adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community.”

You will be also able to remove followers but only if your account is set as private. If you make your account public, the removed follower can follow you again. “Going forward, if your account is private, you can remove followers by going to your list of followers and tapping the … menu next to any person’s name. The person will not be notified that you removed them as a follower,” Systrom explained.

Finally, Instagram announced “Anonymous Reporting for Self-Injury Posts” feature. “From time to time, you may see friends struggling and in need of support. If you believe that someone you care about may be thinking about injuring themselves, you can report it anonymously, and we will connect your friend to organizations that offer help,” Systrom explained.

Social media

Instagram Introduced Live Video and Disappearing Photos and Videos

November 23, 2016

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Photo-sharing application Instagram gives its take on live video trend and takes a(nother) hit at its rival Snapchat with disappearing photos and videos within direct messaging.

Firstly, Facebook-owned Instagram is another social network that jumped on live video bandwagon, introducing live video within Instagram Stories. »Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now. When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime,” the company wrote in a blog post. In short, live video within Stories will enable Instagrammers to stream directly from their phone and its features are very similar to its sister company Facebook.

Second update already raised some eyebrows as it’s very Snapchat-like (again, remember Stories). Instagrammers can now send “disappearing photos and videos directly to groups and individual friends in a spontaneous, pressure-free way.” According to Instagram, since launching improvements to Instagram Direct last year, the number of people using Direct each month has grown from 80 million to 300 million people around the world. “In fact, many of them use group threads every day to stay in touch with their closest friends and family,” photo-sharing app states. “Today’s update keeps regular direct messages the same and adds a more visual way to connect with your closest friends — all in one convenient place.”

BusinessSocial media

Shopping is Coming to Instagram

November 3, 2016

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As it seems, you will soon be able to shop on Instagram. Facebook-owned photo-sharing app announced that it will soon launch a series of e-commerce features.

Starting on 7 November, Instagram will will allow brands to tag products and sell them directly from the app and make it easier for Instagrammers to review, learn more about and click through to buy the items that interest them within its walls. “Most mobile shopping experiences today take people from the shop window right to check out—without giving consumers the opportunity to consider a product and get more information. However, in an internal survey, we learned that the vast majority of purchases take a day or longer, with only 21% of purchases made within a day,* Instagram wrote in a statement. “Knowing that Instagrammers are open to discovery on the platform, and that people take time to better understand the products they’re interested in, this test gives our community valuable steps along their shopping journey before they make a purchase.”

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The company has partnered with a number of (mostly fashion) brands for the launch, including Hollister, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Coach and J Crew, which will be given the ability to share posts that have more depth. At first, the features will be available to a select number of users on iOS devices within the US. Partner brands’ posts will have a “tap to view” icon at the bottom left side of their photos. When tapped, a tag will appear on products in the image and their prices. Users can then select these tags to view a product they’re interested in. “Shop Now” link which will take users to the product directly on the business’s website.

 

Social media

Instagram “Save Draft” Button Is Available to Users Worldwide

September 22, 2016

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Instagram is beginning a widespread rollout for its highly-anticipated feature that was being tested until August. Save Draft allows you to save all changes and edits you have made to your pictures, including captions and location details, without having to go through the process again. To access the feature, all you have to do is to hit “back” at any stage of the photo-editing process.

The feature could prove to be very successful for brands and professional Instagrammers, as it will allow them to store pictures and storylines on devices. What hasn’t been confirmed yet, is whether drafts are saved locally in the app’s memory, or in-platform. If they are saved in-platform, anyone with access to the account would be able to see a draft and edit it.

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Possibly the biggest benefit of the new feature will be for brands who can now take more time and incorporate more elements when composing their “perfect” Instagram post. And while Instagram doesn’t provide a native scheduling option (yet), we could only imagine such tools are probably not that far away – one of the key elements of Instagram’s new  is insight into when and where your audience are most active on the app.

Sources: Social Media Today, We are Social Media

Social media

The Truth Behind All Those Awesome Instagram Photos

September 15, 2016

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We are amazed every day by so many images on Instagram, sometimes to a point it makes us feel kind of bad in a way image's authors lives are so much more interesting than ours. Sure, there are some really really good photos on the photo-sharing platform, that could put a professional photographer to shame. But what we don’t realise is that they are often a result of very clever staging and framing… In the process, many users make their lives look much more interesting than they are. What if we could see the reality behind each photo?

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Chompoo Baritone, a photographer from Thailand, has created a project titled “#slowlife” which gives us a glimpse at exactly this. #slowlife is meant to make us feel better, rather than worse about our own lives after looking at images that are supposed to be presenting perfect lives. Champoo Baritone imagines what happens outside each shot, showing the fakery that has been involved in its creation. According to the author, It’s not so much about shaming those who routinely make things look better than they actually are, but a commentary on the current social-sharing narrative.

What a stunt!
What a stunt!

It’s also commentary on sharing certain things to look more interesting, which is also part of the narcissistic element of social media. Behind the curtain, a lot more is taking place, and this is something we often forget. Sure, we’re all guilty of this somehow.

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Clear sky with an even clearer water.

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Source: We Are Social Media

BusinessSocial media

New Data Shows Instagram Stories is Not a “Snapchat Killer” – Yet

August 18, 2016

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Instagram launched its Stories feature two weeks ago and it was quickly declared as a Snapchat killer or at least something that will help Facebook crush its fast-growing rival. New (early) data, provided by marketing intelligence company SensorTower, show Instagram's Stories – for now - have no drastic impact on the use of Snapchat.

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Data show no noticeable decline in Snapchat usage as yet

SensorTower’s data was collected on base of information from its mobile panel, which is comprised of millions of users in more than 30 countries, giving them an indicative baseline for overall use. Although it’s only been two weeks, the data does suggest that maybe both Snapchat and Instagram Stories will be able to co-exist by appealing to different market subsets – through there are some clear differences and noted usage trends emerging, based on feedback about Instagram’s new tool.

In an article on Social Media Today, Ziad Ramley, who works on the social media team at news network Al Jazeera, outlines there are some important differences between Instagram’s and Snapchat’s Stories which also suggest the two may actually co-exist. Ramley notes that they’ve been getting a heap of comments on their Instagram stories, that multiple people can be logged onto their Instagram account at once (which can’t be done on Snapchat), and that videos are in higher resolution, all great benefits of the new platform. But there is a catch: Ramley says that because Instagram Stories content is delivered in higher quality, the trade-off is that load times on those Stories are slower, and that’s lead to a significant reduction in viewer retention.

Source: Social Media Today