Since Instagram came into the picture in 2010, it has been giving businesses and brands a chance to interact with their customers and target audience through a visual way. This Facebook-owned application was among the fastest growing social networks of 2014 and has now gathered more than 300 million accounts.

Apart from the impressive growth of the social media platform, the engagement of the users is improving each day. Every day, more than half of the users of the app will use it and spend an average of 21 minutes on it. This is why Instagram has become the go-to network for businesses interested in driving engagement.

Regardless of whether you are already on Instagram or you are preparing to enter into this platform, the following are the top 8 mistakes that most brands make on Instagram.

  1. Lacking Objective-Driven Strategies

Through Instagram, businesses can tell their story using video clips and photos. The platform is great when you are using it to showcase your products and services being used in real life situations. You can also show the progress of the products and services over time such as an empty hose to a fully furnished home.

Some brands have taken to answering questions through short video clips and this has worked out well for them. The most important thing is to have clear goals which will help you in creating a working strategy that will deliver results both for the short and long term.

There are many different brands which have adopted the use of videos and photos and with the kind of engagement they have achieved, it is clear that they have a working strategy.

  1. Not Focusing On Quality

As much as you are interested in having an objective driven strategy, it is important to give attention to the quality of content you post online. The content you post will determine how successful your marketing campaign will be.

Spend some time looking at how Instagram works and how users typically view the content. They will scroll down fast a looking at the images and video clips and the captions below and they will only stop when they see an interesting image or clip. The more time you spend in creating the content you will post on the platform and the more focused it is, the higher the chances that the users will stop and look at your content.

Content on Instagram have longer shelf life and thus you might want to consider posting high quality photos and clips that will leave appositive impression. Without great quality, your content will be among the images that users scroll past fast.

  1. Not Posting Enough Content

Studies have shown that most brands will post 1.5 times in a day. It is also fact that those businesses that post at least once in an hour have better engagement on the platform. Posting frequency should be part of your Instagram strategy and should be closely followed. There are many brands that have lost followers because of the lack of enough content.

Followers make the decision to follow a brand because they think they will be getting interesting posts frequently. If you do not give them what they thought they would get, you will soon be left with equally inactive users. Make a plan to post frequently and be consistent in your posts.

  1. Misusing Hashtags

Missing hashtags comes in forms such as using the wrong hashtags, using too few or none at all. Hashtags play an important role on Instagram just like they do on other social media platforms. For lesser known brands, it is important to use popular hashtags in efforts to improve the exposure of the content. Using 11 or more hashtags will increase exposure as compared to fewer hashtags.

Wile using more hashtags is important, you should not use irrelevant tags to increase exposure because you will only lose credibility and be perceived as a lazy business that wants things the easy way.

  1. Purchasing followers And Engagements

Whether you like it or hate it, selling and buying Instagram and other social media followers and engagements is a big business. If you want to skip the process of creating a following through organic means, Instagram will be a big waste of your time. The platform has started cracking down fake accounts and inactive accounts and you do not want to be caught in the middle of this crackdown.

It is through the posting content that users want to see that you will get organic followers. The quality you post will help you in improving your engagement. Keep in mind that there is no shortcut and the only way to build a great account is through giving your followers what they want and what they expect from your business.

  1. Failing to Maximize on The Following

Users of Instagram get engaged and enjoy the content they get from different businesses. The platform continues to offer the large brands different avenues to grow. The fact that you have an engaged audience today does not guarantee that you will still enjoy the same tomorrow. This brings about the element of maximizing your opportunity in the present.

When you are enjoying the spotlight, create a better relationship with your audience through things such as photo contests or encouragement of branded hashtags. You will interact directly with the users and there is a high chance that they will become your brand ambassador and assist in your marketing through sharing your content.

  1. Being Overly Promotional

There is nothing users find annoying more than a brand that keeps posting promotional content from morning to evening. Buy this item, save on this, and free shipping … are not the kind of words users want to always see on your account

When your Instagram posts are overly promotional, they create a picture of a boring brand that is only after the customer’s money. Of course, there are times to get promotional but this does not have to be the order of the day. Businesses that have succeeded on Instagram are those that spend time in creating and posting content that is useful to the audience. Photos with great messages or with a funny twist will go a long way in creating a lively online community for your business. Promotional posts are not doing well and thus should not be the center of your Instagram activities.

  1. Not being on Instagram

Most business owners keep asking whether they should be on Instagram, whether they will have the time to run the account and whether they will have the content to post. If you are on this category, just know you are not a lone. With the success of Instagram as a marketing platform, you should already be creating your account and thinking of what to post.

Avoiding the mistakes above is the first step towards Instagram success for any business. The opposite is what will get you on a success trail that will ensure your brand name become s a household name. Keep in mind that your account is not an advertisement billboard and though you can post content about your products and services, a larger percentage of the posts should be content the user will love and share.