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The The Biggest Mistakes That Instagram Brands Are Making

According to statistics released in March 2019, Instagram has one billion users and a total of 500 million of these users make use of the social media platform every single day. To take advantage of this vast number of users, brands have begun to use Instagram as part of their digital marketing strategies. There are more than over 25 million business profiles on Instagram with more than two million business who advertise monthly. However, there are still fundamental errors that brands are making on Instagram which are preventing them from reaching their target audiences.

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Basic Instagram Errors

Possibly one of the most basic errors  seen on Instagram – and one that is the easiest to avoid – is typos and grammatical errors in posts. This is sloppy, displays a lack of care and projects an all-round unprofessional image of the business. You don’t have to be an editor or proofreading professional to make sure that your posts are error-free. Install a tool such as Grammarly into your browser and it will automatically pick up errors.

Just as it is important to proofread your posts in order to maintain a professional image, so too must you avoid sharing low-quality photos, as this too will cause you to look unprofessional. Remember that the fundamental purpose of Instagram is to discover beautiful images and people will easily scroll past those which don’t catch their eye. Only keep your best photos and delete the blurry ones from your camera feed.

Another basic error that many brands make on Instagram is setting their profiles to private. Having a profile – which has private settings – is OK for a personal account as you may only want friends and family to see your Instagram posts and stories, but if you’re going to use Instagram as part of your social media marketing plan, you’ll want to attract your target audience to your posts. In order to make this happen, your profile will need to be set to public.

No Strategy

Think about your strategy like a roadmap or a GPS. You wouldn’t set out on a journey to a place you didn’t know, without some sort of directions. The same can be said for Instagram – especially if you’re new to this social media channel. You can’t dive right in and start posting. You need to know what your roadmap says, as well as what your end goal is. Your strategy is your roadmap.

Decide why you want to be on Instagram. What would you like to achieve?

  • Generate increased awareness for your brand?
  • Get more visitors to your website?
  • Generate more sales leads?

Once you’ve figured this out, you can plan the steps that you can take in order to get here.

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Whatever you do, be realistic in your Instagram strategy. Don’t spread yourself too thin because, if you do, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.

An Inconsistent Posting Schedule

While a website is a business’ online business card, social media is the place where you can have a real-time conversation with the company. People expect a business’ social media feeds – Instagram included – to be kept current, as this shows that the company is still active.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when starting an Instagram account is that they don’t post consistently. The result of this is that they are not constantly engaging their audiences and making sure that they remain top-of-mind for the consumer. Even if you decide to post once a week on a particular day, make sure that you stick to this schedule so that your followers know what to expect from you and don’t lose interest.

Not Engaging With Your Audience

In their social media marketing strategies, many company executives forget that Instagram is, first and foremost, a social platform. Users are on Instagram to discover new images and form part of communities. What some brands do – especially those who are new to Instagram – is that they share material that is purely promotional.

Remember that, on social media, it’s easy for consumers to spot people and brands that are not authentic. They don’t want to see what you sell – if they really wanted to do that, they could go to your website. They want to see the story behind the brand. They want to be able to get to know you and trust you. If they begin to trust you, they will be more likely to buy from you as they believe that you will make good on your promises.

If you do decide to include Instagram as part of your digital marketing strategy, make sure that you interact with other people on the platform. Make sure that you’re seen as trustworthy so that people will gravitate to you.

Using Too Many Hashtags

The aim of a hashtag is to help people find particular Instagram posts which fall under the same theme. For example, if you’ve gone out to a five-star restaurant and want to share pictures of your food with others on Instagram, you’ll add the hashtag #foodie to your posts. This is to make it easier for other people who are also searching for foodie-related posts to find what you’ve posted.

What many brands do is that they overuse hashtags on their posts because they think that the more categories that they put on their posts, the more likely it is that their post will be found. Unfortunately, this practice backfires because when users see multiple hashtags on a post they immediately associate it with promotional material and will move onto the next one.

By all means, use hashtags – however, use them sparingly and ensure that they are relevant.

Avoid Black Hat Instagram Techniques

The term ‘black hat’ is usually seen in relation to search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques. It refers to practices that are used in order to trick the search engines into giving their site higher organic rankings without doing the work.

On Instagram, ‘black hat techniques’ refers to the process of buying followers and likes, which are usually generated by bots. However, the downside of this is that all this really does it show people that you have a good deal of followers. It doesn’t show them that others really are engaging with you. While paying a little bit of money will get you these vanity metrics, rather put in the work and get the likes, follows and comments the old fashioned way. In the end, it will be worth it!

With so many users on Instagram, your target market is bound to be on this platform. You need to find a creative way of finding them and engaging with them so that you can see a good return of investment for the time and money you spend promoting yourself on Instagram.

The Piggy Back Hack📱: 4 Guaranteed User Acquisition Techniques for Apps

How did Snapchat, YouTube, Airbnb, Instagram and WhatsApp ‘piggy-backed’ acquisition of new customers?

These days, it seems like some tech companies go from zero to a million users overnight. The growth of these firms like Snapchat and YouTube can seem magical… but it’s not. 
Did you know a small tweak within the platform can make all the difference between being a million or a billion $ company? 

This the ‘piggy-back’ growth hack to gain users, We call this the ‘piggy-back’ hack, as these platforms rode on someone’s shoulders to grow their user base.

4. YouTube’s Embed Code Hack
Back in 2005 – 2006 YouTube chose to focus on MySpace as a means of reaching its target audience. At the time, in 2005, with nearly 25 million unique users, MySpace was the top social network, particularly for bands and their fans, but sharing videos on the site was next to impossible.

Other video sites like YouTube had avoided allowing blogs and other sites to embed videos on their sites. To avoid paying substantial hosting costs associated with supporting traffic to other people’s sites. Instead, YouTube shouldered the cost in exchange for a huge boost in brand recognition and grew average users to nearly 20 million visitors per month. That initial traction helped it grow into the powerhouse it is today, with over a billion users. 

3. Instagram’s Cross-Posting to multi-platform
Launched in October 2010 it quickly became a fast, beautiful and fun way to share life with friends and family through a series of pictures, beautified using filters. Instagram took the platform hack to another level. They made it quick and easy for users to cross-post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and more by push of a button. 

This was undeniably good for users, who struggled to post mobile photos to Facebook in those early days, but it was also good for Instagram, whose distinct-looking photos started popping up across various social platforms, serving as a free advertisement for the app.

2. Airbnb’s Craigslist Cross-Posting
Yet another example of a platform hack is a simple yet brilliant tool within Airbnb, which allowed users listing their properties on the app to cross-post them to Craigslist in one click. They asked the user to post their home that they wanted to rent out by filling a pre-filled form. It made it simple for the user to cross post their listing to Craigslist. (Image: https://www.quora.com/How-did-Airbnb-avoid-liability-when-they-implemented-their-growth-hack-with-craigslist-1)

Taking advantage of Craigslist’s well-established user base not only allowed Airbnb to get its name in front of as many new users as possible, but it also helped to ensure that the properties they listed for rent were booked more often—making listing with them more lucrative for users.

1. Snapchat’s Snapcode
Snapchat launched Snapcodes in early 2015 after they purchased a QR code company called Scan.me. While brands and marketers attempted to make QR codes hip for years, it was Snapchat who ultimately turned them into influencer currency. Snapchatters could then easily add friends by taking a snap of their profile picture. 

Also, By changing a Twitter profile picture to a Snaptag, users were able to encourage their Twitter following to add them on the new instant messaging platform.