Instagram is here to stay, ladies and gentleman. Still, it is one of the most highly misused social networks by businesses today. Your consumers want authenticity, they want to be inspired. What they don’t want is a blatant form of advertising that is clearly nothing more than a boring piece of media.

Let’s explore some of the common mistakes made by marketers (and businesses) when it comes to Instagram.  

LACK OF AN OVERALL STRATEGY

When it comes to social media, and Instagram especially, everything and everyone is connected every hour of every day. You have a resource that gives you unlimited access to your consumers. 

What businesses lack is an overall strategy that gets them in front of their consumers and keeps them there. These people believe that just by posting your achieving your potential. These strategies always fail. 

To be successful on Instagram and other social outlets you absolutely need to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches. Quality content is by far more important than quantity.

No more of this. You need to tell a story on IG. 

instagram-bad-marketing-bad-visuals

So where do you start with solid IG strategy?

To be honest it all starts with understanding your audience. Who they are and how they utilize social media to get information. Never break the golden rule, always be relevant, and always put visual quality first. 

CALL-TO-ACTION

Every piece of content that you publish to Instagram should have a purpose. Whether that is driving traffic to specific product pages, encouraging them to visit your website, or simply asking them to follow you.

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As a Phoenix SEO company, the above example pains me because it comes from one of my favorite local restaurants. The engagement is great. The tagging is spot on. But the post (like many of their posts) fail to drive their audience to something that could bring them business.

Driving directions, a link to their website, a special that features this item. Anything that is actionable.

OPTIMIZED FOR SEARCH

Your content needs to be optimized for both social search and search engines. Let’s first start with the easy one, social search.

Make sure your profile is public and available for the common person. Also, make sure your name is easily identifiable with your brand and what you do. Make sure your bio includes basic information and a link to your website.

That concludes our basic page optimization lesson. Now to the more tricky stuff.

Search algorithms are getting smarter every day. 5 years ago social media played a minimal role in search engine optimization. Now it is becoming one of the leading attributes for page authority.

This is one of the key reasons that social media marketing is part of every single one of our organic SEO strategies.

Currently, all social outlets use ‘external nofollow’ back links when users add links to their posts. Even these nofollow links can have a huge impact on search results if the engagement is there and it’s pointing to a targeted keyword page.

Use targeted URL’s if they are short and sweet, especially if you are reposting to other social outlets. Or simply mention your bio link (the only clickable link currently allowed by Instagram)

Here are a couple URL shortening tools that’ll get the job done; Google URL Shortener & Bitly both pass link juice.

ENGAGING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

Similar to your personal Instagram and Facebook accounts, your friends and followers want to be part of a community. They want the comfort of knowing the brands they engage with have real people on the other side.

IG Direct Messenger presents an almost completely untapped resource for getting to know your audience.

Another method that we’ve seen some success, and a beginner intro into influencer marketing, is going directly to your consumer’s profiles and engaging with their content. This is a more direct approach, but nonetheless can be useful for those of you just getting into Instagram.

INSTAGRAM STORIES

This is probably one of the scariest tools for people that are just getting into social marketing. Instagram Stories are an amazing way to tell your brand story. Your posts should be quick, simple and natural.

With Facebook launching their story feature in Facebook Messenger and Snapchat still sticking around. These are only going to become more and more relevant, especially for businesses/brands.

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