When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram can take your business efforts to the next level. The platform boasts more than one billion monthly users, and with that many people using the app, you’re sure to reach your target market and meet your conversion goals.

Far too many brands make avoidable mistakes when marketing through Instagram and think that having a proper social media marketing strategy isn’t worth the time, energy, or resources. But having the right plan in place makes all the difference in your business’ success. Whether your goal is to increase social media followers, improve engagement, or spread brand awareness, Instagram can get you there with a well-executed strategy.

Let’s look at three common Instagram marketing mistakes brands make and show you how to avoid them.

1. Misuse of hashtags

Instagram is a platform that thrives off of hashtags. For businesses especially, hashtag marketing is an essential part of their conversion strategy. Though it doesn’t increase engagement as many believe, it boosts brand visibility so users in your niche can find your content.

When hashtags on Instagram became clickable in 2018, users took the opportunity to incorporate them into their posts. This is an effective way to get more eyes on your content, but if you aren’t taking into account when you post, what hashtags you’re using, and where you’re using them, then you’re marketing without a purpose.

Instagram allows users to include up to 30 hashtags in a post, but that doesn’t mean you need to add that many. Research by TrackMaven suggests that nine hashtags per post perform best as engagement decreases afterward.

When incorporating hashtags in your Instagram marketing strategy, keep these tips in mind:

  • Make them relevant to the image you’re posting them with
  • Use only a few generalized, broad keywords
  • Use industry-specific hashtags
  • Keep them short and simple

2. Scattered content strategy

You might think it’s okay to post whatever content you feel like, but in actuality, your Instagram content should have a strategy like every other part of your marketing does. Posting at random spreads your marketing message too thin and makes your brand image lose its consistency.

Instagram is a visual platform where users enjoy the aesthetic appeal of the content on your profile and how it meshes together. If you have a scattered content marketing strategy, your brand will appear lazy and unorganized.

Before you begin posting, write down the look you want to achieve with your grid. For example, if you’re a travel company, you might want to create an idyllic, dreamy feel for your Instagram that consists of scenic landscapes. If you’re a beauty blog, you might want to add lots of bright colors and makeup imagery. Many businesses look to user-generated content to spruce up their Instagram profiles and spread the word about how much customers love their brand.

Nike’s visual content strategy showcases real people from different backgrounds across the globe:

The brand centers its content around people’s personal stories and how they’re achieving their dreams through sports and physical activity:

3. Lack of engagement

So many marketers worry about the numbers on their profiles that they don’t bother to pay attention to the followers they already have. If your growth strategy only centers around how many people follow you rather than how you connect with them, then those numbers mean nothing.

Engaging with your audience shows them that you see them as people rather than numbers and that you care about their needs and interests. So, if someone goes out of their way to leave a comment on your post or ask you a question, it’s in your best interest to respond. It shows positive customer service practices and attention to detail. Other users who don’t follow you might see this activity and decide to follow you. Improving your audience’s engagement starts directly with you.

Use Instagram stories to ask your followers questions and fuel future content ideas:


Respond to user comments and DMs as much as you can to show your appreciation, answer questions, or make helpful suggestions:


It’s also important to be active on other Instagram profiles so you boost your visibility and reach your target audience:


What’s next

It’s essential to create a strategy for your Instagram marketing if you’re going to grow your following and boost brand reach. How you appear and act on social media tells users whether your brand is worth engaging with and investing in. Remember to use hashtags properly, create an organized content marketing strategy, and engage with your audience. Which Instagram marketing mistakes do you need to fix?

Read more: Manufacturers: Stop Making These 10 Marketing Mistakes