At the outset, Instagram marketing is quite straight forward – the audience here loves visually appealing photos. So as long as you are producing or sharing quality content, you can expect to keep your followers engaged and thus interested in what you offer. But there is more to Instagram marketing than just sharing pretty photos. What works on Facebook or Twitter may not work here and could sometimes be counter-productive. In this article, we are going to take a look at a few of such marketing mistakes that can cost you on Instagram.

Repeating Content

If you are a Twitter power user, you will well know the importance of posting the same tweets multiple times during different times of the day (or different days of the week, for that matter). The reason this works is because Twitter follows a timeline pattern where fresh tweets often drown the older tweets. By posting the tweets multiple times, you are making sure that your tweets get seen by all your followers. This strategy does not work on Instagram. Here, the emphasis is on originality and uniqueness. Also, the engagement rate on Instagram is relatively much higher compared to Twitter. In short, do not repeat your content – your audience is very likely to have engaged with it already and do not appreciate seeing it multiple times.

Not Knowing The End-Objective

Be it creating brand equity, driving traffic or generating sales, businesses are active on Instagram for a reason. As a business user on Instagram, it is important to know what your end-objective is. Once this has been properly spelled out, it is important to work out an Instagram marketing strategy that will drive audience towards meeting this goal.

For instance, the objective of an online retailer like Zappos is to showcase the unique designs and models in their inventory. Their Instagram account focuses on beautiful images of shoes, boots and clothing that are on their store. Similarly, travel is the overwhelming theme for a company like Expedia. Their Instagram account focuses on beautiful holiday destinations, and the company makes use of the description or tags to link users to their ongoing contests and promotions relating to the destination.

Being Inconsistent

While posting frequently and maintaining a schedule is welcome, this is not what we are referring to here. On Instagram, the photos and images you share define your brand. It is important to be consistent in the kind of images you share. One great example for consistency is an Indian fruit beverage company called Frooti – their Instagram account focuses on minimalist shots with a mango theme that has now come to be associated with the brand. For your business, pick a theme that aligns with your brand and be consistent in the way you apply this to your Instagram submissions.

Hashtagging For Visibility

Hashtags serve a very specific purpose on Instagram. It helps users discover new and interesting content while searching on specific topics. One study shows that the likes and comments that you receive for a post is directly and positively related to the number of hashtags you use. In the case of celebrity and one of the most popular Instagram user Selena Gomes, posts that contain hashtags were liked or commented 4 million more times than her posts that did not contain hashtags.

That does not mean you clutter your submission with hashtags. Do remember that hashtags aid in discovery and using irrelevant hashtags ruin the experience for all users equally; not to mention that they do not contribute towards increasing followers. So while it is a good strategy to latch on to the trending hashtags in order to gain followers, make sure that your submissions are perfectly relevant to the hashtags you are trying to be discovered for.