INSTAGRAM TIPS: 8 THINGS YOU NEED TO STOP DOING
Hey my favorite people! Let's chat about one of my favorite things: Instagram!!
I get tons of emails and messages with clients & friends asking me the same questions "WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?! First off, if you aren't sticking with a consistent schedule and overall theme on your Instagram account, I'd have to say that's the number one issue. If you can look at your account and see images that are all over the place, it's time to get serious about your game.
Many times business owners take to Instagram to post whatever they have on the spot leaving them with tons of worthless images that you can tell were thrown together at the last minute. If you're looking at your account and knowing that you didn't try your best, it's best to just not post until you've got something of quality to share.
Instagram is tricky, I get it. Let me break some key issues down for you!
You've got no posting schedule.
I know that it can be seriously tough at times to maintain a strict schedule but there are tons of apps out there that help you schedule posts. Try to block one hour out of your week to focus on scheduling your posts! I spend about an hour a week taking photos and making graphics, scheduling any important posts, and making a concise and consistent approach for the week ahead. You hear it all the time but consistency really is key. If you're having issues with having enough images, make graphics ahead of time and drop them into your dropbox!
You're posting way too many selfies, girl.
I know that you want to connect with your clients + customers but you have got to know they don't want to see all of your personal business. Leave the selfies for snapchat & your personal social media accounts. If you must, keep them to a minimum. If you plan on sneaking some behind the scenes peeks at your personal life, try to make sure it fits with your brand. For example, if my husband and I are out for a drink on Friday night, I won't be posting a snap of my food - I'll be posting a cute photo of maybe what I'm wearing with a fun, bright wall as the backdrop. Maybe I'll take a snap of my hand holding out a margarita in front of that wall with the caption "Margs + Hubby Time!" That way, your customers are getting a sneak peek into your personal life but you're keeping them at a close, comfortable distance and sticking to your brand & image. Think of it as a side hug (haha!)
You're not posting at the right times.
see a lot back and forth on this topic but I have to say, in all of my years in social media marketing I have learned that this could not be more true. If I post too early or too late, my engagement is totally out of whack. Stick to what times work for YOU! I love lunchtime (12:05-12:35PM CST) and anytime between 6PM and 9:30PM CST, but that's what works for ME.
You're not utilizing hashtags, at all.
Hashtags are that one extra step that you're totally forgetting to take. But wait, are you using hashtags but then not using hashtags that are even relevant to your image? Cmon! The people who are looking at a hashtag for style do not want to see a fitness or outdoor image. Try and make sure they at least fit somehow and the people who would be searching would also be interested in that image. tip: in the notes app on your phone, type up your hashtags for each different type of post - that way, when you're ready to post, it's simply a copy and paste kinda thing! You should totally check out my post on hashtags!
You're stalking your competition, hard.
While I am all about staying up to date with your competition and what's going on out there, I had to learn the hard way that watching my competition too often can really get to you. I found that once I stepped back and stopped playing the comparison game, things got REAL for me. And by real, I mean real successful..real busy. If you find yourself constantly seeing what they're up to, block them. It'll do you some good! Now - make sure they won't notice first! You get no where by stalking your competition.
You're comparing your brand to another brand that isn't ANYTHING like you!
Wait, stop right there! I better not catch you comparing yourself to another bigger brand. Like stalking your competition, comparing yourself can be business suicide. Not to mention, you're probably comparing yourself to someone who has been in business 10x longer than you and who has put in a lot of time and effort to get to where they are. If you plan on comparing yourself to another business to push yourself and your brand, make sure they're a real achievable goal. If you're a new boutique owner, don't compare yourself to Dillard's. Not gonna happen! You're only hurting YOU in the long run. Make it realistic but don't wear yourself out. REMEMBER: THE MORE YOU FOCUS ON YOU, THE MORE YOUR BRAND WILL FLOURISH!
Your images are bad, bad quality.
Quality over quantity is something I've heard over and over but, you know what, it's TRUE. I would much rather see a QUALITY image over 10 images with LOW QUALITY. Most times, when brands post very grainy and low grade images, I tend to unfollow them. You need to remember that, like Pinterest, people flock to Instagram to see inspiring images from brands they love that drive their creativity. Fashion bloggers can really relate to this because, if you notice, the larger fashion bloggers have great quality images with amazing focal points (i.e.: shoes, accessories, handbags!) and then you have the bloggers with dark images and you can barely make out what their message is. You do not need to invest in a camera - your IPHONE does wonders. Natural lighting, learn your backdrops, learn what works for YOUR BRAND.
You're spamming the mess outta people!
I am all for following people to build your following but good Lord, mama! When I see some of these brands with over 7,000 people they follow I am instantly turned off. Try to engage with your community and organically grow them through personalized interactions of liking & commenting. Following is great and should be used to your advantage but try not to be spammy with it - it will be the first tell-tale sign that your brand is struggling on social media.
So, tell me: what do you see on Instagram that drives you crazy? I'd love to hear!