Instagram is an invaluable tool that can lend itself to most businesses successfully. 

It showcases products, keeps brands relevant, helps to remain connected to audiences and community, and provides transparency that is otherwise difficult to achieve.

Outside of the shop feature and adverts, Instagram can be a difficult nut to crack when it comes to posting organic content that audiences love. So here are 10 mistakes that business profiles make on Instagram that you should avoid:


1. Incomplete bio

Your bio is the first impression viewers get of your page. So provide your website, or a LinkTree (or similar) link to showcase all of your relevant pages with ease. Writing a one-sentence description about who you are and what you do will inform people immediately. Complement your bio with a profile photo of your company logo to keep your brand uniformed across all channels.

TOP TIP: As part of your profile, be sure to save your best stories as highlights! Take advantage of this as it could be a method of introducing your brand to new visitors. Get creative!


2. Incorrect hashtags

It’s important to research the hashtags that your competitors and audience use. Make sure they’re relevant to the particular post you’re publishing as well to ensure it gets suggested to the right people.

It’s best practice to use up 20 hashtags – many marketers agree the more the better. But it’s more important to use a mix of niche and popular hashtags that relate to your post to give it the best chance of showing up in the right places. Keep an eye out for trending hashtags and topics too! #relevant

It’s up to you where you want to publish your hashtags – the first comment or the description is fine. However, keep them tidy by separating them from the description with a large gap.


3. Advertorial content

If you want to post an advert about your product or services, save your time and pay for a social media advert instead. It’s great to showcase new products, but a hardnose sell will never gain much engagement from followers.

Instagrammers want high-quality, educational or entertaining content on Instagram. So focus on showing a variety of posts about you and your industry rather than convincing people to buy your product.


4. Unoriginal images (royalty-free photos)

Marketing budgets can be tight, but I’d strongly recommend setting a chunk aside for professional photography. If you have a physical location like a bar or restaurant, then hiring a photographer for half a day to take photos of dishes, drinks, customers, venue and events could provide you with enough content for the next few months.

Or, hiring influencers to provide you with content to share across each other’s channels might be an option for e-commerce businesses.

In any case, avoiding royalty-free imagery is essential. Instagrammers can see it from a mile off. No one enjoys Instagram for its non-original content, so get your camera out and take some snaps instead.


5. Not keeping up with the trends

Instagram has publicly announced that it’s no longer identifying as a photo-based platform. Rather, it’s rivalling TikTok as a video platform. Therefore, Instagram’s algorithm is favouring video content over imagery now with the likes of Reels.

Simply by doing a behind-the-scenes video or using a trending song over a video will give you a head-start. It’s true that video takes more effort than photos in most cases, but keeping up with trends is part of social media marketing. Platforms are adjusting to accommodate it, and audiences crave it.


6. Not engaging with comments, tagged stories or DMs

Checking your Instagram account at least once a day to respond to questions and comments is just as important as posting. Sometimes it’s easy to schedule posts in advance using a third-party website without actually going on Instagram itself. But the page still requires someone to check it.

It doesn’t look good having customer comments and Direct Messages left unread and unresponded to. Don’t forget, social media is a two-way interactive medium.


7. Checking analytics

Understanding what posts are working and what aren’t is an important part of social media marketing. Perhaps your audiences engage more at certain times of day, or perhaps they interact with a certain topic. Catering to your specific audience will ensure every post will be a hit!


8. Buying followers (engagement vs following)

Once a common method of growing a following quickly, it’s becoming less popular and more obvious. A quick browse at a page’s list of followers versus the engagement they receive on their content is the quickest way to spot the fakes. (ie. A large following with a very low engagement rate is a red flag.) This shows a brand as dishonest, which is the total opposite of the transparency and authenticity that followers want in a brand.


9. Monotonous content

As mentioned before, your content should be dictated by your followers (or desired followers). Creating a content plan might be helpful to determine this. Perhaps it could be a daily topic that is agreed on in advance – for example, Monday – Quote or interesting facts about the industry, Tuesday – New product photo or company update, Wednesday – Giveaway… etc.

If you’re running out of content, it could be worth doing a giveaway where participants are encouraged to tag you in their photos of your product or venue. Sharing these as stories will keep your profile updated.


10. Not engaging with other brands

Being part of your community is a great way for your brand to stay connected with others. Look out for Instagram pages of local, relevant or complimentary brands to yours (not direct competitors obviously) who you could collaborate with. Joining forces to do a giveaway of each other’s products is an easy and valuable way to get in front of a new but relevant audience.


Sounding like a little too much for your business at the moment? Get in touch with us to see how we can help you achieve your brand’s Instagram short or long term goals. We can help with community engagement, content creation, influencer management, social media strategy plans and more. 

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Jodie Beach