Influencer marketing has taken off and shows no signs of slowing down. From food to fashion, all social media outlets have hundreds of influencers, from different industries and walks of life. Influencers have taken to Instagram, with an active audience of close to 800 million users there are so many people to target on the platform. It’s important to leave a strong first impression with your target followers and brands you might want to partner with if you’re still finding your feet. And understanding what not to do when it comes to the content you post will make a lot of difference in attracting an audience.
Here is our list of common mistakes made by inexperienced influencers.
- Using Hashtags Poorly
A perfect way to improve your social reach and gain visibility is to have hashtags. They’re a fantastic way to explore the content for like-minded people. On each Instagram post, you can add up to 30 hashtags, but that does not mean you should use that many. For a single message, avoid more than 10 hashtags. While they are a great way of expressing your imagination and making your posts more interesting, remember to use only those that are important. Otherwise, you might alienate prospective followers.
- Posting Low-Quality Images
Images are the primary product on Instagram. Your images are not only intended to carry your message to your fans, but they must also be visually attractive. Using photos of high quality and make them look as captivating as you can is extremely important. It is wise to invest in powerful photo editing tools to improve, embellish, and enhance your images. While producing high-quality posts takes time, it will pay off.
- Relying on Bots
Your tireless attempts to expand your audience often don’t turn out as well as you would have liked. Or maybe you don’t see the kind of development that you’d promised your partners to deliver. Nonetheless, don’t resort to cheating the system to expand your audience and relying on bots. Buying followers and fake engagement might seem like the answer to your predicament, but fluffed up numbers are nothing but a metric of vanity. Focus on curating genuine connections with people who are genuinely involved in your content if you want to thrive as an influencer. As laborious as it sounds, the only way you will be able to land those brand deals is through organic progression.
- Not Adhering to FTC Guidelines
You can no longer share a post on social media without flagging it as a brand-sponsored or paid post if you’re endorsing another product or service. Influencers must announce their endorsements for the sake of accountability. On Instagram, simply add to your caption with a hashtag like #Ad or #Sponsored. Do your homework and be conscious of the rules. You place yourself (and the brand you are working with at-risk of fines and liabilities if you fail to meet the requirements set by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Discuss with the sponsors these guidelines so that all the bases are covered.
- Posting Irrelevant Content
Perhaps it should go without saying that your content should be relevant to your audience, but many early influencers tend to break this cardinal rule. Concentrate your content on items you want your audience to see from you. You don’t want them to be puzzled as to what they see you writing. The photos should not only be important to your niche, but the captions and hashtags should be relevant to the image as well. You risk alienating your audience when you post out-of-place content or change your style or tone suddenly (and potentially losing followers).
- Sharing of Content at the Wrong Time
Sharing content in an untimely way is another common mistake budding influencer’s make on Instagram. The secret to remaining relevant is continuity. For when you will publish each article, come up with a proper schedule. Prep ahead and be as consistent as possible. Do not go on a sudden hiatus and presume that when you come back, your fans will still be around. More importantly, consider when it’s the right time to share an image on Instagram. Do some analytics analysis to consider the target audience’s habits. Maximize your interaction by posting during peak hours when their Instagram feeds are likely to be active.
- Replying to Comments Slowly or Not at All
The secret ingredient behind viewer retention is user interaction. Not only that, Google appears to rate posts higher than others with greater interaction (likes and comments), which is the greater reason for you to engage with users who leave comments on your post. More importantly, you should respond as quickly as possible to their comments. Small things go a long way to show your fans that you care about them and their views, even if it’s a simple thank you for a compliment they left. By asking your followers a question in the caption and encouraging them to leave an answer, you can also promote conversation.
These seemingly simple tips will make such a huge difference in the quest to grow your engaging, organic followership which will in turn attract brands to work with you on their campaigns.