Instagram is a social network with more than a billion users a month. As many as 80% of them follow the business profiles of brands, yet many brands still avoid advertising on Instagram, believing, among other things, in widespread myths.
Excuses such as "Instagram is only for fashion brands" or "our target is not Zoomers" have no basis in reality and can prevent you from reaching an even more significant number of fans of your brand through the Instagram platform.
As a digital and marketing agency, we know the value of quality advertising on Instagram. On this occasion, we re-examine the myths you should avoid if you want to target new consumers and increase sales of your products.
Now, let's put things in order.
Myth # 1: Instagram intentionally doesn’t show your posts to all your followers
The above sentence seems to have come out of the workshop of conspiracy theorists. But there is no conspiracy in digital marketing (and let's add - nor even hidden alien abductions).
The truth is that Instagram algorithms don’t hide your posts. Instagram will display them sooner or later if your followers scroll through their newsfeeds long enough! Don't you believe it? Confirmation came from Instagram itself!
When some well-known brands and influencers spread the word that Instagram restricts access to posts to only 7% of followers of business profiles, a prompt reaction from those in charge quickly arrived. They explained that this social network "does not hide the profile posts you follow". Moreover, if you scroll long enough all your posts will appear in the newsfeed.
You may not have caught one of the posts because at the top of the newsfeed appear the profile posts you like the most, then the posts that have the best engagement, etc ... The algorithm that takes care of the order of posts takes into account these and many other parameters: time of publication, the number of profiles you follow, etc.
If you’ve happened to have fewer fan reactions lately, i.e., a lower engagement rate, don’t blame yourself right away. Rather, listen to the recommendation of Nikki Canning, who advises you to discover the real reason for the decline in your engagement.
Analyze what your followers like and respond correspondingly, and then adjust the tone, approach, and strategize your future posts.
Myth # 2: Instagram stories won’t sell your products
Instagram stories are great for brand awareness. Less so for selling products.
A plain Insta story may not take customers to your sales site, but it can with the Swipe up feature. So be persistent and continuously publish quality content and use it to build a fan base. Trust us, and you will be rewarded!
Bring your brand to 10,000 followers, and you will be able to insert a Swipe up option into your Insta stories that will allow your followers to click on an external link. You will be able to take a potential customer to your webshop, sales blog or website and make a sale in just one click. Be constantly aware of your faithful followers.
Myth # 3: To succeed on Instagram you have to post every day
As Nikki Canning notes: “With Instagram, quality is more important than quantity. Even if you only get it 3 times a week it’s more than OK. As long as you do it the right way. "
There’s no need to post more than twice a week if you don’t have anything special to say. Instead, treat your followers as equal participants in the dialogue and not overwhelm them with useless posts. You or your brand could be perceived as a spammer.
If you're already a "storyteller" and think your posts are full of wit, fun and irresistible, you'd better indulge in Insta stories. Due to its short form and speed, it is a medium that requires constant "refreshing" with new content. So create as many stories as you want daily. Instagram users adore them, and they’re great for a slightly weirder or more unconventional type of digital content that doesn’t have to be groomed to perfection.
Myth # 4: The number of followers on Instagram is more important than the number of likes on posts
For example, your brand may have 100,000 followers on the site, which looks fantastic. But it can have a small number of likes per published post. More than the number of your fans, the engagement of your posts is more important. In professional terms - the engagement rate is significant.
It is the ratio between the number of fans and their reactions and is the most important statistical indicator that shows how interesting you are to the fans and how engaged they are with your brand.
Emily Marsh on the Iconosquare.com website claims that engagement rate is an essential metric indicator of the success of your content. She points out: “The number of followers on the page is the first thing people notice on your Instagram profile, which is great social proof that you have succeeded in the business. However, this is an indicator that can only suit your vanity. "
Instead, concentrate on creating engaging digital content that will entertain, educate, or encourage your fans to react, intriguing them about your products and services.
Myth # 5: The more hashtags, the better
One piece of advice: don’t fall in love with a string of hashtags.
While they are cool and can increase the reach of your posts, it is not recommended to use more than 30 hashtags per post and in the comments.
Digital marketing experts like Hotsuite.com advise you to start with up to 11 hashtags for the optimal reach of your posts. This, of course, does not have to be the general rule. Although you can have 3, 5 or 10 hashtags, it is important to test them and find out how many are optimal for your business.
Too many hashtags can hit you in the head in other ways as well.
Have you heard of shadowbanning? This is one form of a ban that Instagram can impose on your post without being aware of it.
If an algorithm on Instagram detects that you use too many hashtags in posts, every status you post will only be seen by your current followers, while the rest of the potential audience will be denied your post.
Myth # 6: It is wise to follow others so that they follow you
Although the hand-to-hand strategy may seem reasonable at first glance, it has potential problems.
Follow for follow strategy (as it is otherwise called) is one of the common ways you can form a base of your followers on Instagram or other social networks. It works by looking for profiles that are related or interesting to you in some way, follow them and hope that they will like you back and follow you.
The idea behind this approach, writes Adespresso.com, is that we all want followers. You pat me, and I pat you. This strategy is most often used by brands new to Instagram who want to build a follower base as soon as possible. They usually do so without any restrictions, randomly liking the profiles of numerous influencers or brands that come to hand. But therein lies the danger.
While it may seem like you’re getting another valuable fan with a backlash, that follower isn’t your target audience. He doesn’t have to care at all for what you have to offer. All that matters to him is a new companion, and that is you. What’s worse, such a follower will rarely respond to your posts and give you likes, thereby lowering your engagement rate and your rating in the eyes of Instagram algorithms.
Instead, focus on creating good content, organic fan growth, and investing in digital PPC marketing to promote your posts.
And last but not least... don’t be enslaved by these or other myths about Instagram. If you want to achieve the best results for your brand, contact a digital marketing agency to help you with expert advice and service.
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