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6 Ridiculous Instagram Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them!)

Published on January 24, 2019
Marketing | Social Media Marketing |

Is your business thinking of ways to be more creative with your Instagram marketing campaigns?

Are you aware of prior Instagram marketing mistakes made on the platform by others?

Instagram has taken the world by storm, it seems as though individuals and even their pets have established themselves on the platform. Instagram users aren’t just active, they are very engaged on the platform.

Roughly half (51%) of Instagram users access the platform on a daily basis, with 35% saying they do so several times a day. There are also over 16,600,000 Google searches for “Instagram” per month. and over 15 million registered businesses are using Instagram business profiles.

This suggests that Instagram isn’t just for personal use anymore.

It has now morphed into a platform that allows for brands to humanize their products, advertise, connect with and attract more customers.

While Instagram can be an amazing platform for advertising and telling your brand’s story it can also be a minefield of blunders because of some of the most basic of Instagram marketing mistakes. Social media is not a place you want to learn from trial and error. It is smarter to learn from the mistakes of others.

The Instagram Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Sunny Co. Clothing: Never make promises you cannot possibly keep

Sunny Co, a clothing company, wanted to promote its new bay watch themed swimsuit. In order to do so, they decided that they would be giving a free swimsuit to everyone who would repost and tag their promotional picture within 24 hours. The result of such an offer was that within the first couple of hours almost four thousand people had come to reclaim their $65 swimsuit.

Source: @sunnycoclothing

Soon Sunny Co’s inbox was flooded with angry customers who were desperate to claim a swimsuit in time to dress up at Baywatch’s premiere later that night. The company later issued a statement that they had put a cap on the offer and it was on a first come first serve basis. Needless to say, there was a further uproar in the fans.

The takeaway from this Instagram marketing mistake is that never make promises you cannot keep and never promise to give away products worth millions of dollars.

Dolce and Gabbana: Your public image on social media reflects on your brand

There are a number of cases for this Instagram marketing mistake but a very prominent one is that of Stefano Gabbana the co-founder of Dolce and Gabbana. This was one of the most aggressive and insensitive marketing campaigns, in which the brand posted a picture of a shoe which had the statement “I’m thin and gorgeous” written on it.

Source: Teen Vogue

Instagrammers took huge offense to the bold statement that it body shamed people for not having the “ideal” body type and that this statement entails “I’m fat and hideous”.

This did not end here, Gabbana himself started criticizing the customers and called them fat and stupid.

Source: Bazaar

The takeaway from this Instagram marketing mistake is that never lash out on customers and even if you do don’t cross the line where your social media image is permanently destroyed.

Bootea Shake: Put an effort into who you collaborate with

Bootea Shake collaborated with Scott Disick which resulted in a careless Instagram marketing mistake that could have easily been avoided by paying a little more attention. The problem with this campaign was that it could not have been more obvious, making this a borderline embarrassing Instagram marketing mistake.

Scott didn’t properly read the post forwarded to him by the company to post. He just copied and pasted the post shared by the company, including the direction they sent to post at 4 PM EST.

Source: @letthelordbewithyou

Soon both Scott and the brand were mocked by a hand full of his followers.

The takeaway from this Instagram marketing mistake is, make an effort in who your brand collaborates with and make sure that he/she is a good fit for your brand because the customers can sniff out a forced collaboration.

Trustyshoppe: Be creative

There needs to be a variety of different things happening in your Instagram account. A perfect example of this is Trustyshoppe. They thought that it was okay to keep repeating a single picture with different captions. They kept on posting the same picture every time with a different caption and a little change in the lighting of the photo.

This is a typical example of redundantly redundant redundancy. It can also be argued that posting the same picture three times in a row is not the best way to show your customers that you care or that you are putting in the effort and hence may play against your favor.

ColourPop Cosmetics: Pay heed to how you market your products

We live in the 21st century where discrimination against race, sex, and religion is frowned upon. Keeping that in mind a market influencer should avoid racist comments at all costs. This is what ColourPop makeup did.

They made a huge Instagram marketing mistake of marketing two of their darkest colored lipsticks as “Yikes” and “Typo”.

There was a huge outcry by not only the Instagram community but also by the Twitter community. The commenters were not having it and they started boycotting the brand because of their ad which was flat out racist.

Source: ColourPop

A racially discriminating marketing signifies that the higher-ups in the company are people who discriminate by race. Which is just not okay for any brand. So, the golden takeaway from this Instagram marketing mistake is that do not have a racist marketing campaign.

Apart from these specific examples of Instagram marketing mistakes in running an Instagram advertisement campaign, there are more general mistakes businesses make. Below are a few of the common ones.

No goal-driven strategy in place

You must have a goal driven Instagram marketing strategy. Goals form the foundation of one’s strategies. Without a goal driven strategy, you might as well conclude that Instagram marketing does not work.

Examples of this are, if you want to drive more traffic to your landing page, then your photo captions must be persuasive and include a call-to-action in your copy and if brand awareness is your primary focus (which means that you’re more concerned about the future of your business), you should also pay more attention to the photos you post.

Not including a link of your bio

The second most basic Instagram marketing mistake one can make is not including a link in your bio. Traffic to your Instagram page is the key goal of Instagram marketing. Hence, a webpage that does not have traffic while soon fizzle out. Including a link in your bio helps with that and most people do not realize the importance of this.

To show the necessity of including a link in your bio lets look at the example of Nordstrom. The brand saw a 50 percent traffic increase to their webpage as soon as they posted a link of their website on their bio. It is common sense that a potential consumer interested in your Instagram profile will visit your profile if he sees a link in it rather than google the brand name. the easier the process for the consumer the more likely they will buy your product (or at least visit your website).

Making your Instagram account private

A common Instagram marketing mistake made is making your Instagram account private.

Your aim is to have more people follow your brand and share the page as much as possible. On top of that there is a time lag because when a potential consumer follows your page, they will now have to wait for the account manager to log in and approve the request.

Also, they now will not be able to see new photos and content types from your profile until they are approved. In short, you lose a lot of Instagram followers if you make your Instagram account private.

Focusing on quantity rather than quality

Another very common Instagram marketing mistake is to focus on quantity rather than quality. In order to increase more traffic organizations, tend to post regularly. In doing so they focus on quantity rather than quality. One must not forget that quality is what catches the customers eye rather than quality.

In the quest of remaining in the users feed people also tend to keep reposting images or just tweaking the images and sharing them again, this again hurts the image of the brand. Followers are not attracted to a brand with little originality. Posting low-quality images is another Instagram marketing mistake. There are many rivals and followers there for judging the brand, let’s not give them a reason.

But the solution to this is not to stop posting, that becomes another problem, not posting consistently. Consistency is the key. Again, do not mistake consistency for quantity. Consumers do want to see your posts on their wall regularly but what they do not want is redundant material on their wall, so much so that it’s almost like spamming.

This is the typical dilemma of too much or too little. Always remain between both of the limits. Never post so much that followers declare your page as a spammer and never post so little that your followers get tired of your inconsistency.

A final note

There are a number of other Instagram marketing mistakes to look out for, such as what time to post. Do not be the brand that posts its material at an odd time. Post your content at a time when most people will be using their Instagram accounts. If you have switched to an Instagram business account, you will have that data available in the insights section.

To sum it up, if you are a business starting out in this line do not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of possible Instagram marketing mistakes. If you are already in this line then again do not be overwhelmed just go through all the mistakes mentioned above and see if you have fallen prey to any one of them. If so fix them immediately.

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