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8 Mistakes Brands Make Preventing Instagram Engagement

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

There is no point putting time into maintaining a good Instagram feed if your followers aren’t engaging with your content. There are many ways to “buy” followers, likes, and comments, but that won’t lead to a lasting community on your feed. Avoid these eight mistakes to enhance your brand’s engagement quickly and organically.

“Social media engagement helps you strengthen your customer relationships. When customers engage with your posts or send you a message on social media you’re presented with an opportunity to get to know your customers and build a relationship with them. Answer their questions, respond playfully when appropriate, and go above and beyond to offer excellent customer service.”

-Nicole Martins Ferreira, Oberlo

1. Using the wrong hashtags It’s pretty obvious that using hashtags will make your content easier to find, but guaranteed engagement requires careful thinking in which ones you include.

  • Check out the popularity of your hashtags before you use them. Influencer Marketing has a great tool to test out how popular a hashtag you are planning on using. They also have a list of the 25 most used hashtags that is updated weekly.

  • Specific hashtags will narrow your target audience. Make sure to balance this. The more vague your hashtags are, the more people will see them. However, the more specific you make them, the more likely that those who see your post really want to see your post.

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

2. Not engaging with your audience: If you want to start the engagement momentum, you need to engage first. People are more likely to engage with a brand when they can see that the brand is actually behind their posts. This means replying to comments, liking and sharing relevant posts, and thanking them by name when they praise your brand in the comments. This means that you should know more about who your followers are. Iconosquare is a great tool if you’re looking for official stats about your followers.

3. Forgetting about Instagram’s poll/trivia feature: Social media is a conversation between the organization and the public, as opposed to advertisements where the organization is just speaking to the public. People are more likely to respond in a conversation when a question is asked. These questions can be loosely or directly related to your brand. Tribe Hummus was one of the first brands to use Instagram polls as a way to engage with their audience. Below is a great example of how they created visually appealing polls that people couldn’t help but engage with.


4. Posting too little or too often: Instead of stressing out about how often to post, focus on maintaining an overall consistency. Instagram users are more likely to engage with brands that are consistently on their feed, but not spamming them. According to, major brands post around 1.5 times a day. This is a great standard to follow when planning out your own posts. Online tools like allow you to schedule your posts ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to post something one day.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

5. Using Instagram for ads rather than a feed: Your audience generally doesn’t come on Instagram expecting to see ad after ad. Your posts shouldn’t be certain products or services over and over again. Use advice from Katie Rose: "talk about your topic, not just your brand.” Find out what your “topic” is and include broader posts to gain new followers who might not know about your brand yet.

6. Using the “wrong” visuals: This may seem intuitive, but Instagram is all about the visuals. Instagram’s European creative lead, Alastair Cotterill, says “You have a chance to paint a picture of your brand universe… so you need to work out how to transport someone there in that split second as they’re scrolling through their feed.” Finding interesting visuals that catch your eye connect to your brand are essential to increasing engagement with your Instagram followers. Take the two pictures below for example. Both are found on popular luggage brands’ Instagram pages, but one has many more comments and likes.

By avoiding this mistakes and utilizing the different tools listed throughout my post, you are guaranteed to boost your engagement. To avoid wasting all the effort you put into your brand's social media, think these three things: Relevant, consistent, participant. Posting content that speaks to your desired audience on a consistent basis is what your audience expects and deserves. Once you have good content, start up the momentum by engaging with your audience. You'll never know what your followers are looking for until you go out and ask.

Photo by Sandrachile . on Unsplash

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