The Biggest 3 Mistakes Businesses Make with Instagram

Instagram can give your small business clients a better picture of your business. Get a better picture of your sales process with the help of a free CRM and sales tool like Base.


You’ve heard the hype – word on the street is that Instagram is good for business.
With instantaneous image sharing and nostalgic image filters that make almost anything look good Instagram is the new cool kid on the block. People are beginning to realise the marketing potential that Instagram has – over 900 million active users for one thing, and that’s one hell of a consumer pool just sitting there waiting for you to wow them with your products or services in a tableau of pretty pictures.

So Instagram has incredible marketing potential – and it gets better – most businesses are only just beginning to realize this, which means there is still plenty of scope for YOU to make a successful mark using the platform.

But there is a flip side. It is also very easy to get Instagram marketing wrong. The good news is, I’m going to make you aware of three of the BIGGEST mistakes businesses make with Instagram so YOU can safely avoid them and take your Instagram marketing campaigns to the next level.

1. Too Much Branding

It sounds crazy I know – but you have to remember that Instagram is first and foremost a social media platform and most Instagram users don’t take kindly to blatant self-promotion. This can not lead to your business being shunned on the network. Ouch.

Take a softer approach. Be a gracious host and instead of ramming your logo and products down your visitors throats, actively engage with the community and leave positive comments. Subtly work to stay front of mind by focusing on complimentary content that gives a sense of your company’s core values and ‘behind the scenes’ images to convey personality. Give them something to take notice of and your company identity will take care of itself.

2. Lack of Commitment

Before you even entertain the notion of integrating Instagram into your marketing strategy you need to seriously think whether it is viable for you. Just like any other social media, building a strong and effective presence on Instagram takes time, effort and resources – so while it may be free to sign up, maintaining a successful Instagram profile can still be costly.

Regular and constant activity combined with quality content is the best way to build your Instagram following. You must be prepared to be consistent – and make sure you have the time and resources available to commit to the platform without any detrimental effect on any other area of your marketing.

3. Publishing Cross Platform

Instagram allows you to not only post your images onto your Instagram profile, but also to share them across your other social networks. This is a great feature, but you must be incredibly careful how you apply it to your marketing campaigns.

The urge to post your pictures to Facebook, Twitter and other networks can be really tempting – but overall it can actually have a negative effect on your success. While it’s true that sometimes what you post to your Instagram feed will appeal to your followers and fans on other social networks, you must remember that the community you have built up is made up of individuals and what works for some will not work for others. Suddenly bombarding your Facebook and Twitter profiles with image after image could be a real turnoff to that crowd, and that could have a damaging impact. In addition to this, if you saturate all your social networks with the same content – where is the value in someone following you on more than one network?

My advice? Stick to keeping your Instagram photos on Instagram, and only very occasionally select the cream of the crop for distribution to other networks.


So now you are aware of some of the most major mistakes that businesses make with their Instagram campaigns. These are mistakes that can be easily avoided – all it takes is a bit of common sense, ingenuity and some guidance. Make sure you have measures in place before you start any new Instagram campaign and you will achieve great things for your business.


About James T Noble

James T. Noble makes small businesses bigger. He's worked with some of the world's largest brands and companies to market their products and services online - including Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca Cola, MTV and many others. Find out more and read business growth tips at
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