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is a visual social media network, owned by the social media giant, Facebook. The platform is bigger than Twitter and LinkedIn, with one billion monthly active users - meaning its the place to be if you want to build brand awareness and even boost sales. But, if you want to be successful with Instagram, you must first get past these common myths.
1. Buying Likes is a Waste of Time
There are several services out there that make it easy for you to buy likes
. This is particularly helpful if you are just getting started and want to increase your chances of wider exposure. Posts with lots of engagement (likes, comments, and regrams) shortly after they go live have a better chance of hitting the Instagram Explore tab
, which helps new users find your content.
As long as you use a reputable service that provides likes from real accounts, and uses a drip campaign approach to prevent all the likes from coming in at once, the activity is natural and thats the kind of activity you need.
2. Its Impossible to Use Instagram to Drive Traffic Back to My Website
The reality is driving traffic to your website is difficult, but not impossible. Thats due to the fact that you can only place a single link on your profile - and thats your bio link. And thats exactly why you need to make it count. You can use a service like Shorby to get multiple links, by using your bio link to send users to another page with multiple links.
And, you can always use the caption space on each of your Instagram posts to remind people that the link you want to share is in your profile bio. Youre free to change the link any time you want, so you can adjust it based on your current promotions or marketing campaigns.
3. Instagram Hides Your Posts
When Instagram first started, everything was shown in chronological order, and thats not the case anymore. Instagram isnt intentionally hiding your posts - theyre just using their own algorithm based on your previous history of user engagement and various other factors to determine which of your posts are most important to your audience. Then, it orders your content accordingly.
It is worth noting that Instagram now allows you to voluntarily hide your posts from certain followers without unfollowing them, using the mute option.
4. You Own Your Branded Hashtag
Theres a myth that your branded hashtag is your private property and people cannot use it without your permission, allowing you to bring legal action against other accounts that make use of your branded hashtag.
The reality is that you dont own your social media content - meaning that everything you publish on Instagram becomes the property of the website, and theres no such thing as hashtag ownership. Anyone who uses Instagram can use any hashtag - included the ones you invented and associate with your brand. It is possible to trademark a specific hashtag, but you cant prevent others from using it.
5. Too Many Hashtags Make Me Look Spammy
Using hashtags is essential
to helping increase your following because the platform uses them to catalog and categorize content. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on every post, so you should maximize that to get your posts in front of a larger audience. Keep them related to your brand, and use a mix of generic, niche, and branded hashtags for best results.
Just make sure to do some research first - you dont want hashtags that are full of things that could get the tag banned, or so large that your content will disappear quickly since people will flood the hashtags with their posts.
To keep them from making your post caption looking messy, add a few rows of space to hide them so people will have to tap more to see them, or just add them in the first comment on your post.
6. I Cant Monitor My Instagram with Analytics
It used to be hard to analyze anything related to your Instagram account because you had to rely on third-party Instagram analytics tools
. Those tools still exist, of course, but Instagram now offers a built-in Analytics platform known as Instagram Insights, which is similar to Facebook Insights. You can access this information if you convert your personal account to a business one - which you should definitely do.
The analytics provide information on the most popular posting days and times that your followers are on Instagram, your post impressions, and detailed demographic information of your audience.
7. My Products/Services are Too Boring for Instagram
If youre not in the lifestyle, food, or fashion industries, then its easy to see why you would think investing resources in building an Instagram presence is not worth it. But, you can find other ways to engage your target audience beyond posting images of your products.
One of the best ways to do this is to take your audience behind-the-scenes of your business, showing off your employees - who are, after all, your brands greatest asset.
Wells Fargo, for instance, does a wonderful job of making banking seem way less boring because they use a variety of Instagram videos and images that address current events, fun facts, quotes, and more.
8. Instagram is for Spontaneous Posts Only
Sure, its a great way to share behind the scenes and spontaneous moments, but if you want to be successful, youll need to have a well-thought-out and carefully planned strategy. It means having high-quality images, posting at the times, keeping the images in line with your branding and message, and so on.
Now that you know the truth about some of the most common Instagram myths, youre armed with the knowledge you need to create and execute a winning strategy to help your brand grow.