How to promote on Instagram. Promotion mistakes and how to fix them

8 min read
16 June 2022

Mistake 1. Fake subscribers

Irina is a freelancer, who works remotely, has 4,000 subscribers, a nicely styled account, all in one color, a good selection of pictures, elaborated layout. We go to any post of Irina — and what we see: zero comments, two likes. Another post has one like and zeroes comments. Etc. What can we say about this account? The subscribers are fake. It is absolutely impossible to have no likes and no comments with 4000 subscribers.

What is the main mistake? If you have fake subscribers — it becomes evident immediately. There are a lot of subscribers, but there is no activity in the profile. Even without analytics programs and applications, one can see that you are a fraudster — so you will not manage to get the trust.

Mistake 2. No product demonstration

Anastasia’s profile, she is a flute teacher. We see diplomas and certificates in the account – it’s cool, but how does the teacher play the flute? There are no such posts. If you are doing something and you are a specialist, mentor, teacher, or trainer, even if you sell something, you should demonstrate the product every time. The second mistake is showing yourself and your diplomas instead of the product.

Mistake 3. A lot of personal content in the business account

Marketer Lilia. Please specify directly in the profile header that you are a marketer, PR, or SMM specialist.

Suppose I am an entrepreneur and I am interested in Lilia’s services as a marketer. I want to see something useful in the feed, but what do I see: a child is sleeping, a child is in the bath, a child is walking in the woods, her husband, a child is playing with toys, a child with a pacifier. What thoughts do you have about such a marketer? That this is another mom who suddenly decided to become a marketer.

What is the mistake here: when you make a business profile and develop your personal brand, it is hard to switch from a personal account to a business one — because the approach to account management will be completely different: if you run a personal account, place pics of children and pets. But if you want to do business, promote something, build your own personal brand, and show users what you do.

How to fix it? Rearrange the feed and make sure that not every post shows a child. But seven or eight out of 10 are devoted to marketing, SMM, promotion, or whatever you do. Incorporate two or three posts describing your life, what you are interested in, your family, and your children.

Mistake 4. Careless account design

Let’s consider another example. Denis’s page. He is a musician, and a blogger, who tells how to promote music correctly by his example. We got interested, but what is wrong with this profile — the avatar and highlights. You can’t see Denis — you can’t see his face, smile, and what kind of person he is. The same is in highlights.

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Tips for the Instagram profile heading: username, avatar, bio

The description is full of humor and specific sayings — it’s creative and stands out from the competitors’ profiles.

Keep in mind when creating an account that the avatar is small. However, it should have a portrait on it. Otherwise, it gives a feeling of carelessness. If you don’t care about your profile — people will have the same attitude: ‘Denis is a schoolboy trying to do something — I will not follow him.’ Don’t make such mistakes.

Mistake 5. Inactive Profile

Here is an advertising manager’s account, and the owner seems to be a specialist in targeting, customer search, and blogger promotion. This person has only 63 subscribers and 10 posts. In the first picture, there is a water pump, in the second — a guitar, and in the third, the owner shows us a pit. I immediately think that this is a bot, a fake account.

What is the mistake? When you create a new account, you have little content, few subscribers, and your page visitors doubt that you are a real person. To avoid it, you need to fill your account: with at least 24 posts — 36 is better.

Make a lot of content at once, involve your subscribers, run different activities: comments and likes, and ask your family and friends to communicate on your page so that you message them to look active in the profile.

Mistake 6. Poorly designed profile header

Profile with beautiful photos applied filters, there is a layout, diversity. This is right and good. But in the account description, we read: yoga, traveling. If you have a Russian-speaking audience, we speak and write in Russian. Yoga – what does yoga mean? Do you do yoga, are you a yoga teacher, and do you just love yoga?

The lack of information about the owner and their occupation is a frequent mistake. Users don’t write who they are and what they do.

Mistake 7. Incomprehensible highlights

Let’s look at the profile of an SMM specialist from Bashkiria. We see advertising time, production, and news stories in the account. Most likely, a person is engaged in promotion through the media. We see a beautiful avatar, but the person’s name is missing.

What is the main mistake in this profile? The Highlights. What do we see here? ‘PS in PAIN…,’ ‘Almost Sut…,’ ‘Don’t give up.’ What does it mean? Not possible to understand. What do these phrases mean?

Both the pics and the headings of your highlights should be understandable. Choose such phrases so that it is clear what you mean.

Make sure you have highlights and their message is clear to everyone — not only to you and your close people but also to the person who visits your profile. They need to see the highlights and understand what you are telling them.

Mistake 8. Questionable cases

Here is a profile of an SMM specialist engaged in the promotion. In the description, we see that the lady is a wife, a mother, and a freelancer. Perhaps I’m looking for a specialist like this because I need to promote children’s products. Read on: promotion of business accounts, individual approach. I am ready to buy something from this SMM specialist.

Cases are provided in highlights. First, we see the layout of the photo content. The second case is the profile header. The third case is the profile header again. Does it mean that all SMM specialist’s cases are two redesigned profile headers? Naturally, I will make such an expert responsible for promoting my account and will not work with a person who declares two redesigned profile headers and one photo layout in her case. If you are posting some examples, make sure these are real cases.

What is a case? A new profile header is not a case — you just made a profile header. A case is when you have performed a particular set of actions that led to some result. Preferably it should be a financial result.

Mistake 9. Poorly designed Highlights

Here is a photographer, a visualizer from Ufa. We see gorgeous photos and 2000 subscribers, so the photographer is in demand. We see a person in the avatar — and immediately understand who they are. Where are mistakes? We see Highlights where not only everything is in English, but also the text in the pictures copies the text in the caption.

If you are a photographer or a visualizer, why do you spoil such a beautiful and attractive account with such poor Highlights? Never place text on the Highlights’ pictures, make beautiful icons or photos, and write in Russian. Remember: if you have a Russian-speaking audience — write in Russian if you can.

Mistake 10. The direction of the account is not clear

Let’s analyze the last account: Tatiana, ideological PROpersonality. What does it mean? Some meaningless words. Ideological PROpersonality is an incomprehensible jumble of words.

We look further: discounted tours around the world, ok, and immediately we see: SMM mentor, targetologist. Next – publicly about the personal, the formula for success. What does a person finally do? Does she sell tours, is she an SMM mentor, and does she do targeting? And what is a PROpersonality? It becomes unclear.

Let’s say we want to give Tatiana a chance, go down in stories. We see interviews on a brown leather sofa uploaded to IGTV. It turns out that Tatiana is a journalist? But she writes that she sells tours, and in the feed, we see interviews.

When you have no direction and do everything that comes to your mind— the audience will not have any confidence in you. People visiting your profile will not understand who you are.