10 Common Instagram mistakes and how to fix them
Instagram mistakes hurt your growth, your brand, your revenue and your conversion rates. When used well, Instagram is a great tool to help you build relationships, show yourself as an expert and convert leads into sales. Make sure you are not making these mistakes on Instagram to help your safari business grow.
Read on to learn about ten common Instagram mistakes that you don’t even realise you have been making and how to fix them.
Posting outside your niche
We all know your niche, safaris, right? So make sure your Instagram profile reflects that. Make sure everything you are posting on your feed is related to safaris. This way when people find you on Instagram and see all of your safari content, if they like safari, they will follow you, these are your ideal followers.
And yes, posting about safaris includes showing your face (and that of your employees) on your posts. You are the face of your safari business so its important for your followers to see who you are. When your followers see your videos its helps them to get to know you, which will (hopefully) lead to them liking you, and eventually trusting you and consequently buying from you.
However, posting a reel about your dog, or a photo of your Grandma isn’t about safaris. Save that stuff for your stories, not your feed.
So make sure you are only posting within your niche. It is also a good idea to have sub-categories within your niche that you can post about.
If safari is your niche then you sub-categories might be
- travel in Africa tips & info
This was you have a more strategic plan for your content
Being Colour Inconsistent
Colour consistent posts make your Instagram look tidy and well-kept. Not only it is professional, but people also find it easier to identify you because your Instagram colour gets etched in their mind.
Colour consistency doesn’t always have to be blatantly visible. Sometimes it’s just a little touch that ties all your posts together.
Some people might be following a very strict colour palette but if you do not want that, just choose one colour for all your posts to have along with others.
You should automatically choose your brand colours in that case. In the safari industry choose a colour to relates to that, for example neural, earthy tones.
Posting whenever you feel inspired or feel like it won’t get you the engagement you need. The more regular and scheduled your posts are, the more your followers will expect them and the better your analytics will get.
Another benefit of making an Instagram schedule is that you can figure out the exact time your followers are most active and plan your Instagram posts accordingly.
Use your instagram insight to see when your followers are most active and then post consistently during these times. The more followers are online when you post your content, the more likely they will engage with your post and the more it will get pushed to a bigger audience.
More often than not, we are so fixated on the numbers that we forget the things that are far more important –and in our case, that is engagement and loyalty in our followers.
The follows you buy to make your Instagram account look good are not going to help you. They will not repost your stories, leave heartfelt comments or send you DMs and so your engagement will remain low.
An Instagram account is dead without any real interaction between the account and the followers. You can’t hope to make sales, a reputation or a name for yourself if your instagram is full of followers who are not your ideal client.
If you have already bought Instagram followers, don’t worry. You can rectify your mistake by ensuring that all your future followers are there because they like what you are doing. This you can do by posting:
- engaging stories
- useful content that answers their pain points
- quality feed posts with killer captions.
- user-generated content
- interacting with your followers through comments.
For a more detailed explanation of what content to post to increase your safari bookings read this post; 8 steps to successful safari content creation or download the PDF guide and workbook here
Posting Low-Quality Images and Videos
Instagram is a visual platform, and that means quality is the ultimate king there.
Posting grainy photos, low-resolution videos, cropped, or distorted content will never work out for you and your growth.
This info graphic by Tailwind explains the sizes required for each type of post you can do on Instagram.
Use the guidelines to edit your content accordingly, and you will find your feed looking many times better.
In the safari industry we are lucky, what better subjects can there be for your photos than cute lion cubs, beautiful African scenery and gorgeous accommodation. Make the most of this and invest in hiring someone to take quality high resolution photo that you can use across the all your platforms.
Top tip use Canva pro to make one post and resize it instantly to fit all platforms.
You can also purchase editable ready-made Instagram templates. If bought from a good source, such templates are already the right size and resolution for Instagram. And all you need to do is tweak them a little to match their feel with the rest of your posts.
Not only does that save your time, but it also provides you with the quality that you, otherwise, might not be able to achieve.
Coming soon, one years worth of strategic safari content! Content ideas and corresponding ready-to-post instagram templates for every single day of the year! Find out more and join the waiting list here.
Ignoring the Power of Instagram Stories
Instagram created Stories to help you keep your account active and interactive.
Unlike the feed content, your IG stories don’t have to be top-notch quality –although it doesn’t hurt if they are!
You can ask your followers a question, tell them a visual story, get their feedback, make a big announcement and much more using IG stories.
Not using this feature might be one of the most damaging Instagram mistakes you are making. In fact, one of the researchers says that almost 500 million people view Instagram stories per day, and one out of five send in a direct message for an inquiry. Whoa!
If you are ready to invest some energy into stories, the first step would be to plan your content. How will you use Instagram stories to engage with your audience, build up trust and convert lookers into bookers.
Here are a few example ideas for the safari industry:
- Behind the scenes of getting ready for a safari
- interview with you guide
- safari packing tips
- accommodation room tours
- ‘getting to know’ the safari business owner
- wildlife quiz
- your safari questions answered
One good idea is to create a few templates you can use as a base for your stories. Use your brand colours and logo to ensure that your content looks consistent, original and professional while still being engaging and exciting.
As for the frequency, try posting Stories outside the working hours. This can increase your reach to about 5.82 per cent.
Not Using Hashtags
Posting without using relevant hashtags is hurting your reach for sure.
Instagram has hashtags to allow public pages to get a nice amount of exposure organically. By tagging your posts and reels with popular hashtags, you can get featured on the Explore page and the Hashtags’ catalogue page.
And how does that help?
It puts your content in front of a larger audience, including those people who have never interacted with you before.
You can use up to 30 hashtags for Instagram posts and 10 for a Story. But that does not mean you need to go all-in with your IG Hashtags.
Look for trending hashtags related to your post by using Instagram Search Bar. For example, by typing in #muffin, you will see multiple related suggestions below that you can use in your hashtags.
Experiment with the number of hashtags and which hashtags to use. You can even make your own hashtags to catalogue your content! However, be careful not to use the same hashtags every time, find. number of hashtags that work for you and keep mixing them up with each post/reel.
If you are struggling with what hashtags to use for your safari business then download our free ‘Safari hashtags’ here.
Posting without CTAs
Call-To-Actions or CTAs are an integral part of any web copy, and that includes Instagram captions.
CTAs tell your audience exactly what they need to do with the post. With their help, you plant an idea into your viewers’ minds of what you want them to do. For example, you can ask them to tag their friends, comment on what they like about your post, direct message you about an itinerary, book a call with you or anything really that relates to your product/business.
Have a look at some example below
Having a Private Account:
You can choose to keep your Instagram account private or public. But as a business who wants more and more audiences to follow and engage with their profile, a private Instagram account isn’t the right way.
If you keep your Instagram account private, the content isn’t going to show up in the explore section to your potential audience, and your followers won’t be able to share your posts on their Instagram stories and the hashtags that you use -such as geo-hashtags- aren’t going to appear on the hashtags pages. All of this is going to restrict your reach to the users outside your following list.
Private Instagram accounts surely give a feel of exclusivity to the followers, but if you don’t already have a substantial following, this isn’t going to do you any good. A public account will show your content to the users, apart from your followers as well, increasing your chances of gaining new ones.
You can make your account public by following these simple steps:
- On your Instagram, go to settings.
- Go to ‘Privacy.’
- Under ‘Account Privacy,’ turn off ‘Private Account.’
You are ready to enjoy the benefits of a Public Instagram account!
Not jumping into new features
Although Instagram started as a simple picture and video posting platform, it has been evolving since its launch in 2010. It has introduced many new features -like Instagram stories and its stickers, IGTV videos and of course Reels.
When a new Instagram feature appears on the platform, people are usually reluctant to use it as much as they use the old ones. But just like a brand that advertises its new products or services extensively, Instagram also gives the new features a higher reach by making it appear more in people’s feeds.
If you are not using these new features, your competitors who are using them will start to show up more to your potential audience and steal those followers and engagements that you could have gotten.
You can use the new features along with the already present ones to complement each other. For example, if you are a brand, you can use reels to create small clips of your safari experience to help the follower feel like they are there with you, or want to be there with you!
This way, after watching the Reels, due to their extra reach being a new feature, more audience is likely to end up on your profile.
Reels don’t have to be complicated. Have a look at the statistics from this very simple reel I posted.
So there, you have it 10 Instagram mistakes you might be making that are harming your business. Instagram is an amazing, free, tool, if you can lean to use it correctly it can really help with improving you reach, reputation and safari bookings.