In just one decade Instagram has become one of the most prominent media platforms in the world. That has not left a lot of time for digital marketing experts to learn how to do their jobs on it.

If you want to reach the largest and highest quality audience that you can, you need to avoid repeating the most common mistakes. There are some tactics that people commonly use and get nowhere with. Do yourself a favor and look carefully at this list so you can avoid wasting your time.

Here are the top four mistakes that people make on Instagram.

(1) Being Too Careful

Social media is a fast and improvisational business. The most successful channels on Instagram and other platforms are usually posting several times per day and trying new things constantly. It’s impossible to have this kind of speed and flexibility without being open to some mistakes.

There is very little penalty if you make a post and it receives low engagement or reach. You could “fail” with one post per day and it would not cause people to unfollow you.

Making a lot of posts in the effort to give great content to your fans every day is the right strategy. You could gain new followers and more get more likes and comments overall by deciding to move quickly and not be too careful.

(2) Relying on Assumptions

Instagram as an app is still evolving on a month-to-month basis. New features are added and old ones are removed all the time. If you assume that you know what kinds of content will perform best in the future, you will get a lot of things wrong.

Don’t assume anything. Treat every decision you make with your Instagram page as an experiment that will teach you something new. Let the data dictate your path.

Whenever a new feature is launched, test it. Create content that utilizes every option in the Instagram app until you have data on all of it and can say for sure which ones are best for your brand. This is easier to do if you also avoid the first mistake of being too careful, since you’ll have to create a lot of content.

(3) Not Engaging With Your Fans

You should respond to all of the comments on your posts. Early on in your Instagram career, you won’t have that many to respond to anyway. If you expect an audience to consume and engage with your content, the least you can do is respond to them.

When fans know they have a chance of you giving them a good response, they will leave better comments. The excitement of engagement is a powerful tool in building your presence online.

(4) Falling Into a “Safe” Routine

After a few months of hard work on Instagram, you start to see some good results. You are likely to grow by 3-5% of followers per week if you just do good content with a lot of hashtags. Once it all comes together, you will find your routine.

Be careful to only let some things become routine. It’s good to have an idea of how frequently you post and what topics you post about. Beyond that, keep experimenting and pushing yourself to do better.

When you use trial and error to try new and improved forms of content each week, you eventually become one of the best pages in your niche. It’s not easy but it works.

Keep Moving Forward

Don’t let your Instagram experience be a cycle of two steps forward, one step back. If you avoid these four major mistakes, you will be able to keep your followers and engagement moving in the right direction.

It’s ok to make small mistakes such as having some posts that don’t do well. As long as you dodge the biggest problems, you can stay on the path towards digital marketing success.

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