Just in case you haven’t heard me say it already, I was very reluctant to open an Instagram account. In fact, I wasn’t even the one who opened my own account. So this was at a time when it was very new and everyone was opening an account on Instagram. Well, except Ama Duncan. Frankly I thought it was a waste of time…people just showing off their fake life urrrggghh! (Now, I am ashamed to admit this!)
My colleague had talked and talked about me opening an account and I just wouldn’t budge. One day, she just snatched my phone from me while we were talking and just signed me up for Instagram whether I liked it or not! At the time, I didn’t even have a business. Now looking back, my colleague must have been led by the Holy Spirit because this platform has turned out to be an asset for my business.
Why do I say this? In a nutshell, a good number of my past events participants and current clients tell me they saw the flier on Instagram or ‘I follow you on Instagram’. Usually I am thinking, ‘really???’ Because for a long time we were not even consciously active on Instagram. Well now I know better. Instagram is a great marketing tool for businesses especially the kind I am in which supports new women in business.
For sometime now I have been on a mission to encourage more new women in business to focus on this platform. For this reason, I have also decided to study how to effectively use Instagram, so I can apply them to my own business as well as teach it to the women in my community. Oh yes ladies, by the time I am done with you, you will be calling me Ama Instagram haha. For now though I want to draw your attention to 3 mistakes to avoid on Instagram.
Poor quality pictures
Recently I met with a Branding Expert to help me take my business to the next level. I was not afraid to show her my Instagram business account because we have improved its content. However, when she asked to see my personal profile I was like ‘trouble don come oh’ Eish! Later, my Creative Director asked ‘what did the Branding Expert say?’ and I replied ‘the same thing you have been fighting me about!’
OK so here is the thing it took me so long to accept; Instagram is for ‘exaggeration’. People go there to see what is ‘ideal’. And so when we are posting content, we want to give it a visual appeal which may be a little over the top. However, it is the only way to get your target audience to pay attention to your content.
Here is my suggestion; invest in getting a professional photographer to take your pictures. If your budget cannot allow this, then please use a phone with a very good quality camera. With time, as you keep growing your business you will be able to invest more in this.
I hope you are not like the Ama Duncan before who would post to her business page once or twice a week and call it a day. And as if that was not enough, I would post and leave without engaging with my audience or even other users. I hardly even acknowledged comments and missed out on many DMs (Direct Messages). It’s embarrassing, please let me confess my sins OK?
Now I admit that consistency takes good effort but I know it is worth it. It takes time to build the whole ‘know, like and trust on social media’ as they say. And a huge part of that is to show up consistently with content which will be of value to your target audience. You get to decide what consistency means for your particular business. However, let me suggest a minimum of one post per day. NB: They don’t all have to be your original content, there are many creative ways to explore including reposting.
Private business accounts
Now this is my secret pet peeve. I cannot for the life of me understand why an account which has something to sell will be private. Well actually since I have no right to judge, let me shut up and focus. My sister, please if you are looking to sell/advertise, whether on your private or business account, make it easy for us to see your posts OK?
There are few more mistakes but I shall not talk lest I become a hypocrite because I am still making many mistakes myself. For now, please work on posting quality pictures, being consistent and making your business accounts public. Until I come your way next Friday with another blog post, know ye thou that you are fabulous!
PS: I have compiled a list of ‘Free Places You Can Advertise Your Business on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp’. If you haven’t downloaded this free resource already, follow these steps:
1 click 👇🏾
2 click on ‘Download file’
3 provide your details and click on *Send me the file’
4 check your email (the one you provide). If it’s not in your inbox please check your SPAM or PROMOTIONS folder
5 Send me feedback 😊 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover photo credit: Vera Obeng Photography