The social platform Instagram was developed in 2010 with the main purpose to be a mobile application for sharing photos and videos. Now the platform has risen and became one of the most popular methods of communication, commercials and business improvement. However not everyone is aware and familiar with the application and how to use it properly. With all the popularity of the social platform, there appear some myths and urban legends that are not true. Many people believe rumors related to Instagram that are not even close to the truth and they can become obstacles and prevent you from taking the full advantages that the mobile application provides. In this article we are going to chase and get aware of some myths that are spreading over people but are absolutely false.
6 Instagram Marketing Myths
Myth #1. Likes won’t matter any more
We’ve known for a while that Instagram started testing a version of the app that removed the like counter from posts. Users could still like each other’s content, and the owner of the posts could see who liked it, but no one else could. This text has been expanding to more locations, making it increasingly likely that this may become a more permanent change. Because of this, some people have started to believe that likes won’t matter anymore.
That’s not true for a number of reasons:
1. Likes will still help you gauge the relevance of your content to your target audience. More likes mean you’re doing something right.
2. Likes are still factored in as engagement, which is a crucial part of Instagram’s algorithm that determines how high your content will appear in newsfeeds. Just because they aren’t visible to others doesn’t mean they don’t matter.
3. Likes will still be a good base for potential retargeting in ad campaigns; you can create ad campaigns based on who has recently engaged with a post.
That is unfortunate —social proof is plenty powerful– but comments have always been more influential in that domain anyways. Try to use engagement-oriented strategies to get more comments moving forward to make up for the lack of visible likes if and when the time comes.
Myth #2. Stories Can’t Sell
Instagram Stories have come a long way since they were first rolled out a few years ago, and some people have missed a few of the updates. That definitely seems to be the case for those who are saying that Stories are only effective for brand awareness and that they won’t actually drive sales. Stories are great for brand awareness and relationship building. I won’t disagree there. But the idea that Stories aren’t effective selling tools is downright incorrect, making it number 2 on our list of Instagram marketing myths. First, brands with 10,000 followers can add “Swipe Up” CTAs that allow users to see and click through clickable links to an off-platform site, where they can learn more about your products and make purchases.
Story Ads– which are run through Facebook and Instagram’s ad platform– always include these links if you choose to attach them. Even outside of these features that can drive sales on their own, we also now have Shopping features on Stories. Brands can tag products on their images and videos in Stories, allowing users to click to learn more and then click again to navigate to a site where they can purchase. Shopping on Instagram has been incredibly successful at driving sales that the brand may not have gotten otherwise. So go ahead. Leverage those Stories to the fullest, and optimize for sales if you want. The results will speak for themselves.
Myth #3. Follower Count Reigns Supreme
Some brands clearly believe that an enormous follower count is what they should be focused on when it comes to Instagram marketing. Unless you’re trying to become an Instagram influencer who makes a living by shilling sponsored products, that’s not the case. Follower count does matter; the more people who are following you, the more you can hopefully reach on a regular basis, which is a huge asset. It also signals interest in your account and brand, and it does act as social proof. But your follower count isn’t the most important metric on Instagram. Your engagement rate will tell you how many of your followers are actually engaged with your content, and it’s used by Instagram’s algorithm to assess your content and how it should fall in the newsfeed placements. This is one reason, for the record, why you should never buy followers. Those accounts are fake, and no one is using those profiles. Your follower count will be boosted, but your engagement rate will plummet.
Myth #4. Third-Party Tools Won’t Cut It
Instagram historically had a pretty restricted API, making it hard for third-party tools to really branch out and create software that worked with the platform. This is why for the longest time, social media publishing tools like Hootsuite would require that you schedule a post, and would then receive a push notification in the mobile app which would allow you to copy and paste a post. You’d then need to post it manually to Instagram. This is no longer the case. Instagram started rolling out access to their API a few years back, which is why full scheduling and publishing features are now available with tools like Hootsuite. There are other third-party tools that can be useful for Instagram, too. ShortStack and WishPond, for example, both have great Instagram contest platforms that you should definitely check out, and Repost for Instagram makes it easy to actually share others’ posts (including UGC) on the platform.
Myth #5. Follow for Follow Works
There’s a common “growth” strategy that you see all over Instagram and social platforms like Twitter that’s called “follow for follow.” The idea is that everyone wants followers, so you scratch my back and I scratch yours. People will even attach “#followforfollow” to their profile or their posts in hopes of attracting fellow follower-count-climbers. This strategy is most often used by brands who are newer to Instagram and want to grow their follower count quickly. They start following accounts almost without abandon, including influencers and other businesses along with anyone else they happen to come across. Then, once people follow back, they’ll sometimes unfollow them later. Here’s the thing: Follow for Follow can sometimes appear to work, but it often backfires. If you unfollow people, they’ll eventually catch on and delete you, too. These aren’t members of your target audience, and they almost certainly won’t care about what you’re doing; they just care about their own followers. They’re not likely to engage with your content, driving your engagement rates down, and hurting you in the algorithms.
Myth #6. I Need to Post Constantly to See Results
Last but not least, we have the Instagram marketing myth that states that you need to post content multiple times every day just to see results. This is not true. Quality over quantity will always be true with social media. There’s no need to post more than twice per week if you don’t have something truly spectacular to share in the feeds. You want to give people the chance to see and engage with your last post before flooding them with three more. In most cases, it’s best not to post more than once per day, and there’s no obligation to post daily. Make sure that your content calendar is full, but it doesn’t have to be stuffed to the brim. Stories are the exception here. You can go full steam ahead with Stories, uploading as many as you want on a daily basis. Users love those, and this is the place for quirky content that’s not fully edited to perfection.
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