Social Media

7 Common Instagram Marketing Mistakes And How to Fix Them

Instagram is the second most popular social media platform in the world (after Facebook) that can help you attract and engage new customers.

That’s why it’s critical to understand the most common Instagram marketing mistakes to ensure that you don’t end up spoiling the vast opportunity it presents to you.

As the network has almost 2 billion active users most of which are between 18 and 34 years old, it’s the perfect place to target your younger audience.

The type of content shared on Instagram is mainly visual in nature — pictures, IGTV, Instagram Stories, live videos, and so on.

And there’s a reason for it — video content performs best on most social media algorithms as it captures the user’s attention faster and then holds it for longer periods. Figure this — it gets 2x more shares than any other type of content.

So far it sounds perfect, right?

All you have to do is share a few videos with your audience on Instagram and voila all your marketing goals are achieved in no time!

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Many companies aren’t aware of how to promote their business or how to reach their potential customers, so they end up making some pretty common mistakes on the platform. These mistakes end up jeopardizing your marketing efforts.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 7 most common social media mistakes that you should avoid on Instagram so that you get the most out of this platform.

Yet, if you have already made some of them, don’t worry as we also have the solutions to how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Keeping Your Instagram Profile Private OR Not Switching to a Business Account

When it comes to your personal profile on the platform, it’s completely up to you if you want to share it with the world or not. But your business account should be available and visible to anyone interested in your products/services.

If you leave it private, you are sending the wrong message to your audience: “There’s nothing here for you to see. Also, you will have to wait for us to approve your request”. Additionally, it restricts your reach to just existing followers. This is one of the many mistakes brands make on social media.

The more accessible and open your business seems, the better chances you have to attract new leads and increase your follower base.

How to Fix it?

As this is a very easily fixable marketing mistake, all you have to do is open your Instagram profile and make sure it is not private.

The next step, which is actually a more common marketing mistake, is to ensure the account is switched to a business one.

Image via Instagram

By making this change, you’ll gain access to Instagram Insights, a built-in analytics platform that gives you an insight into your content performance and followers. You’ll also be able to track your performance and adjust your Instagram strategy accordingly.

All these helpful features are not available to regular profiles so if you’ve been committing this marketing mistake, you’ve missed out on them.

The more information you get about your audience, the better you’ll become at targeting them with the right content and therefore achieving your marketing goals.

Mistake #2: Monotonous and Repetitive Content

If you’ve never made the previous Instagram marketing mistake, then you might be doing this one (even without realizing it) or you’ve likely seen a company making it.

Posting the same type of content on your profile is a certain way to lose followers or decrease your performance on Instagram.

Whether it’s the same type of textual or visual content, your current and potential clients will probably get bored with it at some point. So, you need to stop making this marketing mistake. Instagram is a very competitive social platform and your competitors are aware of that.

That’s why they’re constantly bombarding your target audience with diverse and creative content in order to capture their interest. And you should be doing just the same, else you risk losing out to them due to this Instagram marketing mistake.

How to Fix it?

To fix this Instagram marketing mistake, put time and effort into developing a well-planned content calendar for Instagram.

It should include the type of content you want to share with your followers in terms of its form (videos, posts), and purpose (informative, engaging, promotional). Note how Douglas Cosmetics uses a mix of content types below.

Image via Instagram

Make sure you provide your followers with an informative and captivating content mix related to your products and services.

You could also experiment with Reels, live videos, and IGTV to promote your business. For instance, you could film a “How-to” video on using your products or answering questions about them.

The content calendar should map out the days and time for each post to be published.

Additionally, all content doesn’t necessarily have to be about your products or services. You could share relatable memes, quotes, or inspirational thoughts as well. The overall goal is to entertain your audience while marketing your brand on Instagram.

Mistake #3: Lack of Posting Regularity

One major marketing mistake many businesses make on Instagram is to post content irregularly. In most cases, they share content whenever they have the time to do it or if they feel there’s something worth sharing.

This means the content often goes unseen by their followers which is purely a waste of time for everyone involved in the content creation process from copywriters to graphic designers.

With the number of active Instagram users and brands, the last thing you want for your content is to be left behind.

Fighting for your followers’ attention is difficult enough on Instagram, so don’t make your struggle even bigger by making this marketing mistake. Post too often and your followers will be irked out, post too less and they’ll forget you.

If you commit this marketing mistake, your visibility decreases and this would directly impact your bottom line. The people who follow you are also following many other businesses, so don’t let them forget you.

And finally, without regularity, it’s almost impossible to track and measure the performance of your posts, which, in turn, can mess up your content strategy on Instagram. So, avoid this mistake at all costs.

How to Fix it?

The best way to rectify this marketing mistake is to schedule your posts by creating a content calendar and using social media scheduling tools. That’s how you’ll be sure there won’t be long periods where you won’t be communicating with your followers.

The unwritten rule is to post a maximum of once a day on Instagram or 2-3 times a week if you feel more comfortable. As for your Instagram Stories timeline, you can be even more regular daily.

Unlike Facebook, scheduling posts in advance on Instagram only happens through a third party app.

Since there’s a slight chance you forget or don’t manage to post according to your content plan, we advise you to assign this task to your content/marketing team or an employee you trust. This can help you overcome this marketing mistake.

Mistake #4: Avoiding collaborations

Instagram is the perfect platform to join forces with popular influencers and brands to fulfill your marketing goals.

These types of collaborations are extremely beneficial for small businesses or startups as they help you grow your reach by promoting your content to a shared audience.

You could either collaborate with an Instagram influencer or another brand on social media for this.

Some of the other advantages for your business here include increasing your followers, lead generation, and thus, your sales.

Another great benefit of avoiding this mistake is that you will be saving on marketing, as you will get instant visibility through the influencer or brand’s popularity.

How to Fix it?

If you make the mistake to skip or miss out on such collaborations, you’ll likely miss out on numerous business opportunities that would perhaps cost you a fortune.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for such connections, whether you’re just starting out or are an already established brand.

But what if you have to face rejections?

There’s a way to avoid this too. We advise you to conduct a profound analysis of influencers and brands on Instagram to identify those that share similarities with your business. These are the ones you should consider reaching out to.

And once you’ve found the right fit, create content with them. Be proactive and make sure your content is authentic for best results.

Note how Karen Millen has partnered with Lydia Millen for this post below.

Image via Instagram

Mistake #5: Skipping the CTA

This is probably one of the most common Instagram mistakes that you could make. No matter how engaging and original your content is, if you skip on adding a CTA (Call-to-Action) to your posts, it’s very likely that the post won’t serve its purpose. 

If you go through Instagram, you’ll find many brands making this mistake: they have high-quality pictures and amazing copywriting, but that’s pretty much all.

They are not leading you to any action, whether it’s to check their Story, follow the link in their bio, visit their website, or something else, and that’s a marketing mistake. Without a purpose, such posts are a waste of time and budget for both your copywriters and graphic designers.

At the end of the day, the goal of your Instagram page is to support your social media marketing strategy. That’s why you always need to be thinking about how you can promote your business even via seemingly not-so-promotional posts.

How to Fix it?

Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate CTAs into your Instagram content. The great thing about a CTA is that it can take many forms like asking people to comment, share, follow, or check out the link in bio, among others.

The goal here is to tell your audience exactly what action you need them to take after checking out your content on Instagram.

For instance, note how the CTA here is “View Shop”.

Image via Instagram 

Mistake #6: Being Outrightly Promotional

We know it, you know it, and your followers know it — the goal of your Instagram profile is to popularize your business and grow sales. So, it’s expected that you’ll share promotional content. Yet, if you do it all the time, it’s a big marketing mistake and you’re at risk of losing your followers.

Just consider how you’d feel (as a regular user of the social media) if you follow a brand that’s constantly advertising its services/products without giving you any useful, engaging, or interesting content?

You’ll probably be captivated at first, as you are a fan of what the brand is offering, but soon enough, you’ll feel overwhelmed and sincerely bored by the constant advertising.

As this is the last thing you would want your followers to experience, avoiding this Instagram marketing mistake is crucial for the success of your business marketing strategy. And now, we’ll discuss how you can steer clear of it.

How to Fix it?

Unlike the previous marketing mistakes, this one’s slightly difficult to detect, as finding a balance between marketing and bringing value on Instagram is a tricky thing to accomplish.

So, the very first step in rectifying this marketing mistake would be to examine your content so far and be as objective as possible. The better option is to assign this task to a bystander or someone who hasn’t seen your profile, to get honest feedback.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t end up promoting your products and services way too frequently and outrightly.

Focus on Solutions

Our first tip is to promote your business as a solution to a problem your target audience is facing.

For example, if you’re selling a product that has multiple functions, instead of focusing on its features, emphasize on why and how it could facilitate the everyday life of your followers.

Or in other words, make them realize they have a need that only you can answer.

Promote Sustainable Initiatives

Another way to present your brand in the best possible light without committing the marketing mistake of outright promotion is to emphasize on your contribution to society or the environment. 

Sustainability has become a prime requirement consumers have for brands these days.

So, if you have a positive impact on nature (i.e. offering reusable products or packing your goods in eco-friendly materials), try to direct your followers’ attention to that so that you add a different value and meaning to your business. Take cue from this post by Levi’s.

Image via Instagram

Mistake #7: Buying Followers

When it comes to Instagram marketing mistakes, this one is not only the biggest one you can make but also the worst one.

It may sound tempting to acquire a huge amount of followers without putting almost any effort into it, yet the consequences of this marketing mistake can hurt your Instagram profile and business, in general.

The first thing that happens once you buy thousands of followers is that most of them are fake accounts that have no interest in your products or services. This leads to a low engagement rate, which may further hamper your account’s performance.

Moreover, you risk losing your reputation on the platform: if a customer decides to check your Instagram followers, they’ll immediately discover what you’ve done.

This happens especially when you have a small fan base that increases quickly in a short period without any visible reason.

How to Fix it?

If the damage is already done, the only way to fix this marketing mistake is to start over with a new Instagram account.

If you had only a few followers before buying the fake ones, the good news is that this marketing mistake won’t cost you too much. Our advice is to back up your content and start building on top of it instead of starting from ground zero.

Also, you can make a list of your real followers and follow them back with your brand new profile. They will get notified and will most likely follow you again (if they haven’t figured out your marketing mistake).

From this point onward, your only goal should be to increase your followers organically. This happens through carefully researching and targeting the right audience and then providing them with informative and engaging content.


Now you know all the 7 most common Instagram marketing mistakes and why you need to avoid them. From buying fake followers to irregular posting schedules, there are loads of mistakes that you might end up making on Instagram.

Each of these marketing mistakes could potentially damage your reputation, limit your reach, and even have a direct impact on your sales and revenue.

That’s why it’s essential to rectify each of these mistakes, if you’ve been making them, and start to upscale your marketing strategy on Instagram to fulfill your goals.

Have any questions about these Instagram marketing mistakes? Ask them in the comments section below.

Terry Tateossian

Founding Partner of Socialfix Media is a fourth-generation entrepreneur who is recognized as an Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Forbes’ Top Women in Business, Fastest Growing Women Presidents by WPO, and 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by NJBIZ. Terry has been featured for outstanding leadership and career accomplishments in numerous industry publications as an engineer, a thought-leader in technology, and an innovator in the field of marketing. But her favorite and toughest earned title is being “Mom” to her 2 children.

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