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Top Five Instagram Mistakes Made by Businesses and Brands


Instagram is an increasingly popular social media tool that allows businesses to connect with their audience in a purely fun and image-friendly way while building their brand. Instagram’s mission statement is to “Capture and Share the World’s Moments,” but when applied correctly, it can be utilized through the moments within your business, too.


While this new(ish) platform, which was created in 2010 and purchased by Facebook in 2013, has created wildly successful opportunities for some brands, others fail to capitalize on the possibilities by mere misuse of the tool. Here are the top five Instagram mistakes made by businesses and brands that yours should avoid.


1. Posting information-heavy photos that don’t really count as images


A common mistake made with instagram is one that goes against the grain – and the ultimate purpose – of the social media tool. The purpose of instagram is to share photos that tell a story. This means that your instagram photos should be image-heavy, not information-heavy.


A great way to avoid making this mistake is to ask yourself whether your image is meant to be looked at or read? If your post leans towards the latter, reconsider its value to your followers.

2.  Favoring quantity over quality


Getting into a rhythm of consistent photo sharing through instagram is a great way to gradually build your followers and ultimately expand your customer base. The sure-fire way to sabotage this, however, is to share photos too frequently and favor quantity over quality.


A common mistake that will surely annoy your followers quickly is the habit of posting too many photos at one time, or within a short period of time. A rule of thumb to get started is posting one great photo per day – that means sharp images with good composition, artistic angles, and worthy subjects. Increase the quality of your images using mobile editing apps like Google Snapseed and Facetune.


3. Failing to use timing to your benefit


Timing is another elusive factor that’s just as important when it comes to effectively leveraging instagram for business marketing. When you choose to post your photos can be just as important as what you choose to post.


A great tool that monitors the activity of your specific followers and helps you choose the best times to post future images is IconoSquare, formerly called Statigram.

4.  Posting stock images that aren’t your own


Though you might see celebrity brands and names posting images that aren’t their own, like humorous animations or inspirational quotes, a general rule of thumb for brands is to only share images that bring value and are authentically yours – especially while your follower count is low.


Keep your brand and voice on point by posting only the most authentic images for your brand and business.

5. Failing to tell a story through your images


The most successful business instagram accounts, which tend to boast millions of followers, also have another thing in common: they tell their brand’s story through their images. A great example of this is the Australian clothing line, @saboskirt, which has grown to 1.2 million followers by engaging their customers beyond the sales and marketing of their clothing.


While posting images of beautiful models wearing their latest designs, they’ve opted to incorporate other aspects into their instagram feed that are authentic and representative of their brand.


Creating a visual snapshot of the “saboskirt lifestyle” through camera-worthy food, exotic destinations around the world, vibrant flowers, and sneak peak images of their lavish headquarters (as well as their four-legged helper, @sundae_the_cavoodle), they’ve created not only a portal for online shopping, but also a place for their customers to indulge in the ultimate lifestyle.


While it might seem tempting at first to make these common mistakes with your business instagram account, always consider the drawbacks of each. Instead avoid making these mistakes, and opt to stay true to your brand while consistently engaging and growing your followers in the right way.

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