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13 Instagram mistakes to avoid making

Instagram has changed a lot as a platform.

With the introduction of Instagram Reels, IGTV, Shops and other new features, Instagram hardly feels like the simple photo sharing app it used to be. It's become the platform that does it all. As a content creator that can be both good and bad for you.

In this post we will go through some Instagram content mistakes to avoid in 2020.

Let's get into it.

Instagram mistake 1: Relying on the caption

Instagram mistake 1: Relying on the caption

This one's unique. No one else is talking about why relying on people to read the caption is bad.

This mainly applies for smaller accounts, still trying to get recognised. This is because most people don't read the caption- especially if you're less known. Therefore relying on the caption to get the message across will normally make people confused after seeing your post.

This causes Instagram to think your content isn't valuable, and consequently your reach will be reduced.

Instagram mistake 2: Using a question as a headline

Using a question for your headline is never a good idea because you can always answer a question with a 'No'.

Your content on Instagram speaks volumes, especially when your Instagram followers are your ideal audience.

Therefore using headlines that sound affirmative and firm is always a good idea.

Before you decide to use a question for your headline, always ask yourself the same question to understand whether this is something that'd intrigue you or not?

Given here are some basic rules you should follow before using questions as your headlines.

Instagram mistake 3: Using bad images

Instagram is a visual platform. The images you use, eventually become the face of the brand.

Making use of bad quality images for your brand is the biggest turn off for anyone.

Upload images that go in sync with your brand aesthetic, this sets a good first impression.

If you're someone who makes use of stock images for their content, see that your images are not too"stocky" or Irrelevant.

Using some additional softwares like Photoshop or Snapseed also helps.

Making use of high-quality images has shown significant Instagram growth for 70% of businesses.

Instagram mistake 4: Including too much text

If you're designing content that is overflowing with text, you might want to put your design fundamentals into use and create content that is eye-grabbing!

According to a lot of Instagram users: Too much text is very tedious to read and is time-consuming.

While designing your content for Instagram, keep it engaging and short.

Convey your message with compelling visuals and less amount of text, people find that intriguing and tend to come back for more!

Instagram mistake 5: Aliging text to the centre

Poor text alignment for your Instagram content makes it really dull.

For example, if you refer to the picture below, you'll notice that the image on the right is convenient to read than the image on the left. The negative spacing ruins it all.

"You probably won’t notice when the elements in a design are aligned, you will almost definitely notice when they aren’t." - Anonymous.

If you think that your Instagram content is poorly aligned it's time for you to get a helping hand!

Instagram mistake 6: Making all your posts look the same

"Easy reading is damn hard writing." - Nathaniel Hawthrone. That is exactly what applies to designs too!

While designing your Instagram posts, variation is important. Especially if you're a brand and people look up to your content.

If all your Instagram posts look alike, you'll soon see a downfall in your Instagram followers that will eventually affect your business.

The key to the problem is learning some design skills or hiring an expert that helps you bring assortment in your content as well as your designs.

Instagram mistake 7: Using the wrong export settings

There are tons of apps available that help you make your content look "aesthetic", "too bright" or sometimes even "overly saturated".

When you use these apps especially if you're a 'brand' your content loses its authenticity.

For times when you want to make use of them, know that there are editing elements that you need to take care of; such as brightness, contrast, saturation.

Having a fixed preset for all your Instagram pictures is what you should aim for in the long run.

Instagram mistake 8: Using over saturated colours

Instagram is a vast platform, you can experiment with different color combinations, designs, and much more. But, having a proper understanding of why contrasts are necessary is fundamental.

Let's refer to the image below.

The image to the left displays poor execution. Whereas, the image to the right is easy on the eyes and understandable.

This is why contrasting is a crucial element in designing.

Contrast should be applied in a balanced way; too much contrast can be just as bad as none at all and may result in a confusing or visually jarring design. If all your design elements contrast, nothing will stand out.- Canva.

To understand more about why contrasting is important, refer to this guide.

Instagram mistake 9: Overloading with call-to-actions

A clear call-to-action helps your audience by taking the next steps towards becoming your client. But at times, we over-do it.

For example: if you're using a lot of CTA's at the end of your post, it sure looks like a lot of work for someone who is genuinely interested in your offer. That will in turn drive your audience to take no action at all.

"Compelling calls-to-action can help you urge prospective customers toward conversion" - Anonymous.

The best call to action phrases are clear but specific and create an urgency that drives the user to action.

Instagram mistake 10: Posting when your followers are online

If you're a brand and want people to engage with your content, this is a mistake you should avoid at all costs - posting only when your followers are online.

Instagram analytics suggest that you post at one particular time during the day, but that's just not how it works.

If you post according to your target audience and study their behavior on social media, you will eventually drive better results.

"What works for other brands might not work for you so it’s important to do your own experimentations to find your best time to post on social media." - Buffer.

To understand this better, read more about it here.

Instagram mistake 11: Not highlighting important information  

If you're not highlighting important keywords in your designs, you are doing it all wrong.

"Effective highlighting asks the reader to pick out the important parts and ensures that the reader is able to understand the message effectively." - Anonymous.

When it comes to putting your message in front of your audience, highlighting certain words also helps your brand emerge as bold and confident.

If you look at the image above, you're more likely to click on the right image rather than the one on the left. This is what highlighting important words does to your content, It helps the reader draw attention to a certain set of words that are important.

Instagram mistake 12: Reusing the same set of hashtags every post

Hashtags make your content discoverable.

When you use the same set of hashtags without conducting proper hashtag research, your Instagram growth tends to decline.

Here's some trivia: The Instagram algorithm is more likely to promote your content if you use the right set of hashtags.

Make sure you use a new set of hashtags every time you upload your content. That way, you not only accelerate your Instagram growth but also make it convenient for similar people to find you.

Refer to this article here to learn more about hashtags.

Instagram mistake 13: Having a too long or short bio

Your Instagram bio is the first thing people notice when they visit your page.

Writing a well-optimized Instagram bio that helps you attract your ideal audience and describes you best can be tricky at times.

Be more specific about your expertise and put together a bio that can help your audience gauge a better understanding of how you can help them.

"Your Instagram bio could make all the difference in boosting your social presence. It’s the perfect place to exhibit your brand identity and show off your creative side" - Sprout Social.

Here are some tips to understand how to write an instagram bio that stands out!

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