5 Mistakes New Businesses Make On Instagram (+ How To Fix Them)

Want to start marketing your business on Instagram?

Then you need to read this.

Instagram can be a fantastic tool to reach new audiences and build engagement. Especially with such a large pool of different people that use the app daily. But if you’re a new business you might get confused with what is the best way market your brand on the app.

Lately, Instagram has become overhyped by business coaches and marketing gurus telling you:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
💰 how much money they’re making on Instagram
👼 how easy it is to earn money on Instagram 
🚫 if you don’t cash 6 figures you’re not working hard enough
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See the problem? There’s also a lot of BS going around that’s setting the WRONG expectations for new businesses. In this post, I am sharing 5 mistakes I’ve seen new businesses make on Instagram so you learn and improve. 
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Here Are 5 Mistakes New Businesses Make on Instagram (And How To Fix Them)

Mistake #1: Always selling vs engaging

There are many ways to use social media for marketing from creating brand awareness to building a community and offering customer service. But Instagram is the #1 platform for engagement for a reason. People come here to get to know you – not to watch another ad (PS: there’s plenty of ads they’re already forced to watch on YouTube, TV and Facebook)

Tip: Try to do less selling and self promo and more community engagement! A good strategy is to draw people from your other social channels to Instagram where you can build a more personal connection.

Mistake #2: Not wanting to know your audience 

Eh… let’s not even get into this. If you don’t know who you’re targeting how can you even market successfully? The first step in planning your marketing strategy is KNOWING who your ideal customers are and then create content that attracts & delights them. 

Tip: Use Instagram stories to do polls and find out who your followers are and what problems they face

Mistake #3: Only talking about “me” and not “we”

Being an arrogant and self-centered is sooo early 2000s! The new leader is a leader that is transparent, ethical, humble and wants to help empower others. Your Instagram needs to be all about your customers and followers and not about making you look good. 

Tip: Design your Instagram profile like a landing page your ideal customers will immediately want to follow

Mistake #4: Not providing value in your content

I know you’re bored to hear this phrase “You need to create valuable content” for your audience. But I am telling you – THIS is the secret to growing on Instagram. If your content doesn’t teach, educate, help or entertain a group of people – WHY should anyone follow you, leave comments and send you DMs? 

There are three types of valuable content you can provide on Instagram:

  • Educational content: free tips, hack and tutorials
  • Entertaining content: memes, jokes, satire
  • Motivational content: inspirational quotes & motivation

Tip: Share more of these types of content and more people will follow and engage with you.

Mistake #5: Not building a community 

Growing an Instagram account from scratch is really hard. It takes you 3 -6 months to get your first 1000 followers. And only after you hit this milestone, Instagram algorithm will feature you on the Explore page where you can have more eyes on your profile. But until you reach that stage, you need to engage with people daily, consistently. 

That’s why, communities are very important for startups. This is what is going to help your small account grow faster. You need to find people in the same niche and connect with them regularly. 

Conclusion:

If you’ve made some of these mistakes, don’t worry! Everybody makes them at some point. But the important part is to identify these as mistakes and learn to make better decisions that will help propel your Instagram growth.
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👇Your turn: 
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Any questions? Leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer them as best as I can. Remeber: I’m here to help you – not to discourage you from marketing on Instagram. 

Follow me on Insta!

Why Your Instagram Hashtags Don’t Work (& How To Fix it)

Did you notice your latest posts get a much lower reach than what they used to? You check your post insights just to see something like this:

  • 18% of people weren’t following you
  • Impression from hashtags 33 (out of 245)

Now you must think something really bad is going on. Is Instagram trying to purposely decrease your posts reach? Hmmm… maybe you’ve been “shadow-banned!”

If you can’t figure out why your hashtags aren’t working anymore, you’re in the right place! In this post, I will share my thoughts and personal experience with why sometimes hashtags aren’t working on Instagram and give you some tips on how to get back on the trending page.

But first, let’s answer the most burning question on Instagram:

Are you shadow-banned?


Most likely you are not shadow-banned. Because shadow-banning on Instagram doesn’t even exist! Instagram has repeatedly come out to refute these claims and insists their algorithm doesn’t purposefully decrease the reach of anyone’s posts. So, time to relax.

Shadow-banning is nothing more than a fancy word made up by some Instagram gurus to scare you off and convince you to buy their services. 

Unless you’ve used automation services (such as buying fake followers, auto-likes or comments) – you have nothing to worry about being #shadowbanned!

Instead, here are some more plausible reasons why your content doesn’t rank well on hashtags.

Common Reasons Why Your Hashtags Don’t Work

Ready? Let’s explore some hashtags mistakes and easy fixes!

Reason #1: Your Hashtags Don’t Work Because You Haven’t Been Posting Consistently

Did you take a break from Instagram? Or perhaps you’re having an irregular posting schedule. You’re sharing 2 posts today and then you stop until next week when you share 5 posts in a row. Inconsistency is typically the no. 1 reason why hashtags can stop working. When you are not consistent, you’re breaking a pattern and the algorithm won’t show your random content to a wider audience.

Ask yourself: what is a posting frequency you can commit to? 3 x per week? 5 x per week? Because being consistent means that your followers know when to expect seeing your new content and they’re more likely to be there and engage.

Reason #2: Your Hashtags Don’t Work Because You Are Choosing The Wrong Hashtags

Instagram has a separate explore page for each hashtag. There, you can typically find similar posts that have some visual elements in common. For example, let’s look at #businesschicks hashtag page. At first glance, you can see that the top posts text quotes and images with text overlay. So, if you were to post a photo of your office space and use this hashtag, it most likely won’t perform well. But if you share a black & white inspiring quote, you have a higher chance to rank.

How to fix it: Before you post, do a quick search on the Instagram hashtags page to see the type of content that ranks in the top 9 for each hashtag. Then, ask yourself: Can you create content that has similar characteristics with the top posts?

Reason #3: Your Hashtags Don’t Work Because Your Audience Lost Interest In Your Content

Sometimes why your hashtags don’t work is because your audience is not interested in what you’re sharing. And if they don’t engage within the first hours, Instagram will deem your post as not valuable and won’t show it to more people.

Ask yourself: Are you even attracting the right audience?

If your answer is “yes”, then you need to do a better job in creating content that they really want to see and are willing to engage with! A good place to start is asking them directly: “What type of content would you like to see from me?” Then, research and come up with better posts. You shouldn’t repost average content – take your time and create valuable posts! Because quality always beats quantity & with hashtags, you want to have better posts that what already exists on the explore page.

What if you notice you are attracting a lot of followers – but the reason why they’re not engaging with your posts is simply because they aren’t ideal? There are two possible solutions:

  • A. You change your target audience and adapt to the likes of this new audience’s preferences you’ve attracted to your profile. If these people are following you, you might as well take advantage of their presence.
  • B. You revamp your Instagram strategy and focus on sharing content that attracts better your ideal audience. This one will take more time, but eventually, you’ll create a more loyal following that will appreciate your content more.

Want to learn more about hashtags?

Watch this video training to learn how to do a proper hashtag research and find the best hashtags to use for your Instagram posts:

Remember:

Shadow-banning on Instagram doesn’t exist! It’s just a fancy word made up to scare you off, create panic and sell you growth services. It’s also an excuse for continuing to share disengaged content, using irelevant hashtags and having a bad overall strategy.

Instead

Take a moment to reflect and think of which other plausible reasons can be affecting your hashtags performance. I hope you’ve learned some of these reasons in this post, and you can apply it in the future to optimise your hashtags growth.

Let me know: are you ready to try these tips and fix your hashtags???

Comment below.

Follow me on Insta for more marketing tips https://instagram.com/alleceambur

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My articles on best hashtags:

Best Hashtags For Motorcycles & Bikes https://sharemyinsights.com/learn/instagram-motorcycle-hashtags

Best Hashtags for Art and Artists https://sharemyinsights.com/learn/best-instagram-hashtags-for-artists

Best Hashtags for Meme Pages https://sharemyinsights.com/learn/best-meme-hashtags

The 5 Best FREE Analytics Apps for Instagram Marketers


Want to know which are the BEST FREE Instagram analytics apps?

Everyone knows that the secret to growing on Instagram is having high-quality content that your audience engages with. So how do you achieve that? Well, a good place to start is by checking your Instagram insights and find out what’s working and what isn’t. 

In this post, I’ll review some of the best free Instagram analytics apps so you can decide which one to use to create better content. You do want better content, right? Okay, let’s dive right into the review.

The Best FREE Instagram Analytics Apps for Marketers

Watch this video to see a live review and demo of each of these apps.

  1. Instagram Insights (FREE)

The first app I want to talk about is Instagram Insights – available on your mobile app.

Score: 6/10 (good, but you can get better!)

PROs:

  • You don’t have to download a 3rd party app
  • You can check your insights quickly, as soon as you log in
  • You get a good set of analytics that cover: Followers, Content, Profile Activity and Reach
  • It allows you to track your growth over the last 7 days
  • A good app for personal users/influencers

CONs:

  • Not available on desktop
  • You can’t export the stats (instead you need to screenshot the charts)
  • You can’t get insights up to 30 days – so it’s not ideal for monthly reports
  • No insights into competitors, hashtags or engagement
  • If you’re a social media manager you’ll need to suppliment the insights with a 3rd party app


If you want to learn more about tracking your Instagram insights with the app itself, check out this video tutorial:

  1. Iconosquare (14-day Free Trial)

This app is probably the most popular analytics app for Instagram at this moment. And after trying it – I have fallen in love with it. But do I recommend it? Hmm… it’s a hard decision to make. I guess you have to try it to recognise it’s worth.

Score: 9/10

Best feature on Iconosquare: Industry benchmark

PROs:

  • Lifetime insights for up to 3 profiles
  • complete set of Instagram insights (including followers, engagement, reach, profile activity & content)
  • additional features: custom dashboard, 3 competitors, scheduling tools, Facebook & Twitter insights. industry benchmark (coolest feature)
  • comes with minimum 3 profiles, so it’s great for social media managers & agencies
  • you can generate auto-email reports

CONs:

  • Price after trial starts at $29/mo. and goes up to $200++ (depending on the no. of accounts)
  • PDF reports are only available on the $59/mo. plan
  • too expensive for new social media managers/freelancers
  • each additional Intsgram profile costs $14.25/mo.

Learn more about Iconosquare here https://iconosquare.com/

  1. Ninjalitics (14-day Free Trial)

I’ve used this app for almost 2 years! And I like it because it’s a compact/minimal version of what you get on Iconosquare. The charts are less beautiful, but still quite valuable. The only downside (for me) is that the charts come with strong watermarks and cannot be used in professional reports.

Score: 7/10

PROs:

  • Insights up to 6 mo. for up to 100 profiles (*paid plan)
  • A good selection of insights including: profile traffic, engagement, followers and content
  • Additional features include: follow/unfollow rate and detailed post analytics (with visibility and attraction capability for each post)
  • Comes with free email reports
  • Competitor insights (separate tool)

CONs:

  • Price after the FREE trial starts from 19 Euro/month (10 accounts) and goes up to 40 Euro/month for 100 accounts
  • The charts come with big watermark and are not the best looking in a professional report
  • If you manage multiple clients, this can turn up as a lot of work to redesign the charts to look more appealing
  • The FREE account only shows insights up to 7 days (which is less detailed than the Instagram app itself)

Learn more about Ninjalitics here https://business.ninjalitics.com

  1. Sharemyinsights (Free, and 7-Day Free Trial for Pro plan)

I started using their Pro plan and so far I’ve enjoyed it. It’s simple to use and you can even customise your own dashboard and generate reports for each of your clients. The only thing missing is a “send email to client button” and my life would be so much easier!

Score: 8/10

PROs:

  • Lifetime insights for as many profiles as you need
  • A good range of insights including: overview, audience insights, business insights & detailed post insights
  • Unique features include top best and worst hashtag, custom dashboard, and followers geographical locations track
  • Comes with free bio linking tool & insights
  • Email reports (available on paid plan)
  • Paid plans start at $9/mo. (cheapest)

CONs:

  • No PDF reports so you need to import the charts & data into your own format

Learn more about Sharemyinsights here https://sharemyinsights.com/

  1. Facebook Creator Studio (FREE)

Score: 2/10 (This one is a disappointment – I don’t recommend)

While I love Facebook Creator Studio (and I use it) to schedule content for Instagram I have to say their analytics are the WORST I’ve come across. Don’t waste your time. I think you’re much better off checking your insights on your mobile Instagram app.

PROs:

  • The only available insights are: audience & activity
  • Insights shown are up to 7 days only

CONs:

  • You get less analytics than on the Instagram app
  • No ability to generate reports
  • No stories insights

Log in to your Creator Studio here: https://business.facebook.com/creatorstudio/

Conclusion:

If you’re struggling with growing on Instagram, you may find it useful to start tracking your Instagram insights and dive into analytics. I hope this review has helped you decide which Instagram analytics tools are worth your time – and which aren’t. Let me know if you need more help with analytics! Good luck.

3 Mistakes People Make When Starting an Online Business

Want to quit your 9-5 job and thinking of starting an online business? or perhaps you want to earn side income while still working at your 9-5? Then, you might want to know how to avoid these 3 common mistakes people make when starting a business.

Do you always wonder:

  • Should I leave my existing job and start a career doing something I love?
  • Would I regret it a year later? 
  • What if my business fails? 

You’re not alone! I was thinking exactly the same things a year and a half ago.


PS: I chose to leave. And I have to tell you: starting my own social media marketing business was the best decision of my life! (That, and getting a baby kitten) So, today I want to share with you some tips on how to get started and build a successful online business as a service provider. 


Starting a business is not the hardest part. You can spend a week creating a free website, register a domain and pay for hosting. Then, create a presence on 2-3 social marketing platforms and you start marketing your services. But growing your business comes with unique challenges, and especially your first year in business in essential to your long term growth and success. In your first year, you’ll face many challenges and make some of these common mistakes – like we all do. But if you know what they are you can avoid them.

3 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Ready? Here are 3 mistakes new service providers make and how to avoid them. 


Mistake 1: Not setting the right expectations


Many people think being a business owner is easy. 6-figures income in 2 weeks? Yeah, who wouldn’t want to leave their 9-5 job for that prospect? Spoiler: it’s not always the reality. Running a business is HARD. In fact, more than 80% of new businesses die within the first 18 months. 


Acknowledge the challenges ahead and ask yourself: “Are you REALLY willing to put in the work?” If your answer is “Yes!” – you are ready to be an entrepreneur.


Mistake 2: Going into debt from the start


Don’t borrow huge amounts of money from the start. I know you’re going to feel pressured to invest in a “business coach” or buy super expensive equipement – but let me tell you you don’t need it! Instead, start slowly with little or no funds and invest staggeringly once you’ve validated that your business can make you  money. You’re quite fortunate to live in a time where you can start an online business only with a laptop.

I have seen many people invest into coaches from the start and few months down the road decided that they don’t want to be in that business anymore. So, I just want you to be careful.


Mistake 3: Overcharging for your services 


This doesn’t mean that you should work for free (although I do recommend doing some work PRO bono and get yourself a few testimonials) – just that you’ll charge a fair price. Later on, when the clients see the value you’re bringing to their business, gain their trust you can think about increasing prices. 


The key to long-term success is customer retention. Keep your clients happy & you’ll be in this business for a long time. 

Conclusion:


There’s no quick way to success. With any business, you have to put in the work if you want to achieve sustainable growth. The first year in business, I would have to say, it’s especially hard. You’ll face many challenges and obstacles and you need to be ready. That’s why, I hope the tips I shared in this post help you in deciding whether or not starting a business is right for you. 


I wish you all the best of luck! And let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to answer them.

The Complete Guide To Writing Instagram Captions (+ FREE Templates)

Want to know how to write super engaging captions for your Instagram posts?

In this post, we’re going to show you a complete guide to writing Instagram captions (+ FREE Templates). So, are you ready to learn how to write engaging Instagram captions? 

— Read my article featured on sharemyinsights.com from the link below:

How to Write Great Instagram Captions

Article: sharemyinsights.com/blog/instagram-captions 

Instagram Captions Tutorial

Caption Writing Tips:

  1. The first 3 lines (25 characters) are the most important. Make them count!
  2. Keep your captions brief as shorter captions get more engagement (60-70 characters)
  3. If you want to tell a story or host a contest, add line breaks so it’s easy to read
  4. Don’t be too formal and let your personality shine through
  5. Stick with a voice & tone that’s in line with your brand
  6. Add hashtags, mentions & location tags to make your post searchable
  7. Always end with a call-to-action
  8. Check your spelling to remove any mistakes before posting

Want to know more about marketing your brand on Instagram? Subscribe to my YouTube channel (above) or connect with me on Instagram https://instagram.com/alleceambur

See ya!

How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Turn Them into Customers

Are you attracting your ideal audience on Instagram? If not, you’re not going to grow your business with strategic marketing. In this article I will show you how to find a profitable niche.

Read my article originally featured on NealSchaffer.com form the link below:

How to Identify Your Instagram Target Audience and Turn Them into Customers

Or learn 6 growth hacking strategies for Instagram from the video tutorial below.

Tips and Tricks to Build a Seamless Instagram Content Strategy

Want to build an Instagram content strategy? In this article you’ll learn all the steps to plan, create and share highly engaging Instagram content.

Source: Tips and Tricks to Build a Seamless Instagram Content Strategy

10 Instagram Marketing Strategies To Make You 6 Figures

Want to monetize your Instagram? Here’s 10 different strategies to help you make more money on Instagram. What are you waiting for?

I wrote this article as a guest author feature on NealSchaffer.com:

Link: 10 Instagram Marketing Strategies To Make You 6 Figures

I hope you like it! Here’s a little preview if you’re looking to monetize your Instagram account (with 1000 followers)

Top 6 Analytics Tools To Track Instagram Performance

Let’s talk about performance optimisation! 

Do you often feel confused that one day your posts get so much engagement and other times barely anyone acknowledges them? 

It might be a change in the algorithm – but it might also be the fact that you’re just posting without a strategy. And that’s a huge mistake – one that could cost you in the long term. You don’t want to be spending money and resources on something that isn’t working. That’s where understanding Instagram analytics comes in. While may not like looking at analytics – and find it a tedious job – but it’s such a necessary step to improve your Instagram performance. 

Luckily for you, if you don’t want to hire a content strategist (aka. me) to help you audit & plan your Instagram strategy, you can learn how to analyze your Instagram performance with a few amazing tools! 

6 Analytics Tools To Track Instagram Performance

In this post I’ve compiled a list of my favourite Instagram analytics tools for businesses. These tools are staples in my Instagram business audit kit because they are simple to use & they allow you to access enough analytical data that will help you optimize your business profile. 

Why do you need to use an Instagram analytics tool?

A good analytical tool will give you insights that help you understand:

  • how are you performing now vs. 30 days ago?
  • how are you performing vs. your competitors?
  • what are some areas you need to improve?
  • what are some things you are doing well and should continue doing?

Here are my top 5 Instagram analytics tools to help you track your performance. 

  1. Phlanx Engagement Calculator – FREE

Phlanx is a straightforward engagement calculator. I like using it for a quick audit of the engagement rate. As long as you have an Instagram business account you can key in your username & Phlanx will generate a very brief report card of your Instagram engagement, including average interactions (likes, comments) per post.

While you won’t get a lot of insights (as with other analytics tools), you can use it to check your engagement rate. A rate above 3% is considered desirable for accounts up to 10k followers. Phlanx is a beginner-friendly platform that is FREE to use by anyone who wants to know their engagement rate. 

2. Instagram Insights – FREE

While there are so many third party apps & websites, you shouldn’t neglect your inbuilt insghts. Instagram’s native “Insights” feature is another FREE analytical tool for your profile. You can easily access & track your post insights, followers growth, geolocation and reach up to 30 days back. This is a good tool to keep your strategy in check and see which posts get you the best engagement & reach. If you can see a pattern (ie. quote posts get more views in 1 month) you can quickly adjust your content strategy. 

Learn how to use Instagram Analytics from the video below

3. ShareMyInsights – FREE

ShareMyInsights is a great Instagram analytics tool that allows business accounts to access FREE insights into their hashtags, posts, and competitors. I like it because it’s very easy to use, and you get a bunch of unique insights that you would otherwise have to pay for (as with Iconosquare). So, if you’re interested to see some unique features such as competitor insights & projected followers growth over time I recommend you check them out. 

4. Iconosquare – Paid

Inconosquare is a comprehensive analytics tool that is tailored for social media agencies and brands with multiple accounts. Overall, its best for pros with some knowledge on how to interpret the data. Besides their PAID monthly insights plans, Iconosquare offers a free downloadable Instagram audit for business profiles. This audit will help you check your profile for completeness (eg. did you include a link in your bio? do you use captions to all posts) but you can’t rely on its data because the audit doesn’t take into consideration your social media goals or industry. 

Tip: Another thing I found with Iconosquare free audit is that they will score your profile low if you don’t have hashtags in your bio – which it’s totally irrelevant for many business accounts as hashtags in bio don’t act like keywords and are a waste of space. 

5. Ninjalytics – FREE

Want to spy on your competitors? Then, this is the right tool to do it. With Ninjalytics you can key in a competitor’s Instagram handle and they’ll generate for you a brief snapshot of your competitors’ strategy & key stats. It’s great to use on mobile and you can take a screenshot and compare it with your profile stats. I like this tool because it gives you more information than Phlanx, but it’s not as comprehensive as Sharemyinsights.

6. SocialBakers – Paid

Socialbakers is by far the most complex and complete Instagram analytics tools I have ever come across. That’s why I consider this a tool for social media experts and not necessarily beginner-friendly. If you’re new to Instagram analytics, you may get overwhelmed and confused with the amount of data shown. Socialbakers allows business accounts to track their account performance in real-time against selected competitors (or industry benchmark). Not to mention that you’ll get access to a load of analytical information regarding your audience, competitors and industry.

Source: http://www.suite.socialbakers.com

The only disadvantage is that you need to wait for 3-4 days to get a status report and it’s a tool that generates best results in the long term (30 days +). So if you need data urgently, you might want to skip this one. 

So, are you ready to start using some Instagram analytics tools? Do you have a favourite analytics tool? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Would you like me to take a look at your Instagram account and advise you on growth strategies? You can book anInstagram Audit service by sending me an email at axc99@yahoo.com