7 Deadly Instagram Marketing Mistakes That Will Get You Unfollowed

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Instagram is the most visual of all the social media platforms and has become critical to the success of small businesses everywhere.

Customers go there to like, comment and otherwise engage with brands just like yours. And because it takes a lot of effort to build up a following, it can be dispiriting to see follow count dwindle. The platform is rife with minefields, and even the simplest Instagram marketing mistakes can cause people to press that unfollow button.

According to stats, visual content gets shared 40X more than any other type of content. This increases brand exposure, generates leads, and helps build trust among customers. So when you gain new followers, you want to keep them around. 

Read on to learn 7 deadly Instagram mistakes that will get you unfollowed and how they can be rectified.

instagram marketing mistakes

1. Not Having A Goal

If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have a plan. If you have no plan, you have no direction.

If you have no direction, you have zero consistency. And this is a major turnoff to your followers because consistency is what ultimately helps build trust.

Moreover, without a clear goal, you won’t know what you want your followers to do. They won’t know what you want them to do, and this could result in some unfollows.

Before you get started on Instagram, outline your goals as clearly as possible. Do you want to increase brand exposure, boost sales or drive more traffic to your website?

Once you identify your goals you’ll be in a position to post content that resonates with your followers.

2. You Don’t Have A Link In Your Bio

Instagram only allows you to add one link to your page at a time, and that is in your bio. If you’re not including a link there, you’re missing out on a lot of web traffic. Not including a link can also suggest you’re not too bothered about building a proper audience.

But don’t just add any link. You want to use one that you can draw attention to and encourage people to click on.

For example, if you’re running a special on an item, feature it in post with a CTA like “purchase now with the link in our bio!” Make sure the link you provide delivers on promises made in your CTA, whether it be a certain product, landing or squeeze page.

3. Posting Duplicate Content

The easiest way to get unfollowed on Instagram? Post the same image over and over again.

Instead, of blatantly reposting, consider ways you can repurpose your content. For example, you could turn a carousel ad into a series of separate image posts at a later date in order to remind people of a certain offer.

Another idea is to try sharing different types of visual content. Mix things up with quotes, memes, videos and so on.

According to research, 27.5% of customers want entertaining content from the brands they follow. This means your images need to entertain. If you continuously post duplicate content, people will get bored.

To further help you avoid posting duplicate content, you can always use a social media helper. OnlyPult does anything and everything when it comes to managing your Instagram account, including automatically publishing your original posts for you. You can read an OnlyPult review here.

4. You Don’t Engage

 Poor customer service is the main reason consumers abandon brands. If you don’t engage with your customers on Instagram, you’re going to lose out.

Your customers are already supporting your brand by following you, and they’re supporting it even more by commenting on your photos.  If you never reply to their comments, you will look neglectful and disinterested. The more often you engage and communicate with your followers the better your customer relationships will be.

Set aside 30 minutes each day to reply to comments on your posts, it will make a big difference in how you followers interact with you moving forward.

5. Focusing on Quantity at the Cost of Quality

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to posting frequency. Social Buddy suggests that “the more frequently you post on Instagram, the more likes you’ll receive.”

However, frequency can be hard to gauge. An easy rule of thumb is aim to post about 1.5 times per day on average. Posting often helps build loyalty, and means that people won’t forget about you.

Posting several times a day may work for you at first, but it will eventually come at a cost of quality over the long term. If you aim for an average of 1.5 times a day and focus on quality, you’ll be in a much better position.

6. Not Using The Right Amount of Hashtags

The optimal amount of hashtags to use per post is 11. Though it sounds like a lot, it will help new people find your content and encourage engagement.

It’s a good idea to spend time refining your hashtag strategy at the beginning of the week. Research popular hashtags in your niche, and add them to a spreadsheet so you can easily grab assign them to new pieces of content.

It’s also a good idea to use hashtags that you’ve created yourself. Brand specific hashtags generate a sense of community among your followers, strengthening brand loyalty.

7. Posting Poor Quality Photos

Think you can get away with posting a low-quality photo every once in a while? You can’t.

Low-quality photos devalue your brand and will certainly cost you some followers.

This is your brand – and you’re putting it in front of over a billion users! As such, you need to look professional. Aim for images that are double the recommended size (1280x1280px) and avoid stock photos, which can look cliche and cheesy.

If you need to make a customized image, tools like Design Wizard make it easy to create high quality photos worthy of sharing.


 All in all, Instagram isn’t that hard to master. However, as we all know, marketing can be a dicey business. One wrong move can undo your hard work.

Use this checklist to identify which Instagram marketing mistakes you may be making. As long as you make the suggested changes and keep pumping out awesome content, winning on Instagram will get a lot easier!

Did we miss any Instagram marketing mistakes? Let us know in the comments below!


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Antonija is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a marketing agency providing link building and digital marketing services. She has a great interest in digital marketing and a soft spot for graphic design. She’s never tired of searching for new inspirations, listening to her favorite music and creating digital illustrations.

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