Small Business: Five Mistakes You’re Making On Your Instagram Business Page




1. Giving access to anybody and everybody

Don’t be too quick to get a friend to do your social media especially without a proper briefing. Something happened recently that reminded me that sometimes people can be a bit too relaxed about who they hand their online reputation over to.

Just because Instagram and Facebook is omnipresent and we are all on them all the time, don’t fall into the trap of being laissez faire about these platforms. Done properly, your social media should reflect your brand and be targeted at your ideal target market. In the wrong hands, you could be spamming everybody and following accounts that have nothing to do with your target market. So IF you are going to give your Instagram password to your mate that “does social media”, make sure they have a full understanding of (a) what your business is; (b) who your target market is; and (c) what your social media goals are.

2. Disingenuous Comments

If you’re writing disingenuous comments on people’s pages, you need to stop it. People will assume that you’re a bot and the fact that you’re not, makes it even worse! “Love it!”, “I love your page”, “keep up the good work!” and other generic, vague comments not only scream “look, I’m doing the absolute minimum to build a relationship with you” but are extremely irritating and annoying. It comes across as fake and lazy and I really don’t understand it.

Take the example offline. Imagine if you ran up to every single person you saw on the street, gave them a thumbs up and said “gorgeous! Love it!” to every. Single. Person. Do you think they would think you’re genuine? No, they wouldn’t. Because you’re not being genuine. If you want to comment, say something that’s worthwhile.

Addition: let me be clear – whenever you see lots of comment like the ones I mention above, 9 times out of 10, this is going to be a bot. It’s going to be a fake account that somebody created and is using an automated system spamming your accounts with these empty comments. But my advice to you, as a human being, is to keep your comments genuine, lest they look like a ‘bot created’ comment.

3. Buying Likes

Why would you want to? You’re getting sucked into the numbers game and you need to pull yourself out of it. So often I’ll be in a meeting with a client and they’ll show me a competitor’s Instagram account. “Look how many followers they have!” and they’re so impressed with the figure. They have fallen into the trap of the number game. So what if they have a lot of followers. Check out the likes on their last post. Do they have a good engagement rate? Engagement can be calculated like this:

Engagement rate = (like + comments)/followers

As a guide, 2% is a good rate to aim for.

Recently someone showed me an account that had 11K followers but most of their posts only got about 100 likes. So .1% of their followers are actually engaging with their posts. Big Deal. You should be aiming to have more genuine followers who like what they see and comment on your posts than to have a huge following. The proof is in the relationship building and engagement.

4. Not Posting Regularly

If you don’t have the time to manage your Instagram, then shut it down. An unloved Instagram account is very sad indeed. Especially for the follower who is excited to see that your business has an account! Lo and behold, they click on your last photo and see that it was posted in 2013. All it does is reflect poorly on your brand, so it’s better to remove the account completely if you’re not going to look after it properly.

But if you do want to build a great page and you’re dedicated to setting time aside to work on it, plan out your content and schedule it if you need to. There are many third party apps you can use to schedule your Instagram posts and the one I use is Hootsuite.

5. Not Responding To Follower’s Comments

You need to regularly check your Instagram account. Instagram will notify you of any comments, mentions or tags on your account as they occur. I know from firsthand experience that sometimes these messages can be missed and you may not see a comment until some time has passed. It’s good practice to regularly go back and check on your notifications and acknowledge or respond to any comments on your account. Should you respond to obviously spammy comments such as the ones mentioned above? eg “keep up the good work!” “love it!” As a general rule, I don’t respond to ones that appear to be spam, especially when the same account comments on several different photos in my feed with exactly the same comment each time. At the bare minimum, I will ‘like’ their comment and that’s it. But I’m more than happy to engage in conversation with people who have actually taken the time to read what I’ve posted and post a relevant comment.

And that’s it from me for another week! What about you? What other mistakes do you see people making on their Instagram business accounts?







Hardcastle Social Media is an independent social media consultancy based in Inner Brisbane.  We provide strategic social media marketing to organisations of all sizes and have recently started offering newsletter services too!  Specialising in Facebook & Instagram business page management we provide services from setting up your Facebook or Instagram business page through to total management of your current platforms.  Contact us today on 0401 505 423 or  We offer expert social media advice and look forward to discussing your business needs.

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