Why Isn’t My Instagram Strategy Working?

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How the Swipe up Feature on Instagram Can Boost Your Traffic

Planning and executing an effective Instagram strategy is more challenging than you may expect. You have tried to do everything your favorite influencers have done, including posting exciting content, writing witty captions, and putting care into which hashtags you use. But still, your efforts aren’t paying off, and you can’t figure out why.

A successful Instagram campaign differs from brand to brand, account to account, but here are a few reasons why your strategy may not be working as you hoped and what you can do about them:

You’re not making data-driven decisions

This is an important one. You don’t want to attempt to use Instagram blindly, relying on trial and error to figure out what works. That’s exhausting. You’ll spread yourself too thin, and you’ll waste a lot of time when there are ways to look at why your efforts are turning out the way they are.

Social media analytics tools like Sprout Social, Later, and Buffer can provide you with valuable insights into your Instagram strategy. How far are your posts reaching, and what could you do to improve them? Which of your posts are most successful? What do your audience demographics look like?

When you have a more in-depth understanding of your campaign, you can make data-driven decisions and adjust your strategy accordingly. Your plan should not be inflexible. If something isn’t panning out, or is working really well, then analytics tools can inform you what to stop and what to keep doing.

You tried to buy fake followers

Purchasing fake followers is an unethical practice that will ultimately harm your efforts. You may think that you will benefit from the supposed social proof and end up with lots of real followers, but it’s easy to spot when an account is trying to take a shortcut. The follower account is high, but the engagement rate is low. If you’re going to buy followers, make sure that the resource you turn to connects you with real ones that are capable of interacting with you.

You’re not interacting with your audience

When you follow someone and comment on their post, do you appreciate it when they acknowledge what you said? It doesn’t exactly hurt your feelings if they don’t, but the response lets you know that the account owner wants to engage with you, too.

Remember to interact with your audience. Your follower account only means so much. An audience that sits idly by is not the audience you want, so don’t fail to respond to their comments, answer their questions, and thank them when they re-share your posts. The comment section is also the perfect place to learn what your followers think of your content and your brand as a whole, so factor in their feedback when adjusting your strategy. Instagram isn’t meant to be a one-sided conversation.

Interact with other brands and business owners, too. Network, establish partnerships, and tap into existing audiences.

You expect too much of your audience

On a related note, don’t expect too much of your audience, either. Yes, you want to build a community, but too many brands misinterpret what a community means. You will not attract adoring fans who eagerly await every post and buy every product. Do not expect, or ask, people to latch onto your every word. Users will also not assume every product you sell is inherently better than the others.

What you want to do is demonstrate your products’ value or provide excellent content. This way, your audience will think of you when they want a particular product or to watch a kind of video. Users do not want to be friends with you — you are still a business or personal brand owner, so be realistic about what you expect from your audience.

You’re not linking to the right pages

Are you taking advantage of links? Instagram only allows you to add links to Stories if you have a big enough audience, but everyone can include at least one link in their bio (you’ve probably seen the phrase “link in bio” a lot while perusing the platform). Pick your link carefully: does it lead to your website? A charity? Something else you want to draw attention to? You can include more links once you have grown your audience, but for the time being, make sure the link you have is one that is advantageous.

Assess your Instagram campaign carefully to discern what is working and what is not. Learn from successful Instagram accounts and emulate their strategies without copying their content. What aspect of your Instagram strategy isn’t working, and how do you plan to fix it?

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.