How NOT to promote your Instagram if you want it to grow 0 588

Every business regularly spending time creating and adding content to an Instagram account has two things in mind: sales and growth. In the beginning, every new follower is celebrated, and engagement is followed closely.

However, not all businesses are the same, and nor is it a new Instagram account. Starting to see tangible results on social media can take a while, leading some small business owners and digital marketers to try and get ahead of the game.

From buying followers – a tried and tested technique that can seriously harm your Instagram – to binge posting, mass following, and other hidden ways of gathering more followers and leads. I have seen it all. The more desperate a new business or a novice social media professional is to get to the top of the social media pyramid, the more likely they are to fall into traps promising instant fame and money.

Here, 10 entrepreneurs, content creators, digital consultants, and even a magician share 10 hacks to avoid while promoting your business on Instagram.

 

1. Follow/Unfollow

“The worst hack is using some sort of automated application or Chrome extension (like Everliker) to gather followers through automatic following/unfollowing. On the one hand, it works…for a while. But the users you get from such techniques, for the most part, don’t actually engage with your content. This is also a great way to get your account temporarily or permanently suspended, as Instagram heavily monitors and cracks down on such abuse.”

Jay Andrew Allen – Technical Writer

 

2. Posting for the sake of it

“One Instagram hack or myth that should be busted is that you need to post every single day.

While consistency is key to keeping yourself visible, it doesn’t mean you need to post everyday. Curating an Instagram account is all about quality and not quantity. If you can post a quality image only 4 times a week then

That is better than several poor-quality posts per day. However, make sure you keep that weekly habit in place.

Mollie Newton – Founder at www.petmetwice.com

 

3. To use someone’s comment section to promote yourself

“There are several approaches that are not effective for promoting your Instagram. A few things that I see most newbies doing is spamming other accounts’ comment sections with self-promo and having no posting strategy at all.”

Brianna Desira – Content creator at www.girlhustlers.org

 

4. To buy cheap ads in countries with no potential clients

“I am based in San Francisco, however, when I first started using social media I bought lots of ads in Egypt. I did this because, for a long time, they had the cheapest cost per click. Over time I learnt that buying ads in countries your potential customers were not in is a waste of resources. On top of this, it also skewed who saw my future ads.”

Daniel Chan – Award-winning magician at www.danchanmagic.com

 

5. Aiming your content at the wrong audience

“I’ve known some companies tapping millennial influencers for IG growth but seem oblivious to the fact that it just won’t work because they’re in the wrong market. Millennials are, by nature, true digital natives. They’ve learned to know which brands to trust and which ones to avoid. They understand how brands are marketing to them. So, they approach campaigns with scrutiny rather than enthusiasm. However, they will react well if the message is authentic, if the product or service is valuable, and if the brand isn’t too pushy. Because of this, the best way to market to them is to avoid being overly aggressive and straight-in-your-face. It’s the reason why influencer marketing has become big business in the first place on Instagram.”

Michael Hamelburger – CEO at Expense Reduction Group.

 

6. Buying fake followers

“The worst technique that you could possibly use to promote your Instagram account is to buy fake followers.

By doing this, there is no promise of user engagement or promotion of your business. Essentially, most of these

accounts are bots or fake personas created for the sole purpose of inflating your follower count. Not only are these followers useless, but the spammy visuals often associated with these accounts is sure to deter potential customers away.”

Tom Mumford – Co-founder of Undergrads Moving

 

7. Promoting your Instagram while commenting on someone else’s content

“The worst hack that I have observed on Instagram is people engaging with others in the community with a reference back to their profile. This means commenting on a post with some valuable information, then ruining this connection by referring straight back to your profile. The comment with the valuable information is ok, but the reference back to your profile is not fine. In fact, this is considered spam by Instagram.”

Anjana Wickramaratne – Social Media Marketing Manager at Inspirenix Digital Marketing

 

8. Following people with the sole intention of selling to them

“One of the worst techniques I’ve seen is mass following, then immediately sending a copy/pasted sales message. Then, unfollowing a day later.

This approach will leave you disconnected from long term growth & authentic connection! Plus, it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. This hack is even worse as people do it so often. I’ve seen people follow/unfollow multiple times. This world is smaller than you think!

Sara Tea – DJ and Creative Consultant

 

9. Following everyone is not a strategy

“As the founder of a website, I made promoting my business my main responsibility. I do it on every platform that is willing to help, especially on social media. However, not all tips and techniques that can be found online can give an advantage to your business. For example, following everyone who follows you. More often than not, they are just following you so they can tag you in their posts to widen their reach. To prevent this, do not follow every account that follows you.”

Samantha Moss – Editor & Content Ambassador at www.romantific.com

 

10. Off topic comments is a no-no

“One of the tackiest tactics to get more followers and likes on Instagram is commenting on something completely irrelevant under the photos of other Instagram users just to get more attention.  I’ve seen a lot of smaller accounts try to comment completely ridiculous things under the photos of celebrities and popular influencers to try to get people in the comments to follow them. Commenting under popular photos and videos for the sole purpose of getting more followers is not just tacky, but it can also anger the person who posted the content.”

Liz Jeneault – Influencer and VP of Marketing at product review website www.faveable.com

 

Bonus tip – Using someone’s content without crediting it

“Our Instagram account is popular because it reposts content from customers, including celebrities, that use our products. These products include vehicle restoration projects and custom cars. Hence, reposted photos of those transformed cars always help grow our Instagram. However, a mistake you don’t want to make when sharing other people’s content is not properly crediting the person who made or owns that content. When you don’t properly credit customers or creators for their content, you are increasing your chance of frustrating others and potentially getting reported. You also want to properly credit people for their content on Instagram because those people will often share the reposts that you tag them in, which can help your account gain more followers.”

Sturgeon Christie – Auto industry expert and the CEO at www.secondskinaudio.com

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

Social committee proposes EU regulation on influencers 0 86

Perceived by consumers as closer, more authentic and more trustable than traditional advertising or celebrity endorsement, content creators are attracting more brand investment than ever: in 2022 alone, influencer marketing spend jumped from 3.69 billion to 4.14 billion in the U.S., according to data released by American inbound marketing platform Hubspot. The amount of cash trading hands pushed authorities to set standards for the Influencer marketing industry early on. So much so that, in the USA, influencer marketing is considered regulated since 2009, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published for the first time a set of endorsement guides on sponsored content posted by content creators on behalf of brands – including influencers being required to disclose their relationships with companies in a clear way.

Over to Europe, the rules are not as clear.

Unlike traditional advertising, which is subject to very strict rules, influencer advertising can fall through the cracks of ad disclosure. The commercial nature of influencer posts is not always identifiable, with ads featuring alongside similarly styled, but independent editorial content. Companies using influencers as ambassadors for their products and brands also have greater freedom than in conventional advertising.

Now the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union, is trying to reduce the lack of transparency often seen in influencer marketing by proposing that the EU should set specific obligations for both, the administrators of the video-sharing platforms and social media networks on which influencers operate, and for content creators and influencers themselves.

The basic principle of the proposal is that advertisers should leave consumers in no doubt that what they are engaging with is advertising. And they should not mislead consumers or cause serious offence.

“EU already has some mechanisms in place to deal with influencers, which are covered by legislation on both advertisers and sellers/traders. However, we think it would be desirable to have a comprehensive approach given the fast rise of this phenomenon.”, says Bernardo Hernández Bataller, a councilor of the European Economic and Social Committee since 1994. “We would need specific regulation to cover the rights and obligations of the people involved, so that all legal operators and consumers know exactly what is and what is not acceptable.”

Some Member States have gone it alone (France, Spain and the Belgian region of Flanders). But, accord to the recent proposal, a “hard core” of EU rules would be more effective. The EESC argues that it would leave no loopholes allowing different Member States to take a softer line.

The list of suggestions to be adopted by influencers in all 27 member states of the European Union includes it being mandatory for content creators to include a prominent label upfront to highlight that a post is a marketing communication. They would then be liable if they fail to make it sufficiently clear when they are being paid to endorse or promote a product or service.

The proposal highlights that platform administrators and social media networks should also be liable for content published by the content creators and influencers they host, as well as have an obligation to take down illegal content and report illegal activity.

Other issues surrounding influencer marketing featured throughout the report includes the frequent use of child influencers. Concerns regarding content creators as a trade and if their position should be covered by employment laws are also mentioned.

“What about the tax issues raised by influencer advertising? How should we tax influencer income and the profits influencers generate? How should we tax the added value they create?, asks Stefano Palmieri, co-rapporteur.

Even if approved, a new set of rules doesn’t necessary mean that brands and content creators will follow them. In France, in a study of 60 influencers and influencer agencies from January 2023, the French General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) showed that 60% did not respect the regulations on advertising and consumer rights.

And in the UK, compliance with labelling requirements when it comes to Influencer Marketing remains low. In 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published an analysis of more than 24,000 Instagram Stories. Of the 5,700 it considered to be marketing material, nearly two-thirds were not clearly identifiable as such.

How is Coronavirus affecting content creators’ income? 0 641

It is official: we are four months into 2020, and a lot has changed since the last time content creators ventured out of their houses for a photoshoot, or to create a branded campaign from scratch.

From Asia to the USA, from Europe to Latin America, current travel restrictions and self-isolation recommendations mean that more people than ever before are working indoors, across all corners of the world, helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

So, how are influencers balancing life in quarantine, creativity restraints, and the loss of income generated by the global pandemic?

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Double Impact

“As a content creator and ski instructor, I have been doubly impacted because you need to be outdoors to carry out both activities, and, right now, it is not a possibility here in Italy.

It has been a month since the last time we were allowed out of the house properly, and the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is worrying.

We try to remain courageous and support each other, but the truth is, we don’t know when all this will end, and life will be back to normal. Hopefully, everything will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Leveraging the Engagement Spike

“It affected me directly as I had worked with brands canceled, as well as a work trip carefully planned to take place during Easter that has been canceled.

I am very practical, though, and as I suddenly found myself at home with lots of extra time, I have dedicated my time to creating content that can help my followers through their quarantine.

From tips to recipes, I am doing whatever I can to keep my Instagram active and useful, besides leveraging the increase of traffic and engagement I have noticed since this novel coronavirus started to change people’s online habits.”

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Fitness Routine Dropped

“Although I love my two dogs, staying full time indoors with them is also driving me insane. I miss going to the gym – and for once, my fitness routine has totally dropped.

I’ve been trying to keep a healthy diet but, I’m just at home watching movies all day. I haven’t been back to work in 2 weeks, and I truly miss it, even seeing my co-workers and just people in general. As an influencer and content creator, the virus has had a kind of up and down effect; for example, I haven’t had any new products for product placement, but I have learned a couple of new things for myself. I’ve learned to dance more, keep in touch more with my family and friends (over FaceTime, of course). In fact, lately, I have been putting together a lot of dance videos, and have even learned a couple of choreographies.

The virus itself is horrible, and I wish it can go away soon, so we can continue with our normal lives and normal living and rebuild a financial structure. Tons of businesses have closed down here in Las Vegas, and hotels and casinos are all boarded up to keep people away.”

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Negotiations On Hold

“I’m a stay at home mum, and I usually use the time when my son is at the nursery to create content for both my YouTube channel and my Instagram. However, right now, my son’s nursery is closed, so it is really difficult as he consumes most of my time.

It is not only affecting my creativity but my income, too. I had a few brands in which I was at an advanced stage of negotiations for an Influencer Marketing campaign before the lockdown. Unfortunately, they had to put everything on hold due to the unprecedented times.”

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

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