Social Media

3 Instagram Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Are you making these Instagram mistakes with your boutique or shop? Stop and read these three major Instagram mistakes and how you can fix them. Click through to enroll in my three day e-mail course and learn how to become an Instagram pro.


Still struggling with your Instagram account? Losing followers as fast as you’re gaining them? Posting and hearing crickets?


These are common struggles I hear from Instagrammers. They’re not sure what the problem is with their account. What’s making people unfollow them? Why don’t they receive any comments? If you’re not sure what the problem is, then how can you go about fixing it.


I’m sharing the three most common mistakes I see boutique and shop owners make on their Instagram AND I’m telling you how to fix those mistakes too.


1. Not making the most of your Instagram bio

Here’s what I see in a lot of Instagram bios: that you own a business, have a few different hobbies and anyone who stumbles upon your Instagram profile should shop from you now. That’s wrong for a few reasons.


For one (and this is going to be pretty blunt), but your Instagram followers and potential customers are not really interested in your hobbies. They’re interested in spending their money and you want them to spend it on your shop. If you start talking about your hobbies, they’ll take their money somewhere else.


Another thing to consider is whether or not you should be including your religion or bible verses in your Instagram bio. If your shop is religion based, it makes sense to include something about religion. However, if it’s not, I highly suggest keeping your religion out of your Instagram bio. Others may not agree with your stance on religion or what you practice and you don’t want that to be a reason for not gaining followers or making sales.


And yes, you should definitely be telling people to click that link in your bio, but tell them a little bit more than just “shop now.”


Here’s how to fix your Instagram bio:

I talked about the importance of your social media bio in this post, but right now, we’re just going to talk about Instagram. Your Instagram bio is the first thing people see when they check out your account. You need to make the most of it.


Your Instagram bio is not all about you! It should really be more about the kind of customer you are serving. How can you be of service to them? What makes you stand out from the crowd and what about your products is going to change their lives? These sound like extreme questions, but they’ll help to write that awesome bio.


In your Instagram profile, you only get one clickable link. Including why your Instagram audience should click that is super important. People may not click that link otherwise and you would lose out on e-mail sign ups or sales and nobody wants that.


2. Using the wrong hashtags

This is a big one for me. Here’s the thing. Google has SEO, right? Well, Instagram has hashtags.


When you want your website or products to be found on Google, you use keywords that your ideal customer would search in Google. It’s the same thing with hashtags.


Instead of using the right hashtags that their audience would use, I see many Instagrammers use hashtags that the same kind of business owners would use or hashtags that describe what’s going on in photos. You want to stay away from those hashtags!


A common hashtag for boutique owners is #boutiquefashion, but that isn’t the hashtag you should be using. Why? Because you are only going to attract more boutique owners and my guess is that is NOT your ideal customer.


How to fix your hashtag problem:

Market research. Get to know your ideal customer — it’s more than just a gender and age. Once you get to know your ideal customer, you’ll be able to figure out what hashtags attract those customers. Use those hashtags! And just because you found a few hashtags that work doesn’t mean your work stops there. You should always be looking into new hashtags and experimenting with different ones.


3. Not engaging with your audience

Not getting any comments or getting those robot comments is pretty frustrating. You could delete those robot comments or report the spammer, but what do you do if you’re not getting any real engagement?


Well, first go back and take a look at those hashtags again. Are those really the best hashtags you could be using to attract your ideal customers? If not, go back to the drawing board. There’s no one size fits all for hashtags.


Second, how are you engaging on other accounts? Are you just leaving comments like “love that” or “beautiful”? That’s not engagement either, my friend. If you’re commenting on other accounts, you need to posting engaging comments (and liking the photo too, of course).

When people do leave comments on your Instagram account, are you responding back? And I don’t just mean saying thank you when someone leaves a compliment. Are your responding with an engaging comment?


Really look at your account and see if you are.


How to fix your engagement:

Let’s talk about leaving engaging comments on other accounts first. Stop wasting your time and their time leaving comments like “love it.” Tell them why you love it. Did someone post a picture at a special occasion wearing one of your products? Ask them how the event went.


Next up, your account. If someone says “love it” to you, all hope isn’t lost. Respond with a thank you and ask them where they would wear that outfit you just shared. Or what accessories they would pair with that new shirt.


Go take a look at your Instagram account. Are you making these mistakes and are you going to take the steps to fix them? What are you struggling with on your Instagram account?

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  • Reply
    August 25, 2016 at 9:39 am

    This is such great advice, Melissa! I’d actually never thought about hashtags before – I’ve been using ones that fellow creatives and entrepreneurs have recommended, but really, I need to use others related to my target audience. Time to do some research I think!

    • Reply
      Melissa Hebbe
      August 26, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, Holly! And so glad it helped 🙂 I’m huge into hashtag research so if you have any questions along the way, just ask!

  • Reply
    Shariyka Romero
    January 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Well said! There are some articles floating around encouraging you to include your hobbies in your Instagram bio. After reading your article, hobbies might work for a personal account rather than one used for business.

    • Reply
      Melissa Hebbe
      January 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you, Shariyka! Definitely agree. Hobbies are great to add for personal accounts, but for business accounts I like to include the type of customer the business serves and a call to action to direct people to the link.

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