Instagram is an incredibly powerful marketing tool for wedding professionals and knowing what not to do can be just as important as knowing what to do. Avoid these Instagram mistakes and you’ll be on your way to a profile that attracts your ideal clients without coming across as spammy and getting shadowbanned.
1. Not using a business account
There is a persistent belief that you should use a personal account instead of a business account on Instagram because you’ll get more engagement and it will be better for your business. This idea isn’t entirely false because personal accounts do get seen more often because that’s what Instagram (and Facebook) have decided is best for their users. It makes sense that you’d want to see more from your friends and family than other businesses.
But here’s the thing, when you use a personal account for your business you’re going against the terms of service and you risk getting shut down. Plus, you’re missing out on all of the great perks that come with business accounts like insights that will help you improve your marketing, access to Instagram ads, and contact options right in your profile. If you have a personal brand or blog as well as your business, then, by all means, have 2 profiles and make one business and one personal.
I know the fear is that Instagram will screw us the way Facebook did with Facebook pages, and honestly, they probably will because they’re owned by Facebook and their business model requires businesses to pay to play. Facebook is going to make money off of businesses on Instagram because that’s their duty to shareholders and pretending to be a person instead of a business is not going to trick them for long. With all that in mind, why risk getting shadowbanned for some extra engagement?
2. Putting hashtags in the comments
This is something that was advised for a long time, and it’s something I used to do, but putting hashtags in the comments doesn’t work anymore. Hashtags that you post in the comments of your post will no longer display in the search results and that’s a big problem when it comes to making yourself discoverable. Instagram now requires you to include hashtags in the body of your caption. If you want to add in some spaces or dots to separate your caption from your hashtags, that’s still okay!
3. Using only super popular hashtags
Just because millions of people are using #love and #instadaily doesn’t mean they are good choices for getting seen by your ideal client. If the point of your business Instagram account is getting seen by ideal clients, getting more leads, and booking more weddings, then your hashtags need to align with that goal. Not everyone who is scrolling through #love will be looking for a wedding photographer, but it’s safe to assume that many of the people searching for #sandiegoweddingplanner will be looking for, you guessed it, a San Diego wedding planner!
4. Not being social
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of just posting something that promotes you and your work and forgetting to actually have conversations with people. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason! Engaging and being social can be as simple as spending 10 minutes per day liking and commenting on posts. This is actually a great way engage with people who are new to you and have liked a photo as well as stay top of mind with valuable referral partners.
5. Engaging in spammy growth hacks
People have gone to great lengths to grow their Instagram accounts and some of those tactics are seen by Instagram as spammy behavior. Tactics like using bots to follow/unfollow people and comment on your behalf are a one-way ticket to shadowban-ville. Anything that could be perceived as spammy should be avoided. Instagram may consider tactics like using the same hashtags over and over, participating in Instagram pods, editing your caption within the first 24 hours, and deleting a post and reposting it as spam and they may decide to punish you even if you didn’t intend to be spammy. Instagram is getting serious about weeding out robotic and spammy behavior so err on the side of caution with these growth tactics.
6. Hiding your personality
If you were going to spend your entire wedding day with someone, wouldn’t you want to know that they are the kind of person that you’d like to be around? It’s very important to couples too. In fact, your personality plays a HUGE role in why your clients decide to work with you over someone else.
We often think that purchasing decisions come down to logistics and price but really they’re all about emotion and relationships. You’re not right for every couple and they’re not right for you so your Instagram feed allows them to qualify themselves as an ideal client for you or let them know they’re in the wrong place. Either way, it’s a good thing.
If you want to be a client magnet you have to acknowledge that magnets both attract and repel. It’s what they do and it’s what your business does when you show who you are and who you love working with.
Show off who you are and what happens behind the scenes in your business. You may think no one cares but people love seeing that stuff! Give them a peek behind the curtain and inject your personality into it. After all, people hire people they know, like and trust and how can the feel like they know, like and trust you if they don’t get the opportunity to see you for who you are?
7. Posting content that doesn’t have a purpose
If you’re a wedding officiant, don’t just post photos of stationery, wedding dresses, and cakes. That’s not what you’re selling! Of course, if you love a vendor’s work and want to shout them out, do it, but don’t make that the bulk of your posts. Your Instagram feed is your place to shine and really show off what makes you different. Think about what people need to know in order to be interested in working with you. They’re going to want to know what you’re like, what your services are like, what the experience is like for your clients, and they’re going to want to see happy clients.
Avoiding these mistakes will help you improve your Instagram game but it’s only the start. On April 26th, I’m hosting an expert masterclass on Instagram where you’ll learn exactly how Marie Burns Holzer (an awesome wedding professional) regularly books clients from Instagram without thousands of followers. Her strategy will be yours to take and implement in your own business! If you’re interested in the Instagram Masterclass, click here and fill out the form to be notified when registration opens!
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