5 Instagram Myths Small Businesses Need to Stop Believing
By: Cori Widen, Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks
There are so many Instagram myths out there – but some of these myths might actually be hurting your small business’ social media results. If you have ever thought ‘I’ll never be able to grow my Instagram account if I don’t post every single day’ or ‘maybe I should just buy some followers to grow faster!’ you could be hurting your small business’ chance of success on Instagram.
Here are 5 Instagram myths that small business owners shouldn’t fall for – plus a few helpful tips and takeaways.
Myth #1: Switching to a Business Account Will Hurt My Engagement Results
One of the most common Instagram myths many small business owners may have heard is that Instagram accounts that switch over to a Business Account experience a drop in engagement results. This rumor started back in 2016 after Instagram first launched Business Accounts – many people believed Instagram would de-prioritize content posted from a Business Account therefore lowering engagement rates. Luckily this is false!
Instagram does not ‘shadow ban’ Business Accounts – in fact 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses. On the flip side, not switching to a Business Account could be hurting your results on social media because you would be missing out on all of the amazing features available with a Business Account!
Takeaway: Switch to an Instagram Business Account ASAP! A Business Account will help your small business thrive on Instagram thanks to significantly better Instagram analytics (called Instagram Insights), shop now integrations and the ability to set up important details like business hours, location and phone number.
Myth #2: You Have to Post to Instagram Everyday
Have you heard the advice that you have to post on Instagram every single day in order to grow your account? This advice can make busy small business owners feel overwhelmed at the idea of adding one more thing to their long list of daily tasks. Luckily this myth is totally false – Instagram rewards consistent high-quality content.
So yes, in order to grow on Instagram you will have to post high-quality content on a consistent basis but this doesn’t mean posting every single day. In fact, businesses that try to post every single day will likely rush to find content to post for and if this isn’t content that aligns with your brand, it might just be better to post nothing at all.
Takeaway: Stop trying to post every single day! Instead, set up a consistent, yet manageable schedule for your small business to post on Instagram, such as 3 times a week. As a small business owner it will be much easier to post content every other day or every two days. This will also leave you more time to create higher quality content that your customers are more likely to engage with. Pro tip: use an Instagram scheduler to plan out your content in advance and save even more time.
Myth #3: Likes Are The Most Important Type of Engagement
While this myth might have been more relevant a few years ago, some small businesses are still preoccupied with getting as many likes as possible. Likes used to be a decent way to gauge how well your Instagram account was doing but as Instagram has evolved, Likes aren’t quite as important as they used to be. In fact, Instagram has tested removing the Like count in many countries around the world and it seems like it will stick:
For most accounts now, the total number of Likes are hidden and not available to the public. So if likes aren’t the most important type of engagement on Instagram, what is? We believe that one of the most important engagements to monitor now is Instagram Story views – over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day, so it is key that your small business leverages this feature.
Takeaway: Stop worrying about Likes! As a small business owner, there are many more important types of engagement to focus on growing, such as link clicks in your bio, comments, saves, shares and reach. If you want to use metrics to measure how successful your social media strategy is, take a look at views, including: content views, profile views and story views for an idea of how many people your content reaches on average.
Myth #4: People Are Sick Of Seeing Businesses On Instagram
Some small businesses might believe that they should avoid being active on Instagram because people have gotten sick of seeing businesses their feeds. Not being active on Instagram will definitely hurt your small business’ results! If all of your posts are overly promotional, people might get tired of following your Instagram Business Account, but if you are creating quality content worth viewing, your followers will enjoy and engage with it. In fact, over 200 million Instagram users visit at least one Business Profile daily.
Takeaway: Your customers want to see your small business on Instagram! 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram and 41% of people even said they like to use a business’s Instagram content to research a product or service.
Myth #5: You Should Buy Likes & Followers to Grow Your Account Quicker
By now, most people know that it isn’t a good idea to buy Instagram followers. In case you are still considering it, here’s why it’s one of the biggest mistakes a small business can make on Instagram: if your account has 20,000 Instagram followers but your posts are only getting a few likes and comments, at a quick glance the average person will know your followers are all fake. This makes your brand look less trustworthy which is definitely not good for your small business.
Additionally, there is no value in having this many “followers” since they are probably all fake bot accounts that aren’t providing any engagement with your content. Also, Instagram periodically “cleans up” the platform by deleting fake bot accounts so if you bought followers you might notice a drastic drop in followers every few months.
Takeaway: Focus on growing organically! It takes time to grow your small business’ Instagram followers, but if you focus on posting quality content and actively engaging with potential customers, your account will grow. Check out our guide here for 3 daily Insta habits you can implement to increase your follower count.
Cori Widen is the Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks. She has been leading product marketing campaigns and doing qualitative market research in the tech industry for 10 years.