The Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid On Instagram | Nashville Branding Photographer & Business Systems Educator Dolly DeLong Photography

 I wanted to share the top 3 mistakes a lot of new business owners (and seasoned business owners) are making on Instagram-and how they can be avoided. The great news is that these are quick changes that can be implemented within a day and will not only optimize the small business owner’s profile, but it could increase engagement as well for social media marketing! Scroll down to read the full article!

3 common mistakes most people make while using Instagram for Business

NOTE: I just love social media so much and I am constantly learning how to improve my Instagram strategy game so that I can reach more ideal clients and have a greater impact on my audience. I try to keep my blogs as refreshed and as updated as possible so that they are relevant and helpful! 

1. Mistake Number One: When you auto post to Facebook you forget to take OFF the hashtags on the Facebook side

So I have made this mistake in the past, and up until November 2019, I was doing this without thinking. I would post to my Instagram feed with all the carefully written out hashtags, then I would hit “publish” to Instagram and it would automatically post to Facebook too (since I set it up to post directly to Facebook after I publish to Instagram) and everything would translate over! This auto-posting tool option is great. However, the only thing that most small business owners don’t realize is, that hashtags and the tags used on Instagram are not really transferrable to Facebook. So when you tag a person on Instagram, it’s not going to automatically tag them on Facebook (or it will show up as tag @dollydelongeducation for example…but then there is no USER on Facebook by the name Dolly DeLong Education..a group yes, but not a user) 

An easy (and less than five-minute solution to this issue is) to simply post to Instagram, then go over to Facebook immediately and fix up the post to be Facebook friendly! Retag the vendors, clients, locations according to Facebook tags and just take off the hashtags immediately because they don’t work the way they do on Instagram.

Here is a visual example:

So here is an example of a direct post from my Instagram account  (I captioned the photos and tagged all the vendors involved and used hashtags for this since it is an Instagram Post)

Example photo of what an instagram caption looks like with hashtags

And here is where most business owners get it wrong (so you notice how I have left the Instagram version of tagging and just left the hashtags?) Well, what if someone found this post on Facebook and wanted to find the user on Facebook? Well they couldn’t because it is originally set to be tagged ON Instagram (plus, hashtags do not work the same) (so below is a BIG no no- and I used my own posts as an example because I never want to call out anyone else!) 

Example of what not to do on your facebook posts after your post autosaves from Instagram to Facebook

Here is what you should do instead (so do you see how I just went in and adjusted the tags to fit the FACEBOOK side of tagging? That way someone who visits this post can find these vendors on Facebook-just in case they do not have Instagram!)

Example of how to clean up your IG post for Facebook

It truly is a common mistake I see a lot of small business owners making, and this would be an easy cleanup within 5 minutes or less!

2. Mistake Number Two: Creating videos with no captions for hearing-impaired visitors

I am not hearing-impaired, however, I have my phone set to silent because I do not want it to disturb my son when he’s napping (because sometimes as I am holding him and rocking him to sleep I have to have my volume set to zero) and when I’m scrolling IG stories, I love it when I can read captions of stories without actually hearing what the person is saying. I get the gist of each story, I am still engaged with the story, and it makes sense. Versus just watching a video of a person talk to the camera (and for me it’s silent) I have NO idea what the heck the person is talking about, and it makes me quickly skip over to the next video.

So,  yes, this takes time to do, but if you really want a little bit more engagement on your Instagram stories, you have got to put in the work to make sure that your viewers can also read what your story is about.

Here is a visual example: (so this is a video I created and if I were just to post it on Instagram there would be absolutely NO explanation of what I was talking about, ESP if the reader cannot hear the audio and/or the reader is hearing impaired).

what not to do on instagram stories

versus you should do this instead (make sure when you create a video, make sure you leave a caption and describe what you are talking about in the video just in case you have a reader who cannot “hear” or “listen” to the story!)

always leave a caption on all of your stories on Instagram like this

This is especially a little bit more time-consuming if you have several videos in a row to share. Yes, it does suck, but I think it stinks more not to be serving your audience with clear and concise messaging. And sometimes even your messages are found in your stories with captions, and that means a lot to your audience (ESP to your engaged audience)!

3. Mistake Number 3: Not succinctly describing what the purpose of your Instagram is (as a business owner) and making your bio incredibly confusing or just full of emojis which have nothing to do with your business

I realize that there are some small business owners who want to be cute and add so many emojis to their IG bio area to either be cutesy or artsy. But your bio area, ESP if you are a small business owner who is utilizing Instagram to attract more potential clients and leads for your small business, should be clear and to the point of what you do, who your business serves and where you are located (if you are a service-based business with a physical location).

Here is a visual example of what not to do (and keep in mind I just made up an account because I never want to make a person feel dumb or called out). So, in this “example” you will see there is no clear picture (not even a picture at all…that drives me insane), there are no posts (that makes you look like a Spammy account), there is no description of what your business does (instead there are emojis upon emojis-and it doesn’t even describe what exactly those represent), and finally, there is no website link given or location given. Overall, this is an incredibly confusing Instagram account.

what not to do on your bio

Here is an example of what a small business owner should be doing on their IG profile (okay, again I am using mine as an example, not to toot my own horn but to just give a visual example)

-there is a clear picture of the business owner (me) looking at the camera

-there is a clear call to action of how to contact the business owner

-there is a clear message about what this Instagram account’s mission statement/purpose is

-even though the emoji of a computer is used, it is clear what it goes with (it is not just a random emoji) and the pointing down emoji is clearly pointing to a link of where a viewer can go to visit my website (call to action)


An example of an Instagram Bio


So these are the top three common mistakes I have noticed many new business owners (and even seasoned business owners) making daily on Instagram BUT the good news is, they are easy to fix and implement within minutes!

I love social media marketing and have learned so much in the past several years, so I hope this blog post was both helpful and insightful! 

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3 common mistakes most people make while using Instagram for Business8

Meet Your Friendly Nashville Branding Photographer 

a dad mom and toddler son are all smiling at eachother at a lavender farm by Erin Fox photography in Nashville

Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business educator & encourager. Dolly loves serving families, eloping couples, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.

She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way through automation training, helpful blog posts, and her online courses. You can start your automation journey here.

Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.

Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), eating way too many sweets, and listening to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at or fill out her contact form here.

Interested in elevating your business with some professional branding photos? Please click on the image below to schedule an appointment with Dolly DeLong Photography!

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