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March 28, 2018 (Updated: March 2, 2020)
Instagram can be a fantastic platform for building brand awareness, launching products, and generating sales. To achieve your Instagram objectives and get the most out of this social platform, you’ll need to optimize your profile and strategy. Not sure where to start? Try these six tips for auditing your brand’s Instagram.
Confirm Your Business Account
Image via Flickr by Joseph.Morris
When you’re developing an Instagram presence for your brand, the first thing you’ll want to do is confirm that you’ve set up a business account. Instagram offers an exclusive range of benefits to business profiles, including the ability to add an email, phone number, or address for clients to contact you easily. The platform also provides services such as analytics and advertising opportunities, so this step is essential.
If you set up a personal account, changing over to a business account is quick and easy. Open the Instagram app, click the settings area, and then look for the option to switch to a business account.
Optimize Your Profile
Once you’ve set up your business account, take some time to optimize your profile. Naturally, you’ll miss out on key opportunities to connect with your audience if you leave areas blank or incomplete.
First, make sure your brand name reads correctly. While your handle might be a shortened version that you use across all social media platforms, you should include the full company name in your profile to increase searchability. Next, add your logo, website, and contact information to guarantee followers can click through to connect with you.
Finally, fill out the bio portion of your profile. Include a brief snapshot of what your brand is about, but feel free to get creative. Feature a hashtag that you want to promote, add an emoji, or include a call to action that inspires your audience.
Evaluate Your Goals
After you’ve tackled the basics, it’s time to evaluate your goals. Like most social media platforms, Instagram can help you achieve a long list of objectives. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, however, your efforts could be for nothing.
Always make your goals measurable. If you want to grow your audience, for example, decide on the number of followers you want to reach during a certain period. Then create a strategy that supports that goal, such as posting high-quality content and connecting with your community.
Perhaps you want to drive sales through Instagram. Decide what your sales goal is and how long you have to achieve it. Then develop an effective strategy, such as making your Instagram shoppable, connecting with relevant influencers, and taking advantage of advertising opportunities.
Clean Up Your Followers List
No matter what kind of goals you’ve set, it’s important to audit your followers list. After all, having an Instagram audience that isn’t exactly your target market could cause you to fall short of your sales and growth goals. Having an audience filled with fake profiles or disengaged followers can also be bad news for your brand.
If you’ve never cleaned up your followers list or if it’s been awhile, try using a free tool like FollowerCheck to find out how many fake followers your brand has. You can also comb through your audience manually by looking for followers without images, with no posts, or with very little engagement. You can simply block them to prevent them from following you.
As you continue to grow your audience, keep an eye on fake profiles that engage with your content. Consider blocking profiles that leave generic or irrelevant comments to encourage authentic engagement instead.
Connect With the Right Audience
While many followers are likely to seek you out as your brand awareness expands, you should also take the time to build and connect with the right audience. First, use Instagram’s insights to find out more about who already follows you. With this built-in tool, you can access demographics such as age, gender, and location to assess how closely your followers align with your target audience.
Next, use a few key strategies to start identifying and reaching out to your target audience. Follow relevant Instagram hashtags and engage with that content to give your brand extra exposure. Use pertinent hashtags with your own content to engage further with your community. Make a list of influencers in your industry, and build relationships with them on Instagram.
Analyze Your Visual Strategy and Copy Technique
Due to Instagram’s image-based content, a strong visual strategy is essential for brands in any industry. Whether you opt for monochromatic graphics, whimsical photos, images showcasing your products, or user-generated content, make sure it’s intentional. After all, both new and old followers will access your profile page and develop a view of your brand based on the overall story you tell.
You should also audit your copy strategy to make sure you’re creating great content. Your image captions should capture your brand voice and give your followers the right impression of your business. Depending on your Instagram goals, you’ll also want to enhance your copy with a mix of calls to action (CTAs) that guide your audience and questions that engage your followers.
Reconsider Your Posting Schedule
Even the best content from the biggest brands won’t perform as well as it could without an effective posting schedule. If you aren’t sure of the best times to post, use Instagram’s insights to review your typical posting times and times that your audience tends to be most active. Then adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
While posting spontaneously might be tempting for some brands, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with your audience when you plan ahead and post consistently. Always aim for high engagement rates, as the Instagram algorithm tends to reward high-performing posts with increased placements in followers’ news feeds.
Once you’ve completed your Instagram audit and refined your strategy, monitor your progress using built-in insights or your choice of external tracking tools. Make sure you’re moving toward the finish line, and don’t hesitate to adjust your strategy to improve your results.
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