Nowadays, Instagram has become a widely used platform for brands’ marketing efforts. With more than 25 million business accounts and counting, it’s easy to get lost in the space if you don’t plan, monitor, and assess your actions there. So, whether you’ve been at it for months or even years, it’s never too late to reevaluate and realign your activities. To help you with your next Instagram audit, here are 10 things you need to do.
10 Steps to Your Next Instagram Audit
1. Set Your Goals and KPIs
Your Instagram page is essential to your marketing and business efforts. That is why it’s important to ensure that your actions on the platform help work toward achieving your overall business goals. Your goals for Instagram don’t need to be completely the same as your current business objectives, but they should always complement and support each other. Once you’ve identified these, you have to set key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectivity of your efforts.
KPIs are specific and measurable metrics that define the success of your activity. These will help you stay on track with your overall business goals. If you’re aiming for brand awareness and want to grow your followers, look at the reach numbers to see how many eyes are on your content. If you thrive on community and aim to increase sales, check your engagement numbers and how these translate to conversions.
During your Instagram audit, did you discover that you didn’t really have any established KPIs? You’re not alone! Many brands don’t. But this is vital. When you’ve locked in your goals and KPIs, you lay the foundation of what your content will be and how you’ll use it.
2. Know Your Audience and Followers
With more than one billion active users monthly and 500 million daily, Instagram makes it vital for you to identify who you’re specifically targeting. Start by knowing your audience’s demographics, age, gender, socio-economic class, and location. Note the times that they’re generally active (which eClincher will tell you), what kind of content they most respond to, and what other brands they follow. Go as in-depth as possible so you can understand what your target audience wants to see and gain insights about your potential customers.
It’s also important that you spot and remove fake followers or bots from your account. They may seem harmless but these accounts can cause inaccurate reports and low engagement rates. You can easily spot them as the ones with no profile picture or bio, they often have complicated usernames, very few posts, and follow a lot more accounts than they have followers. Once you’ve identified them, you need to individually block them so they’ll be forced to unfollow you. It can be tedious but it’ll be worth it. Genuine, authentic followers matter.
(Side note: This obviously means you should never employ the black hat technique of purchasing followers.)
3. Review Your Profile Settings and Branding
Make sure that you’re using an Instagram Business account so you can access all the business features, analytics, and insights that they offer. If you’re not, you can easily switch to a professional from your personal account.
The upper third of your Instagram account should immediately give people an idea of who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer. That’s why all the elements should stay consistent with your brand voice and uniform across all your social channels.
- Account name and username – It can be as simple as your business name. If it’s not, make sure it’s easily discoverable and relevant to your brand.
- Bio – In 150 characters, captivate your audience by clearly stating the heart of your business. It should be catchy and memorable and capture what’s important about your brand. Depending on your objectives, it can be your slogan, tagline, or contact information.
- Profile picture – Your business logo is often best for this part. If you choose otherwise, select a picture that’s professional, recognizable, and related to your brand. And make sure you follow Instagram’s preferred photo size.
- URL – Some use this clickable link for their website or Facebook page. Another option is to use this for your latest content, current promotions, or special offerings.
- Story highlights – Showcase your brand’s visual identity by creating customized covers for your highlights to help add style and aesthetics to your overall profile.
Nike does all this very well:
4. Keep Your Content Interesting and Engaging
Draw more people and grow your account by sharing eye-catching content that tells a clear and consistent story about your brand. A tip you can practice is to regularly review your nine latest posts. These are what the audience first sees when they visit your profile, so these posts should help them know and understand your business immediately.
Keep things exciting for your visitors by mixing up your posts. Alternate your product shots with inspirational photos, lifestyle content, user-generated content, and promotional posts to keep them interested in what’s to come. This will show them that you can be a well-rounded and holistic brand.
Having a unique theme is also essential in this highly competitive space. But even if your intention is to stand out from the crowd, you still need to ensure that your content is aligned with your overall vision and is relevant to your audience. Use your Instagram audit as an opportunity to step back and take a look at your bigger picture.
5. Aim For Feed Goals
Capture your visitors’ attention right away with your consistent design and visually-appealing profile. Follow a consistent color palette or choose a specific tone to create an aesthetically-pleasing feed. If your posts have multiple hues, you can highlight the one that follows your overall color scheme.
Take Reese’s, for example. Even with different colors in the posts, their signature orange still pops out.
Follow the right dimensions and post aesthetically-pleasing pictures and high-quality videos to keep visitors engaged when they’re on your profile. The content that you publish must have a consistent pattern and theme that will stand out as identifiably yours.
Have a visual strategy that will help you curate your Instagram content and stay aligned with your vision. Revisit your posting frequency to identify the right quantity and best time to publish so that you’re well-thought-of content will be put to good use.
6. Use Your Captions and Hashtags Wisely
Your Instagram audit should also include a review of the words you include in your posts.
Photos and videos may be the highlight of your feed, but captions give context to what you share. Great captions create a powerful, persuasive, and influential message to the readers. Just like everything in your profile, these must be audience-specific and consistent with your branding. Regardless of length, captions must be compelling enough to move people to take action.
Hashtags, on the other hand, increase traffic and visibility for your posts. These potentially grow your following and improve the ROI and engagement of your content. Keep in mind that hashtags must be related to the image or video that you’re sharing and should be relevant to your brand and audience. eClincher will tell you how your hashtags are performing.
7. Get Involved With Your Community
Your followers and customers are what keep your business going, so it pays to build a strong relationship with them. Dedicate time to reply to DMs and to answer their comments or questions. Have a good conversation with your followers, like and share their posts that are associated with you, and respond to tagged posts related to your brand. Keep track of your most engaged followers, send them a little token, and make them feel even more connected with your brand. All these help boost your engagement and show that you’re actually active on the platform and genuinely care for your audience.
Also, follow relevant accounts of people and brands that are related to your business. This will be a great way to get your name out there and to connect with potential advocates and partners.
8. Take Advantage of Instagram’s Features
Instagram constantly updates its offerings for the users. And as a business, you have the power to make use of all these to build, grow, and scale your brand.
Use Instagram Stories to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your page, improve audience engagement, and possibly even make that sale. These can be more exciting with Instagram polls and questions, which allow you to get instant feedback from your audience. Now you can even customize your stories with GIFs or AR effects and share this content to attract new followers and garner more engagement for your account.
Want to show your followers what’s happening in real-time? Explore Instagram Live to broadcast events and limited-time promos, show behind-the-scenes activities, and air tutorials and big announcements.
Instagram TV (IGTV) allows you to post long-form videos, essentially like YouTube. This feature enables you to show off your products and services, increase brand visibility, and grow your following.
9. Think Out of the Box
With the continuous algorithm changes on Instagram, you’ll want to rethink your growth strategies to stay relevant on the platform. This is something you should review and check up on during your next Instagram audit.
One way to extend reach, build a sizeable following, and grow the business is to partner with influencers who will act as your ambassadors. This will let you build trust and loyalty not just with your brand’s audience but with your influencers’ followers too. Explore different tactics like special giveaways or account takeovers to capitalize on their fans.
Here’s what Tudor did with David Beckham and Lady Gaga:
You can also work with other brands to host special fan events, limited-time promos, and other co-marketing campaigns to take advantage of each other’s reach and following. This is a great way to introduce your business to a larger audience.
10. Know Your Numbers and Optimize
Like in all business efforts, you have to keep track of your Instagram metrics and insights so you can develop effective content strategies and make better-informed decisions. The numbers you monitor will depend on your set goals and KPIs and will help you decide where to best invest your time. Create reports that track your growth and identify audience triggers. Familiarize yourself with the best practices to know what works and what doesn’t.
Make use of a proven social media management tool to optimize your Instagram campaigns and scale your business. Take advantage of the post scheduling feature to plot out your content on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Use the social inbox to respond to conversations in a timely manner. These will enable you to save time and focus your efforts on what matters – establishing relationships with your followers and customers.
There you have it: 10 simple things you can do to keep your Instagram profile at its top form. Now you’re ready to do your own Instagram audit and ensure that your business page is running at its best.
If you need more help with your digital marketing campaigns and social media management needs, eClincher is here to help. Start your free trial today.