BEING STRATEGIC WITH YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE CAN GO A LONG WAY. WHY NOT MAKE EVERY DETAIL COUNT?
We put together five best practices to ‘glow up’ your Instagram account and strengthen your brand’s online presence.
1. Switch to a Business Account
More than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. That’s why it’s so important for your business to be active and tuned in on this social media platform.
There are many benefits to setting up an Instagram’s Business Profile. A few of our favorite features are:
- Getting access to Instagram Insights
- Creating, running, and tracking powerful advertising campaigns
- Promoting posts
- Tagging products directly through a post
- Scheduling content from Facebook
- Adding links to your stories (This feature is only available if you have 10K+ followers)
The process of setting up a Business Account is very straightforward, and Instagram prompts you to share specific details about your business. These details will provide all of the information your future fans need to know about your brand.
When setting up your account, you’ll be asked to select a business category. This is displayed at the top of your profile and helps users get a clear understanding of what your business is all about. Ask yourself: If you could describe your brand in one word, what would it be?
2. Develop an Instagram Strategy
Define your target audience
The vast majority of Instagram users are between the ages of 25 and 34. This is why Instagram is known as the platform businesses use to reach a younger demographic, with women accounting for 56% of total users. If your target audience is a younger demographic or female, Instagram is your new favorite marketing tool.
To learn more about your target audience:
- Compile data about your existing customers – age, location, interests, etc.
- Uncover conversations about your brand through social listening
- See what other social channels your audience uses
- Keep tabs on the competition
Once you understand who your audience is and which social channels they spend their time on, you can begin testing which type of content resonates with them. But first, you must identify your goals.
Set SMART goals
As a creative agency that specializes in social media, we dig deep when setting client goals. We believe effective goals should be:
We recommend creating social media goals that support your brand’s overall business goals. If selling more products online is the main focus, consider setting goals that prioritize the growth and engagement of your social channels.
Determine an appropriate posting schedule
After honing in on your target audience and identifying SMART goals, it’s time to ensure you have a regular posting schedule ready to go.
One question we often get from clients is, “How often should I be posting?” Fortunately, the number is different for every business. Your ideal post frequency will depend on your business’ goals and the amount of time you’re able to dedicate to your Instagram efforts.
Instagram Insights allows you to see exactly when followers are online, broken down by day and time to help you get a better idea of when it’s the best time to post.
Mix in a variety of posts
Keep followers engaged by mixing up the type of content you post. Instagram allows businesses to post photos, videos, carousels, IGTV posts, and now Reels! But remember, consistency is key.
3. Optimize Your Profile
There are five factors to consider when optimizing your profile to “glow up” your Instagram.
- Profile Picture → The best version of your profile photo is going to be your logo. Always make sure this is visually appealing on both mobile and desktop.
- Bio → This is made up of your brand’s name, username, and a short description about your brand. With only 150 characters to use, make sure it’s catchy and memorable, as this is what first-time visitors will see when viewing your profile. Lastly, it’s crucial that you include a strong CTA linking to your website. Be sure to take advantage of the business-only features available; contact information, category, and CTA buttons.
- Stories Highlights → Showcase your brands top stories that you want to share with fans indefinitely.
- Feed → Whether or not a user decides to follow your business could depend on how appealing your feed is. Keep your photos cohesive, clean and on-brand. See below for before and after we implemented a design-forward Instagram content strategy for our agency!
4. Glow Up Your Content
Establish a visual aesthetic
First impressions mean everything on Instagram. So, it’s important to have a memorable and recognizable visual identity that fits your brand. This gives your audience a sense of who you are before clicking on a post.
The layout, color scheme, voice and overall personality of your page all play a large role in gaining brand recognition and achieving overall business success.
There are endless ways you can present your feed. As you can see, Parachute chose the 3-part Instagram spread look to not only showcase our graphic design skills but also for increasing engagement and followers.
Take quality photos
To capture a unique Instagram aesthetic, consider taking high-quality photos. Hire a professional photographer, use high-quality equipment, or simply use your mobile device. Some other quick tips for taking amazing pictures include: avoid harsh lighting, we prefer natural lighting or as Lizzo says, “bomb lighting,” use the rule of thirds, and experiment with different angles. Don’t forget about editing your images to help maintain your brand’s Instagram aesthetic.
Write strong captions
Now that your photos are ready to hit the feed, pair them with compelling captions. Use your brand voice, and brainstorm what’s going to make your fans engage with your post. Whether it be a clever cat pun or a heart-warming story, it’s important to curate memorable captions to build a deeper connection with your audience. Don’t forget a call to action!
Create compelling Stories
More than 400 million people view Instagram stories everyday and ⅓ of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Stories are the perfect place for creative testing and publish eye-catching content. What makes a quality story? Anything that reinforces your brand values, products, or is timely. Increase the engagement of your stories by utilizing Instagram’s stickers and GIFs.
Quick tip: Make sure to organize these stories under your Instagram Highlights to extend the lifespan beyond 24 hours.
Dabble with Reels
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the new features Instagram releases. Most recently, Instagram released Reels. With Reels, brands have the ability to create genuine video content within the Instagram app. Before diving right in, we recommend developing a strategy for how your business is going to approach this feature and turn views into measurable successes.
5. Grow and Engage Your Community
Social media is all about community. After glowing up your Instagram page, ensure you’re continuing to engage fans. Below is a list of simple ways to accomplish this:
- Follow and engage with other fellow Instagrammers in your community.
- ALWAYS respond to every comment, question, DM, and tagged photo. A.K.A. community management!
- Create a shareable and branded hashtag for fans to use so you can incorporate their posts into your content calendars. User generated photos are 5x more likely to convert customers than non-UGC.