Audit your Instagram profile
Audit your Instagram profile, so it does all the work for you. What in the world do you mean, Nika? Well, let me clarify. You post your content, you have no idea if it’s working. You get an occasional follower, but nothing spectacular. Your profile may not be optimized. I have compiled this post, so you can audit your Instagram profile yourself and see whether everything you’re doing is right. We will touch on everything, including your profile appearance, your content and its value, your captions and hashtags, as well as content pillars. If you do think you might need some additional eyes on your content, check out my Instagram profile audit service.
Your profile photo and name
If you own a brand, and you are a solopreneur, consider adding a photo of yourself as your profile photo. This is something that will make you closer to your audience. However, if you’re not too comfortable with that, use your logo. You profile photo should be smiling, showing you in your work environment. You can also remove background and adding one of your brand colors. You can do that in Canva (as well as your logo if you don’t have one), and if you don’t have Canva Pro for removing your background, you can try it for free with this link.
Puppies are nice, but keep them away from your profile photo. Even if you work with puppies, having them as your profile photo may not be a best option.
Okay, your name. Your Instagram name does not refer to your @ handle. This is your name which appears right below your profile photo.
It can be up to 64 characters, and you should think about making it searchable. Meaning, write something that people would search for when they need your products/services. Are you a social media manager? Are you a jewellery maker? Say so.
Take a look at my profile and see what mine says: Nika | Content marketing | Content ideas for small businesses. Because that’s what I do. I am in content marketing and I work on people’s content ideas. Whether you’re a coach, an SMM, a clothes designer or a cook, write that.
Your Instagram bio
Your Instagram bio is the first thing your profile visitors will see when they come to your profile. So it’s very important to have a good Instagram bio, that will make your visitors want to follow you. The limit for the Instagram bio is up to 150 characters. If you decide to use emojis (like I did), keep in mind that most of them take 2 characters.
Make your bio valuable. Use it as your showroom. Tell your visitors who you are, what you do and who you do it for. Since there is a character limit, make it short and to the point. Don’t clutter it with irrelevant information (irrelevant to your business). Finally, don’t use hashtags or links in your bio. Why? Because hashtags will not make your profile more discoverable (they used to before). Instead, just say what you do and who you are.
When it comes to your links, make sure you place them only in the clickable link area. If you add links to the bio, it will not be clickable, and no one will use it. For the clickable link in bio, make sure you update your links regularly. Make sure your newest service is there and that there is the most recent information. If you need more than one link in bio, you can use LinkTree or any other service (or your own page).
Your highlights show your new profile visitors who you are and what you are about. Meaning, if you have a business account, maybe that trip to Bali isn’t something to put there. Show them what you do and how you do it.
Firstly, make sure your highlights represent your brand in some way. Design them so they contain your brand colors. Don’t use just emojis as your highlight descriptions. Write what they are about. Your highlight name can be up to 10 characters. If you have more than 10 characters, the name will not be fully visible. So, what you can do, if you need more than 10 characters, is write the name of the highlight on the cover photo. I did that for my highlights on my profile.
When it comes to the specific highlights you should have, there are a few main ones you might want to have. I personally have all but one of these. Some of the ones you should consider having are “Start here”, “About me/us”, “Services/products”, “Main offer” (name it as your offer) and other highlights which show your content pillars (like my Canva elements or tips and tricks).
Now that you have all of those, you are more likely to turn your profile visitors into followers.
Your content pillars
This may not be the most logical one, but content pillars are an important part of the Audit your Instagram profile process. They are something you build your brand on. They are 3-5 topics you are expert on and topics you will talk about in your content. They help clarify your niche. If you constantly talk about different things, your audience will not have a reason to follow you. They might be interested in one of your posts, and then realize that’s not something you normally talk about.
So, establish yourself as someone who covers certain topics and make someone want to follow you for that reason! Your content should either educate, entertain, inspire or convince. Of course, you can (and should, really) use a combination of those. If you have your area of expertise, this is one (or more) of your content pillars. Talk about that!
Make sure your content is shareable and relatable. Something that will help your audience in some way.
Audit your Instagram profile’s hashtag strategy
What are hashtags? They are words that follow the # symbol, which are searchable on Instagram. Since they are searchable, this means you can potentially reach thousands of new people by using the right ones. I know many people talk about hashtags as something irrelevant lately, but I am telling you: Hashtags do work! I wrote quite a lot about them on my Instagram, and here on my blog. You can read my Hashtags explained post to get more info.
I do have a couple of tips for you in terms of the hashtag strategy.
- Use as many as possible (I usually use 27-29, and 30 is maximum you can use). More hashtags means more people.
- Don’t use big hashtags (I usually use 10k to 500k ones). They will push your content far down very soon, meaning people will not see your content.
- Use the hashtags your audience would search for, not the ones you would. You want to reach the people who need your help. So use the ones that would solve their problems.
- Stick to your niche or industry when it comes to hashtags. Don’t use like4like or follow4follow ones (or similar ones). This is not something that will benefit you. You will be discovered by people who want to get their number of followers up, not the people who actually want to hear what you have to say.
So, I hope this is your reminder to work on your hashtags. I am not saying to spend ages researching them, but don’t think they do nothing.
Your best performing content
Now, it’s time to concentrate on the content you have already created. Meaning, it’s time to check your insights.
What should you do and focus on? Go to your insights and check your posts and your reels. Check the metrics to see which of them performed the best. Check the reach to see which posts generated the most (probably because of certain hashtags).
However, the most important metrics to check are saves, follows and shares. The posts with highest numbers are your best performing posts!
So, what should you do about them? Recreate them, repurpose them, or even repost them. They will probably be equally adored!
Create a plan after you audit your Instagram profile
It is now time to start planning your content. You can plan it on a weekly or a monthly basis. I definitely suggest weekly, since the trends tend to change quite often. Plus, it’s not easy to stick to a monthly plan.
If you sign up to my newsletter, you can download your fillable monthly planner and your insights tracker. There is also a content ideas bank, which you can use for all the ideas that come to your mind. Write them down and you won’t have to look for new ideas all the time. Just go to your Asana and find the one to use.
Create your plan for the month, where you state how many posts per week you want to post. What type of posts will you post (single, carousel, reels) and how many of those will be promotional.
Keep in mind everything we have covered in the previous paragraphs (especially the content pillars and the hashtag strategy). Keep filling your monthly planner as you go, week-by-week. You can use the monthly planner each month. Just make sure you save it as a new file.
Audit your Instagram profile recap
So, in order to perform a successful Instagram audit, make sure you go through all the mentioned sections. Make sure your content is valuable in some way. Entertainment can also have value, so just keep that in mind. When you audit your Instagram profile, it’s very important to think about your target audience, not yourself. It’s not about the things you like, it’s about what they need.