Before Instagram, people posted on Facebook about their personal happenings, so that friends and family could engage with them. Instagram is not far behind in being one of the popular social media platforms, especially with the younger demographic.
Currently, Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users. It has grown from its humble beginnings as a photo-sharing app to a platform used by major brands, influencers, and businesses. Any business not using this platform is losing out on valuable customers and business.
Whether you are a newbie to Instagram or been using this platform for years, to get the most out of this platform, you need to optimize your profile.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into how to optimize your Instagram account.
- Create an Instagram Business Profile
Instagram offers users two kinds of profiles, a personal profile and a business profile. Businesses need to shift to a business profile. This offers you additional features that are highly useful for businesses, like Instagram Shopping, Instagram Insights, and Instagram Ads.
Get access to data like followers, posts, impressions and so on. You can add action buttons to your profile like Call Now, Visit Now, or Book now. Business profiles also get a dedicated section to show business hours and location. Paid promotions are available to a business profile.
- Choose a Simple and Recognizable Username
Instagram has a huge user base so you need to make it easy for people to find you. A username is also called a handle on Instagram. Select a name that is relevant or related to your brand. It should be simple, searchable, and recognizable. You can use your business name, but if it is taken, use business name followed by something else. To edit your username, go to edit profile and change the name.
- Add Business Name
Besides a username, you need to add a business name. Go to the Name section in Instagram profile and add the full business name. This will be displayed below your Instagram profile picture. Use Edit Profile to add the name.
- Use a Good Instagram Profile Picture
This is one of the first things that your profile visitor will see. It will also be shown with every post you share or comment you make. People should easily recognize it, and also it should be related to our business. It is best to use your business logo.
Also, check other competitors to see what profile pictures they are using. Go to edit profile and change profile picture option and add. The ideal size is to have an image of 180 x 180 pixels.
- Write an Interesting Bio
An important section your visitors check out is your bio. You get 150 characters to do this. Rather than speak about yourself, talk about what you can do for your customers. Write about your mission or business values or vision. You can also briefly tell what your business does and include a call-to-action. Use emojis to make it interesting.
- Include Compelling Call to Actions (CTA)
Use the caption on your posts to include a Call to Action. A CTA is vital to make your users take any specific action. Call us now or subscribe now. Think what action you want your audience to take and use those terms.
You can also ask them to sign up for your email list so you can take the process further and address any hesitations through your email. Use emojis to draw attention and point to link, etc. You can include hashtags you want them to use. This way you can get the user to generate content.
- Optimized Call-to-Action Links
You cannot add links in post descriptions, so profile links are highly useful. A business can add only one functional link in the bio, so add this carefully. If you want to drive action through posts, then include relevant links in your bio and direct people to click links in your posts.
It is a good idea to include trackable links in your bio. Create trackable links using software like Bitly. It will give you an idea of how many people have clicked on the link, unique clicks, locations, etc.
- Enable Notifications
If you want to grow on Instagram, you need to actively engage with your followers. The general expectation is that the response should be within 24 hours. Enable push notifications so you are intimated and can respond instantly. Initially, you can also enable notifications for likes and as your follower base grows, set it for comments.
- Share Quality Content
Instagram is all about Visual Content. Keep the aesthetics and look of your Instagram profile consistent with your brand. People should be able to identify your brand. Think carefully about how you want your followers to view your brand and use image, templates, and colours in accordance with that.
Your customers should be able to recognize your brand by looking at its colours. Use a proper filter and maintain consistency. If you have shared unrelated images that do not fit your brand, you can archive them and hide them. Here is an example of Canva:
- Use Instagram Stories Highlights
Using Instagram Story Highlights, you can pin your top stories to your Instagram profile. This is the place to showcase what your brand is all about. Educate, promote, and engage your visitors here. As these stories stay indefinitely, it is good to use it.
- Instagram Action Buttons
Business profiles got access to action buttons in May 2018. These buttons are present on your profile and allow users to take action by pressing them. Give your visitors more ways to engage with your business and take action with action buttons.
Tips to Optimize Instagram Posts
Now that we have seen how to optimize an Instagram account, here are some tips to optimize your Instagram posts to get more traction.
- Post at the Right Time:
Posting at the right time is very important to get good engagement. Instead of randomly posting, study your Instagram insights to arrive at the time your followers are out there. Post at those times to reach them immediately.
- Identify and Use Appropriate Hashtags:
You can get people who use them to discover/search option of Instagram to see your posts if you use hashtags. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags, but you don’t need to use so many. Find 5-10 hashtags that apply to your business and post and place them below your photo. Don’t use the same hashtags for all your posts, keep changing them.
- Include a Location Tag:
This can get more eyeballs on your post even from non-followers when you use the location tag your picture/video is put up in the location page making it more visible organically. Make it a practice to do this with all your posts wherever possible.
- Make your Posts Creative:
Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Give some thought to come up with some great ideas for your posts. Use good quality pictures and create videos vertically. Keep the posts in sync with your brand identity and have a theme across all posts. Use all the options Instagram gives you to make your post attractive. Come up with a compelling caption.
- Use Instagram Stories and IGTV:
Use stories and IGTV to provide additional content to your followers to engage with. Both these have been gaining popularity and with time are only set to grow exponentially. So, leverage these options for your business.
We have seen how to optimize an Instagram account and also Instagram posts. Businesses should use this platform to effectively engage with their audience in interesting and fun ways. Create a brand identity and loyalty and also achieve business goals with Instagram.
There are thousands of profiles on Instagram, and if you want your brand to stand out, you need to optimize your profile. Let us know if you found this information useful in the comments section.