“To a majority of your target audience, your website and social media presence are the only front door to your business they will ever see.”
Neil Patel, Forbes, 2016
From the pandemic-driven increase in social media use to the burgeoning popularity of social commerce as a subset of e-commerce, one thing is clear: Your current and potential customers are spending more and more of their time online. That means it has never been more vital to ensure your business is well-represented in the digital realm.
In today’s world, it’s not enough to simply create some social media accounts for your business and leave it at that. You would no doubt want a physical storefront for your business to reflect your brand and to be clean, visually pleasing, and informative about your goods or services. By the same token, it’s critical that your virtual “front door” be as effective as it can be at keeping current or previous customers engaged, attracting new potential customers, and ultimately delivering revenue for your bottom line.
Having reached two billion active users in 2021 (and on track to reach 2.5 billion by 2023), Instagram can be one of the most powerful platforms to help businesses drive growth. In this article, we’ll pull back the curtain and reveal some of the things we look for when helping clients optimize their Instagram profiles and take full advantage of the platform’s potential. Read on to discover more!
Optimize Your Instagram Business Profile in 2022
What Makes a Great Instagram Profile?
At S2, our first step in working with a brand to achieve their goals is to evaluate their existing social presence. This allows us to identify gaps and hone in on ways to improve and maximize their efforts.
The best place to begin is with a simple review of your profile itself. Have you followed best practices to optimize for discoverability, accessibility, clarity, branding, and ease of use?
For example, add your business name for the name of the account. Also, your username (or Instagram handle) should be clear, recognizable, and easily searchable. Ideally, you should use your business name, but if that handle is already taken, be sure to keep your business name in the first part of your username so that anyone trying to find your account will be able to do so.
Your profile picture should also be recognizable, on-brand, and consistent with your other social media profiles. Be sure to update to a Business Profile if you have already done so, and select a Business Category to help your visitors understand what kind of business you operate.
Your bio should be clear, informative, and actionable. That means including a description that communicates the value you offer and a clickable link (this can change depending on where you want to send traffic for further action, but a good place to start is by simply linking to your website). We also like link tree services to add more linking options. Remember to show some personality, too!
You should also include a unique brand hashtag. This will help you and your followers locate content related to your business, as well as fostering a sense of community around your brand.
For more insights into evaluating your Instagram profile, including best practices for Highlights and feed, take a look at the Report Card image below.
What Are the Dos and Don’ts of Posting to Instagram?
Like any social media platform, Instagram has some unspoken rules of the road. Being familiar with the Dos and Don’ts of Instagram is an important part of creating the best quality content that you can. Plus, you don’t want to do anything that might alienate potential customers, infringe on a creative’s work, or violate Instagram’s terms of service.
Use this checklist to get started:
- Is this on-brand?
- Is this of interest to my audience?
- Are all names, handles, hashtags, and other relevant information included and spelled correctly?
- Is there a location to check into?
- Can I tag anyone in the photo?
- Have I mentioned everyone in the copy that I should?
- Have I used all of the relevant hashtags as possible?
- Have I followed everyone I’ve tagged in the post on Instagram?
- Have I asked relevant people to regram, like, or share this image too?
- Do not “buy” followers.
- Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people, or post nudity.
- Only regram images if you have explicit permission to do so.
Have Sociality Squared Audit Your Instagram Account
Now that you’ve completed a review of your Instagram profile and optimized it for best practices, you may be wondering what comes next.
One way to proceed would be to hire content marketing professionals (like Sociality Squared!) to build and execute a strategic roadmap for making a meaningful impact and confidently achieving your business goals. We tend to favor that option ourselves!
For your in-depth, personal Social Media Report Card & Action Plan, reach out today. Of course, we’re also here to answer any questions you may have.