Instagram is a popular and constantly growing social media platform. Instagram used to be used for sharing pictures of your life to your friends and family and keep the world up to date on what you were doing. Now companies are using Instagram to interact with their consumers and it’s a constant battle to be the most relevant account.
In this article we will help you improve your Instagram account so you can interact and reach your audience better.
Account must have a clear bio (description)
A good Instagram bio explains what your business is about in a few short sentences. According to researches, within the first 7 seconds of meeting you, people will have a solid impression of who you are – so imagine how fast it is online.
The first step for creating a great bio is making sure that your name field is optimized with your name/searchable keyword. For example, if your searchable keyword is ‘Leeds Chef’ then when Instagram uses type in ‘Leeds Chef’ your page will come up.
Next, a good Instagram bio explains what your business does and who is your target audience. You want to keep it short and to the point, but you also want it to stand out. For example, if you’re a vegan restaurant in Horsforth, you might want to put something like:
📍 Located in the heart of Horsforth
🌱 Vegan and healthy food
🍴 Family run restaurant
The more creative you are with your bio, the more it will stand out.
- Explain who you are and what you do.
- Add Call-to-Action or your latest offer.
- Use relevant keywords.
- Provide additional ways for your followers to get in contact with you.
- Show your strong points.
Recognisable profile picture
Having a profile picture that stands out is an important part of your brand. First you want to decide on a personal photo or a brand logo.
A logo makes sense for business accounts that have multiple owners. A logo is easily recognisable in the feed and in Instagram stories.
A personal photo would be good for a brand or a business that’s built around yourself or one thing.
For example, blogs or lifestyle photographers.
Choosing the right profile picture depends on what you want to get across to your audience and what your Instagram page is for.
After deciding on what type of picture you need, the next step is to make sure your image looks good.
- Don’t use an off-center photo.
- Do choose a photo with good lighting and clear contrast.
- Don’t choose a trendy photo you’ll have to update frequently.
- Do crop and resize your photo before uploading.
- Don’t take only one photo.
Consistently post on Instagram
Brands need to be active to attract followers and boost engagement rates. According to studies, posting 1-2 times a day is the best way to get the most engagement from your audience. Also knowing the best time to post on Instagram is critical because of Instagram’s algorithmic timeline.
Recommended post times can vary depending on your targeted audience. Some people say you should post between 8am-9am or 2pm-5pm, but again it depends on your targeted audience and when they are on their phones.
So, it’s up to you to get to know your audience.
It’s also important to post on Instagram stories as it’s a platform where your audience can engage with you. You can post quizzes, votes and questions and all of these your audience can reply to. It’s a great way to engage with your audience and create a relationship with them.
Use relevant hashtags
Selecting the best hashtags for your Instagram posts can mean the difference between appearing as a top post or not being seen at all.
The first problem is making your hashtag too generic (#fashion or #sun) you’re going to be competing with millions of other photos. So, your hashtag should be specific to your industry and followers (#FashionInLondon or #SunsetInLondon or you should do research on trending hashtags before you start to post.
The number of hashtags you use also comes into play with how good your post will do. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags but using a mass of hashtags under your post could look unprofessional and could take away from the content itself. Finding the right number of hashtags that work for you is important and to help decide how many, look at how many hashtags your competitors use.
And remember that Instagram’s algorithm penalises ‘spammy’ behaviour so vary the number and type of hashtags you use to reduce the chances of this happening. We suggest to use 7-11 very relevant hashtags, but change them for every post.
Another thing to think about is creating a branded hashtag for your business. The best starting point is to create a simple, yet affective hashtag that includes your brand name in some form. Having a branded hashtag makes your content more discoverable and it can drive traffic to your profile, creating a stronger community. You can also add your branded hashtag to your bio so it’s easily visible to anyone visiting your profile.
Post Instagram reels at least once a week
Instagram reels are the TikTok of Instagram, but its more than just a copy of a trending video platform. Instagram reels have become an integral part of Instagram’s business model, offering users and business’ an amazing opportunity to reach thousands of new users and turn them into followers.
Basically, Reels on Instagram allow users, creators, and business accounts to share short, addictive videos in addition to posts, stories, and IGTV. Reels can be made and edited easily and are the first thing your users will see when they open the Instagram app or use the search button to look for things on Instagram.
Why should your business use Instagram reels?
As this is its newest ‘thing’, Instagram wants to encourage users to start uploading content through Reels. This is your opportunity. Reels can be seen organically on Instagram and the fact that this feature is still new means that you can become part of it now. Remember, your audience will be impressed that your brand is up-to-date with the latest trends and this will reflect in your overall brand image as fresh and relevant.
Interact with your followers/accounts you follow
Interacting with your followers is one of the most important things about having your business on Instagram. The first thing you can do is show a behind the scenes view of your business and you can this by posting stories. Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours, so Instagrammers watch it more often in order not to miss something important. Plus, using Instagram stories is a way to avoid flooding your main feed and get more views. While your posts may get buried in the feed, Insta stories appear in a row at the top of the feed, so its easier to see new uploads.
Liking and commenting on your follower’s comments is one of the best ways to interact. It shows that you are listening and that you care about their opinions. Have you ever heard about the boomerang effect? Your actions speak for themselves, and when you show followers that you’re truly interested in them, there’s more chance of them being interested in your content.
As a business account you should also follow other businesses that match up with your content/audience. This enables you to make contacts with other business’ and then again, the boomerang effect will start to come into play again.
Have a clear content plan
Instagram is a popular marketing tool for businesses, especially due to its high engagement rates. It can be a tricky place to navigate and that’s why having a clear content plan will help grow your presence, boost engagement and help you reach your ideal audience.
Make sure your profile is finished:
- Has a profile picture
- Clear description
- Contact details
- A unique hashtag
A good place to start is by creating publishing calendar to visualize your content plan. Here you can schedule your posts, decide what you’re going to do in advance and how many times a week you’re going to post.
Here are some important best practices to keep in mind when creating Instagram content:
- Always keep your objectives in mind. Whenever you come up with a content idea, ask yourself what it will help you achieve.
- Use high-quality imagery, video, and sound. There are many ways to get images for your account, but you have to make sure they are high quality.
- Make sure your content is the optimal size for the platform, particularly if you’re creating or editing it using a third-party tool. Most image tools offer different sizing options, including for different types of Instagram posts.
If you want to take your Instagram account to the next level of engagement, you have to spend time and put all your creativity in there.
Incorporate these 7 tips in your 2021 Instagram strategy and see how your audience responds!