Instagram in 2018 is so much more than people uploading photos of their lunch – especially if you have a business.
Whether you’ve noticed engagement drop off, have accidentally let your feed lie fallow, or just want to make sure you’re up to speed with the latest techniques, check out the quick actions below to inject new life into your company’s Instagram profile…
1 – Profile review
Go to your account’s page. Run through the following checklist:
- profile photo – is it up-to-date and on-brand? Clear and unique, even when minimised in the feed?
- bio – does it succinctly describe your business while giving a flavour of your brand personality? Made use of relevant hashtags and tags?
- link – is it your website homepage or other important tracked URL?
- tagged photos – are you happy with all the photos of your account that are publicly visible?
- business options – have you converted to a business profile? Are the action buttons up-to-date? (This is a great article on Instagram action buttons, if you need a walk-through on how to set them up.)
A good example is Saunton Golf Club’s profile.
The bio is straightforward. It contains a brand hashtag, 3 action buttons, and plenty of tagged posts from other accounts depicting visits to the club.
2 – Feature usage
Instagram has changed a lot in the past couple of years, adding multiple features. The most recent of these is IGTV. (Check out this article from Tech Republic on 3 ways businesses can use IGTV).
However, many businesses aren’t making use of Stories (which launched back in 2016), Instagram Live, or Highlights, which allow selected Stories to remain on profiles. These aren’t necessary, but can be an effective way of building brand awareness for B2C companies in particular. There are also a variety of ways to advertise on Instagram.
A quick way of giving your Instagram profile a fresh perspective is to investigate whether IGTV, Ads, Stories or Highlights would suit your account – then give them a go!
Here are how Highlights look on Optix Solutions’ profile:
3 – Re-stylise
There are so many ways to develop or mix up your style on Instagram by using different types of posts:
- portrait images (these take up more space in the feed, earning you a bit more attention)
- dynamic posts: short videos, boomerangs, time-lapses
- get more visual information across in just one post: collages, multiple images in one post, snapshots containing text
Exeter Golf and Country Club, for example, regularly use videos and posts containing multiple images. These are signalled by the white icon in the post’s top right-hand corner:
Some accounts stick to a strict aesthetic – perhaps alternating text-based posts with landscape photographs, while only ever using a small repeating set of hashtags – while others go more ad-hoc.
4 – Plan in engagement time
Avoid mindless scrolling and liking (or worse, a complete lack of any Instagram activity) by deciding on at least a couple of periods in an average week during which you will post, reply to comments, like and comment on other people’s posts, and follow new accounts.
These periods could correlate with restricted time hashtags. For example, if you’re a non-profit, you probably want to be active at some point during #CharityTuesdays.
Alternatively, they could be location-specific. The #Exeter hashtag is well used and opens the door to engagement with everyone from social clubs, to local artists, to small businesses reaching out for partners.
There’s no need to rush over to Instagram, delete your profile photo, only post Boomerangs, and continuously broadcast on Instagram live – your existing followers probably won’t understand what’s going on!
It’s all about creative balance, and using the range of Instagram features which suit your business to reach and engage with your audience more effectively.