How does your Instagram profile look? If you don’t have one yet, then now’s the time to create one. The trick to maximizing the success of your Instagram profile lies in knowing exactly what you want your followers to do when they land on your page. Check my other post for more tips and tricks using Instagram tools here.
This tutorial will help you understand how to optimize your Instagram profile and create call-to-actions that will encourage users to take the actions you want them to take on Instagram.
1) Use relevant, engaging profile pictures
The best Instagram profiles are built with images that add to an overarching theme, which creates consistency for your followers. Create a cohesive look for your account by following some simple best practices:
Choose at least one photo that focuses on your face, especially if you’re new to Instagram. Studies show that pictures of faces get more likes than other types of photos.
Have something in common between at least two of your profile photos (such as showing off a single location or posting images with a similar color scheme).
Also, note that Instagram allows you to upload multiple images within an album; use each picture to tell a cohesive story about who you are and what inspires you.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to creating an awesome profile!
2) Fill in your bio with links to other social media profiles
Make it easy for your followers to find you elsewhere by including links to other social media profiles in your Instagram bio.
This is a smart way to get new followers and increase awareness of your presence on various networks.
For example, if you have a Facebook page or Twitter account dedicated to an associated business or brand, make sure you link those accounts on your Instagram profile so that anyone interested in finding out more about you can click through directly and connect with you elsewhere.
If you have multiple interests, it’s also worth having some fun with your bio: try adding a playful #hashtag or doodle (it can be surprisingly effective). Make it personal and unique!
3) Write a catchy bio
What’s your story? When people arrive at your Instagram profile, it should be easy for them to know who you are, why they should follow you and what kind of content they can expect from you.
Some platforms let you add up to two lines to explain a little more about who you are and what brings you to Instagram. If there’s room in your bio, get even more specific by linking to an online presence or website where followers can learn more about you.
Be sure that both your profile name and profile picture match up with social media accounts that already exist—for example, if your Facebook or Twitter is Amy H., keep that in mind when setting up an Instagram account.
7 Ways to Make the Most Out of Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories has been around since August 2016, and it’s become one of the most popular social media platforms since then.
The app allows you to make fun videos and pictures that can be shared with your followers in an instant, while they disappear in 24 hours.
With many companies using Instagram to market their business, it’s important to take advantage of everything the app has to offer if you want your posts to be noticed by customers who have chosen to follow you on the platform.
1) Take Time To Craft Your Story
When you first set up your Instagram account, it might feel like all you’re supposed to do is post pictures. But one way to really stand out from other accounts is by using Instagram Stories.
This feature is a lot like Snapchat and allows you to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
So while they may not seem all that significant at first, they can go a long way in improving your business’s reputation on Instagram.
To make sure you’re taking full advantage of them, here are some simple ways.
2) Keep Your Audience Engaged
Instagram Stories are an excellent way to keep your audience engaged. If you’re running a contest or promotion, try posting a picture with a link in your bio.
Fans will be able to easily view that post and leave their name for a chance at winning (just make sure you set up rules and draw prizes in advance!).
Don’t want anyone seeing your Instagram story? No problem. Click on your image, then click Customize Story.
You can hide it from all followers except for those people you decide, as well as schedule it for specific times/dates and save it for later viewing if needed. #MakeUseOfStories!
3) Categorize Your Story
Before you start using Instagram stories, you’ll want to figure out what kind of storyteller you are. Are you a photo person? A video person? An experienced person? How do your stories fit into these categories and which will be your default story type?
As more people jump on board with Instagram stories, they’re also likely going to start changing their preferences and getting granular with how they choose who sees what kind of content.
That said, it’s important that your audience knows what they can expect from you – and knowing exactly how many Instagram Stories you post per week (or day) will help them stay consistent in their interactions with you.
4) Utilize Creative Filters
Use Instagram’s newest feature, Instagram Stories, to make your content more visual and exciting. When people want a quick burst of inspiration or just want a more visually-based experience, they turn to social media.
And one great way to keep that audience captivated is by using creative filters with your photos and videos on Instagram.
The platform has no shortage of awesome filters, but you can also add text and doodles or use hashtags that have nothing to do with your brand or post!
The best part? Everything disappears after 24 hours; it’s a great way for users on the go without much time on their hands (or who aren’t looking for anything long-term) to get in contact with your brand.
5) Ask Questions
When you ask questions in your Instagram Story, people tend to respond. In fact, one study found that posts that contain questions have a 21% higher engagement rate than those without.
That’s why it’s so important to ask questions in your Instagram Stories if you want them to be seen and if you want your business Page to grow.
For example, take Unsplash—it asks users If we could all make just one photo together… What would it look like?
The result is a beautiful response that gives insight into what people really care about and what they really want out of photography.
6) Live Videos are great Instagram tools
Live video can be fun, but keep in mind that there’s a time and place for everything. If you don’t want your audience to see you getting dressed or doing something personal, then don’t do it on live video.
Also, if people feel like they know your life too well, they may feel uncomfortable viewing your Instagram stories.
So while live videos may seem like a cool new feature that everyone is using—and should use—make sure that you take advantage of them in moderation.
If a person feels like they know everything about you without having even met in person, then they might start resenting your brand and lose respect for what you do.
7) Be Consistent With How You Feature Other Accounts
If you’re using Instagram stories, one way to make your content stand out is by being consistent about how you feature other accounts.
Some users like to include Call-To-Action in their stories asking viewers for a follow or an opinion. If that’s not your style, there are still ways you can feature another account and drive followers over to them.
Include a link at the end of your story; make sure any URLs included in your text are clickable; if you have images that link then make sure they’re easily scannable with a thumb swipe (don’t hide them behind text or another image).
And if all else fails, you can create a second story that only includes details about where someone can find more information!
7 Ways to Limit and Maintain Your Brand’s Instagram Posts
How many times have you taken the perfect photo, edited it to perfection, and then deleted it because there wasn’t room on your Instagram feed? It’s frustrating, but it happens all the time.
You don’t want to miss out on opportunities to share photos of your customers or photos that build brand awareness with new audiences, but sometimes your Instagram feed gets cluttered before you know it!
The solution to this problem lies in limiting and maintaining your brand’s Instagram posts through careful planning and editing.
1) Check Your Product Quality
Social media isn’t a black hole—your followers know you have a product or service, so they’re interested in what it is. If they love your product enough, they will share it with their social networks.
To make sure you’re putting out quality work that people want to share, check your Instagram post before it goes live.
How is it aligned with your brand image? Do you need more of an angle or a different angle?
You can also start looking at your followers’ posts in real-time: What do they tend to share that you could emulate? After all, imitation is one of the highest forms of flattery!
2) Let People Know Where They Can Buy your Products
Getting people to repost your brand’s Instagram images is a great way for your followers to spread awareness about your products, but you can have more control over what kind of reach you get by using hashtags.
When you use branded hashtags in Instagram posts, it gives people searching for those terms a way to find your products. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one hashtag—and you shouldn’t!
Using several hashtags will keep searches relevant while giving you extra opportunities for exposure.
To give maximum exposure and make sure that everyone who uses one of your hashtags ends up buying from you, make sure that all of them lead directly back to your product page. Or better yet, do a giveaway!
3) Don’t Overwhelm With Ads
The Instagram app shows you ads based on your interests and what your friends have liked or shared. When using Instagram to promote a business, however, businesses should be careful not to overwhelm their followers with advertisements.
Interacting with your brand’s community is always more beneficial than self-promotion in a social media space.
The general rule of thumb is that if you’re putting up an advertisement, it should only make up 10 percent of your Instagram posts, according to Forbes contributor Elizabeth Gerber.
4) Be Generous To Others In the Same Niche
In any niche, there are a lot of brands fighting for attention. If you really want people to notice your brand, it’s a good idea to not only be generous in giving them content but generous with other brands as well.
Interact with other bloggers or companies in your niche via comments or Instagram posts, and share others’ content on social media—doing these things will allow you to gain access to more people who already follow others in your industry.
By acting generously towards others (and making sure everyone sees it), you will begin establishing yourself as an authority figure in your field—just one of many reasons being generous never goes out of style!
5) Use Hashtags That Are Specific To Your Industry
For example, if you’re posting about an event for insurance agents, you may want to use #insuranceagents or #lifeinsurance.
It’s important that your hashtags are relevant because general hashtags (such as #instagram) won’t get nearly as much engagement as more specific ones.
Be sure not to get too hashtaggalicious—if a hashtag gets flooded with photos, it can become difficult for viewers to sift through all of them.
While some people think they should include several hashtags in each post (to gain more followers), that’s just going to make your feed cluttered; one or two is enough. Most importantly, do NOT spam other brand names in your posts!
6) Use Emojis Thoughtfully And Sparingly
Emojis are good for conveying meaning, but they can get pretty distracting—and add a lot of clutter—if you’re not careful.
For example, instead of using multiple emojis in one caption, reserve each emoji for only one item in your photo.
So, if you use a single emoji in your photo with one product (e.g., an eye emoji), don’t use that same icon again in other photos that include different products.
This is especially true for product-specific emojis like an ice cream cone or a bagel because these images are generic and could be associated with multiple brands/products that aren’t yours.
To keep things simple, try to limit yourself to two or three emojis per post—and never more than four!
7) Keep it Consistent!
Most of our clients want us to limit their social media exposure—this makes sense when you’re trying to protect your brand. First impressions matter. See here.
If a newbie follows your account and they only see a dozen posts over a week, they might think that you don’t update very often (and, in turn, not follow your account).
But if they follow accounts that post every hour or two hours all day long, they’ll come away with a different impression.
So before anyone outside of your company sees what you post on social media channels, it’s smart to decide how often you want them to see content from your brand.
10 Free Instagram Tools To Help You Grow Your Business
Instagram, which boasts over 500 million users, provides businesses with an excellent platform to advertise their product or service, as well as help them engage and grow their audience.
With the right tools, you can use Instagram to your advantage without breaking the bank on premium Instagram marketing services.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the best free Instagram tools that will help you grow your business!
One of my favorite Instagram tools is Meitu, which can help users apply filters to their photos and determine how a photo will look when posted to Instagram.
By analyzing your photo through one of Meitu’s online apps, you’ll know what kind of filter will work best on your image before you post it.
This way, you won’t have to worry about experimenting with filters later on. A quick tip: Don’t use too many filters!
While over-filtering used to be fashionable (see: Kylie Jenner), posting several different images from a single photo shoot on Instagram can overwhelm your followers. Stick with just one or two filters for each post for professional-looking results every time.
2) Iconosquare is another one of my favorite Instagram tools
Iconosquare is an all-in-one social media management tool, complete with analytics tools and even a CRM (or customer relationship manager). While there are plenty of Instagram tools out there, not all of them include Iconosquare’s level of functionality.
The service lets you view data from your Instagram account in real-time, both on your desktop and in mobile apps for iOS and Android.
When it comes to Instagram marketing, knowing your target audience is more important than ever before.
With Iconosquare you can get a breakdown of user statistics such as gender or location information on any hashtag you use or post. This helps you tailor future content and posts to align with what your followers want to see.
Not only does Gramista provide your business with analytics, but it also provides you with an important checklist of what’s missing in your Instagram profile.
Yes, it tells you how many followers you have versus how many likes and comments your content is receiving on average.
But what really sets Gramista apart from other Instagram tools is its social listening capabilities: search for any hashtag or keyword and it will give you real-time results of what people are saying about that topic.
From there, you can interact with your customers to make them feel like they’re being heard by actively responding to their feedback and questions.
This can only benefit your business, as well as its overall brand awareness online!
Google Analytics is a free, easy-to-use analytics platform that gives you tons of valuable information about your site’s traffic and conversions. Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram will give you an overview of your audience.
It even lets you track hashtags and engagements for each post. If you use Hootsuite, you can automate posting to Instagram from within Hootsuite’s dashboard.
The other Instagram tools listed here are more geared toward growth hacking; use them to help grow your following organically.
5) Authenticator +
Authenticator+ is an easy tool that helps you generate new Instagram business profiles and switch between them. Without it, it’s impossible to schedule a post to a personal profile on behalf of your business.
The Authenticator+ Chrome extension is free, and once installed, you’ll have access to several options including a time zone setting tool, management settings for future posts, backup or restore options in case anything happens to your account(s), and geo-filtering (which is something I’d recommend but not cover in this post).
It’s my favorite Instagram tool that I recommend everyone get familiar with. It’s free, too!
Followerwonk is a free Instagram tool to see your own account activity. It also lets you compare it to other profiles for likes, comments, and follower growth. This is a great way to gauge how well you’re doing in comparison to others.
They also have an extensive list of Instagram-specific keyword research tools that can help your account gain exposure to targeted audiences. Try it out and then schedule regular checkups on an easy-to-use interface!
IconFinder is a free Instagram tool that allows you to search for custom and public domain Instagram icons. It’s a great way to incorporate original or professional-looking images in your company’s posts.
8) Grum is an
If you’re unfamiliar with Instagram tools, Grum is a must-have. From managing multiple accounts to scheduling posts, Grum can do it all.
Their dashboard makes it easy to see what your account looks like at a glance while also presenting real-time analytics on your page, including top photos and influencers in your niche.
It’s free to sign up and most of their features are free as well – though some features require an upgrade.
Websta is a website that tracks your Instagram followers and lets you see detailed data about them, including where they are located.
Just enter your username to start tracking! It’s one of my favorite Instagram tools because it shows me exactly which types of users I’m attracting—and allows me to target different demographics with future posts.
This is especially helpful if you have multiple brands or accounts—you can separate them and see which content performs best for each individual account.
10) Statigram Is one of my favorite Instagram tools
Statigram is one of my favorite free Instagram tools because it makes it easy to track mentions, gather data and measure engagement.
Another cool thing about Statigram is that you can use it to find new people based on hashtags, locations, or your competitors’ followers. Another benefit of Statigram is that you can easily see how many people saw your post compared to how many people liked it.
This information gives valuable insight into what types of content are most appealing and helps you adjust accordingly. Plus, you don’t have to be an Instagram partner to use Statigram.