Today I will be digging into 4 quick actions you can implement on Instagram immediately, to start laying foundations for all of the amazing things to come! These are items that I’m always revisiting myself, as my own personal brand and business evolve. They are applicable to any brand, whether you are a blogger or a creative business.
1. Improve Your profile image
Your profile photo is one of the FIRST ways people encounter you on IG. It’s important that it makes a strong impression of you and your brand.
If using a picture of your face:
- Does the image give the visitor an indication of who you are and what they can find on your page?
- Does it show your personality?
- Is it cropped well – no cut off faces please, unless it’s a mood you’re going for!
If using a logo for your business:
- Can you see the full logo in the image circle (not cut off)?
- Is it centered?
- Is it clear (not pixelated or grainy?)
- Is it a decent size that’s readable? (Not too small!)
Also – if you are across multiple social media platforms, it would be helpful to use the same image across all of them, to keep your brand consistent! If you change your image in one place, be sure to change it out everywhere!
2. Improve your name/tagline
The area where you can share your tagline on your profile can actually be quite powerful! It can be optimized with keywords when brands and clients are searching for usernames that fit what they are looking for.
Oftentimes when I’m searching for accounts on Instagram, I’m looking for keywords, not names. So it’s can be helpful to include a few there.
Some examples could be:
Luci – Tampa blogger
Luci – Florida coffee blogger
Luci – Website designer
Keep in mind that you can ONLY use 30 characters here, so get creative!
Note: Since my name is in my username, I took it out of the “name” portion, to really focus on the keywords. Testing it out, for now, to see how it goes!
3. Improve your bio
Instagram doesn’t give us a lot of space to write on our profile, so it’s essential to get the important bits nice and concise! Mentioned in the previous post, you get 30 characters in your tagline area and for your bio, you get 150! Let’s make each character count!
Who are you talking to?
Use your bio to talk to your ideal audience! It needs to be clear and let the reader know if your account is the right fit for them. (And it’s totally okay if it isn’t for everyone! You are there to talk with YOUR people!)
How are you helping others?
Even though it is a “bio”, if you’re wanting to work with brands or are a service-based business, make sure it isn’t all about you! Be sure to talk about HOW you are helping others. It’s a great opportunity to attract followers who align with you.
What is your ‘call to action’ ?
Is there an action you want your visitors to take- like going to your blog? Put that call to action there as your last phrase before your link. The phrase will tell people what they can find through it. (Ex. “Grab my SEO checklist below!”)
Include your URL
And last but not least, your URL!
Use that link to take your viewers exactly where you want them to go, and use that call-to-action to drive more people to your link.
Some extra tips:
- if you have a branded hashtag that you want others to use, show it off in your bio!
- do you have another account you want to link to? Add it there!
- if you don’t have a business profile, this is a great place to add contact details.
Questions to think about when crafting your bio:
- What do you want future clients or brands to know about you? Who is your audience?
- How can you add my personality into it, to show your own voice?
- What are the keywords you want to include in your bio?
4. Improve your hashtags
I think of hashtags as SEO for Instagram. They can help your ideal community and brands find you.
I am still always experimenting, but here are some strategies I’ve been using with success:
You can use up to 30 hashtags on each post. The most important thing is that they are all intentional.
Avoid using many “competitive” hashtags. These have a very high post rate, which often means your posts will get lost. Examples of these are “coffee”, “dogs”. I typically use more specific hashtags that have around 100k posts.
Who is your audience?
WHO is searching for you and what kind of words they would be using? Those are the hashtags you should be using to get likeminded people to find you.
Do your research
Create a list of the content topics you post. Explore IG to see which hashtags your audience spends time in. I look at other users whose content I love, who post similar content to me and search through hashtags/similar hashtags.
I have about 15 hashtags for each of my main content areas and customize the others based on my posts. I save these in a spreadsheet and app. It’s great to be able to pull from them at any time.
Don’t copy/paste and use the same exact hashtags in each post, as it may appear to IG that you are a “spammy”. On each post, I use slightly different hashtags depending on the content.
Check your insights
There are apps that can tell you your successful hashtags and also IG Insights if you have a business account. IG does not tell you the exact hashtags that work (I wish!!), but I have seen an increase in my reach from using more targeted ones.
Connect, engage, and build community!
More than just using hashtags, talk with people you discover using similar hashtags! More than anything – find that similar interests generate great community, and so I also like to reach out to new faces I find through my hashtag research.