6 essential steps to self-audit your Instagram
with Insta’ whiz, Lauren Bath.
with Insta’ whiz, Lauren Bath.
You’ve all heard of Spring cleaning right?
Well, it may not be Spring where you are in the world, but we are bringing you this reminder regardless – your Instagram account needs some attention too.
More-often-than-not users will create a profile and use it recreationally, before they decide to go full-business on the ‘Gram. What they don’t realise, however, is that this can cause some serious stagnation for your account growth.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the look and feel of your IG brand, including your handle, your aesthetic and your consistency (to name a few).
Luckily, we met up with Lauren Bath to go over the six essential steps to assessing the quality of your profile, to up engagement, encourage follower growth and to create a professional brand on Instagram that you can be proud of.
We know you created the account in 2010 and that back then you loved your cat Arthur, but @ilovearthur.meow is no longer an appropriate handle for your account (especially if you are diving into the travel influencer industry).
When you look at most brands on Instagram, they have a great handle. This is either usually a name based handle, like @Laurenepbath or @GeorgiaRickard, a business name, like @TheRichCoach, or an industry name, like @the_wanderinglens (for photography) or @FollowMeAwayTravel (for travel).
When you look at your IG handle, do you think it represents you and your brand through any one of these three areas (name, business, industry)?
If it’s a no, it may be time to sever ties with your old handle in favour of a more professional and relevant one.
This is a big one.
When assessing your Instagram account, this is a question you should always ask – and do it more than once a year, too. Consistency is something you should be keeping check of all the time.
Consistency is the key to success on Instagram, without it, you’re just a personal account with big dreams.
So, let’s take a look at your profile.
Have you been posting at least four times a week?
Have you been sharing Stories, Reels, IGTV’s and Guides?
Have you been consistently responding to DM’s in your inbox or comments on your posts?
Also, if you have been consistent with the above, has your quality also been consistent?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, then you need to work on that area in order to see continued growth and engagement for your business or brand.
@LaurenepBath is a stickler for consistency (in all areas!) 👇
This is the most important question to ask, because if the answer is YES then you are going to be attracting followers that are just like you, who love the things you love and will therefore engage with, and stick around for, your content.
If the answer is NO, then there are two potential problems: either you are creating great content that doesn’t resonate with you or reflect your passions, or you are creating poor quality content (probably inconsistently) of the things you do love.
Either way, you are not going to attract the right people to your account – firstly, it’s near impossible to be authentic when you are creating content that you aren’t passionate about and your followers can tell, and secondly, you absolutely need to be creating quality content to be seen in the mass of content creators on Instagram.
So, if you wouldn’t follow your own account you either need to take a new direction with the content you are producing or improve the content you are producing (think better quality images and mini-blog captions that engage the reader).
Engagement is THE measure of success on Instagram and can be measured by the number of likes, comments, saves and shares that your post receives.
A great way of measuring engagement is via the Insights feature on Instagram, where you can easily view the number of likes, comments, saves and shares. To measure this engagement, you should add all four of these together and divide it by the number of followers you have.
Engagement levels should sit between 1.5% and 3% of your following. If you have more then 3% engagement, FANTASTIC (and what’s your secret?).
If your engagement needs some help, however, we suggest playing around with what time you post (selecting optimum times is essential), creating engaging copy that has a ‘call to action’ at the base e.g. ‘What was the one thing today that you did even though you didn’t want to?’ to encourage comments, and, in the hour following your post going live, head onto Instagram and share the love – this means finding other accounts and engaging with their content (chances are, they’ll pop over to your account too!).
Your repertoire of Hashtags needs updating more frequently than your account needs auditing – you should be keeping your # use fresh and hip in order to get the most of our them – but, whilst we’re here, let’s do a quick check.
Are you using hashtags?
The answer better be YES.
Are you posting between 8 and 15 hashtags per post?
If it’s more or less, then you need to consider altering your range. Too many makes your account look spammy (to your followers AND Instagram herself) but too few could impact your reach.
Are you shaking up your hashtags every few weeks and using hashtags relevant to the image and caption?
If not, Instagram notices and thinks you’re a bot. So jump on that!
Are you using broad, mid-range and niche hashtags?
If you use hashtags that have too many tags, this can attract fake accounts to your post – resulting in shady comments that offer you $36K for a collab, or offering you more followers in exchange for $$$.
For best # Practice head to our blog: The 10 things you need to know about Hashtags.
6. Delete old images that don’t fit with your brand
Back in the day, it seemed that Instagram was merely a photo editing service (with some VERY heavy filters) and less of a social media site. This meant that we tended to duplicate post poor quality images (ugh, don’t even get us started on the ‘Duck Face’ trend) and OVER SHARE content that we wouldn’t be proud to share today – and that’s completely fine, but those posts need to head straight to the ARCHIVE bin.
If you are building a professional brand on Instagram, you can bet that people are going to go DEEP into your history. We aren’t asking that you erase your complete Insta’ history, we actually think it is important to keep parts of it to show how real growth can be when you put in the work and the time. Rather, we are asking you to assess if the (or some of the) images you used to post fit with your brand? If not, send them away. If they do fit, but are not of the same standard, they can stay – people love to see where you came from and how you got to where you are.
Our 6 steps to self-audit your Insta’ account. We hope you found this article helpful, and that you don’t have too much work to get on with on your profile.
Remember, you need to keep an eye on several of these steps throughout the year (and even more frequently). If you make it common practice to assess your own Insta regularly, you are guaranteed to stay fresh and relevant on the ‘gram, as well as increasing your engagement and following. Let us know how you go!