It’s finally happening!
The birds are singing, the azaleas are out, and the gutters on the house aren’t the only things due for a good spring clean. It’s so easy to get into a rut with marketing, and Instagram, arguably the prettiest of social platforms, is no exception. Let’s tune up your Instagram account with some old favorites and brand new features to put the shine back on it!
If you prefer to watch a video on this topic, just scroll down! 🎥
Instagram Cleanup Tip #1: Update Your Profile
Is your Instagram profile photo up to date? Does it match across your other social networks? You put so much time into your beautiful posts, but your profile image may be the first one people see – so make it good! It should look professional but inviting, with plenty of contrast so that you don’t fade into the background. If you’re using your logo, make sure that’s up to date as well!
Does the one link in your bio link to a blog post from 2015? Update it ASAP and make sure it’s a bit.ly link so you can track visits from Instagram to your website.
Add Hashtags to your Instagram Bio!
Clickable hashtags can now be added to your profile. Just edit your profile and start typing! You might choose to include a hashtag if, for example, you want people to submit images of themselves using your product. That way, anyone viewing your profile can easily view all that valuable user-generated content with one click!
It doesn’t appear that profiles are searchable with hashtags from their bios – it looks like Instagram still looks for the phrase rather than an actual hashtag. So, don’t think of it as a way to get people TO your profile – rather as a way to get them from your profile to somewhere else within Instagram – and consider whether that is in your best interest or not.
Add Links to Other Instagram Profiles in your Instagram Bio!
Why might you do that? The ideas we came up with are all ways to spread the love or to get some extra social proof for yourself! For example:
- If you have a personal account and a business account, you may want people looking at one to find another.
- Or, if you want to give your employer some love, you could link to their account.
- If you are an entrepreneur working with clients, you might want to link to some businesses you have worked with.
- If you have recently been featured on another Instagram account or in a publication or event by another account, you could link there.
Just like adding hashtags, all you need to do is edit your profile, and start typing @(username) and the link will appear when you save your changes. What other uses can you think of for linking to another account from your profile?
Instagram Cleanup Tip #2: Get on Board with Instagram Stories and New Features
Instagram has been hard at work on Stories, making them more prominent in our feeds. Take the hint and use them! You can add videos or still images. And now, if you’re on iOS, you can tag other users in stories with stickers! It looks pretty and it’s as easy as clicking on stickers after you make your story and choosing the @mention sticker! Just add the username you want to tag, hit “Done,” and move it where you want it. In my case, I wanted to cover up my light fixture. 😉
Instagram Cleanup Tip #3: Take a Fresh Look at Your Posts and 9 Grid
With approximately 9,999,999 things to do in a day, it’s easy for an Instagram strategy to become haphazard. Guilty as charged! So, this is a good time for a check. Is your 9 grid a good reflection of your brand and what is important to you?
Your 9 grid, of course, is the first nine updates on your Instagram account – what people may notice first when they visit your profile. Since this has an impact on whether they decide to follow you or not, it deserves some attention. Use Tailwind’s 9-grid preview to see not only how your profile looks now, but also how upcoming scheduled posts will appear. Make adjustments where needed – and keep an eye on this.
Are you sharing all your hard work? Blog posts, podcast appearances, speaking engagements, awards won – they all have a place on your Instagram feed. Unlike your personal Facebook account, where a constant stream of “humble bragging” will get you unfollowed in a nanosecond, Instagram is all about the selfie! Feel free to indulge in a bit of “all about me” here – and make the most of every bit of content or appearance you make.
A note about sharing your blog posts. You might experiment with different image styles. You could try using a square version of the image you share to Pinterest and Facebook, or you could try one that is similar but with no text on the image – leaving the text for the description. You could also make a story image from your Pin – or make a Pin from your story image. They’re fairly similar in size, but if you’re including text on the image, start with story size (1080×1920) or your text might be cut off. This tip from Jeff Sieh of Manly Pinterest Tips.
Make the most out of what works by checking your Instagram analytics. With a business account, you have access to Insights. From your profile, click on the little bar graph icon at the top right of your screen. Scan your updates for top performers and see what they have in common. If you are using Tailwind for Instagram, use your Post Inspector to look for patterns in the post types and filters used for your top-performing posts.
Try Focus Mode for Photos
Have you been envious of the super-polished photos coming from your friends with Portrait mode on their iPhone 7 or 8? Well, now you can have the same effect with the blurred-out background – right from Instagram!
Focus mode is available as a camera option – just like video, boomerang or super zoom. Aside from being available for all phones, Focus also has the advantage of being able to utilize your front-facing camera. Trust me, using portrait mode for a selfie is no easy endeavor (but I did it just for you 🙂). Here’s how they compare:
Have a messy desk or background? Don’t let that stop you from sharing your day with the world!
I talked about all this and more with Jeff Sieh, Head Beard at Manly Pinterest Tips and the manager of Social Media Examiner’s Instagram account live on Facebook. We also took some requests for Instagram evaluations and discovered some really talented Instagrammers in the audience! Check it out:
Want more success from your Instagram marketing? Make sure you check out our Instagram Marketing webinar. It’s comprehensive, entertaining, and takes just an hour to complete.
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