It’s easy to get bogged down in content creation for your brand. Trying to keep up with the ever-changing world of digital marketing, its updates, guidelines and new regulations can be a full time job within itself.
We recently published an update checklist for Facebook pages, so we thought it would be useful to do a similar refresher with Facebook’s sister company, Instagram. As of January 2018, Instagram has over 500 million daily users, with 80% of those users following an Instagram business account.
The social platform never stops surprising us with new rollouts and user capabilities, but just like anything in life, sometimes it’s necessary to go back to basics before complicating things by trying to pull off the latest and greatest.
If you’ve already switched your Instagram account over to a business account, then there’s nothing to worry about here. But if you are still running your Instagram account as a personal account, be sure that your privacy settings have been updated to public. This will allow anyone to view your profile and content on Instagram. You want to make sure you’re taking every step possible to encourage followers to interact with your content instead of deter them.
You can easily switch your personal account to public by clicking Options and then making sure Private Account is switched off.
One of the first steps required when setting up an Instagram account is picking a username (aka handle). Keep your handle as streamlined, recognizable and searchable as possible. For example, let’s say you own a restaurant in downtown Charleston named Le Café. A quick Instagram search will turn up lots of variations of @lecafe, meaning the ideal handle for your business is already taken. If this is the case, try to use your business’ name in the first part of the handle and then add a defining characteristic to the second half of the handle. This could be something along the lines of @lecafechs (location-based), @lecafepastries or @lecafechocolates, all dependent on handle availability and personal preference.
Even if your business’ ideal handle was taken, your business’ full name can and should be used in the Business Name section of your Instagram profile. When a potential customer searches for your business by name, it will appear under your profile image and username in the search.
We like to keep this as a rule-of-thumb for all social media accounts, but your business’ profile image should be your logo. It’s the first thing that an Instagram user sees when they visit your profile. It should be easy to identify and on-brand with your entire digital presence.
Like the profile image, one of the first things an Instagram user will see when visiting your profile is your company’s bio. With a max of 150 characters, use the space to set your brand apart and really shine. Always include who you are and what you do with a touch of creativity and personality. If it’s appropriate for your brand’s voice, try to include a relatable emoji or two. New Instagram updates also allow users to include links to hashtags (a perfect place to showcase your brand’s hashtag) and other handles (great to include if you own two related businesses).
Updating the link in your brand’s bio is one of the easiest (and most trackable) ways to drive traffic to your website. Since Instagram posts don’t allow a clickable link within the caption, a business’ link in bio is the only location for a clickable URL. Publishing a new blog? Post the blog graphic and include “Click the link in bio to read more” in the caption. New item for sale? Post an image of the product and include, “Shop our line’s latest by clicking the link in our bio”. Be sure to switch it out regularly and when it’s not being used to drive traffic for one of your recent Instagram posts, change the link back to your website’s homepage or contact page.
Keeping track of the constantly evolving digital marketing industry can be tricky enough without having to manage and maintain your business’ presence on social media. That’s where our team at The Modern Connection comes in. Not only do we stay up to date on the latest in the industry, but we put your brand first, so let’s chat. Click here to get started by filling out our free consultation form.