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Did you know that 80% of Instagram users follow one or more business accounts? That means that if you generate the right content and post consistently, you could create a highly valuable following for your business. So how do you get there? We’ve done the research and there are a few things that all optimized Instagram profiles have in common. Here are some tips on how you can create an Instagram profile – that people will want to follow.

Lots of Stories

Over the last year, Instagram stories have become hugely popular. 500 million people use stories every day and one third of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses. One of the best ways to use a story is by promoting an event, product, sale, website, etc. with the “swipe-up” feature. It can be a little tricky to figure out, so we’ve included the 4 step process to put a link in your story. 

  1. Take a photo or upload one to your Instagram Story, and then click the icon at the top right that looks like a chain.
  2. Here, click “+ URL” to add a link to a web page
  3. Type the URL into the text box. When you’re finished, click “Done” in the top right.
  4. When you’re ready to publish, click the “+ Story” button at the bottom right of your Story. Now, your published Story has a “See More” swipe up link.
Since stories only last 24 hours, it’s important to post daily so that you stay present for your followers.

 

Recognizable Profile Photo

This is the first thing people see when they get to your profile. It should be a recognizable photo that people can instantly associate with your brand or business. It should also be on brand with your profile photos from other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.

A fun way to shake things up a little bit is by giving a slight change to your profile photo in correspondence with different seasons, holidays, events, etc. This will give a new look to your profile while keeping important familiarity for your followers. 

Thoughtful Bio

Your bio should be short, sweet and to the point. It also should include an action. Here are a few great examples Hubspot gathered:

WeWork: “WeWork provides you with the space, community, and services you need to make a life, not just a living.”

Oreo: “See the world through our OREO Wonderfilled lens.”

Califia Farms: “Crafting, concocting and cold-brewing up a delicious, plant-based future. Califia Farms Loves You Back”

Staples: “We make it easy to #MakeMoreHappen”

Link in Your Bio

Your Instagram profile allows for you to promote one link and one link only in your bio. Decide what you want this link to be and then direct people to it through your posts. This will help convert your profile traffic and give your followers an actionable item. Update your link frequently to direct to your latest blog content, YouTube videos, products, or offers, landing page – and refer to that link in your Instagram captions.

When to Post

How often should you be posting on Instagram? Overall, quality is better than quantity when it comes to optimizing your feed. So post a photo weekly but share a story daily. This is a great calendar template to help you plan out your social media posting. The very best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00–4:00 p.m. for the time zone of your target persona. For a United States audience, your best bet is to combine Eastern and Central time zones, as they represent 80% of the population. 

Excellent Captions

Instagram has a much more casual feel than a platform like LinkedIn. You’ll want to remember this as you write your captions. Try cracking a joke, making a pun, include a friendly invitation… make your captions as interesting as your photos. Don’t be afraid to take your time when it comes to writing your content. Write several drafts, bounce them off a coworker and revise. Instagram only allows the first sentence to be displayed, after that your follower will have to click “more.” Since this is the case, you want to start your captions with the good stuff. Come out with a bang. Check out these ideas:

“That’s a wrap on [company event], day 1! It was a great day of good people, sessions, and keynotes…”

“[New product] is now live! Get your free 30-day demo right now and see for yourself…”

“We’re working with [partner/company] on a new initiative to [shared goal]. Our staff can’t wait to get started…”

“We’re here at [industry event]! Come say hi at [booth #] and see our CEO before he takes the stage at [panel discussion]…”

“Congrats to our own [employee name] for winning [award]! A well-deserved honor for someone who crushed it this month…”

Action Time

You should also always include a call to action in your posts. Throw passive verbiage out the window and make action verbs your new best friend! Here are a few action-based ideas from Hubspot to get you started:

Ask a question:  Encourage people to comment with their own experiences. You might be able to draw on these experiences to shape your Instagram strategy moving forward, or to come up with new content ideas. To increase engagement and delight your followers even more, respond to users’ answers to make it like a conversation.

Invite people to tag their friends:  Encourage your followers to share your post with friends by inviting them to tag their friends. 

Invite people to enter a contest or giveaway:  Contests are great for increasing engagement and brand exposure on Instagram.

Time to Start

We hope these tips will help you have a high converting and optimized Instagram profile. Good luck at building your following. We are here to help with any questions!