Instagram Marketing: Starting and Optimizing A Profile
- August 17th, 2016
- 6 mins READING TIME
With over 500 million active monthly users, 300 million active daily users, and now owned by Facebook, in the 6 years that Instagram has been around, it has grown to be behemoth. In a sign telling of the times, Instagram overtook Twitter in its number of users in 2015 – making it the second most used social media platform behind Facebook. The shift from trying to fit a brand’s message into 140 characters on Twitter into a visual format has become particularly effective and meaningful for a product-led business. Both personal and small and medium enterprises (SME) have both benefited from the rise of visual, storytelling tool that is Instagram.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) like jewellery brand Dear Rae have used Instagram to capitalise on sales using appealing photography and hashtags.
Personal brand like Selena Gomez with 94.5 million followers have used their accounts to become more relatable to their audience, sell their work and get endorsements. Instagram can be a great way to connect with consumers who engage visually. It is also a great way to express and build on your brand personality.
With the benefits of Instagram being plentiful, it is understandable that it has become an integral part of a business’s “digital marketing strategy”. While numerous brands use this social media platform as part of its businesses marketing strategy, very few are using it correctly. Whether you’re a newbie to Instagram looking to start a successful account, or have an account that you’d like to optimise, we are here to help you do so.
Creating a successful Instagram profile
Starting a Instagram profile isn’t as easy as clicking a few buttons and waiting for the followers to pour in. It takes thought, planning and knowing your brand. Having a business Instagram account is a important brand extension. Genevieve Monroe, co-founder of the small California-based retailer Jackson and Hyde, put it best when she said, “Instagram has been critical for brand exposure, dialogue with new and potential customers and being discovered by partners and retailers.”
Here are the 3 most important things your brand needs to do when starting an Instagram account:
The name game
Keeping inline with your brand it is important to choose a profile name that is tied to your company. The best option for naming your profile is to go with your brand name, but often the exact name is not available. In this case use you need to think of an alternative name that is still connected to your brand.
Choosing the perfect profile pic
The best profile pic to use on your Instagram account is your brand’s logo. Having your logo as your profile pic also creates brands awareness. Keep in mind the photo you choose will be cropped into a circle and needs to be legible on a smartphone.
The best text for your profile
Your profile description or bio is dependent on your audience and what they require – it may take some trial and error to see what works. It is also the way that you introduce your brand so put your best foot forward.
Blogger Charlie Dulcet from Melbourne gave this advice to having the best profile bio, “You only get a small amount of space under your profile picture to write a brief bio, but make sure that you do write something. I’ve seen a few where they have left it blank and just placed a website url, now this is fine if you are Beyonce, but if you’re not as well known as her, it will make people click the back button pretty quickly. No one is going to take the time searching for who you are, what you do or what your Instagram is about.”
If you have a specific hashtag that you want your followers to use so that users can see all the posts about the brand, make sure you add it to your description. This hashtag will allow followers to see all post associated to your brand. Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s uses the hashtag #BenandJerrys which has 680 000 posts. Don’t add unnecessarily hashtags as they are not clickable and don’t have a purpose in your description.
The perfect example
An excellent example of a brand that has perfect profile set up is the Australian skincare brand Frank Body. Frank Body chose the Instagram name frank_bod which is the perfect alternative for its profile name. The brand has also used a simple logo (just the ‘F’ of their full logo) which reads well on mobile too. Frank Body uses #letsbefrank as a hashtag which has over 42 000 posts.
Optimizing Your Profile
Use/Create a brand brief to guide your Instagram marketing
Before you start to optimise your profile you need to understand your brand. Most companies don’t have a clear brand image and without one you communication – both visually and verbally on Instagram – will be scattered and unclear. Branding is critical to your brand’s success as it helps set expectations and create a strong relationship with the right customers. Here are the 4 key branding elements that needs to be in your brand brief that will help your brand create a strong brand image on Instagram:
- Brand personality – If your brand was a person who would they be? What would they like or dislike?
- Brand values – How does your brand conduct itself? How does your brand treat its customers?
- Brand mission – Why should people believe in your company and your products?
- Brand promise – What is your customer commitment? What is your value proposition?
4 Tips to Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Measure the impact of your Instagram link
An important thing to remember is that adding a link in both the bio section and photo description i will not be clickable. There is however a designated URL section to display and promote your desired URL. To measure the impact of a link you share on your Instagram profile, use a tool like Google URL Builder. By filling the designated field with the trackable link that you have created, you will have access to how many people are actually using it.
Constantly change your URL
By constantly updating the URL link, your brand will bridge the gap between conversion and social. You can use the designated URL field to send people to different products, landing pages and new blog posts. This could lead extensive RIO! Australian Tourism Instagram account uses their URL field to answer their audiences’ FAQ.
Use your location
When publishing a post on Instagram, you have the option to customize its location. Once the post is published, the location appears right below your handle above the image. Since you can manually type the location name without verifying if the location exists, you can let your audience know where to buy your products or find your services.
Share images responsibly
The images your share on Instagram help create a brand experience and this is a powerful tool. Everything you share on social media and every comment you make is helping your company’s branding to grow. It is therefore important to keep the image consistent with your brand brief.