The world of Instagram is fast-paced, especially for content creators who are running a business on the platform. Due to the app’s ever-evolving nature, it’s easy to get carried away and lose track of your business goals, USP, and why people follow you. That’s why it’s important to audit your Instagram profile every now and again.
An Instagram audit involves going through each aspect of your profile and checking that it aligns with your brand values and vision, from your bio to your feed aesthetic, to attract both your ideal follower and brand partner.
Concerned your Instagram profile isn’t up to scratch compared to the competition? Not to worry—we’re here to help with some expert advice from full-time Instagrammer and YouTuber Charlotte Buttrick.
Redefine your goals
First things first, what are you trying to achieve on Instagram? Obviously, you want to make money and grow your business.
But is your core focus right now to:
- Build your community?
- Get click-throughs to your website and boost pageviews?
- Increase your brand partnerships?
It helps to have some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so you can measure your success, such as a certain number of new followers, pageviews, or brand partnerships. It also helps to allocate timings to these KPIs—for instance: “X per week” or “X per month.”
Once you have your goals and KPIs in mind, you can amend aspects of your profile accordingly (if you need to).
For example, if you have the goal of increasing your website traffic but aren’t currently using a “link in bio” tool, you can edit your profile to include one. The great thing about a “link in bio” tool is that you can direct Instagram users to multiple website links to achieve the maximum number of pageviews.
Reassess your content
An aspect of Instagram that has advanced so much since the launch of the platform in 2010 is the content itself. (Do you remember the days when you could only upload photos in a square aspect ratio?)
Nowadays, you can post videos and carousels in Feed, produce Reels, and upload Stories. But what makes the most sense for your audience? What types of content do they like? Are they interacting with one content pillar more than another?
The truth is, people follow other people for their content. If your content isn’t high in quality, interesting, and engaging for your target audience, you may struggle to grow a following—and your biz in general.
Use your Instagram Insights to learn more about your audience and what they like. If you need to tweak your content strategy to meet their needs, do it. (The majority rules!)
Charlotte @charlottebuttrick advises to hone in on your niche by finding out which content gets the most traction with your existing and target audience.
“I look at what are my top-performing posts from saves, likes and reach and see what type of content it is and keep creating more of that.”
The secret to finding and maintaining success as a professional Instagram content creator is pleasing your audience. Once you have a tribe of loyal followers and continue to deliver what they want to see, more will naturally follow.
Review your visual brand identity
Given that Instagram built a name for themselves as being a highly visual platform, the visuals you use to represent your account are so important. For creators, they can strengthen your brand message, boost credibility, and convert new profile visitors to followers.
Although not as many influencers seem to be using presets these days, people still pay attention to how content looks on your grid. Ask yourself: do your aesthetics currently align with your content? Or does it no longer make sense to use that moody filter you’ve been using since you joined Instagram when your personality and content are colorful and all about positivity?
To help you, go back to basics with your visual brand identity. Think about:
- What your personal brand stands for
- The words you’d use to describe your brand personality
- How you want your target audience to view your brand
This can help you redefine your visual brand identity so you can ensure your grid aesthetic coincides.
Don’t forget about Stories too! Over 500 million Instagram users watch Stories daily. Your Stories need to have the same look and feel as your grid for consistency.
If your visual brand identity appears disjointed, potential followers may find it hard to understand who you are and what you’re trying to achieve on the platform—and consequently stop engaging with your content.
Your profile photo is also a big part of your visual brand identity. Make sure you choose an image that accurately represents your brand values and content—and will relate to your audience.
How’s your tone of voice?
Instagram isn’t just about the visuals. The words also count for a lot.
How you talk to your audience through captions and comments, i.e., your brand’s tone of voice, is essentially how you communicate and connect with prospective followers and brand partners. In fact, maybe this is solely how you communicate if you’re not big on face-to-face videos and speaking audio.
If your tone of voice doesn’t tie in with your aesthetics or what you stand for, you may struggle to create deeper, long-lasting connections with your audience.
The three golden rules for nailing your tone of voice on Instagram are:
- Use language that your target audience finds relatable. If you’re targeting Gen Z, for example, you may want to use buzzwords like “bestie,” “period,” or “vibing” and buzz-phrases like “hits different” or “understood the assignment.”
- Always keep your ideal follower in mind when writing anything for Instagram. Talk directly to them. Use a formal or more conversational tone depending on what makes sense for your brand.
- Be your authentic self. When it comes to content creators, people are likely to be following you for the person you are. Stay true to yourself, otherwise, your content may come across as ingenuine and put people off.
You can also research successful creators in your niche and study their tone of voice to help you streamline yours.
When occasionally checking your top-performing posts via your Instagram Insights, note down the previous captions you’ve used that have gone down well. Is there a pattern in length, writing style, and content?
Repeat the same formula as much as you can to capitalize on this success.
Boost your bio
The bio is the big one! After all, the first thing a potential follower will do when they click on a stranger’s profile is read the bio.
Your bio needs to include:
- Your name and title
- Who you are and what you post about in the description (what do they get from you?)
- Your link(s)
- Your email address
Bonus points if you can squeeze in a Call-To-Action, such as: “Shop my outfit links below!”
Charlotte @charlottebuttrick focuses on fashion content and changes her title and bio often as part of her Instagram profile audit. She says: “I use keywords that define the content I share.”
She currently has “Wearable outfits | style, how to wear, capsule wardrobe” as her name and “easy outfit ideas you can recreate today” as her description. This means that when other users are entering these keywords in the search bar, her profile will pop up and get more tap-throughs.
Follow Charlotte’s lead and check that your bio aligns with your content, brand values, and tone of voice. Then be sure to incorporate some keywords that will optimize your profile for your ideal follower.
Hone in on those highlights
Your profile highlights are a key opportunity for your target audience to see past Stories and connect with you on a personal level, especially through video.
As tempting as it is to have a bunch of random highlights on show, think “quality over quantity” (5-10). Collectively, they need to be relatable, in addition to function well. (Make sure your highlight covers reflect your visual brand identity too!)
Put yourself in the shoes of a user who has never seen your profile before—what would they need to see to get to know you better?
The “know, like, trust” factor is a concept in marketing that applies here. Basically, once your target audience “knows” you, they are more likely to “like” you and proceed to “trust” you. Once you have trust with your audience, they will stick around, listen to what you have to say, and take action.
Include an “About” highlight to kickstart this user journey where you talk about:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you do what you do
Then create one highlight per content pillar so that users can easily navigate to the Stories they want to see.
It also helps to have a “Work with me” highlight—make it straightforward for brands to learn more about your services and contact you. If you’re a dream to work with, you’re likely to gain repeat sponsorships from existing brand partners and new opportunities from prospective brand partners.
Frequently auditing your Instagram profile allows you to check in with your content and goals. It indicates which aspects of your account are working well and which aspects need a little work.
Charlotte recommends performing a profile audit “once a month or once every two months” to keep up with the pace of Instagram. Ultimately, the more you do it, the more tuned-in you’ll be to your audience, their wants and needs, and how your content can serve them best.