We’ve all seen it. In 2019, businesses have so many opportunities on Instagram. As the platform grows and develops more features like Instagram stories, businesses have more tools at their hands to connect with their customers. But, growing followers takes time and effort, unless you’re a really known brand. Small businesses can therefore struggle, don’t you agree? This is why we have made a list of things you can do to make your Instagram profile even better.

Read on to build a better Instagram profile today.

Optimize your profile

The first thing you should do to appeal to customers is to customize your profile to make it look good, tell people who you are and why they should follow you. You need a reason to get them to follow you. You wouldn’t just follow a random profile, would you? 

Beef up your Username

This is easy to do by making your username something easy to search for and recognizable, like your business name. Since Instagram doesn’t let profiles share the same name, you might find you business name is already taken. Don’t worry! Use your business name as a part of the username and customize it. For example, Yougoz, the Boston health, beauty and fitness platform uses @goyougoz as their username.

Make your Bio fun

Your bio should also have fun, actionable and informative content about your brand, so as to let people know what you’re about. For example, Peppergang’s bio reads “We’re more than just marketers, we’re a bunch of big idea-crafting, creative-minded, strategy-focused, diverse coffee ☕️ drinkers” This way, you can highlight your company culture and inject a bit of personality.

Make your profile Shareable

You should also make sure your profile is set to Public and that your profile picture is on-brand and in-sync with your other social accounts, like Facebook or Youtube. Your notifications should also be activated, so you can see when people share or comment on your photos and engage with them quicker.

The next step in building a better profile is also very important.

Promote on other platforms

You should always promote your content on your other social channels, like your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as other platforms like your newsletter and your website. This can therefore lead the followers you already have on these platforms to your instagram page. It can help lead people who already know your brand from other platforms to your Instagram.

Link to your website

You should also include a link to your webpage in your bio. Always link your Instagram to your webpage and vice versa. This way you get more people to visit your webpage and those checking out your webpage to check out your channel. You can also change it up and change your link to something specific related to a campaign your

Good photography and editing skills

Instagram cares a lot about post quality. Good photography is a must on this platform. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a pro photographer to post, but you should know the basics of photography, tips and tricks on taking good photos and use photo editing apps.

Since most pictures for Instagram are taken on a phone, photo editing is necessary. Instagram has editing options, but they aren’t enough. Make sure to take a look at one or two other photo editing apps before posting. Some good options are Adobe Lightroom, Afterlight and Snapseed.

Location tag to join the conversation

Make sure to tag your posts’ location. This can change depending on if you want to reach a local audience or a more global one. For example, a company in Boston (like us) should tag their photos “Boston, Massachusetts” but if you post something specific to an audience somewhere else, make sure to post their location.

You can see what’s going on in a specific location (like your neighborhood or someplace you’re targeting) by going to the search page and choosing “Places” and typing the name of the place. You will see all the geotagged posts for that location, which definitely comes in handy.

If you’re joining a conversation, your brand should be consistent. This is why our next point is so important.

Use a consistent brand voice in your captions and comments

Captions, comments and text on Instagram are not the focus of the platform, but they are still important. Developing a consistent voice makes your brand look more human and relatable, as well as making you more credible.

Think about you audience when developing a voice. You can be casual and still be professional and on-brand, so you can have a personality. Once developed, make sure it can be seen in your captions, comments, messages and bio and stays consistent.

Engaging captions gives your profile more personality

Great captions are essential for a great post. It can help give your brand a personality and humanize your brand, therefore winning over your followers and make them want to share your contents, giving you even more exposure. When writing a caption, think about using witty or funny comments, calls to action, relevant hashtags and even emojis.

Using witty or funny comments and emojis makes your brand relatable and helps engage your audience even further. Asking your followers questions with Calls to Action increases the shareability of your posts and their engagement. Don’t be afraid to get descriptive with your captions either, but make sure you attract the customer to read the whole thing with a witty or fun comment at the top.

Creative Hashtags help you gain exposure

Hashtags help tie your brand to different users who don’t follow your account. Creative hashtags help you reach a higher audience and get more exposure. You should use hashtags that tell your story, but are also funny and relevant. This doesn’t mean you should go hashtag crazy. You should try to limit your posts to only 3 or 4 effective hashtags.

It is important to do your research to see which hashtags would be effective for your target audience. Instagram has an “explore” feature that comes in handy for this. When searching for a hashtag, it will also show you related hashtags. Joining popular hashtags are like joining a very popular conversation. Trending hashtags like #tbt (throwback thursday) or #MotivationMonday #TransformationTuesday are sure to relate more personally to your target. They also help you find the right people, those who are your intended audience.

If you’re using the right hashtags and captions, you should have more followers, right? But this is worthless if you don’t interact with them. This is why you should continue reading, we’ll explain in our next point.

Always Interact with your audience!

The easiest way to get more followers is to build a community. People want to belong and get involved, therefore finding people that interests your brand and following them and interacting with their content is important. It’s a very natural way of getting more followers and at the same drawing attention to your own account. By following their content, they can take a look at your profile and decide if they want to follow you too and you can see then in your newsfeed and keep interacting with their content. Make sure to always respond or like your followers comments and follow them back too!

Develop Contests to engage your audience

Publishing content that promotes contests is a great way to increase engagement. You can ask people to follow your account or like a post to enter the contest, therefore increasing engagement on your content. Using user-generated content is also great because it gets people talking and engaging and gets them to use your hashtag, posting their own photos with that hashtag and following your account to win a giveaway.

Follow and interact with Influencers

Follow influencers or people you think are relevant to your brand and interact with their content, even turning on notifications so you are aware of every time they post and can like or comment on their content every time. When you are a little more well-known, think about partnering with them.

Instagram stories is your friend!

Insta-stories has been a big hit for Instagram and lets brands engage with users in different, creative ways by the use of temporary photo and video-sharing, therefore increasing brand loyalty and appeal. The platform now has 400 million daily users of Insta-stories using features like polls, which increases engagement, links to a webpage (after reaching 10,000 followers) and the all-famous GIFS.

Most insta-stories disappear after 24 hours, unless you mark them as highlights or featured, which show up between your bio and your photo feed. Insta-stories are great to show the “behind the scenes” of your company, the more human- side. You should be interactive with stories, using polls, stickers, ratings and questions to engage with your customers.

There you go, that’s our list for bettering your Instagram following and building a better Instagram profile. Now it’s time to get out there and make that profile great! Increasing your following won’t happen overnight, but the stronger your profile is, the more followers you will get. So give it a try. And if you need any help with your efforts, contact us or call 617.674.2100, we are always happy to help.