Have you ever felt like you’re spending hours, days, months, and even years, on Instagram without understanding what works for you and what doesn’t? I feel you. In this case, there’s one thing that can help — running an Instagram audit.
Thing is, in order to crack the Insta-nut, you need one thing only: a strategy. However, a good strategy is always based on constant re-assessments, tweaks, and adjustments based on data and insights. Which is essentially what an audit is for.
And yes, I agree: an Instagram audit might not be the most fun thing to do. However — it’s THE place to start if you want to do things properly.
So whether you’re an Instagram pro or just a beginner, read on. Because in today’s article I’m outlining the exact steps you need to take when auditing your Instagram from scratch. We’re going to focus on auditing your profile, your strategy, and your content.
How to Do an Instagram Audit (+ Free Audit Tool)
#1 step of the Instagram audit: covering the basics
✅ Revisit your Goals and KPIs
Before you even start looking at your Instagram, take a step back and ask yourself if you remember what your goals were when you started out. Was it to build brand awareness by increasing your follower numbers? Or to drive sales through Instagram ads?
Truth is, you might not even remember anymore. One of the biggest Instagram mistakes you can make is to set no goal — or to set too many goals at the same time, which is essentially the same thing.
If you find yourself struggling to answer what your Instagram goal is, now is the time to address it! Make sure your goals are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. It’s only based on your goal that you’ll be able to set your KPIs, such as engagement rate, mood, etc.
Bad example of an Instagram goal: I want to grow my followers.
Good example of an Instagram goal: I want to grow my followers by 10% in the next 2 months by posting good quality content every day and engaging with relevant accounts 30 minutes per day.
See the difference?
✅ Make sure you know who your audience is
Do you have a clear idea of who your followers are? What kind of content they like? What time they’re online? Who else they follow?
If you answered NO to all of these questions, it’s time to research.
Check out this post on how to find and research your target audience on Instagram, if you need more guidance.
#2 step of the Instagram audit: reviewing your profile
✅ Make sure you have Instagram Business Profile
You might have heard this before: more and more users are, as of late, converting to Instagram Business Profiles to get access to valuable analytics and advertising opportunities. If you want to grow, Business is the way to go, so if you haven’t switched yet, now is the time.
In short, make sure that your account is:
- Public, and not Private
- Business, and not Personal
✅ Revisit your bio
While most people think it’s a user’s feed that makes the first impression on Instagram, it is actually your short bio that does. It takes 0.05 of a second to make the first impression on the Internet — that’s about 8x shorter than a blink of a human eye. So it’s REALLY important that that first impression is a GOOD one.
Check if your Instagram bio meets the following requirements:
- Has a name
Don’t forget: it’s not only your Instagram nickname but also your actual name that makes you searchable. So put the full name in — yours or your company’s! If you feel like sprucing things up a little, you can add an emoji. Or a hashtag. Or a tagline. Go crazy!
- Has an avatar
Goes without saying. If your Instagram profile doesn’t have a profile pic, well…
- Lists your skills
A good Instagram bio should actually explain what your business is and what you do. It’s a good idea to include a few keywords (like 2-3) that instantly communicate what you’re all about, and also set you apart from your competitors.
- Has a URL
The only place to post links on Instagram is your bio — are you utilizing this opportunity? I hope so! Unless you have over 10K followers and can drive traffic from Stories, having a link in your bio is your only opportunity to refer followers to your website, or latest article, or latest product offering.
- Has contact info
While adding a URL to your bio is a good idea, an even better idea is to add your contact information. If you have an Instagram Business Profile (which, at this point, I hope you are), you can choose between email, phone number or actual address — or utilize all three.
#3 step of the Instagram audit: analysing your content
✅ Do you have a visual strategy?
If a single picture is worth a thousand words, your whole feed should be worth a novel.
Developing a style for your feed will not only help you to stay visually consistent, but also help you be instantly recognizable as a brand.
You can be a crisp minimalist, like @thelondonfoxx:
Or pastel soft, like @cestmaria:
Or juicy and colorful, like @jeffmindel:
Whatever you choose, stay consistent. As Eric Dahan, the CEO of OpenInfluence (formerly known as InstaBrand), put it, “Staying consistent with filters, photography, and themes is a huge part of establishing a clear, focused brand DNA.”
Staying consistent with filters, photography, and themes is a huge part of establishing a clear, focused brand DNA. Click To Tweet
✅ Do you post consistently?
There are two types of Instagram users: those who post content on the fly and those who plan ahead.
I’ll let you guess who’s more successful at Instagram.
It is crucial to your success — I repeat: crucial (!) — to have a content plan and to stick to it. If you post too rarely, people will quickly forget about you. If you post too frequently, people quickly become annoyed at you, too. That’s why it’s important to experiment and find the golden mean that works for your brand. At Iconosquare, we generally recommend posting no more than once per day for your feed. Stories, however, is a different story: you can post more often there, if you want.
✅ Do you use a variety of content?
Another crucial element to your Insta-success is mixing your content up. There are three content types you can choose from: photos, videos (which also includes boomerangs), and carousels. Make sure you have a healthy mix of all three!
✅ Do you promote your content?
Hashtags, geolocation, tagging other brands or users — all that will help to boost your exposure and get your content seen. Liking and commenting on accounts similar to your own is a good tactic to use to grow on Instagram organically, and it also sends a message to the algorithm that your profile is active. And needless to say, the algorithm loves that.
✅ How good is your engagement rate?
Low engagement rate (ER) equals death on Instagram. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if nobody interacts with your content. On Instagram, low ER can happen for the following reasons:
- You’ve been shadowbanned for using shady practices. (Whaat? Read more about Instagram shadowban here.)
- Your content isn’t relevant to your audience. (Oops!)
- Your content just… well… it sucks (Yikes! Bookmark this article to learn how to create good-quality content to engage followers.)
- You don’t promote it (Ugh…)
Remember: it’s the combination of all four elements that help you drive engagement on your posts! Solely publishing something and waiting for some magic to happen won’t cut it.
And that’s it! Now that you know how to do an audit yourself, check our Instagram Audit Tool which will do all the hard work for you! 😉 It comes with a free checklist and report on what you can improve (and how) tailored specifically to YOUR account.
Your turn now! What was the last time you audited your Instagram?
Share in the comments below if you plan to do it soon again!