ByFebruary 2, 2017 12 Comments

Now that the initial rush of January is over, you can finally start off February as you mean to go on for the rest of this new year and update your Instagram account!

Let’s try out a short exercise to help you figure out which elements of your Instagram could be improved upon for this year.

A. Go onto Instagram and click on an account in the search bar at random.

B. Take a look at all of the different elements of this account (posts/captions/bio/hashtags/profile picture/overall feel…)

C. Give this page a mark out of 10 for quality.

D. Repeat steps A, B and C, but this time with YOUR account.

What did you get?

Anything less than an 8 and you probably want to improve your score – amirite?

That’s why we’ve come up with 5 simple steps to updating your Instagram account for 2017, ensuring you a 10/10 score on quality! Let’s get started!

STEP 1: Update your bio

The first important step is to update your profile bio. There is a 150 character limit so be sure to include the essentials:

  • Your name
  • Your company’s expertise/main skill
  • Your website link

You can also add some emojis to your bio, so long as you make sure they are relevant to your brand, a hashtag or two and even a tagline or quote.

As a business, you should also make sure your Instagram account is converted to a Business Profile. If you haven’t already converted your account, you can activate it under your settings in the Instagram app.

The Business Profile allows you as a business to add your contact details and a street address so that your customers and prospective customers can contact you directly. These details appear behind a contact button at the bottom of your bio. The Business Profile also gives you access to Instagram’s Insights – a small number of analytics which can give you a quick look at how your latest posts have fared.


STEP 2: Review your hashtag usage

Something that marketers should always be aware of is past posts. Although your older posts will no longer show up in your followers’ feeds, they can still show up in search results. Therefore it’s important to make sure that all your most important posts are referenced in the correct way – with relevant hashtags!

Don’t hesitate to take this opportunity to check your older posts’ hashtags and even add a few (directly in the caption or in a comment) to ensure they continue to show up in searches.

Having trouble choosing the best hashtags for your Instagram posts? Read this!

STEP 3: Clean less than quality images

Similarly to the previous step, it’s also important to get rid of any posts that are no longer relevant to your business, or that are simply less than great quality-wise. We’ve all done it: looked back at old posts and wondered what we were thinking. That’s OK – you can destroy all evidence by deleting the old posts you no longer wish to be associated with!


STEP 4: Remove unwanted followers

Do you find your posts are getting unwanted attention recently? Those comments that seem less than authentic, like “Great post (thumbs up)” or “Beautiful <3” where it’s not relevant. According to a study we did here at Iconosquare, at least 40% of the comments businesses receive could be automatic – basically they’re fake.

There’s no algorithm for preventing these automated accounts from spamming your posts. You can, however, identify them and block them. Take your 10 most recent posts and make a note of the handles posting comments you deem to be unauthentic. Then simply go to your followers lost and block the accounts causing you bother!

Unfortunately, this is something you’ll need to do regularly if you really want to avoid spam from within your community. Who needs spammy followers anyway?!

If the spammy comments you’re receiving are from accounts that don’t follow you, report then as spam and after being checked, the accounts will be disabled.


We hope this article was helpful to you! Let us know in the comments how you’ll be tweaking your Instagram strategy in 2017!

Emily Lydon

Author Emily Lydon

Emily is an Inbound Marketer for Iconosquare, based in the Limoges office. She loves all things social and revels in keeping on top of the social media marketing game by writing for the blog. She’s also a bit obsessed with sushi, gin and Netflix.

More posts by Emily Lydon
  • Thank you for this advise.
    I did every step. It’s my business goal this year to jack up my instagram account!
    As a small business there are so many things that need our attention. I’m happy to have made a start.

    • Emily Lydon

      So great to hear, Julie!
      Let us know how you get on this year 🙂

  • Lol… I like to write stuff like “beautiful light!” “Beautiful landscape!” “Look at all the snow!” and you’d ban me for it? You should not forget that there are millions of people who can’t express themselves in proper english and you’d ban these?
    That must be the most stupid advice I ever read…
    I agree to delete really spammy comments and followers… but those write “Like4Like” “Visit my site!” “Follow me back!”, etc… even then I do not block them right away, but give them a warning shot… Nothing is worse for business than customers who are annoyed with you, for no reason… I’d avoid that at any cost.

    • Emily Lydon

      Hi Michael – thanks for your comment.

      If the comment is clearly in sync with the post in question it isn’t spam in my book. When I give the example of “great post” it was really to show the generic nature of it (not because of the way it’s written ;)) – maybe that wasn’t the best example.

      If you’re leaving “beautiful landscape” on a post featuring a beautiful landscape, you’re very unlikely to be counted as a spammer. However, if you’re leaving “love it” (which is another common one) you may be, simply because your comment doesn’t include anything specific about that particular post. I hope this clears things up for you!


      • Haris

        A little late reply – as Emily said, there is something about recognizing a spammy comment which has no relation whatsoever on the picture. Saying ‘Great taste!’ because you posted a family picture and tagged “#lunch” is something else, as bots scan hashtags and post random comments which are pre-written. A few days ago my friend posted a picture of his dog and said ‘RIP’ and there was an account commenting “Love this occasion!” underneath. See my point?

  • I’ve had some creatives/single owners say they wish they had not converted to a business account.
    Could you do an article on the pros and cons?

    • Emily Lydon

      Great idea Mary!
      Did any of your contacts mention why they regretted switching? You can switch back to a personal account at any time under settings 🙂

      • Carolyn

        I feel the same – I wish I hadn’t upgraded as it seems to have decimated my likes. My account was growing steadily over the past year. I could predict how many new followers I would get in a week. Then I changed to the business account about 2 months ago and my likes have actually steadily gone backwards.
        I’m wondering if it is because I haven’t ‘advertised’ – am I now being penalised!
        From some Facebook Groups I’m in there have been discussions on this and it seems like I’m not the only one that has experienced this.
        What do you guys think?

  • Clean less than quality images, I wish you could explain more about this topic. Many of us know about it, this is one of the major issue for web world.

  • Emily Lydon

    That’s great Neto! Look out for our ebook “Instagram for Photographers” coming out soon! 🙂

  • Wow! It’s Great & informative resources for Article Post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wonderful tips. I enjoyed this blog post.. Keep on posting!

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