Instagram is one of the most effective platforms for driving high-quality leads and converting them into clients. The best thing is that it works well for all types of business, no matter what you specialize in: selling goods, offering your services, or communicating with your audience on behalf of a large energy company, for instance. If you run your Instagram account correctly, you can immensely increase the loyalty of your existing and potential clients.
If you want to make your Instagram account as effective as it can be and increase the profit it generates, you have to audit (analyze) each month. In this article, we’ll tell you more about an Instagram account audit and its importance. We’ll also explain how you can run an Instagram audit and who you should entrust it to.
There are three types of Instagram profiles:
- a user’s personal account;
- a blogger’s (influencer’s) account. Bloggers collaborate with companies and brands to promote various products on their page for a specific fee or as a barter;
- a brand’s page.
An account’s audit is a detailed analysis of a company’s or user’s profile.
The following things are analyzed during the audit:
- a profile (an icon, a description);
- the photos;
- the texts;
- an audience: its age, gender, and geography;
- an audience’s behavior: displays, coverage, views in the feed, a number of saved posts, redirects to posts from hashtags, a number of redirects from links, clicks on contact data, hashtags, stories’ views, stories’ quits, replies to stories;
- the effectiveness of promotional methods (targeted advertising, advertising from bloggers and opinion leaders, collaboration with barter partners, and so on).
A business needs to run an Instagram account audit to:
- identify the weak spots of their profile and eliminate them;
- determine the strong sides of an account to start growing in the most promising direction in the future;
- identify the growth zones for an account;
- develop a strategy for the further promotion of a business on Instagram.
Let’s talk about the most common problems the companies often face when they try to grow their Instagram accounts.
- Your Instagram account doesn’t drive new subscribers as fast as you want it to. You work hard to create appealing content, launch advertising, engage influencers, but still don’t see the desired results: the number of subscribers, likes, and comments increases too slowly.
How can an audit help you in this case? With the help of an audit, you’ll understand why people aren’t that eager to subscribe to your account. Maybe you post low-quality/poorly edited pictures that your audience doesn’t like. Maybe you didn’t set up targeting advertising accurately. Maybe the audience of a blogger who promotes you isn’t your target audience, after all.
- Low coverage. The more people will view your Instagram post, the more coverage you’ll get. Unlike the ‘Impression’ metrics that displays an overall number of post’s views by the same person (they viewed a post three times, and the analytics memorized that number), the coverage is all about single views by the same person (even if they view your post three times, the statistics will memorize only one). That’s why the displays always exceed coverage.
In this case, the task of an audit is to identify the reason for low coverage, i.e., to figure out why your Instagram photos and texts don’t drive the users to your account and don’t encourage them to subscribe. The first thing the users pay attention to when they see an advertising post is a beautiful picture with a catchy text. Therefore, if the information you offer doesn’t match the desires and needs of an audience, it’s not surprising that your coverage is low.
- You don’t have any sales at all (or have too little of them). If you invest funds in your Instagram account (launch ads, advertise with the help of targeting and bloggers), but don’t generate profit yet, this means that this channel is detrimental to you at the moment.
The task of an audit in this situation is to review your content plan entirely in order to identify new content categories that appeal to the subscribers and eliminate those that fail to engage your audience.
You can run an Instagram account audit on your own. There are plenty of step-by-step online guides that can help you do so. However, if you want your audit to be as effective and precise as possible, we recommend entrusting it to an experienced SMM manager or even to a team.
The ADINDEX SMM department could help you run a high-quality Instagram audit and develop a content strategy that could help you not only increase the number of subscribers, likes, and comments but also to actively promote your goods with the help of social media.
Now, let’s move directly to all the steps of an audit. In this section, we’ll tell you more about what the process of an Instagram account analysis includes.
Step 1. Setting up goals and KPIs
First, you have to identify the goals you plan to achieve with your Instagram account's help. Here are some examples to help you:
- To maintain a positive company’s image online. If you actively use several marketing tools for online business promotion at once (for instance, newsletters, SEO, context advertising, and PR), then social media could become an additional link in this chain for you. In this case, the main goal of an Instagram is to become a platform for your communication and connection with your audience: you can use it to openly demonstrate your company’s corporate life and inform about all the news and changes. This is especially relevant for B2B companies that sell their service (for instance, large energy companies or banks). In this case, the mere presence of a brand online is essential for a company. It might not help you generate direct sales; however, when used in complex with other marketing channels, Instagram could bring you powerful results by increasing the brand’s loyalty of potential and existing clients.
- To generate traffic for a website. If you add the links to your website’s pages to your posts, it’ll help you generate additional traffic and improve your online platform's rankings in search engines. Furthermore, when the users go to your website from a post, they might express interest in other goods you offer and make an order immediately by adding an item to a product cart.
- To promote your personal brand. If you are a psychologist, a sports or a lifestyle/career coach, a stylist, or a fantastic French tutor, you can use Instagram for self-promotion. Use personal photos, share your tips, experience, and demonstrate how you solve your clients’ problems. This content could help you drive new subscribers and increase your recognition as an expert among your target audience, journalists, and colleagues.
- To boost the coverage. A business needs to increase its brand’s recognition among potential clients all the time. The use of attractive photos and interesting texts that include hashtags and keywords could help you grow your audience immensely, as well as drive new subscribers.
- To generate sales. This is, probably, the main goal for many businesses with Instagram accounts. You can successfully sell online, even if you don't have a website and a CRM.
After you set your goals, it’s time to move to KPIs (metrics that help you understand if you get closer to achieving your goals or not):
Step 2. Brand’s positioning and visualization
At this stage, you should analyze the look of your profile, its visual style. Try to answer the following questions:
- Does an icon, a company’s/person’s profile description, highlights, and posts’ visual match your brand’s style? Does a profile contain all the information you want to deliver to potential clients?
- Would the users be able to understand what your company does and which services/products does it offer to their clients if the users discover your Instagram account with the help of targeted advertising?
- How does your Instagram profile differ from the accounts of your competitors? Is it easy to distinguish it from the others?
- Does your Instagram profile have its style that is unique and easy to recognize? For instance, if you remove your icon and profile information, would your audience be able to understand that this account is yours just by looking at the posts?
Step 3. The quality of your photos and videos
The analysis of your photos, videos, and texts is a necessary step of an Instagram account audit. Here’s what you have to pay special attention to:
- a uniform style of your photos. Instagram users like when a company’s account has an overall aesthetics; all the pictures have a specific color palette and create a similar mood. Your photos shouldn’t be identical; however, when a user looks at them, they have to feel the company’s energy and message.
- diversity of photos. Identical photos are dull and uninteresting. It’s no fun for potential clients to see the images that don’t differ much from one another in their feed. Such photos fail to catch their attention and to encourage them to subscribe to your company’s profile.
- good photo layouts. It’s great when all the photos in your profile are properly chosen and don’t discord together. A bad example: 10 pictures with products in a row and 8 pictures of people with products that follow them. A good example: photos of goods alternate with images of people in a 1:2 proportion.
- say ‘no’ to the stock photos. Instagram users are sophisticated people who want to see ‘alive’ photos in their feed instead of forced mimics and old-fashioned effects.
- say ‘no' to highly edited and highly retouched photos. This is especially important when we’re talking about images of products. For instance, the pictures in a flower shop’s Instagram have to look as natural as possible, because people want to buy precisely what they see in the photos. If the delivered flowers differ a lot from the ones in pictures, it’ll most likely annoy your clients a lot.
- keep in mind that the first 9 photos in your profile are the most important. When a user views them, they have to understand what your company does and offers immediately.
- horizontal and vertical images. Vertical images open in full screen, while the horizontal ones occupy less space in a feed, and, respectively, are less attractive to the users. The choice is obvious.
Generally speaking, ‘I like/dislike it’ depends on an individual taste. However, in most cases, users prefer bright, clear, and interesting photos. Avoid using blurry and distorted images in most cases, except one: when you do it on purpose and these photos are staged, not taken accidentally. Here are some tips that could help you find inspiration for your photos:
- study the Instagram accounts that look aesthetically appealing to you; try to understand what makes them so good;
- subscribe to Pinterest boards: Pinterest is the treasury of high-quality photos, after all;
- follow the famous photographers, attend photo exhibitions, take a photography course: the choice is incredibly high!
If you conduct an Instagram account audit and find one (or couple) of problems with photos that we mentioned above, you won’t have to delete all the images or swap them urgently.
However, you’ll have to make sure that you won’t continue making these mistakes in future posts. The analysis will help you understand how to avoid them.
Step 4. The quality of your texts
Now that we figured out everything about the photos, it’s time to move to the next stage — the analysis of the texts in your account. Here’s what you should pay attention to:
- the benefit of your posts. Sure, beautiful photos look great. However, do your texts look great as well? A photo should tell a specific story to a viewer, to engage them in dialogue, and to benefit them. Be sure to include hashtags, keywords, and call-to-actions in your posts to strengthen the communication with a potential client and to help your profile generate more coverage.
- alteration of posts. Analyze if your posts alternate or not. Here’s how a perfect example could look like: today you publish a news post, tomorrow — useful content, the day after tomorrow — an inspirational post, and so on. You should refrain from the ‘all at once’ format when you post only photos of your goods with descriptions for two weeks in a row, and then post only tips for two weeks in a row.
- length of texts. The shorter the text below a photo is, the better. Instagram is a platform for users' visual interaction; therefore, the length of a text is limited by 2200 symbols. Furthermore, according to the statistics, only 75% of users could read more than 2000 symbols. Therefore, we recommend you to stick to 1000-1500 symbols for your posts.
- paragraphs and indents. No one likes to read big unformatted masses of text; the Instagram users definitely don’t like it as well. Look closely at your texts during your Instagram audit, and make sure to add paragraphs and indents if they’re absent at the moment.
- emojis. You should use emojis; however, you shouldn’t overdo. Keep it moderate, and remember: we are all people with emotions; therefore, you can become closer to your audience by using emojis.
Step 5. Working with your audience
At that stage, you should study:
- the number of your subscribers;
- an average number of posts per day/week/month;
- an average number of comments to posts;
- an average number of likes;
- the coverage.
You should also pay attention to the following things:
- Do you answer all the comments of the users? Or maybe you miss a few comments from time to time?
- How do your replies affect further communication? Do they encourage potential clients to make a purchase? If not, think about why and try to come up with some ideas about what to change in your communication.
- What are your subscribers interested in?
- Which posts your audience likes the most? Which posts generate more responses and reactions from your audience?
- Which of your subscribers are the most grateful (always like your posts, leave comments, start discussions, participate in giveaways and contests, etc.)?
- Do you benefit from these subscribers in some way? Maybe you send them gifts for being so active?
- Do you analyze the mentions of your brand by other accounts?
Step 6. Analyzing the tools for account’s promotion
An Instagram audit includes the analysis of the tools you use for your company’s profile promotion. Namely:
- paid and free promotional methods (targeted ads, advertising by bloggers, mutual PR, and collaboration with opinion leaders);
- What is your budget for monthly account promotion?
- Do you record the information about the coverage and reactions to your posts?
This information is available in the ‘Advertising’ section of your profile and reports from bloggers. If you cooperate on barter terms, you can ask your partners for reports on your collaboration.
Step 7. Recommendations on account’s improvement
This is the final stage of an Instagram audit: picking the recommendations and creating a new content plan to improve a company’s profile. Both the recommendations and the content plan are based on the information you retrieved during an audit. If you follow the plan described above, you’ll be able to identify an account’s weak spots and turn them into strong ones.
Don’t forget to:
- always test new ways of advertising, posting, and encouraging your audience to start a dialogue with you;
- try cooperating on barter terms with those companies that intersect with your business but aren’t your competitors;
- launch promo campaigns in collaboration with companies who seem to work with your target audience as well. This will be beneficial for those companies too.
Some of you might not want to work hard to run an Instagram account audit on your own. In this case, the SMM department of the ADINDEX agency is always ready to offer their 7-year experience of business promotion on social media. We can run a high-quality profile analysis for you, develop an effective content strategy for your brand, and work with further advertising strategy for your profile.
Reach out to us via the phone (+38 093 735 31 33) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.