Instagram Audit for Small Business Owners + FREE Checklist

Table of Contents

Optimise Your Instagram

optimise instagram free tool
If you’re using Instagram for your business, you’ll already know just how it can benefit you. But with anything we can become complacent so it is always good to check in.
 
To keep your Instagram spick and spam its essential that you regularly audit your Instagram account. This not only allows you to make sure you’re meeting your goals, but also to keep your profile in check and ensure you’re making the most of the Instagram platform to run, grow and scale your business.
Here I’ve also created a FREE downloadable Instagram Audit checklist, so you can keep track of your account and progress.
 
So, what do you need to audit on your Instagram?
 

1. Goal Setting

Any social media (but especially Instagram) is one of those business tools that can quite easily become a source of procrastination and distraction (ever find yourself just scrolling or watching reels? I know I do!). This is why it’s important to set yourself regular attainable goals either each month or quarter.
 
But when it comes to goals Instagram has changed and it is less about the so called ‘vanity metrics’ such as likes and followers and more about engagement through meaningful comments, saves and shares.
 
As with any platform, they like to see people using all of their tools, so that’s stories, lives and IGTV, reels you name it.
 
With anything you do in marketing and platforms you want to ensure what you are doing has purpose. Purpose to you and your audience. So even though you may want to focus on likes and followers because they make us feel great, ask yourself out of the number of followers you have how many are buying from you?
 
This is why its best to set yourself these types of quantifiable goals (likes/followers), as a rough rule of thumb. Make your goals with meaning and purpose, instead of just thinking about the number of followers think about how you can turn this into more genuine goals ie engage with followers = more audience to sell to.
 
Your goals can be figures or even just aesthetics. The best place to start is with your overall business objectives and ask yourself, how can Instagram help me achieve those?
Some examples may be:
· Increase engagement on my feed to 50%
· Increase followers by 1,000 genuine accounts each month
· Do 1 IGTV per month
· Generate 20% of online sales from Instagram
I’ll let you think about this and write down in the FREE Instagram checklist.
 

2. Looking Good!

Now I’m not saying your feed needs to be polished, but it is a marketing channel for your business and therefore there are certain ways you can carry your company branding through your account.
When it comes to looking good it starts with a strong brand. Did you know branding is the first touch point and stage to someone buying from you! Branding will help you to build attraction and generating awareness.
 
This is the start of a customers journey of buying something and is also where your brand comes in! Your brand allows you to introduce yourself, establish a presence, and get our name out there to build awareness.
 
So, building awareness means you want to increase the visibility of your brand. This is not a step for pushing sales, but rather for introducing your business, sharing advice or solutions.
 

So lets check your brand is across your Instagram…

 
First up… Profile picture. It’s a good idea to use the same profile picture across all your social channels so that your audience recognise you visually, but the same applies for the name.
 
If you are a personal brand here is where you can use a professional head shot. Or if you are a brand name you can use your logo but make sure it is crisp and clear. Below are some examples of good and bad pics.

How does your feed look?

 
When it comes to other aesthetics of your profile, it’s worth assessing if the photos you post are in keeping with any brand guidelines you may have.
Font is probably the most common one that every business will have. So any ‘quote’ posts where you’ve used text on the image… If you use your brand font, it’s more consistent for your audience. I’ll get back onto the feed further on.
 

Story Highlights

This is another great place to apply some rather pleasing consistency. Here is where you can give your audience the info, they need to know about you quickly.
 
A great place to support with the creation of highlights is Canva. You can easily make or pick up icon highlight images that match your brand colours, as well as creating nice, templated information posts.
 
With highlights you can also save stories to them so make sure you save any important stories here for easy access.
 
Again ask your self when creating highlights what do I want them to quickly know. Some topic ideas could be:
  • Behind the scenes
  • Get to know you
  • Reviews
  • Your services

3. Boost your Bio

Space is limited here, so you want to make it as simple and obvious as possible. You want clarity, so that anyone visiting your profile for the first time can easily understand what you do, who you help, along with how and what your purpose is.
 
To make the most of the character restriction, use keywords, and you can even break it up with emojis, so that it’s obvious to what you do. If you have a mission statement for your business (which you should) this is a great place to put it.
 
Even use this space available for your name (not username) to get across what it is that you do. I like to call this area the bold headline (see if you know where I’m talking about)
 
When writing your bio hit these 3 key points to bring clarity to your business:
  • Who (who do I help)
  • What (what do I help with)
  • How (how do I help them)
 
There’s also call to action buttons you can add to your bio (where available) You can find out more about action buttons here.
 

The URL

So we all know of the frustrations when it comes to link sharing on Instragram. Putting a link in a feed caption is useless, because it’s not hyperlinked. Which leaves a lot of people with the good old ‘link in bio’ option at your only call to action.
 
Now you can regularly update your link of course, but to make the most out of it I recommend you create a Linktree link. There is a free option, as well as paid. This then directs people to a landing page effectively whereby you can add links to various different places. i.e Read the blog, watch YouTube, View my courses etc.
 
Or ff your quite tech savvy, you can make your own Instagram landing page and have full creative control over colours and layout. If you’re on WordPress, here is a really good tutorial.
 

4. The Content

 
Now it’s time to get stuck into the big bit…The content.

Feed Content

You’ll want to look at the first 9-12 images on your feed and see that visually they tie in, not just with your brand, but what you do. Tap into them and read the captions… Would a first time visitor understand what you do, what you’re all about from tapping on just a couple of those first images?
 
Now there’s certainly 2 sides of the fence when it comes to whether your feed should be curated or not. So first ask yourself whether it’s relevant to your audience or not. I would say for my own business feed, it is. As I’m educating businesses on marketing and things like instagram. I help teach people on how to use instagram (a bit like i this blog) so for me it is of value to make my feed look good. I would say as long as you’re confident your images have the scroll stopping factor for your audience and they’re not pixelated or blurry… That’s the main factor.
It’s also worth looking to see if you have a good mix of content types. Give your Instagram grid a mix of:
  • Images
  • Quotes
  • Videos
  • Reels
  • IGTVS
  • As well as promotional captions, personal captions, and story telling captions
  • It’s not all sell, sell, sell
Remember at the start we said Instagram likes you to use all the tools so if you want to get your business out there keep doing just this. Also don’t forget, you can use 30 hashtags on each feed post, so use them! But ensure you make sure they are relevant to what your post is showing and keep a track of which ones work best for you, while also mixing it up a bit to get the best reach. Hashtag strategy is a whole other blog post, but it’s worth remembering that hashtags and even locations have their own stories and can be followed. So is it worth the effort!
 
A great app for hashtags is Flick (thank me later).
 

Stories

Are you using this feature? If not, get on it… It’s great for growing engagement, awareness and reach (which is great for sales!)
 
Again you can carry branding across into these. But make sure you are using the tools available to grow reach through polls & questions.
 
Also did you know you can use up to 10 hashtags on each story? Again use these and hide them behind a gif, or colour them the same as a bit of background so it doesn’t distract… This is the same with location.
 
Lives
Lives is a great way to engage with your audience. People can join your live, which makes it a great option for doing an interview. There are some great executions using Live, so if you haven’t already jumped on that train and it look useful to your goals, dive in!
 
It truly is a great way to connect with your audience, build engagement and connection with others. you can even get others within you neiche to join. Why not make a weekly or monthly theme where you speak on a particular topic with someone else?
 

IGTV

Now IGTV is really under-utilised, but rumor has it, those who use it are more likely to end up on the explore page and therefore opens up the potential to increase reach. You can ‘Swipe up’ in stories to IGTV videos, regardless of follower count, which makes it easy to sign post to those longer video edits.
 
If video is in your strategy and you already have some excellent YouTube videos, why not upload the most popular ones here over time to make the most of the platforms exposure.
 

5. The Shop

 
Yes, if you sell products or services, you can add these to both feed posts and stories so people can tap to shop what you’re talking about. Make it easy for your audience to buy!
 
This is great for so many small businesses. So if selling more is on your goal list (and I’m pretty sure it will be) then this has to be something you want to implement, ASAP.
 
 

6. Insights

 
Now, this section is again a blog post all on it’s own, so I’ll keep it brief here. But I wanted to cover it off, so that you could measure those all important goals that you set at the start. Also this to me is the most important and my favourite part.
 

Audience

First, you’ll want to ensure you have a business account to get the full benefits of insights.
 
This is where you can measure your quantifiable goals and even some of your qualifiable ones too!
 
Here you can see follower increase, locations, demographics like gender and age. So, if you want to expand audience in a certain country or a certain age group, here is where you can keep track of that and check in that you are meeting it.
 
It’s also really helpful to give you an indication of where your followers are online, which is great to help you identify the best days and times for your account and posting.
 

Activity

Here you can keep track of interactions, such as profile visits, web clicks and emails. This is where you can measure conversions of these, should this be one of your goals.
 
Then it goes into discovery to see reach and impressions, which again will help you monitor your exposure. When you compare this with follower growth, you can tell if your content is converting to follows over a period of time.
 

Content

This allows you to really dig deep into each pie of content from your feed, stories and so forth. This is a great place to help you identify what type of content is the best performing for you. i.e quote posts, videos, stories etc so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
 
I really recommend sticking to just a couple of metrics overall here, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed and get ‘statistic glare’.
 

7. Communication

Another important factor on Instagram is how you are communicating and engaging with your following. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
Are you responding to DM’s (even the hidden ones)?
Are you liking and replying to comments on your feed? Especially when you put a post live. Hang around and make sure you’re replying straight away.
 

8. Followers

It’s important to regularly check your followers for fakes or bot accounts, as this will impact on your engagement rate. So I recommend checking and clearing these out regularly.
 
It’s also worth keeping an eye on these as accounts follow you day to day, by vetting their accounts and blocking any who look a bit spammy, with no photos, no followers etc.
 
A lot to do but that’s it… I really recommend doing this at least every quarter to keep your Instagram strategy and account in check.
Thats it for now but don’t forget to make sure you download the FREE Instagram checklist to keep your account in check.

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