With over 1 billion users on Instagram and growing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast pool of businesses, influencers, and personal accounts that Instagram has accrued since their launch in 2010. In just over 10 years, Instagram has grown into one of the most influential social media platforms in the world. 

According to Facebook, owner of the Instagram platform, 81% of their users research products or services on Instagram and 54% of people surveyed by Facebook say they made a purchase after seeing a product or service on Instagram. This is why promoting and optimizing your Instagram is key to growing your business. The easiest way to ensure growth on Instagram is to make your profile identifiable, easy to understand, and informational. 

Simple Steps to Optimize your Instagram Account for Growth

  • If you think of the Instagram search bar as a search engine tool, you will start to notice brands that have made their profiles easy to find and identify. This includes using a relevant handle, username, profilo bio, and photo.
  • For businesses, it’s suggested to use your logo as your profile photo to ensure immediate brand recognition as soon as your Instagram handle shows up under the search bar. Additionally, be sure to keep your handle (such as @styleblueprint) simple, easy to spell, and as close to your company’s name as possible. Avoid using underscores and periods if possible. 
  • For your profile name, you have 30 characters/spaces to either spell out your company name again or give a bit more information about your company, where you’re located, and what exactly you sell. Since this doesn’t have to match your handle name, think about using SEO keywords to describe your business such as “Nashville Coffee Shop” or “Atlanta Hair Salon”. This will help you rank higher when people search keywords or hashtags in the search bar.
  • Your bio is another way to expand your optimization with keywords about your business in 150 characters. If you’re a spa, you should use secondary keywords such as “facial services” in your bio. After adding in your bio, be sure to set your profile to a business page and add a category such as “News and Media” or “Restaurant”. This helps Instagram quickly narrow down search results. 
  • Contact information is vital to converting those who visit your profile into customers! Add in each and every way a potential client can contact you under the contact options tab. Here you can display your phone number, email, website, and address directly on your profile. After your contact information is set, learn how to put the ‘Highlight’ option to work for you! Create branded icons for each Highlight and add relevant stories. This is an easy way for new followers to get to know your company and the type of information they can expect from your Instagram.
  • Now that your profile is set, work on maintaining a brand aesthetic throughout your static profile grid. Use similar filters and clear and professional photos each time you post to your feed. When typing captions for your posts, research relevant keywords as these are vital to showing up on the ‘Explore’ page. Don’t forget to use ample and relevant hashtags at the end of your caption, too. Aim for 10 to 20 hashtags per post to increase eyes on your profile via the search bar tool and the Explore page. If you want readers to go from your post to your website, use a link in bio tool to help you track your website clicks and help your followers easily access information. Finally, be responsive and interact with your followers and similar accounts to establish yourself as an active and trustworthy account. 

Growing your Instagram audience takes time and commitment but it can be a vital tool to growing your business or brand. Don’t get discouraged with your progress and you’ll see your followers steadily grow for years to come.

Liza Graves

Liza is Founder and CEO of Blueprint.Inc, the home of StyleBlueprint.com