Attracting an audience and building followers is the first step to social media marketing. To make sure your account is follow-worthy, spend 10 minutes implementing these tips.
Choose a Search-friendly Username and Profile Name
Your customers need to be able to find you! First, take a look at your username and profile name. Are they searchable and easy to communicate? There are only 2 fields that show in search results: your username and profile name.
Let’s say the name of your business is Aloha Dog Grooming, your Instagram username is “I_Love_Dogs” and your profile name is “Jane Doe”. You could be missing out on new followers because your name isn’t search-friendly.
For your username, get as close as you can to your actual business name (it’s likely that the most direct username is already claimed). In this scenario, it would be ideal to have the username as @alohadoggrooming because it’s much easier to communicate to customers and it will make your account easier to tag.
PRO TIP: Keep your username consistent across all your social media profiles. You can use a tool like https://namechk.com/ to quickly search which usernames are available across common social media platforms.
You can separate words by periods or underscores for the username, but try not to add in extra numbers or letters.
You might think the profile name as “Aloha Dog Grooming” would make sense because it’s the name of the business, but if that’s already your username it would be a waste. The best practice for your profile name is actually putting a short phrase or term that you think potential clients will be searching. People looking for new dog groomers near them will probably be using a search term such as “Maui’s Best Dog Groomer” —so try to put yourself in their shoes when choosing your profile name.
Tell people why they are here: Your bio is key!
Never skip the bio! This is your chance to make a great first impression. You can be creative, quirky, funny or straight to the point, but be aware that your bio should match the mission and branding of your business. This statement is foremost a quick description of your products or services. It needs to be clear so as to not automatically make new clients lose interest.
Always include a link to your website, or somewhere that has more information about your company, so you can tell people where to go to shop your products or services in the captions of your posts.
Pay Attention To Your “Following”: Quantity does not equal quality.
Whether you are starting a brand new Instagram account for your business, or are a long time user, it is important to only follow relevant accounts to your business. When you sign up, Instagram gives you the option to follow thousands and thousands of other users. It is easy to think that by clicking “Follow” on every single one, you will get plenty of follow backs. While that may work at first, you are not going to get the kind of fan base that will make your business grow. These random accounts are not interested in your content and will not be following along and liking or commenting on any of your posts. Your content will stay hidden within the ever mysterious Instagram algorithm.
So, it is a good rule of thumb to think of some important key words to you and try those out when searching for people to follow. Identify some established or popular accounts that are a match for your target audience and then follow the people that are following them.
Your Profile Picture Speaks Volumes
It’s very easy to screenshot your logo or a quick photo of a product and say “Voila! A profile picture,” and call it done. What will not look complete is your overall Instagram aesthetic if your profile picture is hard to see, cropped strangely, or overall unappealing to the eye. You want your customers to know you care about your product or services and are willing to take that extra step to make a good impression. Update your logo specifically for an Instagram profile picture so it really stands out, or have a few professional shots done of a range of your products. It will make all the difference!
PRO TIP: Keeping your profile photo consistent across multiple platforms will make it easier for customers and followers to find you across your social media channels.
Engage! Talk to others to bring attention to yourself.
All of this optimization work is for nothing if you do not engage with your followers and other businesses like yours. Reach out and comment meaningful and thoughtful statements or questions, but sometimes even a few emojis do the trick. Just giving out a few likes here and there will not help you stand out from the noise of their other followers. You should still definitely like as many posts as you have time to, but commenting brings you to the forefront of the mind. The person whose post you comment on will notice and probably check out your profile, but so will their followers too! Commenting on brands that might be a bit more popular than yours could attract new followers to you from the other account.
PRO TIP: Search for hashtags your followers or target audience might be interested in. Leave comments and reply to comments on posts that are featured in the top post section for maximum exposure.
Go the extra mile. Does your 9 Grid Preview impress new followers?
Once you master all the tips above, you can start thinking about the 9 Grid Preview. This is diving deeper into achieving an Instagram aesthetic. Your 9 Grid Preview is the most recent 9 photos on your Instagram account and how appealing to the eye they look to someone looking at your account. You can use a pattern of types of posts, a certain size of photographs, or the same border or filter to make your grid look attractive and cohesive. It can take a lot more time to post when you have a certain style in mind, but the hard work pays off tenfold.
PRO TIP: Consider posting photos that have your signature brand colors.