8 Things You Need to Figure Out Before Starting an Instagram Account

December 03, 2020

If you’re a brand or business looking to get started on Instagram, don’t worry, you’re not too late. However, as a brand, you don’t just want to open up an account. There are a few details you want to get sorted out before you announce to your already existing fans that you’re now on Instagram. We’re going to cover those things right now.

1. What will your bio say?

Your bio is one of the first things your potential followers are going to see. With a few words, you want to capture their attention and persuade them to follow you. Everyone’s bio is different because they write it in correlation with their brand tone.

In few words, you can write about who you are, what you do, and your skills. If you want your bio to stand out, use a couple emojis, add white space, and include your branded hashtag, if you have one. If you create content such as YouTube videos or blog posts, you can mention that in your bio. Here’s an example:

You should also use keywords. Later shares in this article about Instagram bios, “Using keywords won’t improve your search ability on Instagram... but it will give your account more focus and help you connect with your followers who want to engage with your content.”

2. What will you use for your profile picture?

Businesses usually use their logos, but you’re a personal brand, you want to choose a picture that goes with your brand. Whether your picture is funny or you’re just smiling, you want it to be a professional picture. Louise Myers, visual social media expert, says, to show your face, choose a clean background, and have good lighting.

3. What link will you use? 

One of the biggest reasons you’re on Instagram is to promote your brand or business. You have a goal outside of it, as in, to gain more readers on your blog, sell more products on your Etsy, or get clients on your business website. 

Add a link under your bio to the page you want to direct your followers to. You can direct them to your website, a specific piece of content every time you upload something new, or LinkTree, where you can link to multiple links.

4. What type of content will you upload?

The type of content you upload is abundant. You want to start off with what correlates with your brand, but as you gain more followers, you want to adjust the content. Do less of what doesn’t work, and more of what earns you more likes and comments. (Having a business profile can help identify this.)

Here are a few examples of what you can upload:

1. Product pictures

2. Promotion posts

3. Tweets

4. Pictures of yourself taking action 

5. Selfies

6. Inspirational quotes

7. Clips of YouTube videos

8. Personal Pictures

5. Who is your ideal follower?

If you’re an established business or brand, you most likely already know who your ideal client is. Since you know who they are so well, now you just want to answer questions that relate to Instagram. Here are some questions you can answer:

  1. What type of pictures does your ideal follower like?
  2. Do they prefer pictures or videos?
  3. Do they read long captions?
  4. Will you post more behind-the-scenes or talk about your content more?
  5. Do they watch Instagram stories?
  6. Do they watch IGTV?
  7. What captures their attention on Instagram?
  8. Do they like motivational quotes?
  9. What hashtags do they follow?
  10. Which influencers are they following?
  11. What type of posts do they leave comments on?
  12. Do they spend a lot of time on Instagram?

The next point also has to do with questions to answer about your customer.

6. How often will you upload? What time?

In the beginning, you won’t know how often to upload or what time, so you’re going to have to pick yourself. You can do it according to Instagram research, but numerous case studies reveal different times, so no one is actually entirely sure. But, for now, pick one and go with it. It’s recommended that you post at least twice a day, but you can go up to three or four posts (no more than that). Avoid posting only once a day.

Once you’ve gone with one schedule for a while, analyze your data and adjust. The first few months are about experimenting with times and the amount of content you’re uploading. In the end, once you’ve figured out when you receive the most engagement and interaction, stick to that schedule. 

7. Which hashtags will you use?

Hashtags are how you get found on Instagram. This is another thing you want to experiment with. You should have an idea of which hashtags to include in your post, but they’ll change as you figure out your followers more. Which hashtags earn you more likes and comments, and which ones can you do without?

The amount of hashtags you use is also a highly debated subject among Instagram users. Some suggest you use all thirty, others proclaim the sweet spot is fifteen or even less than ten. Then, there is placement. You can include few hashtags in your caption itself, after your caption (with lots of white space or few bullet points for spacing in between), or you can add them in your comments immediately after posting.

Again, it’s a matter of experimenting.

8. How will you engage your community?

There are different ways of engaging your community. You can either ask questions in your caption and tell your followers to answer in the comments, or ask them to leave a “yes” or a “no” or even an emoji if they agree. Another things people do is ask their followers to share their post with someone who really needs it, or to share it to their story. 

In your Instagram stories, you can host live Q&A’s, or use the Instagram stickers for interaction—the questions sticker, the poll sticker, or the emoji slider sticker. It’s smart if you do all of them, though not at the same time.

Pro tip*

Open a business account instead of a personal profile. With a business profile, you have access to analytics such as the times your followers are on, where they’re from, your most popular content, and more.

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