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Digi Dos & Don'ts #2: Optimising your Instagram profile for business

Feb 04, 2021

Before anything else, social media is for connecting with people, other humans. For most platforms that means sharing images and updates about your daily life, events and other important announcements. Facebook is for connecting with friends and family, Instagram is for sharing your latest photo, LinkedIn for connecting with a friend, colleague or acquaintance, and so on. 

Luckily for us, social media apps and websites have adapted to the steady rise in businesses creating profiles to market themselves from. They've made it easy for us to set up a business profile, separate from our personal one, that acts as another landing page for our business and a way for people outside our direct networks to discover us. And hopefully one day even buy from us. 

What is your business' social media presence like? Are you proud of it or does it make you blush in a bad way? It needs to act differently to your personal profile, like a landing page for your business. A visitor should be able to arrive on your profile and gather all the information they need about your business without having to take further steps away from your page. 

It’s becoming easier and easier to market ourselves on social media, with regular updates from each platform bringing with them new tips or tricks to make marketing our businesses more straightforward and effective. Before looking at those you should be looking back at your profile on each platform and seeing if you’re optimising it to perform as best as it possibly can.

Let's start with Instagram. Here are some simple dos and don'ts to optimise your presence on the platform:

DO: change your name and username to become search-friendly

These two areas of your profile directly impact your ability to get discovered by those outside of your network. This is because they are searchable. Think of the Instagram search bar like a regular search engine, using your keywords in both your name and username increases the likelihood of people finding your account when they’re searching for relevant keywords relating to your business or service offering. 

DON’T: use too many characters 

It won’t work. There are limitations on the number of characters you can use, so within that include your name, your location and any other relevant keywords. 

For example;

Your business is: Mary’s Flowers. 

Username: @marys.flowers.hawkesbay

Name: Mary’s Flowers | Florist HB

What would people use to search for you if they had never heard of you before?

DO: make use of your bio

Just like your name, your bio should be written with your keywords front and centre. This is the most important real estate for your business that you need to be making use of, it’s one of the first things someone sees when they land on your profile. Clearly state, in a succinct blurb, who you are, the problem you solve and who you solve it for. 

DON’T: make it too wordy or hard to determine what it is that you actually do, or offer

Use bullet points and emojis to break up the text and make it clear to read. Go back to your brand personality and reflect it in your writing. 

DO: use highlights as categories

A highlight is a “story” you’ve posted that sits below your bio on your profile. Because stories only last 24 hours these are a good way to bookmark important info or content you’ve shared that you want to keep at the top of your page. Treat them like a further extension of your website and categorise them with useful content about your business, e.g. your story/about, your team, your products or services, testimonials and other social proof or case studies, and any other valuable content.

DON’T: hide your most valuable content 

When creating stories for your highlights, or adding to them from a recent story you've posted, categorise any important business information or content in highlight with a clear name so people will be able to find it. For example your services menu, opening hours, an important business update.

DO: use hashtags

Using relevant, targeted hashtags on your posts and stories is still an effective way to get discovered by new audiences. Using hashtags makes your content more discoverable, which means more engagement, more followers, and more customers for your business. Study your competitors and others in your industry to find the best hashtags. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your brand and the image you’re sharing. You can use up to thirty on each post, in either your caption or a comment on the post.

DON’T: use them incorrectly

Don’t use any numbers or punctuation in the hashtags as they don’t work. When researching your hashtags, make sure you have a range of broad and niche, but that your broad hashtags aren’t in the many millions, and similarly that your niche selection aren’t less than 100.


Those are some simple dos and don'ts to get you started, if you need more help we are but a mere phone call or email away! Head to our social media training page to read more about how we can help your business get seen online. 

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