How to Do an Instagram Audit in 2021
Has your engagement rate on Instagram been taking a hit lately? No matter what you do, you don't seem to get the result you want. If this sounds anything like you, then it is high time to undertake an Instagram audit.
An Instagram audit helps you to determine if the strategies you use are propelling you towards your business goals or not. With the findings, you can then optimize the way you run things. Right now, you could be using your time, money, and other resources on activities that do not yield any significant outcome - don't you think it would be better if you directed them towards something that works for you.
We know what you might be thinking, “Do I have to run an audit only when things start to go haywire”? – not necessarily. Even if everything seems to run smoothly, an occasional Instagram audit won't hurt. If anything, you will be prepared to face any unfavourable circumstances that you may encounter shortly.
Why am I facing a drought in followers?
Why am I getting followed by non-responsive accounts?
Do I need to buy real Instagram followers?
Why are some posts performing better than others?
What hashtags to use? – an audit will reveal all the answers at the end.
If you are here, then you came for help – we got you covered. We have listed down some steps that you should follow when undertaking an IG audit. You can also replicate these steps on multiple social media channels.
Without wasting any more time, let's get to it.
- What to Do Before an Instagram Account Audit
- Review Your Post
- Look If Your Captions Consistent
- Look At Your Hashtag Usage
- Identify Fake Followers
- Active on Some Days, Silent on Others
- Look Out for Spam Comments
- Empty or Hidden Profile Page
- Be Mindful of the Feed Aesthetic
- Review Your Bio
- Maintain Consistency in Branding
What to Do Before an Instagram Account Audit
Your Instagram account is an extension of your business, so be sure to treat it as such. The time you spend on your IG account should yield satisfying results – if not, then you are better off spending your time doing something else.
Before you undertake an audit, you must have a clear goal for your business. The findings of your review will determine whether your activities bring you closer to your destination or not.
Primarily, your Instagram account is a tool to market and promote your brand. So, it would help if your marketing objectives run parallel with your activities on Instagram.
For example, if a specific brand colour is part of your marketing campaign, the same should also reflect on your Instagram profile.
Apart from defining your goals, you also have to measure them from time to time. To do that, you need to have specific key performance indicators (KPI) in place from the get-go. For instance, if your goal is to get more engagement on your posts, then your KPI would be the number of likes and comments you receive in stipulated time duration. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase the number of followers on your account, then the KPI for the same would be the percentage increase in followers.
Creators often buy Instagram likes when their goal is to get high levels of engagement on their content.
Instagram Content Audit
1. Review Your Post
Influencers or brands that have managed to attain success did not get there by posting randomly. These entities have a goal, and they synchronize their posting accordingly. As a creator yourself, you must ensure that each of your uploads tells your brand story.
Your audience should recognize you and understand your message by a single glance at your content.
Go through your post to see which ones are getting shared more than the others. The content that you updated should not look disjointed when viewed through a single user's lens. You must also make sure that your posts are not too salesy (minimize the use of products) - that approach does not work well on platforms like Instagram
Consistency is key. Ensure that the posts you share have the exact resolution, font, and colour scheme.
Also Read: Creating Perfect IG Posts
2. Look If Your Captions Consistent
While you are in the process of checking on your post, you would do well to do the same for your captions. The images/videos you upload would be stale and underperforming without that 'something’ to give it more context - that something is your caption. So please pay special attention when you pick them for each of your posts.
Double-check on your captions to determine if they are relevant to your posts and if they contribute towards your ultimate goal.
How do you know which ones are better than the others? - you can start by looking at your top-performing post and reviewing the underlying captions.
Are more broad captions performing better than the niched ones? Do you need to include emojis more often? How many hashtags should you pair with your captions? Answers to these questions will help you craft the right content strategy for your upcoming posts.
3. Look At Your Hashtag Usage
Why do you need to review hashtags as part of your Instagram account audit? - well, hashtags label and categorize your content, thus helping your target audience find and engage with your post.
Instagram has set a limit of 30 hashtags per post, but limiting the count to 20 is more than enough.
Before you analyze your hashtags, you have to ask yourself few important questions:
- Do I use a branded hashtag?
- Are my hashtags relevant to what I do and geared towards what my audience is looking for?
- Am I using the same hashtags without broadening my horizon?
Our primary focus here is to uncover hashtags that are working in your favour. It is also essential that the hashtags you use are relevant to the image or video you upload on your home feed.
Pro tip: Instagram can be condescending at times, so we advise you to NOT use the same hashtags for every post you create - your hashtags can be related to a similar topic, but keep trying out different variations.
A good Instagram account audit tool can run in-depth analysis and reveal hashtags that bring a high level of engagement for your posts. You can use the insights you receive to tweak your content strategy and optimize your upcoming content for superior discoverability and engagement.
Branded hashtags are specific to what you and what you do; hence it is advisable to have at least one. With effort and some luck, you can get your viewers to use your hashtag in their posts.
Instagram Followers Audit
1. Identify Fake Followers
Different users vary in the way they use their accounts; it's the truth - we have casual users, and we also have those whose entire livelihood depends on Instagram. But no matter the difference, there are patterns inherent only to accounts handled by actual users, like the number of followers they have, the users they follow, how they engage with posts etc. Looking at these, you can quickly weed out outliers.
During your audit process, you come across users that follow multiple accounts, but only a few follow them back. The reasons could be many, primarily because they may not post new content regularly. Does this mean they are bots? – Probably/ pro not. But they also do not hold any significant value as a follower either. Inflective users will have followers more than the accounts they follow.
The next thing to look out for is the engagement rate. Posts of valuable accounts will have engagement rates of at least 3% of their total follower’s count. Sometimes, the areas they specialize in also determine how much engagement the Influencers will receive, so having an engagement rate of 1% should not raise any unnecessary red flags. However, anything below can be a cause for concern.
So, are accounts that receive higher engagement better? - not necessarily. Any account that has an engagement rate of more than 10% should be scrutinized. Chances are they got these numbers by using underhanded engagement techniques.
Also Read: Building a Loyal IG Community
2. Active on Some Days, Silent on Others
Whenever a company produces a bot, it will follow many accounts the moment it is created. Companies can program the bot to mimic an actual user – it can even share the content of the users it follows.
But when the bot has achieved the follower's quota, it halts its activities. A casual user will rarely check on people who follow them or the accounts they follow.
On the other hand, an authentic user won't receive a massive increase in followers until he is recognized as someone authoritative or influential.
3. Look Out for Spam Comments
I am sure you have come across a post that has a comment repeated multiple time. For example, you may see a statement like "keep up the good work" once and come across it again as you continue scrolling.
These irrelevant comments are the work of bots or fake accounts operated by real people with the sole purpose of providing phoney engagement.
Also, beware of comments that try to convince you to purchase their services - the ones that execute these don't always have a user's best interest in mind. The worst part is that some people fall for these phoney tactics and provide their details, resulting in their identity theft.
Pro tip: If you want genuine engagement on your post, you can buy Instagram comments from legit websites like growrealfollowers.com.
4. Empty or Hidden Profile Page
People that are instructed to create fake accounts do not put any effort into their bio section - most of the time, it will be blank or occupied by limited details.
Some profiles are also hidden, making it difficult for you to determine if the user is real or fake.
No profile picture should also invite suspicion, especially if you encounter it on a visual dominant platform like Instagram.
Instagram Profile Audit
1. Be Mindful of the Feed Aesthetic
Is there aesthetic consistency throughout your home feed? If not, then I suggest you start working on creating a feed aesthetic.
Successful brands across the platform make it a habit of sticking to similar themes, posting patterns, fonts and colour when designing their posts – this helps in their branding efforts. So, when you do an IG audit, put yourself in your visitor's shoes and see if your feed design helps give off vibes of your brand identity.
Just looking at the colours or font you use can dictate how users perceive your brand and if they should be associated with you in the future.
Pro tip: the nine posts that occupy the first three rows should do most of the job of conveying your identity to your visitors. Don't wait for users to find out who you are and what you do by browsing through some of your content.
2. Review Your Bio
Before we begin, we have to understand one thing, Instagram bio is concise. Therefore, we advise you to make every character count.
Remember, only include vital details about your brand. However, you don't have to force yourself to use up the entire allotted space. if you can send your message across in a few words, then go for it.
What you choose to fill in the 150 characters IG bio will probably be the first form of communication you have with your potential follower - we cannot stress enough on the importance of making it captivating and informative.
The bio you create should speak in the same tone as others you have on different social media handles. You don't have to photocopy the excerpt precisely as it is – but you have to make sure that the brand essence is present.
3. Maintain Consistency in Branding
You can begin by uploading your brand logo as your profile picture. It would also be helpful if you use the same image for all your social media profile icons.
Next up, you have your profile name and username - both are crucial, as people use them to find your page. If your brand name is your username, you can use your company's tagline for the profile - you can reverse the order.
Again, the names you use should be consistent across all your social media handles. It would help if you reflected changes made to one of your social media accounts across all your handles.
Also Read: Scheduling IG Posts
To Sum Up
Check up on your Instagram performance the same way you would do it for any other aspect of your business. There is no denying that moving forward and growing constantly is the key to success, but at times it can help to take a step back and analyse your activities. Who knows, you may be spending too much time and effort doing something completely unproductive. Instead, you could direct your resources into doing what works for your business.
The data that you get from Instagram is derived from the behaviour of your followers – to ensure maximum accuracy, you need to undertake IG audits and weed out fake followers.
IG audits reveal your strong points and your weakest links; you can use the insights to optimize your content and marketing strategy for optimum performance.
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