Increase your Bottom Line with a 5 step Instagram audit
July 3, 2024

How effective is your Instagram marketing? Are you using tactics instead of a social media strategy?

In this article, I outline how to audit and improve your existing Instagram strategy.

Why Audit Your Instagram Strategy?

Marketing professionals never like to reminisce about the past. Our focus is always on the future: the next post, the next campaign, the latest trend, the latest social network.

In fact, taking the time to examine the content you’ve already created, will help you understand what works and what doesn’t. 

The purpose of this article is to show you how an Instagram audit can:

  • Identify and eliminate outdated strategies that are holding you back.
  • Increase conversions from your profile page 
  • Improve your evergreen content
  • Explore new (and old) content formats to attract new audiences.

But the biggest benefit of an Instagram audit is that it can help increase your bottom line. 

There's no one ‘correct’ way to approach Instagram marketing, as there are always additional strategies you can use to better target your audience, and capture their attention that lead into a sale.

4 Instagram Tactics to Stop Using

Here are four tactics you should stop using on Instagram now:


This tactic, which involves following someone and then immediately unfollowing them, was popular in the early days of Instagram. While it may have been effective at one point, it's spam and disrespectful to other accounts trying to build a genuine audience. Plus it doesn't attract the right followers.

Spam tactic on Instagram

Engagement pods

These are groups of people who agree to like, comment, or share each other's Instagram posts. While they may have been useful for bloggers in the past, Instagram now tracks patterns of activity that look like engagement pods and could limit your reach or even ban your account if it suspects that you're using one. It's best to avoid this tactic and focus on genuine engagement with your target audience.

Unapproved giveaways

While giveaways can be a great way to build your community and showcase your products or services, it's important to follow Instagram's guidelines. Avoid getting involved in giveaways with multiple brands, as these can be flagged as spam and won't attract your target audience. Instead, focus on targeted and purposeful giveaways that are within Instagram's guidelines. 

Giveaway Instagram tactics

Artificial engagement

Buying followers or using bots to like or comment on other people's posts is not only against Instagram's terms of service, but it also doesn't lead to genuine, long-term engagement. It's important to focus on building a community of real, engaged followers who are interested in your content and brand.

By eliminating these outdated tactics and focusing on strategies that connect with your audience, driving them to buy from you and ultimately increasing revenue for your business. Don't be afraid to take a step back and review your current Instagram strategy –even if there are things that make you cringe, it will help you become more focused.

A 5-Step Checklist to Audit Your Instagram Strategy

Listen to Boost Instagram with an Audit

Once you eliminate outdated practices in your Instagram strategy, it's time to take a look at your profile page.

Optimising your Instagram business profile for conversions is crucial, as it's easy to focus on your content without paying attention to your profile. But if your profile becomes out of date, you'll start to see the effects. For example, if one of your posts goes viral but your number of followers stays the same, it's likely that your profile is no longer aligned with your content.

That's where an audit comes in.

  • Your Instagram bio is your chance to make a strong first impression and convince people to follow you. You only have 150 characters, so make them count! Instead of talking about yourself, focus on the value you offer to followers and include a clear call to action. A few emojis can add some visual storytelling, but don't overdo it.
  • Use the link in your bio to share a lead magnet that aligns with your current business goals, such as promoting a new product or getting email subscribers. If you want to share more than one lead magnet, consider using a link-sharing service like Linktree, but keep it to five links or fewer.
  • Your profile photo is an important part of your brand persona, so choose a well-lit, professional headshot that fits your style. Even if you usually use a logo to represent your business, a human face can be more effective on Instagram.
  • Make sure you know what type of account you have with Instagram – personal, business, or creator – as each offers different features and analytics. If you're listed as a business or creator, you can label your business (the text in a lighter font shown below your display name). Choose something that sums up the value you offer to customers.
  • Your Instagram display name is important for SEO on the platform. Use your job title or business description in the display name so that when people are searching for relevant products or services, they'll find you.

To measure the effectiveness of your Instagram profile, look at your conversion rate. You can calculate this by dividing the number of profile visits by the number of followers over the same time period. For example, if you had 100 profile visits in the past 28 days and 1,000 followers, that's a 1:10 ratio or 10% conversion rate. This is just a rough estimate, as it doesn't take existing followers into account, but it gives you a benchmark to work with. Aim for a conversion rate of around 10% in the beginning, and then focus on improving your past performance over time.

Update your Evergreen Content

After reading your bio, the first thing new followers will check out is the circle around your profile photo shows you've posted a story in the last 24 hours. People also look at your highlights or saved Instagram stories just underneath your bio. Stories and highlights – especially highlights – are powerful but often underused tools on Instagram. They're fast and simple ways to engage new followers and teach them more about your offering. The best thing about highlights is that they stay on your profile permanently, ready for new followers to discover.

@CariaWatt Instagram profile

How to can make the most of Instagram highlights

  • Organise your highlights based on your business goals or content pillars. For example, you might have separate highlights for lead magnets, products, and customer reviews.
  • Use the link sticker in stories to create permanent links to different offers in your highlights. This is a great alternative to using a link-sharing service in your profile link.
  • Enable Story Archive in your Instagram settings so that all of your stories are automatically saved to your account. This way, you can use them in highlights later on.
  • Customise the thumbnail images for your highlights with brand colours and small, simple logos. Avoid adding text to the thumbnails as they may be too small to read.
  • Keep your highlight titles simple, using just one word if possible.

Audit Your Content Mix

It's also worth considering other content formats for your Instagram strategy. For example, Reels, which are short-form vertical videos, can help Instagram users discover your content and profile. Just make sure to include a call to action in your Reels, such as 'follow me for more tips,' 'tap my profile for more details,' or 'comment [phrase or keyword] to get more info.' These call to actions can lead people to your profile or direct messages, or your website where you can share more about your brand.

Overall, stories and highlights are great for engaging new followers, while Reels can help bring your content to new audiences. Make sure to audit your Instagram content mix to ensure you're not missing out on any opportunities to reach and engage with your audience.

Consider DM Automation Tools

We know spamming accounts with random follows or comments won't help you gain more followers or reach on Instagram. However, there are new automated tools, such as ManyChat, that can be effective and offer value to Instagram users while also saving you time. The key difference between spam and automation is that with automation, users have to opt in to receive messages.

For example, you can encourage people to DM you with a keyword to receive an automated message with more information about an offer. This message can include a live link that lets users access a lead magnet and share their contact details, all from within Instagram DMs. It's a win-win-win situation: Instagram gets engagement, users get a valuable lead magnet, and you get the details you need to nurture leads.

There are two main ways that automated DMs work:

Via DMs

Users message you directly with a keyword or phrase to trigger an automated sequence of messages. You can set up multiple campaigns for different keywords.

Via Comments

When users comment with a keyword on a specific post, they trigger an automated sequence of messages via DM. However, you have to set up that keyword individually for each new post; keyword comments don't work across different posts. You can also reply to their comments on the post to thank them for engaging and potentially get even more responses from leads.

Building a Business on Instagram takes Time

You might find yourself busy trying to keep up with your content calendar, new features, and ever-changing social media rules. But it's always worth taking the time and effort to do a monthly or quarterly Instagram audit. This will help you check your progress, keep your profile up to date, and take advantage of the most effective content formats for your business.

Happy auditing!

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