Did you know Instagram is the second-most downloaded free app in the Apple app store? With so many downloads, it is no surprise one billion individuals use the platform each month. Other eye-opening statistics* about Instagram include:

  • 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily
  • 3% of U.S. businesses use Instagram
  • 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services
  • 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in an Instagram Story
  • Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3 million users

Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform that attracts a younger audience. In fact, the largest age category for users is 18 to 24. If your business is looking to attract Gen Z and millennials, you should consider this social media platform. With the popularity of Instagram among younger individuals, if you are targeting this audience, your company should have a presence on this platform.

To help get started, the GRIT team is offering up seven tips to optimize your Instagram profile, so you can increase brand awareness and achieve your social media marketing goals!

Tip #1: Set Up an Instagram Business Account

To create an effective social media presence on Instagram, GRIT recommends activating or switching to a business account. Unlike personal accounts, business accounts offer additional benefits making the user-experience better for current and prospective customers who may visit your profile.

On a business profile, your business’s address and hours will be separate from the traditional bio. In addition, there will be a contact button users can click to reach your company via email or direct message. Another benefit of a business profile is the ability to boost specific posts to ensure the content reaches a wider audience.

When using Instagram to promote your business’s products and services, it is critical to analyze what content performs well and track engagement. Having a business account provides insightful analytics to track performance.

Setting up a business account on Instagram is simple and only requires a few steps. Plus, if you already have an account, you can easily switch. Learn how to set up your business account here!

Tip #2: Use Tracking Links

The Instagram platform allows marketers to place only one live URL on a profile at a time. Therefore, the link in the account profile is very important. GRIT recommends creating a tracking link for your account profile so you know how many website visitors were referred from Instagram.

Tools such as ClickMeter, Bit.ly, and UTM.io can be used to create tracking links. Additionally, your business can use Linktree to create one link that houses other links to your website, blogs, and social media profiles. To see how GRIT utilizes Linktree, click the link in our Instagram profile.

Tip #3: Choose an Appropriate Handle

If your business is new to Instagram, when setting up your profile, it is important to choose an appropriate handle. Even if you are already active on Instagram, it can be beneficial to reevaluate your handle and update it if necessary. Using a handle that aligns with your brand, is short, and something your audience would think to search for is important. GRIT recommends using your business name (i.e. @gritmarketinggroup). If the handle you would like to use is taken, try creating a similar variation using characters (i.e. @grit_marketing_group).

Tip #4: Activate Notifications

An essential part of a social media marketing campaign is engaging with your followers and members of your target audience. Once you have your business account set up, it is important to turn on notifications. Getting alerts when followers like and/or comment on your post or tag your business will allow your team to respond quickly. This shows followers your business is always available and cares about their questions, concerns, and opinions.

Not all engagement on your business’s profile may be positive. If a negative comment is found on your brand’s social media channel, it is best to respond quickly and strategically and move the conversation offline as soon as possible. Not only may the response help decrease the chances of a larger issue, but is also shows you listen, even if what they have to say is negative.

Tip #5: Great Visuals are Key

Instagram was designed for individuals to share photos and video content. Therefore, it is critical the photos your brand posts are high-quality, eye-catching, and branded. GRIT recommends having an individual with photography skills take photos of your products to share. It can also be beneficial to have a graphic designer or someone with photo editing skills design branded graphics to share on Instagram.

In the end, the photos you share will be the first things your followers see, so you want to make a good first impression by capturing and creating high-quality visual content.

Tip #6: Monitor Engagement

As with any marketing tactic, it is critical to monitor performance and optimize specific areas as needed. GRIT recommends using tools such as SEMrush, to track engagement per post. This will allow your business to evaluate how many likes and comments each post receives as well as how many new followers you have. Using this information, your marketing team should refine the marketing strategy and content calendar to share more of the content that performs well and less of the content doesn’t. This will ensure you are posting content that is interesting and relevant to your audience.

Tip #7: Plan Ahead with a Content Calendar

To stay top-of-mind among prospects and current customers, it is important to be active on Instagram. Switching up the types of content you share between product spotlights, service highlights, blogs, industry articles, and behind the scenes photos is a great way to regularly share content but prevent the information from becoming repetitive or uninteresting to your followers.

GRIT recommends putting together a monthly or quarterly content calendar, which outlines what content will be posted on which day. This calendar should include post copy and the visual that will be used. Not only does this allow your business to plan ahead and schedule posts using tools such as Hootsuite or Facebook’s Creator Studio, but it also ensures you are regularly posting a well-rounded mix of content.

We’re Here to Help

At GRIT, our social media marketing team has experience setting up Instagram accounts, generating content, designing eye-catching graphics, monitoring engagement, and tracking performance. If you are looking to get your brand noticed on Instagram, reach out to our team to learn how we can dig deeper to take your Instagram marketing strategy to the next level!


*Newberry, C. (2019, October 22). 37 Instagram stats that matter to marketers in 2020. https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/.