Your profile is the essence of your online presence. I am constantly surprised by how little time people put into their profiles. Potential customers will land on your profile, and will want all the relevant information there. People don't like clicking around and looking for information - we are all short on time after all.
Your profile picture should either be your logo or your profile picture. People do like to engage with people on Instagram more, so think carefully which you choose. The profile picture you choose should also be consistent across your other social media platforms, website and other points of contact. The human brain processes visuals much faster than words, so this is really important for brand recognition.
This bit can be tricky, as you have a really limited character count. You need to explain to other Instagram users who you are, what you do, and why they should be interested in following you. If you regrann other people's posts, you should include that in your bio. This will make people more likely to follow you, as people in general like to get their posts shared and reaching a wider audience. There should also be a Call to Action in your bio, to funnel people towards what you set your profile up for. If you have any accolades, you should include this too - this makes you a more trustworthy brand in many people's eyes (ie featured in HuffPost, Nominated for XYZ,...).
I would also include your location - even if you are targeting an international audience. I have often walked away from making a sale, or looking at a business' website because they didn't put the location on. I only really want to buy from UK businesses, partially because I want to support local, and also because I want to pay crazy shipping and customs charges.
You only have *one* hyperlink, so you should really make the most of it. This really depends on what your social media objective is for Instagram. I would say perhaps instead of just sending people to your website, you can send them directly to your newsletter sign up page. When you have a new blog, you can link to that, and inform readers in your posts and/or instastory. You can also include a deep link and link to a flash sale - you have quite a lot of options.
I've been asked about whether businesses should switch to a business account, and my answer now is yes. I would caveat that by saying that Instagram is owned by Facebook now, and if we look at what they've done there, business posts will have a lower organic reach. Currently, that does not appear to be the case, although I wouldn't be surprised when that kicks in. However, you do get a whole load of additional functionality, so I would use this period of decent reach on Instagram to grow your account.
With a business account, you can:
- Get real-time metrics on how your promoted posts perform throughout the day.
- Get insights into your followers and how they interact with your posts.
- Add information about your company, such as business hours, location and phone number.
With access to this data, you can really see which posts work and which posts don't. You can delve into the detail, see whether it's the timing, the hashtags, the medium, the colours etc. The insights include the impressions, the reach, engagement and likes. This is really important information - if you want to increase brand awareness, you really need to increase your impressions and reach.
A quick note about the time for posting.... For my DianaVonR account, I find that posting in the morning works best, as I have a core group of people that interact with me. These engagements help push my post into a "top post" position and shows up at the top of other's algorithm feeds (and many of my selected hashtags) in time for midday, when the bulk of my followers are online.