Running an Instagram audit is something all account owners should do from time to time. However, we realised that now more than ever, people need to assess the quality of their accounts.
Some people may force the growth of their accounts by using ambiguous methods, which means, in the best-case scenario, they won’t reach the desired goals.
In the worst, their account will be crawling with bots, who drop your reach and damage your reputation as an authentic personal brand.
That said, every account attracts a degree of ghost followers (bot or inactive accounts). Here’s why you can find a simple 3-step guide to improve engagement rate, follower growth behaviours and media value. This guide covers both the way your account looks and feels, as well as the quality of your engagement.
Step one: the look and feel of your account
Let’s start with the fun stuff, shall we? This is the best time to have a hard look at your profile and feed.
Developing a cohesive visual style for your brand is the most effective way to communicate what your Instagram is all about. Consistency is what embeds your brand into people’s memories. That way, rather than telling them who you are and why you’re valuable, you show them.
If someone were to receive an email from you, see your Instagram, and visit your website, would they know all of those channels are part of the same brand?
The number one mistake people make on Instagram is that they don’t create a great looking feed that genuinely expresses what they do and who they are in a pleasing way to the eye and draws people in.
If you don’t get this right first, you are wasting a lot of time and energy trying to build your account and your tribe on Instagram.
You only have 3 seconds to make an impression, so when you have a profile that looks amazing and echoes the truth of who you are, it will speak directly to the hearts and minds of your audience.
Many people also forget about their bio and picture, as well as their link in bio during their Instagram audit. It’s essential to take the time to routinely check that your profile, best links and highlights represent your current brand.
Step two: go on a follower clean-up spree
How can you detect ghost followers? You’ll need to look at different aspects, as these people are fake or inactive users on Instagram who don’t engage with your content. The accounts rarely have any content on their profiles and are often created by bots.
Their handles usually combine a string of names and numbers and are often private and have no profile photo. Once you recognise them, it’s time to go through your account and see who follows you – fun, right?
It can be daunting to scan through all of your likes, so looking at your follower list is a great alternative. You can either remove the followers or block them – with some of them. You won’t even need to check their profile.
I’ve searched long and hard for a program that not only identifies ghost followers but can remove them in bulk without fear of blocking those real followers who don’t post regularly. Deleting people manually seems to be the way to go.
We sed this manual principle for our Instagram account, and the followers increased “quality” (as well as overall engagement, by 1.5%!)
On the upside, you are slowly shifting through your followers instead of bulk deleting by doing it manually. Instagram can see bulk deleting as an “automated” activity, which can also affect your overall account visibility.
Implement a day-to-day practice
Let’s say you do your complete Instagram audit. How do you make sure you do not get back to square one? Check-in your latest followers, and delete anything that looks suspicious or simply not your right fit.
It sounds counterproductive to delete someone who follows you, but you should know what type of audience wants to engage with you – and their accounts can give a clear snapshot of whether they are a good fit.
If you need any more help, check out our full experience with removing 20,000 ghost followers here.
Step three: engage with your followers
Once again, there are so many ways you can engage more efficiently. We have a complete guide on using Instagram stories and an article uncovering Instagram stickers.
If you like structure for engagement, I am a big fan of the 5-3-1 technique: “once you find an account you like and would want to follow you.
Like the last five photos they posted. Comment on their last three photos. Get one new follower.
Commenting on other users’ content, liking relevant pictures, or following similar accounts is a great way to build a following – that we knew already slowly. The truth is, making sure you also engage with followers who engaged with your content is a lovely surprise for them. Find a way to keep your content in their feed.
The fact that followers can see your content means that the algorithm still perceives it as relevant to them – and that also requires them to engage with it in the first place.
If you’re serious about using Instagram to grow your brand, then you need to be prepared to put in the work.
This means conducting regular audits of your account to ensure that you are on track to reach your goals. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to conducting an effective Instagram audit that will help you take your account to the next level.
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