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How to Refresh Your Instagram Strategy

Are you looking to refresh your Instagram strategy for the new year? Then performing an Instagram audit is an essential best practice for finding what's working, what isn't, and where you can improve to drive results — perfect for any time of year! This post will take you through the Instagram audit process, goal setting, and tips for improving your Instagram content's performance. Let's get started! 

What is an Instagram Audit and How it Can Benefit You? 

An Instagram audit is a deep dive into understanding your Instagram's performance and ensuring your Instagram marketing goals align with your business goals. It gives you an objective look at what your followers are responding to, so when it's time to plan a new month's worth of content, you're creating content that resonates and converts. Regularly checking your Instagram's performance via an Instagram audit is key for maintaining a successful Instagram content strategy. 

How to Perform an Instagram Audit 

To start your Instagram audit process, you'll need to define your goals clearly. After writing out your Instagram marketing goals, it's time to evaluate your Instagram as a whole. This includes everything from branding to the times you post. It's your chance to find where there are gaps and restrategize for improvement. 

Step #1 Revisit Your Goals (Or Set New Ones!)

To start your Instagram audit process, you'll need to list your goals. After writing out your Instagram marketing goals, consider whether they align with your business goals. And if your business objectives changed at the start of the quarter, your goals for Instagram might change too. After you set your goals, use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your success. Remember to choose goals that you can measure. Starting with a baseline is how you can monitor your success. For example, if your goal was to attain a certain follower percentage. You'd have to start with a starting point to see your success. 

Step #2 Check Engagement 

After setting your goals, it's time to evaluate your Instagram as a whole. To check your Instagram's engagement, ask yourself the following questions:  

  • Are you responding consistently to comments, DMs, and tags? 
  • Are you interacting with (liking, saving, sharing, commenting) similar accounts and creators? 
  • Are you saving UGC (User Generated Content) and resharing posts you're tagged in? 
  • Are you prioritizing creating a community around your brand? 

Engagement is crucial for fostering a loyal customer base. When you engage and interact with your followers, it shows them a person behind the brand and keeps them interested. 

Step #3 Review Your Instagram Content 

Reviewing your Instagram content is your time to be critical about what your posting. Like are you taking advantage of Instagram's many different features and content formats? Incorporating a mix of formats like Instagram Stories, Reels, Lives, and link stickers ensure you're creating a variety of content, so your followers don't get bored. Aside from content formats, do you have a mix of content? If you're a business, you'd want to share product shots, educational videos, tips, Q&As, so you're answering all of your followers' questions. Note: All of the content you're sharing should meet that goal you set in the beginning.

Once you review your content, review your metrics and start recognizing patterns in what content your followers like. However, it's important to note that likes, shares, and comments are simply vanity metrics. They still need to measure up to your goals. For example, your audience might like a particular type of post, but if your goal is to generate sign-ups and they're not, then it's time to brainstorm content that is. 

Use Instagram analytics to review post insights or PLANOLY's premium Instagram analytics feature, analyze. Analyze gives you a more in-depth view of audience demographics to help focus on your target audience.

Related: What Are Vanity Metrics and Should You Be Using Them?

Step #4 Evaluate Your Profile and Brand Voice 

Last but not least, evaluate your overall brand voice on Instagram. Everything from your Instagram bio, visuals, logo, links, and more. Does every piece of content you share on Instagram feel like it came from a single brand. A profile is usually a potential customer's first impression of a brand you want to ensure that they stay when they discover your brand on Instagram. Your account evaluation should check that there are no broken links to websites or shoppable posts. You want customers and followers to have a pleasant experience that they keep coming back for more. 

Brand consistency doesn't just mean Instagram. You want to make sure all channels and social accounts look and feel the same, and your account handles are consistent or at least easy to find. 

3 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Content's Performance

After completing your Instagram audit and reviewing the information, it's time to apply everything you learn and strategize to meet the goals you initially set. Here are three tips to get you started. 

#1 Make Content Buckets 

After reviewing your content, decide which types worked best for you and then break them up into content buckets. Content buckets are themes or topics used to guide your overall social strategy and help create consistent content for your social channelsBuckets make brainstorming easier and more focused that way you can create a content mix that reaches your goals. They also make it easier to align your content with your brand voice and aesthetic. 

#2 Adjust Posting Times 

After reviewing your content, it's essential to analyze what post times performed best. Adjusting your posting schedule when your followers are most active encourages community engagement. 

PLANOLY Pro-tip: Stick to the 30-minute rule. Set your 30 minutes aside each time you post to respond to DMs or comments. This time allows you to give your audience your full attention, leading to follower loyalty. 

Check out our premium feature, best time to post. We automatically automate the best time to post based on your post data. Learn more about it here. 

#3 Post Video Content 

If you haven't heard this enough, we're telling you again. Video content is receiving the most engagement these days. Head of Instagram's, Adam Mosseri, even said video content is receiving tremendous amount of engagement across all social media platforms. Since Reels and Instagram Video are new features, Instagram's algorithm will boost your video to help encourage more user adoption. And because users have to spend more time watching videos content than image or text-based content, the algorithm will prioritize it. 

If you're looking to reach younger audiences, then video content is the way to go. Hop on popular trends or share how your product is valuable to younger audiences. 

PLANOLY Pro-Tip: Use our Reels Planner to plan and organize your Reels content and schedule push notifications to remind you when it's time to post. 

Now it's time to ace your Instagram audit and reach your full potential by restrategizing your content to meet your Instagram marketing and business goals! 

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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