It can be challenging to keep your Instagram account as squeaky clean and optimized as you would like. Sometimes it seems that you are fighting a war against disreputable people and bots determined to be your best online friend, not to mention the challenges of staying on the right side of the Instagram algorithm. One way to see how your Instagram account is performing is by carrying out an Instagram audit. And there is a variety of tools you can use to help your Instagram audit.
Instagram regularly adds new features and changes the ways it goes about things. Part of your Instagram audit should be to keep up-to-date with the changes that Instagram makes. We have an Always Up-to-Date list of Instagram Updates, which can keep you in the loop about changes you might consider making to the way you use your Instagram account.
We have also written in detail about How to Run an Instagram Audit, which we summarise below. Although much of this process involves you making close scrutiny of your personal Instagram usage, there is a range of tools you can use to help you better examine your account and correct any problems you may encounter.
5 Tools to Run an Instagram Audit:
What You Need to Do for Your Instagram Audit
Set Your Goals and KPIs
You will often be using your Instagram account as part of your business marketing. Therefore you will want to ensure your Instagram usage helps you work towards your overarching business and marketing goals.
It's easy to forget your goals when you rush to make daily Instagram posts, but you always need to keep the bigger picture in mind.
You need to ensure that you measure your progress towards your goals correctly. In most cases, you will want to set concrete KPIs that directly relate to your goals. For example, If your objectives relate to engagement, you might want to check the number of shares or likes of your posts.
Check Your Aesthetics, Branding, and Tone
You want your Instagram business profile to convey a distinct look to your followers. Take an overview of your Instagram account to ensure you portray the intended image – include your profile, preferred color scheme, language used, type of image shared, captions, hashtags, and the way you interact with your followers. You want your Instagram channel to have a similar look and feel as the rest of your company’s marketing channels. Make sure that your Instagram account follows your branding guidelines.
Examine Your Profile
In particular, you need to ensure your profile matches your preferred branding and tone. Your bio should match what you use across all of the rest of your social accounts. You want it to encapsulate everything important about your brand. Describe what you do, succinctly.
This is the one place on Instagram where you can place a clickable link, so make the best use of that real estate.
Check Your Posts and Captions are Consistent
Don't make random unplanned posts on Instagram. Always keep your current goals in mind when you post. Your audience should be able to understand what you have to offer from looking at your posts.
Ideally, your posts should continue the aesthetics and branding patterns you have created. The best brands use a consistent color palette in the posts they share, which is consistent with their overall branding.
You want your posts to demonstrate some overall connection so that they don't look disjointed when displayed together on your page. But you also need to vary your posts. You mustn't overdo the use of your products in your posts. Don't come across as being too sales-focused.
As part of your audit, remember to check that you are doing the basics correctly in your posts. For example, make sure that you consistently share the right sized Instagram photo sizes. You can use our new Instagram Post Optimizer Tool to help you with this process.
How’s Your Hashtag Usage?
You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, but the sweet spot appears to be 20 hashtags. You must use hashtags that relate to the image or video you are sharing.
Use a mix of branded and unbranded hashtags in every post, but make sure you change your hashtags every time. Instagram takes a very dim view of accounts that continually use the same group of hashtags.
Examine Your Followers for Fakes
Unfortunately, there are too many fake followers on Instagram, who do nothing to help your account's credibility. Look out for accounts with:
- “unusual” numbers
- a lot of action for a few days, but then little activity
- empty, hidden or copied profile sections
- spammy, irrelevant and clueless comments
How is Your Interaction with Your Community?
Check that your engagement with your community. Have you responded appropriately to comments? Are you liking and sharing posts they share? Check that you respond quickly to all of your direct messages.
Check that you follow all the influencers in your niche and that you have been part of the online conversations.
Tools to Help You Run an Instagram Audit
It can be challenging to keep on top of your Instagram account. The above list of tasks appears daunting. But there are several free or cheap tools that you can use to simplify the process.
The full Iconosquare product is a powerful analytics, management, and scheduling platform for brands and agencies.
Iconsquare does offer a free Instagram Audit to help people analyze their accounts, however. You can connect your Instagram, enter your email address, and they will send you a free review that tells you where you’re shining and where you’re falling flat.
It rates your account activity and how optimized your posts have been.
HypeAuditor is an in-depth tool you can use to discover and analyze your Instagram and YouTube accounts.
It offers three plans, depending on your size and needs. One of these is a free plan which provides you with limited information on your linked account.
If you have higher needs, in particular, more detailed Instagram influencer discovery, you can buy the Starter or Business plans. Alternatively, if you just want detailed information on your Instagram account's progress, you can buy a $30 report on your account (which is updated monthly for a year), with discounts for multiple reports.
The Influencer Marketing Hub has partnered with HypeAuditor to offer our Free Instagram Audit Tool & Fake Follower Check. You can enter any influencer's Instagram handle into the tool, and it will give you an excellent guide to the genuineness of the account. The tool takes into account factors such as the account's avatar, number of accounts followed vs. the following ratio, following, fake followers, number of posts, number of likes received vs. the number of likes ratio in an attempt to establish the audience quality score of the Instagram account. Anybody who scores poorly will be of little value to your business.
BONUS TOOL 2. Influencer Marketing Hub Free Instagram Post Optimizer
You can use our new Instagram Post Optimizer Tool to help you ensure that each post is constructed in a way to give you optimal success. You select your post type, enter your suggested caption, and then enter details about your intended posting day and time. You then click on a Score My Message button to see how successful your post is likely to be.
The tool includes an analysis of your message type, sentiment, characters, emoji, hashtags, and even the time of day you intend to post.
Socialbakers describes itself as a unified social media marketing platform that offers one solution for all of your social media marketing. You can use their platform for audience analysis, working with influencers, content intelligence, publishing and scheduling, analytics and benchmarks, and overall community management.
They offer a free Instagram analytics tool for both personal and business profiles. It gives you statistics on your most popular Instagram posts, so you can track your success, and learn what gets your audience engaged and interested.
Union Metrics offers a free Instagram checkup. They provide you with answers about the best posting times for your Instagram audience, the best hashtags to use, the types of posts you should make more of (and the ones you should avoid repeating). The checkup connects with Instagram to analyze the last 30 days of activity on your account, including your posts and engagement from your fans, to give you key insights into how to improve.
As with many of the other tool providers here, Union Metrics provides a more extensive paid service that analyzes, monitors, and reports on your social marketing. It offers real-time monitoring and analytics across your social media accounts. You can use Union Metrics to monitor all your social profiles (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) to learn exactly how your content performs. You can also monitor and analyze all the social conversations that matter to you.
Phlanz offers a range of features to run your marketing. These include an influencer directory, collaborations, engagement calculators for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch, a contract generator, and perhaps most importantly here, an Instagram Influencer auditor. Obviously, you can enter your own Instagram account to see how effective it is.
Although you can get your first month for free, you will need to buy a plan (ranging from $25 - $50/month if you want to take advantage of all of Phlanx’s capabilities.