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instagram audit cover photo
instagram audit cover photo
Cheat Sheets

Instagram Audit Checklist

Unsure about how to do an Instagram audit on your account? This step-by-step checklist will help you optimize your Instagram account to make sure you're making the most out of your account. Start getting better reach and engagement once you audit your Instagram account.

What is an Instagram Audit?

So you want to improve your Instagram account. But there’s one thing you should do before you start talking strategy or hitting 'post' – you need to run an Instagram audit.

Because if you don’t analyze exactly what your problems are, how can you fix them?

An Instagram audit is a systematic way of going through each aspect of your Instagram account to see how it is currently performing and what you could do to improve it.

Is your bio up to date? Are you nailing your captions and hashtags? Are you engaging with the suitable types of accounts?

An Instagram audit will help you ensure that your Instagram posts, story, Reels, videos, and everything in-between support your overall brand and voice. It will help you reset and reassess your business goals and make sure your account is on the right track.

How to audit your Instagram

All you need to do to audit your Instagram account is to download the checklist we have provided and take a morning, afternoon, or evening to really evaluate and go through each step thoroughly.

Each section highlights the things you need to focus on and observe to make sure your Instagram account is as on-brand as possible.

Who is this Instagram Checklist for?

Whether you’re a brand, a business, or even a digital creator, you need to follow these steps to audit your Instagram account. We’ll walk you through the key things you need to be looking out for, which will help you flag what you might need to change on your account, that you might not have noticed before.

Those are just a few of the questions you will be answering as you go through your step-by-step Instagram audit checklist.

Step By Step Instagram Audit

Whether you’re a brand, a business, or even a digital creator, you need to follow a series of steps to audit your Instagram account. We’ll walk you through the key things you need to be looking out for, which will help you flag what you might need to change on your account, that you might not have noticed before. Let’s get going!

Revisit your goals🏅

The first thing you can do to audit your Instagram account is to go back to the ‘why’ of it all. Start from scratch rather than trying to tackle a million different issues at once. What are you hoping to gain from being on Instagram?

Businesses often get caught up in trying to increase their follower count while ignoring other metrics and underlying goals. You can have thousands of followers on your Instagram, but if they aren’t engaging, or are passive to your content, it won’t mean much. Ultimately, you don’t just want people to follow you – you want them to do something more.

Maybe you want them to become aware of your brand, buy your product, or sign up for your newsletter. Maybe you just want to reach and connect with people who have similar interests or start a conversation online about something you are passionate about.

Growing your numbers is important as a starting point, but not all that useful without that ultimate conversion that you want. So, consider what your broader business and marketing goals are, and then make sure your Instagram activity aligns with those goals.

Audit your profile 🔍

Your Instagram profile: That thing you set up once and never have to worry about again.

Right? 🤔

As if…! Let’s revisit it.

Firstly, what purpose does your profile have? People might look at it to:

  • Decide whether to follow you

  • Determine whether your brand/business is reputable

  • Find out more about how to buy/use your product or service

  • Find your contact information, web address or other details

Your bio summarizes who you are, and what you want to communicate to your audience or prospective followers, so it’s really important to get it right. There are a lot of things you could include in the bio of your Instagram profile, so keep the first step above in mind and choose what best fits your business goals.

At a minimum, your bio should give people an overview of your brand. It’s also a great opportunity to include a call to action, brand or campaign hashtags, and website links. A helpful resource is Linktree if you want to include multiple links in your bio without making it too busy.

You’ll also want to make sure your profile pic represents your business and is consistent with all your other branding materials (other social media accounts, website, etc.)

Check the consistency of your brand message 💌

Your “brand” is really a collection of things that identifies you and differentiate you from your competitors. If you don’t have consistency, you don’t have a brand.

Instagram is an important platform for spreading your brand message and generating awareness, so let’s make sure you’re being consistent across every part of it.

A good idea here is to create a social media style guide (or audit your existing one to make sure it’s up to date). That way, regardless of who is managing the account, the voice, tone, aesthetics, and brand message are all consistent and on point.

(Note: Even if you’re a personal brand or the dedicated manager of the Instagram account, writing out a style guide can still be useful.) With Instagram, you can be a little more playful than on other platforms, so make sure you have fun with it, but don’t stray too far from your overall brand messaging – there’s always a happy medium.

Consistency is also important across social media platforms, as well as across Instagram as a whole. Consider your posts, IGTV, Instagram Stories, and interactions with other users as touchpoints that should consistently deliver your pre-defined brand message. Check that you are interacting with your followers, and staying up to date with any questions, complaints, or interactions you may have.

Audit your content 🌈

Finally, we come to the actual content. Yes, it should be visually appealing and nice to look at. But there’s more to it than that.

At this step of the Instagram audit, you should take a look back through your recent content and identify what has performed well and what hasn’t.

Also, think about why. Have some posts fallen flat because the quality isn’t up to scratch? Or perhaps because they strayed from your brand message? What did you do right in your most successful posts and how can you do more of it? If you have experimented with content mediums, establish what has worked best for you, whether it be videos or static posts. Ask yourself whether you could be doing more on your account to deliver exclusive and exciting content and if the answer is yes, start brainstorming.

Although it can be useful to analyze your account and recent posts with descriptions and note-taking, don’t forget to use your analytics and numbers to your advantage! Measuring your metrics can give you a clear indication of what works and what to focus on in the future to help keep your audience engaged.

Take a look at your captions ✍️

The quality of your images and videos is one thing, but don’t neglect your captions. Captions can enhance your content, improve engagement, and drive conversion.

All of your captions should be well-written and in a style that fits your brand. They should inform, inspire or add a level of storytelling to your visual content. Another excellent use of captions is asking questions to generate engagement.

Your captions should ideally grab attention in the first line since followers will have to deliberately click “more” to see the rest.

Check your hashtags #️⃣

Hashtags are one of the best ways to get your content discovered. Think of it this way: a post without hashtags is like a little island, disconnected from the rest of the Instagram world. Hashtags are a bridge that connects your content to the mainland.

Are you making the most of hashtags? Are you using them on Stories as well as posts? Are you using niche hashtags, location hashtags, audience-specific hashtags, community hashtags?

(If you’re not sure about the different types of hashtags and how to build a hashtag strategy, read our Instagram hashtags complete guide to learn all about it!)

Choosing the right hashtags maximizes your chance of getting to the top of Instagram search results and getting your content seen. Flick’s #1 hashtag tool is an easy way to discover what those right hashtags are, so try it out if you want to really make the best use of your hashtag potential.

Audit your engagement 🤝

Instagram is a two-way street.

Do you communicate with followers and engage with the broader Instagram community? If not, you should. If so, could you be doing it better?

The more you integrate into the Instagram community, the more likely you are to win followers and get your brand noticed. Create conversations, ask questions, host mini-campaigns, or even highlight user-generated content, try new things to integrate in a clever and effective way.

Take a look at your posting schedule 📅

Don’t forget to consider the time that you are posting your content! Although posting time matters less than it used with the new Instagram algorithm, timing your content so it goes live when your audience is likely to be using the app can help your engagement. 

Get rid of fake followers 🤖 

You’re now on the home stretch, and it’s time to get rid of the fake and inactive followers with an Instagram follower audit! 

Every account on Instagram will inevitably end up with a collection of bot followers. Similarly, if you have had your account for many years, you may end up with a collection of followers Instagram has recognized as no longer active.

The reason for deleting these accounts from your following is that they may damage your engagement rate over time. When you publish something new, Instagram shows your latest post to a smaller portion of your followers and monitors how many accounts interact with it. If your post performs well with this sample, the platform will likely recommend your post to more accounts. 

Analyze your Competition 🆚

After auditing your profile and content, turn your attention to conducting a competitor audit. 

Analyzing the mistakes and successes of your competition can give you some new insights into what to do differently on your page. 

We recommend choosing 3-5 of the competitors in your niche. Then take 10-15 minutes to study each of their profiles, and take notes on what they seem to have done successfully and what you think needs improvement. 

Ready to start doing an Instagram audit on your content?

Download our Instagram Audit checklist to get started.

Frequently asked questions

Instagram Audit checklist for content creators, social media managers, social media agencies and more to optimize their Instagram accounts.

Who is this Instagram audit checklist for?

How often should you audit your Instagram?

What is an Instagram audit?

How can you tell if followers are fake?

Instagram Audit Checklist

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