Tips to get more engagement and exposure on Instagram

The statistics are staggering:

33% of internet users are on Instagram

60% of Instagram users log in daily

Approximately 80 million users reside in the United States

Engagement on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter.

Are you using Instagram in your marketing strategy? If not then maybe you should? If you are, here are 5 tips to level up your Instagram game – to gain more exposure and engagement!


Tip #1: Business or a personal profile?

If you’re like me, you may have started using Instagram before you started your business. Or before you decided to use Instagram for your business.

So my profile @socialsonya has always been a ‘personal’ profile. But there are many benefits to switching to a business profile.

For me – I wanted to be able to look at the data – who is clicking on my photos and links, and when. What time of day are my followers engaging with my account? All this data helps me understand how to make improvements and adjustments to when and what I’m posting to boost my engagement.

If you’re unsure whether to switch to a business profile, use this handy dandy chart below from

I just made the switch!

business vs personal instagram flow chart

Tip #2: Choose your profile pic wisely

When you are setting up your business profile, make sure you use a profile pic of yourself. Why?

People connect with people. Not logos.

When you comment or follow accounts, users are more likely to view you as an actual person versus a spam account.

It’s ok to go a little casual but still remain professional. Use a higher resolution photo and make sure it is not a distance shot – go for more of a close-up.

Tip #3: Create a kick-ass bio

  • Instagram is nice enough to provide 150 characters in your profile to write a kick-ass bio that explains what your business is and what you do. So use these characters wisely!
  • Promote a particular stand out skill, interest, profession or differentiating WOW factor that you have.
  • But just as importantly, make it about your followers – how do you help your ideal clients? 
  • Speak directly to your ideal client, using the language they would use (no JARGON!).
  • It is ok to be a little sassy, and show a little character. Let your audience get to know your personality!
  • Add a couple of emojis 🔥📍😊✋to break up the text.
  • If you have multiple accounts, you can use the @ symbol to include a link to it in your bio. Use it when you want to use your personal Instagram bio to promote your Instagram business profile or share where you work by mentioning your company’s Instagram username.

Tip #4: Hashtag it

Hashtags are how your posts are discovered on Instagram.

Yes – there are algorithms involved, and the rules seem to change every day, but the basic premise of using hashtags to ‘tag’ your post for discovery still reigns.

If you follow the following tips, you can hope to stay out of the Instagram hashtag doghouse:

  • Make it relevant to the content you’re sharing
  • Stop using the same hashtags for every post
  • Don’t use a huge list of hashtags (30 is max on a post, 10 on a story)
    • BIG TIP: according to Trackmaven the ideal number of hashtags to use on Instagram is 9!
  • Use the data in your ‘insights’ (for business accounts) to tell you which hashtags are more effective
  • Remember that it’s better to reach a smaller more appropriate audience for your business that trying to reach a larger number of people who have no interest in your posts. So hashtag wisely!

How do you know which hashtags to use?

  • Check out your competitors.
  • Try to use very specific hashtags (e.g. #justbackfrom is a popular travel #. But as it is so popular, the likelihood of your post being seen is small, so be a big fish in a small pond and post hashtags that are more specific to the location, emotion etc).
  • Look at influencers in your industry
  • Use the ‘search’ function on Instagram to find alternatives

Tip #5: Be authentic

  • With all you do on Instagram – be authentic. Period. Instagram users are pretty savvy. They’ll spot a fake, fraud, bot or spammer pretty quickly. Don’t copy other people. Borrow their ideas perhaps, but then make it your own! 
  • Use quality photos – you don’t need to be a professional photographer, but higher resolution clear images will stand out more than blurry images with no focus or purpose.
  • Get creative – don’t limit yourself to just photos. Use videos, Stories and Lives (real time videos that disappear once finished, unless you save it to your story) to get even rawer and authentic for your followers.
  • Be consistent and unique. Let your followers get to know more about you. The more they know about you, the more likely they are to feel comfortable buying from you.

What are you doing to level up your Instagram game? Let me know in comments!

Still unsure whether you should be using it or not? Hit me up in the comments and let’s talk it out! It isn’t for everyone, but the statistics are favorable.

Here’s to better marketing!