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Treat Your Instagram Like A Magazine: How To & Why

Instagram isn't just a social media platform - it's the digital equivalent of a magazine for your business. When someone follows your business profile, it's the same thing as them grabbing your magazine while they're at the store.

So, how do you create a curated, cohesive, and compelling feed? Let's break down how each part of your Instagram profile can mirror the structure of a glossy magazine that is unique to you.

1. Profile Picture: The Cover

Your profile picture is the cover of your magazine. It’s the first thing people see, and like a magazine cover, it needs to be eye-catching and representative of your brand. Choose a high-quality image that’s clear and recognizable even when small. This could be a professional logo, a crisp headshot, or any image that instantly tells viewers who you are.

Tip: Use the same profile picture across all of your social media platforms to strengthen brand recognition. Branding matters. It's what makes you memorable.

2. Bio: The Editor's Note

Think of your bio as the editor's note - short, impactful, and telling readers what to expect. Use this space to introduce yourself or your brand, highlight your niche, and include a call-to-action (CTA) and a link to your website.

In short, your bio needs to hook the viewer while telling them who you are, what you're all about, and why you do what you do.

Learn how to write your bio: here

3. Highlights: The Table of Contents

Depending on your business/brand, Instagram Highlights act like your magazine’s table of contents and/or an intro to your business.

Start with an About Us, Current Offers (your products or services), Testimonials/Social Proof, and Tips/FAQ. The goal is for your highlights to reflect your main topics or themes. This could be travel, food, photography - whatever you specialize in.

Tip: Use custom highlight covers that match your brand’s aesthetic to create a polished, professional look.

4. Instagram Feed: Editorial Content

Your feed is where the main content lives. This is the editorial content of your magazine. Every post should be visually appealing and add value to your followers. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you should aim for a cohesive aesthetic through colour schemes, filters, or themes.

More importantly, each piece of content should be an intentional demonstration of the value you bring and should have a goal behind it that aligns with your social media strategy.

Strategy: Plan your feed in advance to stay consistent and balanced both in content and visuals. To plan your visuals, Canva is a great free option. If you use a content planning tool, Later has a feed preview that allows you to see what your grid will look like as you schedule your posts.

5. Stories: The Quick Reads

Instagram Stories are like the magazine’s short articles or sidebars. They're quick, engaging, and often more casual. Use Stories to share behind-the-scenes content, daily updates, or to engage with your audience through polls and Q&As. They’re perfect for giving a more personal touch and keeping your followers up-to-date.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of interactive features like stickers, quizzes, and countdowns to increase engagement. Stories are also your #1 place to sell. The audience watching for your stories are already warm leads, and stories feel more intimate than grid posts. Make sure to talk about your offer!

6. Design: The Layout and Visuals

Just like a magazine’s layout and visuals are crucial for attracting and retaining readers, your branding plays a key role in your feed’s success. This includes your colour scheme, font choices, and overall aesthetic.

Think of it this way: real magazines have an aesthetic flow to them. They feel like an art piece just as much as an information piece. Would you rather have your online presence feel like Time, Vogue, National Geographic, and House & Home or a cheaply printed tabloid?

Tools: Canva Pro is great for creating professional-looking graphics without having extensive design skills.

7. Analytics: Reader Feedback and Circulation Metrics

To understand how your magazine is performing, you’d look at reader feedback and circulation numbers. On Instagram, this means diving into your analytics. Regularly check your insights to see which posts perform best, what times your audience is most active, and demographic information about your followers.

Actionable Step: Use this data to refine your content strategy. Double down on what works and pivot from what doesn’t. Don't be afraid to experiment with content types and formats. Trying new things is a valuable part of staying current as user behaviours continue to change.

8. Feedback: Letters to the Editor

Engagement is the Instagram equivalent of letters to the editor. Encourage your audience to comment, share their thoughts, and interact with your content. Respond to comments and messages to build a community and show that you value your followers' input.

Suggestion: Regularly ask for feedback through your posts or Stories. Questions like “What content do you want to see more of?” can provide valuable insights and make your followers feel heard.

Your Instagram, Your Magazine

Your Instagram can be so much more than just pictures on a screen. If you approach it intentionally, it can be a dynamic way to tell your story, share your unique expertise, and build an incredible community.

Looking for a social media professional to take your 'gram to the next level? Shoot us a message! Let's elevate your Instagram presence together.


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