What are the top 5 things you should be doing BEFORE you post to Instagram?

  1. You have an engaging and well compose visual asset

  2. You have written an engaging and optimized caption

  3. You update any Bio links

  4. You optimize your post and image for SEO with alt text and location

  5. You – Engage! Engage! Engage!

Let’s walk through each of these 5.

1. Check that you have a great, high quality visual image or graphic

You could have just a single image, a group of images, a group of graphics to make a Carousel post, a short video or a Reel.

Whatever it is, try and keep it as high quality as you can and visually appealing.

Instagram is a ‘visual’ platform, and the image is what is going to get people to stop scrolling and read your caption.

Some Instagram photo tips

Try a surprising angle

Try a flat lay

Use natural light where possible

Put yourself in the frame

Tell a story

Keep to a consistent brand style and colour palette

Be surprising and creative

2. Write an engaging and SEO optimized caption for Instagram

You want people to first like your image, second like your intro to your caption, third to read your caption and then take some action or comment.

Include your keywords

Instagram is now searching your captions for keywords and using that to present your posts to people. If you don’t have your business keywords in your captions then you are missing out on potential followers.

Now, you’ve only got 125 characters to convince someone to click “read more” if they are viewing on their phone.

So this first line needs to be captivating in some way.

There are no magic formulas. But here are some suggestions…

Be personal, emotional…real

Write with engagement in mind – you want people to comment

Start with a powerful opening statement – that demands a HELL YEAH!!

Ask a hypothetical question that your followers can relate to like @canva

Be surprising? Go all emoji like the @homeedit.

Ask a question that all your followers will answer YES to…then show you understand what they’re going through and give them hope…or a solution…or a product

Research and add relevant hashtags

Each hashtag is a chance for someone to follow you.

Update 28.09.2021 – Instagram’s @creators account has recommended 3-5 hashtags.

To find out more about using hashtags for Instagram check out this post on How to Research Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Business.

What hashtags should you be using and where do you get them? - How to Research Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Business.

Once you have your engaging caption, well-researched hashtags, and a strong call to action, it’s time for the technical and nitty-gritty details.

If you have more than one site you want to direct followers to, then you may benefit from using a link in bio tool like Linktree or Later’s Link in Bio.

If your post is announcing any new products or services, make sure you update your bio links too.

4. SEO – Alt text and location

It can seem tedious to do, but make sure you have added in your Alt text (Alternative Text).

Also, make sure you add in your location. If you are a business then you can use your custom business location.

If you can’t find it in search then you’ll need to add it through Facebook. Check out this Instagram post to find out how to do this.

5. Engage! Engage! Engage!

Engaging with accounts before you post, can help give you some reciprocal love when you do post.

Engage with others

Engage with your best followers

Engage with new accounts

Engage with disengaged followers

All of this will help the algorithm and show it that you are a great Instagram member.

It also indicates to Instagram that the people you have engaged with should see your content.


It sounds like a lot to get through, but once you get into the habit of these checks it will become easier and hopefully bring you more engagement.

Why not Pin me for later?