With over 1 billion active users, Instagramhas emerged as one of the top social media channels, if not the top one. With new additions and features each day, and the quick scroll through pictures, reels, and tapping through stories, it can get a little overwhelming for brands or individuals to stand out amidst all the content. However, simultaneously you see a new face or a new logo almost every day emerging as the leading one in your feed. So how do people do it?
Well, if you have been in the digital space, you may be all too familiar with SEO or search engine optimization. But did you know that with a few smart SEO tactics, you too could stand out on Instagram? And more often than not, these are simple and easy to execute. So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Optimize your profile
While this may seem like a no-brainer or pretty simple one, the effects are far-reaching. The search option of Instagramacts like a mini Google, wherein the right combination of words can rank higher than others. When we say optimizing the profile, it includes your name and user name (make these keywords optimized or use at least one or two words related to the space you are in). If you are using your brand name as the name, you can always play around with the user name. Your bio is also a great place to plug-in relevant keywords that describe your business or the services that you offer.
Use the right hashtags
Hashtags can be a powerful tool for people to discover your brand or business! Rather than filling up the space with all the hashtags that come to mind or everything that is trending, choose a few quality keywords that are relevant to your brand, service or industry. Even if people discover you through a trending hashtag, if it’s not relevant, they will bounce back in a second. Use Instagram analytics to see which posts have performed well through keywords so you know what’s working for you. You can also use social listening tools to discover what your industry peers are talking about or what hashtags they are using.
Drive it home with powerful captions
Although hashtags were primarily used for discovery and popularity, captions are yet another way to cleverly plug-in relevant keywords related to your brand, offering, services, sales, festivals etc. Writing descriptive captions with relevant keywords will increase your chances of popping up at the explore page if your target audience is browsing through or looking for similar content. The Instagram framework identifies accounts and posts that are topically similar to each other (ever wondered why you keep seeing puppy videos if you clicked on one?) and also have similar keywords in the profile – thus increasing the chances of your brand being discovered.
Make use of Alt text
Introduced as a means to describe images for visually impaired people, it is a hidden gem for SEO and better-optimized content. Instagramauto generates alt text using object recognition technology to describe what is in a photo or video. While this is a generic description, it is nowhere close to how a human would describe an image or a video. As an ethical brand, one should also make their content accessible to all, and Alt Text is the best way to go about, it while improving your profile and content.
Track, Analyze, and Improvise
With Instagram analytics and other measuring tools, you can track and analyze your posts, campaigns, ads and much more. With so much data and such diversification of demographics, it is possible to now reach out to your target audience with a few simple steps. While improving and optimizing SEO is important, nothing works if you don’t follow up. Tracking and analyzing your analytics will help you understand where to focus your efforts and let you know all about what’s working and what isn’t.
Be responsive and encourage tagging
It’s no secret that being tagged by verified and genuine users can increase your visibility. However, make sure that your brand or service is endorsed or reviewed by people, who are relevant to your target audience. Simply choosing celebrities who may or may not believe in your product can have negative implications as the audience understands what is sponsored and what is not. Instead choose quality collaborators who can weave your brand into a story and thus increase visibility and engagement. And also make sure that you engage with your followers!
Don’t do these!
While we spoke about what to do at length, it is also important to address the big elephant in the room – what not to do on Instagram. If you have been on a platform for a while without any success, it may be tempting to buy followers, use click-bait headlines or captions, use unoriginal content, buy likes, or even make false claims. However, steer clear of these negative practices if you want to succeed in the long term and actually create a brand page that is genuine, respected, and followed.