Congratulations! You’ve created an Instagram page for your business. Now what?
Since acquiring Instagram in 2012, Facebook has kept this simple photo-sharing app going from strength to strength.
With developers tirelessly rolling out updates to enhance its existing features, marketers and business owners alike need to ensure they are keeping up with the changes and learning to use the functionalities to their advantage.
Earlier this year, Instagram shifted its focus to its search function, giving users an even more comprehensive experience. This function was later made available on Instagram’s website, making the Instagram’s explore function one of its strongest suits at the moment – excellent news for users seeking out new content!
I’d like to present you with 3 simple, yet frequently overlooked, habits I promise will amplify your content’s visibility on Instagram.
They require little effort and time, and – best of all – there’s no cost attached to help make your content more discoverable (unless, of course, you’re wanting to explore Instagram’s latest developments – advertising – which is taking off around the globe!)
- Geotag your content
Geotag: To Include the specific location of your photograph at the moment you upload it.
Essentially, geotagging stores your current location – longitude and latitude – along with your photo, and this data is accessible to Instagram with your permission. You can also choose to add a location to your photo through the “Name this location” option, meaning you can tell people where you are at any time – a restaurant, a shop, an event or a business headquarters.
It’s simple and effective, but most businesses don’t make proper use of this very simple function.
Having your business as a location option allows people who come by your business, whatever it may be, to choose it as a location. This means customers can ‘check in’ at your location, and it allows other used to follow the location link and see other people’s posts related to the same location. This is an incredible effective way to showcase your product or venue and reach new customers. If you’re a shop on a busy street, it can be a great way for tourists to find out about you, for example.
It also gives you the option of regramming (re-posting) the images your customers are sharing to your official business Instagram, if it aligns with your branding and tone. This opens up lines of communication between your business and customers, which is always a positive.
- Using hashtags
Another way to enhance discovery on Instagram is to keep up with the #hashtag game.
Please note that I am not encouraging you #to #hashtag #every #little #thing – too many people do this, and it’s a strong indication that they don’t understand the actual usage of hashtags. Too many hashtags will distract your content from its key message and gain invaluable traction.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to one hashtag unique for your business (such as your brand name), along with two to five other hashtags made up of keywords relevant to your content. Not hashtags that will get you as many “likes” on your post as possible. (i.e very generic terms that can be linked to something else entirely.)
Pairing good content with inappropriate hashtags is like putting a snake and a mongoose together – it’s painful to watch, and the mongoose has no chance.
Over time, relevant and appropriate hashtags can create a following of their own, allowing users to search for it and find out more about your business. The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will can, which ultimately leads to better engagement.
- Following your followers (and non-followers)
If you’re unsure of who to start following, try making use of Instagram’s search function to carry out either a location-based search, or a hashtag search. The search will lead you to images that will help you locate people who have interests similar to yours.
Look through a list of people with interests aligned with your brand’s, or people whose demographics are closest to that of your intended audience. (Their bios and posts would be a good indication of their personalities, to a certain extent.)
If you already have a following, you may want to consider following your followers back. Alternatively, you can go through your competitor’s followers, and identify those you would like to follow.
Following people is almost like an open invitation into their lives, allowing you to find out more about what people are talking about and what they care about. You will also be able to identify social media trends taking place and better craft content around that trend to stay relevant!
If you’d like to speak about your brand’s social media strategy, please feel free to reach out at [email protected].
Image: Courtesy of @sharpie‘s Instagram page