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Are new customers finding you on Instagram? According to Facebook (which owns Instagram), 83% of users say they use the platform to discover new products or services (2019). With such steep competition, how do you stand out in the crowd? Sponsored content is certainly one way, but it’s not the only way.
Geotagging, business categories and hashtag searches are robust, offering a great opportunity for potential clients to find you through a simple search. The keys to using these tools are consistency, relevance and engagement. Instagram’s search engine is ever-growing, so it’s important to snag the valuable search real estate while it’s available.
Harness the Power of Your Profile
A 2019 Instagram survey reports 90% of users follow at least one business. Prior to following, they are likely to check out your profile. While the main purpose of the profile is to inform users on what type of business you have, Instagram also uses your profile as an indexing tool to categorize your business.
The following aspects of your profile can be optimized for account discoverability:
- Hashtag in Your Description: In addition to describing your products or services, one or two hashtags can be used mindfully to increase visibility.
- Location: If you have a brick-and-mortar location or service a specific region, be sure to designate your location within the app. Instagram ranks your profile higher among users in your area who are searching for your business category.
- Account Category: Instagram has paid particular attention to categories in recent years. The network is continually adding new categories to organize profiles. If your precise business category is not available yet, choose the best fit and check back occasionally for updates.
Categorize Posts with Hashtags
According to Instagram management platform Later.com, a post with at least one hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than a post without hashtags. Hashtags are essentially Instagram’s system to categorize posts.
For example, if a post contains the hashtag #ecommerce, it will show up in the feeds of people following that hashtag, and it will be discoverable by people searching that hashtag.
When used strategically, hashtags expose the post to the right audience, gather more engagement and ultimately get your business discovered.
Lure in the Locals with Geotagging
Similar to hashtags, geotags act as an organization system on Instagram for specific coordinates. Posts can be geotagged at cities, restaurants, parks, gyms and other businesses that people frequently visit.
Users can instantly see all posts that have been geotagged at any given coordinates by searching for a location or simply clicking on a post’s geotagged location. This is a great tool for businesses with a physical location because it organizes all of your customers’ posts in a single place.
For example, let’s look at an ice cream parlor. They have a physical location and many of their customers enjoy posting about their delicious ice cream on their personal Instagram profiles. By having a geotagged location, all of those happy customers can geotag their photos of ice cream. That way, when other Instagram users search for the ice cream parlor, they will see all of the posts that geotagged the ice cream parlor.
Tag Accounts that Matter
Strategically connecting with other accounts on Instagram is one of the best ways to attract a new audience. There are two ways to tag another account on Instagram:
- Mention them in your caption. The tagged account will be notified, and your audience will be able to click on their name and visit their profile.
- Tag them in a photo. Your photo will show up under “tagged photos” on that account’s profile. Your post will also show up on the user’s profile for their network to see.
Facebook reports that 80% of Instagram users rely on the platform to make purchasing decisions. Are you missing out? Maximizing categories, hashtags and geotagging helps ensure new customers can find your business when searching for new products and services.
Learn how we can make Instagram work for you.