Instagram can be a beast to understand. Sometimes it feels like you are posting content for an audience of none or that the right people are missing your posts entirely. While there are a number of other methods you can use to increase your reach (that we’ll talk in-depth about in the near future), here are three easy steps you can implement to your Instagram strategy right now that will make a world of difference in your reach.
Adding a location to your photos gets your content in front of a lot of people with very little effort. When you search or click on a location, all the photos tagged with the location will appear by chronological order underneath a curated “Top 9” photos from the location.
For businesses with a physical storefront, choosing a location is easy; you have a built-in location for you to tag. This makes it easy for customers to click on one link to see a plethora of photos your space and its features. When you use a specific geolocation, it will also appear under the larger city.
This just gets a little tricky for eCommerce sites, or businesses without a physical location, especially when selling to multiple markets or working from multiple locations. What location should you use? You can rotate through using different countries, cities that your product is popular in (or use this as an opportunity to put yourself in the eyes of markets that you are trying to infiltrate).
Regardless of what kind of business you are, begin by testing a variety of locations on your posts until you find the one that works for you. You may still want to consider using alternate locations like the bigger city or surrounding area you’re in, for variety in your placement.
Tagging relevant accounts in your posts can help get your photos in front of the right people. A large sector of Instagram is made up of community accounts whose sole purpose is to share others’ content. By identifying and tagging those people in your photo, you are getting their eyes in front of your posts. (And if your content is good, they’ll hopefully reshare!)
Tagging products like shoes, clothing, home goods, food/restaurants, or other goods in your photos can also get your content re-posted by accounts. This includes contractors, painters, designers, builders, tile companies, etc! Your post will also appear in the accounts’ profile under their “tagged” photos and will be seen by others who peruse the account.
Remember, you shouldn’t expect a share from every tag, but it will offer more visibility. You also want to make sure you’re not spamming accounts with tags, otherwise, you will probably get blocked by the account or Instagram itself, which is the opposite of what you want.
The third and largest impact you can make on your organic reach comes from using hashtags.
You’ve probably heard this over and over again, and you’re probably already using hashtags. But the real key here is using the right hashtags!
Think of your ideal followers’ pain points: what might they be searching? Whatever they might be typing in the search bar is what you should be hashtagging on your posts.
Brainstorm a list of keywords related to the client, post, etc. (You may already have a list you use for your SEO or Pinterest.) Instagram has a really great native tool under the search tab that provides suggestions for similar/related hashtags. Search some of the keywords on Instagram and allow it to auto-populate hashtag suggestions. If you need a starting point, use similar accounts piggyback off of as a starting point. What hashtags are they using?
You want to use a variety of broad, narrow and branded hashtags on each post that are consistently used by other users. Broad hashtags like “#MotivationMonday” with 5 million + posts will get your content in front of a lot of eyes, but will also be buried more quickly. More narrow hashtags like “#DeskGoals” with 85k + posts or “#RocGirlGang” with 29k + posts will allow your post to be seen for much longer before its pushed to the bottom. Lastly, really specific, branded hashtags will help your followers search for you and other customers, and easily view your content related to a specific topic. Create your own hashtags and encourage others to use them so you can find their content related to your product/service, too.
You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on each post, though using that many are not always necessary (especially if you already have a steady following). Some have identified 11 as the magic hashtag number. Try using around 5 broad, 5 narrow and 1-2 branded hashtags on your posts. To make things easy, keep a running list of about 40 related hashtags to copy and paste from based on the content of each post. Your copy/objective will dictate which (and how many) hashtags you’ll use.
The greatest way to increase your visibility on Instagram is to continue to be an active user. Keep posting and engaging with other accounts in addition to applying these quick tips for getting your content in front the right people.