One of today’s fastest-growing social media platforms today is Instagram. The photo and video sharing network says that 90 percent of their accounts follow at least one business. Also, the Facebook-owned service said that more than a billion people not only use it monthly, but that 60 percent log in daily, and more than 50 percent, a half million-plus people, use Instagram stories daily.
Recent Instagram data showed that 200 million users view at least one business profile daily and that users average 28 minutes daily on the platform. Before the pandemic, brands posted 2½ stories weekly, and 73.5 percent of businesses revealed they expected to utilize the platform this year.
A 2019 survey by eMarketer discovered that 62 percent of those polled became interested in a product after seeing it in Stories, an Instagram feature that allows advertisers to use a combination of photos, text, music, stickers, and/or GIFs to bring stories to life. Finally, more than half of Instagram’s users discover new content using the platform’s Explore tab. What a great way to introduce a product to new followers! Here are six steps.
For Instagram Search, brands must optimize their keywords for maximum efficiency
If the product a company is marketing doesn’t appear in its name, the name field in the Instagram bio should be customized to include this in the profile. Doing so will improve the chances of showing up higher in searches.
Craft a hashtag strategy. In addition to being discovered, a well thought out strategy considers other potentially valuable opportunities that could also be achieved, via marketing or digital PR campaigns. These include researching the brand’s audience, managing campaigns, building community, and sourcing user-generated content.
Hashtags that are relevant and targeted in stories and on posts remain one of the best ways for new customers to discover a brand on Instagram
And this can also lead to more customers, followers, and engagement for the brand. Treat hashtags like keywords. Add them to posts. What can also be valuable is seeking out other new and relevant hashtags and measuring their popularity. Incorporate those that appeal. Most importantly, test and measure what works and what doesn’t and adjust all the while.
In addition to being discovered through hashtags and location tags, discoverability can also be enhanced with relevant and descriptive captions for the Explore page
This is valuable in targeting customers with products and news they’ve shown an interest in. Explore’s algorithm is constantly learning from each customer’s behavior, likes, comments, etc. that enables marketers to tailor communications to them.
The alternative text was introduced to Instagram users in late 2018 and further extended the popularity of the platform’s photo format by allowing marketers to add descriptions of what’s being shown. Users with screen readers can also hear those same descriptions.
Like backlinks on the web, tags allow others to click on the link to a brand’s Instagram profile
It’s yet another avenue to be discovered. Great content increases the likelihood of a tag being shared, especially by loyal customers. Doing so not only credits the original person who posted it but also an endorsement.
Upgrade to a business profile or creator account to learn more about followers and others with whom the brand interacts. The Discovery section is valuable and provides information on the number of people who saw the content and its source. The Activity tab provides additional data about overall reach, the past week’s impressions, and the number of profile visits received.
All those who work in marketing and public relations should realize Instagram is here to stay.