Instagram is an excellent platform for building and marketing your brand, but only if you have a decent following. And considering that the app is the fourth most popular social media network in the world, we’d say the competition is pretty tough.
But don’t let that scare you off the app — there’s room enough for everyone. If you play your cards right, gaining a following can happen organically. And to set you on the right track, we’ve prepared these 6 tips for optimizing your profile.
1. Optimize Your Name, Username, and Bio for Keywords
The first step in optimizing your profile is ensuring that people can find it when they search Instagram. And, as is the case with other search engines, keywords play a significant role. Thus, make sure to incorporate them in your name, username, and bio.
When it comes to your profile name, that shouldn’t be a problem. Username is a bit trickier simply because you have to keep your brand name, if you have one. However, if you have your keyword(s) in at least one of the display names, potential followers should be able to find you in the search.
Instagram bio allows you to go into more detail about your brand, so feel free to incorporate your secondary keywords as well. And don’t forget to add links to a website, blog, social media channels, and online stores you want your audience to visit. You can even include affiliate links for better exposure.
2. Use Reels
Nowadays, Instagram is all about Reels. This feature was initially launched in 2020 as a response to TikTok’s growing popularity, and since then, it has taken off. Not only do people love using it, but Instagram’s algorithm also heavily prioritizes Reels over other types of content.
So, if you want to increase your visibility on Instagram, Reels are the way to go. That’s not to say you should completely disregard your regular content. But be sure to post an interesting Reel once in a while to please both your followers and the Instagram algorithm.
And remember — truly successful Reels are more than just short videos, but rather entertaining pieces of content filled with catchy music and fun effects. You’ll find both of these features in the Instagram app, so there’s no need to use any third-party editors. Just upload your reel, add the desired filters and sounds, and publish it for the world to see!
3. Include a Few Relevant Keywords as Hashtags
Hashtags help Instagram algorithms categorize your content, making it discoverable whenever someone browses a specific hashtag. For instance, if someone looks up #beauty and your posts are tagged with it, they are likely to show up in the results.
So, whatever you do, don’t forget to include a few hashtags in each of your posts. Instagram allows up to thirty, but you shouldn’t go overboard, as that might look unappealing to your audience. Instead, find an optimal number of hashtags that are relevant to your content and run tests to see what works best.
In addition, include your main and secondary keywords in hashtags when possible to take optimization to a new level. You could also check what’s trendy in your niche on Instagram and tag your posts accordingly. But keep in mind, don’t add hashtags just for the sake of it — they must be relevant to your content.
4. Optimize Alt Text
Did you know that Instagram automatically generates alt text describing each photo you post in detail? This feature, rolled out in 2018, helps people with visual disabilities use the app. If they, for example, use screen readers, they can understand both the written and visual content thanks to alt text.
Auto-generated alt text isn’t always the best, though. So, if you want to make your content more accessible, make sure to add your own photo descriptions. Follow the steps you usually would when publishing a post, but instead of pressing the checkmark or Share button at the end, scroll down to Advanced settings. Once there, you’ll find the Write alt text option at the bottom. Tap it, add text, save, and publish your photo!
Aside from assisting the visually impaired, alt text can help the Instagram algorithm understand the content of your photo and promote it to relevant audiences. This way, the content will be made visible to the right audience, which can lead to more clicks, and hopefully more followers.
5. Encourage Tagging
What better way to gain traction than through the people who support you? Your followers come with followers of their own, some of which can be counted in thousands. Thus, when your supporters tag you in their posts or stories, you become discoverable to a wider audience.
And how do you encourage tagging, exactly? The most effective way is to promise your followers something in exchange. For example, they could tag you in posts with your products, and you could later reshare some of those. That way, they gain exposure as well.
Alternatively, you could organize giveaways that require tagging you in their posts or stories to win. The promise of a reward would additionally motivate your followers to participate.
6. Choose the Right Time to Post
Many people will tell you they post whenever they feel like sharing something on their social media. And that’s, of course, perfectly fine when you’re running a private account. But if you hope to gain a following for your brand, even the timing of your posts has to be carefully thought out.
Posting at the right time brings you more engagement and, therefore, higher visibility. That, in turn, increases your chances of drawing in a new audience.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the perfect timing. That largely depends on who your audience is and when it’s most active. To learn how your followers behave, check Instagram Insights for information on your engagement, discoverability, and audience demographics. That won’t just help you find out the right time to post but also show you which of your posts perform the best
7. Encourage Your Profile’s Growth
New audiences won’t find you unless you help them, and optimizing your profile does exactly that. With a few simple changes to your posting habits, names, and captions, you can receive a boost in likes, comments, and follows in no time. Watch your Instagram account grow thanks to our quick tips!