Search for your favourite brand on Instagram. Go on, do it now.
What were the results?
You found their profile
You found hashtags relating to their brand
You found posts from users tagging them or using hashtags for their brand
If the answer is all three, then chances are they’re doing something right.
Brand & Related Search Terms For Instagram
You could guess when it comes to what your target audience is searching for within your industry. It’s highly likely though that you’d probably be wrong. Do your research, the perfect place to look is on Google Keyword Planner or other search programmes like Ahrefs and Semrush.
Just like when people are searching to get to your site, Instagram really isn’t that different. Especially when it comes to hashtags and applying keywords in your bio. Displaying a keyword in both your display name and your “handle” username. If you’re a cake shop or baker for example, using the keyword ‘cake’, ‘cakes’ or ‘baker’ will work to your advantage.
Consider the information you’re providing in your bio. Do you have related hashtags, your business address, your website or contact info? Including your city or region will also help locals find your business easier via discovering you.
The Bakehouse (@thebakehousenotts) in Nottingham uses both ‘baking’ and ‘bread’ as primary keywords but also secondary ones like ‘independent business’ and ‘Nottingham’. Optimised accounts will show higher in the search bar but you may also see suggested accounts based on other accounts you follow.
Hashtags For Instagram
Hashtags are used on most social channels but in all honesty, they’re probably the most powerful on Instagram (and Twitter!).
Look at the amount of posts each hashtag has but as well as using those that have more post volume, think about how broad the keyword is. If you’re posting about being a small business, use broader terms like #smallbusinessmarketing alongside the more popular and more obvious #smallbusiness. Variety is the spice of life and you’ll capture more relevant users and gain more followers by doing this.
How many hashtags should I use on a post? Well, there’s no clear answer to this one! Larger accounts with up to 100k followers tend to get more engagement when they don’t use any…. Yes, really! The most obvious answer to why is because they’re established. This isn’t too say your business shouldn’t use any. Around 10 – 20 #’s is ideal to encourage more engagement. You may have also noticed some accounts comment on their own posts with #’s underneath, this can be a way to kickstart your engagement. It also allows you to separate your caption and your chosen hashtags.
Test, Test, Test!
Test your profile.
Through trial and error, you’ll find the type of content that works best for your brand. If shorter captions work better, then do more of them. If videos or reels don’t work, then don’t keep on posting them! Look at the insights of each post and the type of users who are liking them to see what they’re engaging with.
Making your Instagram profile more search friendly is not just based on keyword research. It’s based on captions, emoji usage, the type of content that you’re posting. Find your audience by seeking out other profiles based on your industry. Follow their followers and look at the hashtags they’re using too.
With a little bit of patience, you’ll find that your visibility flourishes and so will your following.