Showing up on Instagram search can bring users, in this case retailers a lot of benefits. It’s like showing up on Google page one. But how exactly does your brand show up on Instagram search? As a business owner a huge following equals a huge market.
So, to show up foremost in Instagram search you need to know about Instagram search function and how it works.
Instagram Search and Explore
Instagram has two ways by which you can find or discover people, places or businesses. From the Explore panel and from the Search tab. The Explore page is separated into popular sections such as TV, comics, beauty and automotive. Most users concentrate more on the ‘For You’ section.
Explore gathers posts you might want to see based on the kind of content you like and comment on, who you follow, what they also like and engage with. So for instance you like home-decor posts a lot, your Explore page will feature pictures and videos of stylish homes, kitchens, bedrooms and so on. If you love candies and interior decoration, Instagram will show you more of both in the Explore section.
Instagram search features a search tab where you input your keyword or search query, which lists top/popular results by default. Other categories include People, Hashtags and Places which shows all the top profiles from the people category, top locations from the Places category and the most popularly used hashtags from the Hashtags category.
This is the part of Insta search where you can search for people or businesses through their @username or actual name. And also find businesses through a location or hashtag search.
How To Show Up On Instagram Search
Following certain conventions increases retailers/users chances of showing up on Instagram search. Here are some highly recommended tips for topping Instagram search that you can also use to search Instagram
Use a Suitable, Consistent @Username
Customers will naturally type in your business name when they want to Insta search or connect with you on social media. Try to use the exact name you use for your business for your Instagram handle.
First do an Instagram search for your intended username. If already taken, which is true for most Instagram accounts, then try to make it as close to the original name as possible, perhaps with a slight variation like adding an underscore, a dash, period, location, niche, etc. This way your customers will more easily identify you when they search Instagram for your store or brand.
Use Your Logo for Your Profile Photo
Insta search users don’t search Instagram with logos but usually have logos in mind when they search. With contiguous @usernames your logo may be the next best way to differentiate.
It clears every doubt in your customers mind about which @username is actually yours, except again your logo resembles that of handles with contiguous @usernames which would be a rarity.
The point is there are several online stores. If yours sound or spell like all the others you’d have a tough time topping Instagram search, so differentiate by all means. Including your business logo in your profile photo is one way to do so.
One sure-fire way to be found via Instagram search is by using the best hashtags possible. This is what tells Instagram algorithms what your post or content is about. Using the wrong Instagram hashtags will land you in the wrong categories and impede your chances of being found by the right people.
Hashtags improve your chances of being found if well targeted, because it will direct the right audience to your content and hence to your business.
Also, create a hashtag unique to your business. Whenever you have a contest or run an ad campaign use those hashtags. It will help the audience focus on your content and perhaps convert them into followers and eventually into leads.
Get Acquainted With Algorithm Changes
Instagram search algorithms just like Facebook, Google, etc, change rhythm from time to time. Keeping up with these changes may be tougher than keeping up with the Kardashians, but as a smart business owner you should.
A few months ago Instagram unleashed what was known as the shadowban, cracking down on many posts that repetitively used the same hashtags, as a result certain popular hashtags were avoided or hushed down.
These changes in algorithm may favor or disfavor you depending on which side of it you’re on per time. Hence it is important to keep a keen eye on Instagram search algorithm updates so as to avoid a harmful update or take advantage of a helpful one.
By subscribing to blogs and newsletters of credible Instagram related outfits or even checking your emails regularly, you increase your chances of catching each change early on.
Exercise Some Caution
Hashtags are great for Insta search. Hence Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in a single post. But experts strongly advise against that. Studies show that an average of 7-9 hashtags per post is good enough.
Avoid using too many hashtags in a single post. Besides being the number one element of spammy content, it makes posts look rough, impedes readability and affects visibility. Tagging everything under the sun darkens your chances of being found via Instagram search. It makes your content appear in unrelated niches, reduces engagement, thereby reducing your chances of making it to the Explore section.
So yeah, showing some restraint earns you respect, credibility and actually improves your ranking and visibility.
Showing up on Instagram search is as as good as potentially showing up in front of 1 billion+ people, Instagram users. It’s a huge opportunity you don’t want to pass up.
Applying these tips will increase your chances of being found when people search Instagram for retailers like you or for products you sell using hashtags, usernames or brand names that you stock. Here’s to your Instagram search success.