If you want to grow your following, there are lots of things you can do right within your Instagram profile. Here are a few tips I recommend for using Instagram Search to your advantage:
Believe it or not, but the “Name” field on your IG profile, doesn’t need to be the exact name of you or your business. There are many different ways you can approach this, but I suggest using a combo of KEYWORDS within your niche, along with your name/brand’s name. By including those keywords in your Name field, you will not only appear in searches for your name but also in searches for those keywords.. increasing the chances of appearing in the top results!
In addition to keywords in your Name, you need to be using them in your bio too! Not only does this let potential followers know exactly what your content is based around, but just like a search engine, Instagram will pull your page to the top of search results if your bio has relevant keywords. Your bio can even include clickable hashtags which can easily be followed by your followers. Hashtags will increase your chances of appearing in search results for your page AND if someone searches for hashtags too!
Choose an eye-catching profile photo. It's important to remember to use a profile photo that best suits you and/or your brand. I often get asked, "Is it best if I use a logo or a sketch or a photo of me in the kitchen?" The answer is, whatever suits you. That being said, we have noticed photos of YOU are often the most successful. I urge you to continue exploring and figure out what works best for you, there's no harm in switching it up from time to time too. If your brand consists of a full team, rather than one "face", something like your logo would work too.
Tagging locations in your posts will help you become discoverable in search results for that location. Additionally, If your brand has a physical location, you’ll want to create your very own location tag and use that. Tagging locations helps your profile get more views, engagement, and likely new followers! Don’t forget to apply this to your stories too!
Edit your posts’ alt text. While this feature is an addition for people with visual impairments, it also helps with SEO! Instagram will automatically create alt text for your posts, but you can edit them and make them clearer. This can be done during the posting process or after it’s already been posted too!
Hashtags ARE NOT dead! I repeat, hashtags are not dead. Gone are the days of copy and pasting 30+ hashtags to each of your posts however, it’s really important to choose the most relevant and targeted hashtags for your posts. These days, it’s most common for people to place these rich hashtags as the first comment on your post, rather than cluttering the caption of a post with them. But don’t forget about stories – hashtags work great on stories too!
With these changes, you will be way more likely to not only come up in top results on Instagram searches but also increase your SEO too! With Instagram ever-changing and the algorithm guides shifting, it’s really important to do your research and keep up to date with the most relevant features and updates they release. As always, the more you engage on the app and use all the features, the more Instagram will praise you for it!