Every single business who has a website should have accompanying social media profiles to showcase their latest work (and if you don’t, get out of that rock you’ve been living under!)
It’s easy to post interesting content at the click of a button, whether that’s behind the scenes posts, information about your services, or sharing events you’re attending. However, it’s a little known fact that social media can actually be used to boost SEO too. A few sneaky tricks can make a world of a difference, especially on Instagram, which is the main focus of this piece.
Below are four tricks you can use today to increase your reach and potentially bring in many more followers, likes and shares.
1. Make use of Instagram alt text
This is a little known fact unless you’re really clued up on Instagram – the platform doesn’t allow you to edit this before you post, so you need to add it in later on.
If you click the three dots to the top right of your posts, then press edit, you’ll see an option pop up to edit alt text. This can be used the same way you would edit alt text in a page on your site, so make sure you write an accurate, in-depth description using keywords you want the image to appear for.
Another sneaky trick is to slip a competitor name in there, especially if you have a following large enough that Instagram allows you to add more than one description. This can work towards you appearing on the ‘explore’ page of people who have interacted with, or follow, your competitors.
2. Think of your Instagram profile in the form of H1, H2 and H3 tags
You can also use certain tricks on your profile and in your bio to make you appear for certain terms or on the explore page of those who have interacted with the topic previously.
For example, if you’re a crafter making bespoke jewellery, you may want to change your name to ‘(business name) | Bespoke Jewellery.’ This would be the equivalent of your H1 tag on a web page.
You can then make use of ‘H2’ tags by adding keywords/phrases to your bio, adding them as hashtags rather than just words. Your ‘H3’ tags would be the tags you use on your posts.
3. Encourage others to tag you in posts
This is the Instagram equivalent of backlinks that would typically increase domain rating/authority the more you get. The more posts you are tagged in, the more reach you receive – other accounts’ followers will see you, especially those interacting with that particular post. This can increase engagement, boost followers and work wonders for brand recognition.
It’s very easy to get tags as a B2C business as you can heavily rely on customer-generated content for posts that you can reshare onto your page. It’s a win-win situation – you both get more reach using this method. It also saves a lot of time spent crafting Instagrammable posts when your followers from many different locations can do that work for free in return for a share!
You may want to state in your Instagram bio that your customers should use a certain hashtag to be featured. Most of the time this is the brand name or a slight twist on it. As long as your social media team actively searches through this hashtag, you should have plenty of content to last a while.
B2B organisations will need to work a little harder in order to achieve tags. This could be through posts such as being featured on a podcast or interview, being shortlisted for an award, or company news – as you can probably tell, this relies heavily on PR to work hand-in-hand. You should also encourage employees to tag the business if they post about you.
4. Clear your cache to research content ideas
Even if you are researching hashtags that you would never normally interact with, they are still tailored to your interests (e.g. if you’ve never searched for winter coats but Instagram knows you like certain colours and patterns, they will still push them to the top for you).
To get a realistic idea of what is actually doing well within a certain topic, clear your cache then search again. You may be inspired to jump on a certain new trend or style of post, e.g. informational carousels instead of behind the scenes photos, which work very well for Koi fish in the example below. This is essentially the Instagram version of research before content creation.
At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of any social media following is to increase brand recognition and sales. These tricks should help you to boost your reach and hopefully result in increased revenue.
This is an important step to take in order to grow your business, and can actually increase its value. An interesting experiment to try is to track the value of your business currently, then start to implement these steps over the next year and watch its effect on sales and value – you will be pleasantly surprised at the correlation!