Instagram gets 2.9 billion visits monthly, and 81 percent of these users go there to research services and products. For business owners like you, Instagram offers ample opportunity to reach the right audience and maximize sales opportunities.
The bad news is Instagram is also a sea of aspiring businesses involved in cut-throat competition. Everyone is trying to be the first to hook customers and rake in profit.
If you want your own business to survive and thrive among the 1 billion users, you must master two things: timely posting and Instagram search engine optimization (SEO).
Without optimizing your profile for SEO, only a few people will see your posts. Also, if you post at the wrong time, the bulk of your followers won’t see your posts.
Bottom line? You must find that sweet spot.
In this blog, we’ll dive deep into knowing when to post, how often to post and how to maximize SEO to grow your Instagram business account.
How Often Should I Post on Instagram?
If you don’t post frequently enough on Instagram, your audience will forget you even existed. Before you know it, your brand has faded into the dark recesses of their minds.
On the other hand, if you are posting excessively, you can appear spammy and make your audience dread seeing your posts.
So, how do you strike a balance?
Before we answer that question, here’s something you should know:
Making sure your content is meaningful and relevant is critical. Why? If there isn’t any interest in what you’re saying, people won’t follow or engage with your brand.
You want to ensure that you’re posting highly relevant content. This way, whether you post often or once in a blue moon, your followers eagerly wait for your posts.
That said, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, stated that you should have a maximum of one post per day, or 2-3 times weekly. But research has shown that most businesses post 1.56 times daily.
But while this is an excellent rule to follow in general, it might not be the greatest option for you. If you start by posting more than once per day and gradually reduce to only a few posts per week, your user engagement will most likely fall.
Though it is preferable to post frequently, it is also critical to maintain a steady number of postings. If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep up with many postings every day, stick to what you can manage.
Can you post once a week or once a month? You can, but this isn’t advisable because your followers will eventually get used to not noticing your content. Again, the competition is real, and others will take over by being more active.
Posting often comes with three main benefits. It:
- Helps you get more engagements
- Increases your chances of getting new followers
- Reminds existing followers that you exist and keep you at the top of their mind
This is important: Choose quality over quantity. It’s always preferable to post less frequently but with better photos, than to upload low-quality frequently.
What’s the Best Time To Post on Instagram?
If you want to increase your engagement, it’s important to optimize your posting time. This simply means posting at a time when your audience is most likely active and online.
To determine the best posting time for your business account, you need to track your audience. Their interaction with your content in the past would give you an insight into what your followers prefer.
Let’s look at the top three ways to track your audience’s activities on the ‘Gram.
- Manual tracking
- Instagram insight tool
- Third-party tracking tools
#1. Manually Track Your Instagram’s Active Engagement Time
This is a common method many business owners use to track engagement on Instagram. Here, you manually input and store the number of likes and comments your posts get. You can do this using Microsoft office tools like Excel or Spreadsheet.
Using these statistics, you can tweak the timing of your next post. If you get more engagements, then your audience is more active during the new posting time. You should stick to it.
Some business owners turn to other means of acquiring likes if they’re having trouble attracting organic engagement.
#2. Use the Instagram Insight Tool
The insight tool is one of the best features on Instagram. It helps you automatically track your engagement. This tool helps you discover where your followers stay and gives you an analysis of their reactions to your posts.
Keep in mind: You need to upgrade your Instagram account to a business account to access the insight feature.
#3. Use a Third-party Instagram Analytics Tool
Want to take your Instagram game a notch higher? You could try third-party analytics tools. They help you learn more about your audience and how your posts perform by showing you the number of profile and Instagram stories views, likes and follows you receive.
These tools can also assist you in creating better content to attract new customers and increase your followers. Examples include:
Top Instagram SEO Techniques for Businesses
Instagram SEO is all about the process of optimizing your Instagram content, so it’ll easily be found in search results. You want your account or content to appear near the top – if not at the top – of the list when someone searches for a relevant keyword in the Instagram search box.
How do you make this happen?
#1. Use Primary Keywords in Your Username
While creating your username on the Instagram app, ensure you identify your primary keyword. The way the Instagram algorithm works is that it first shows profiles that contain the primary keyword known to an industry.
Take a clothing store, for example. When you shop for clothes, you’ll probably type in “clothing” in the search bar.
In the search results, you’ll notice how the first few brands that pop up have included this keyword in their username.
#2. Insert Hashtags Strategically
Hashtags are as crucial as primary keywords. While hiding hashtags in comments has long been considered an insider tactic, Instagram has now confirmed that keywords and hashtags should appear directly in the caption to influence search results.
That said, the last thing you want to do is stuff your captions with hashtags. Use hashtags with these rules in mind:
- Only use relevant hashtags.
- Limit yourself to 3-5 hashtags per post.
- Use a mix of well-known, specialty and specific hashtags (think branded or campaign-related).
- Don’t use hashtags like #explorepage that are irrelevant or excessively generic.
#3. Add Alt Text to Images
On Instagram, alt text works the same way it does on the web. It’s a text description of a video or picture that allows persons with visual impairments to access the material.
So even if a photo fails to load, alt text helps you get your message across. Alt text helps with blog posts and website SEO, and it does the same for Instagram.
Instagram alt text also assists the platform in better understanding what’s in your content and determine whether it’s relevant to a specific search.
#4. Include Keywords in Your Bio Description
On Instagram, your bio is a 150-word description of what your business is about. After your username, the audience sees your bio next.
For a clothing line, if your primary keyword is “clothes,” then your secondary keywords can be any of “women’s clothing,” “baby clothes,” “dresses,” “tops,” etc. You can always find a way to craft this into your bio without making it too obvious.
Types of Posts for Your Instagram Business
If your goal is to boost the SEO of your Instagram profile, there are different content types you can post to achieve this goal.
Request testimonials and post them on Instagram if you’ve already started working with clients or selling your items. This will increase your trustworthiness while prompting other followers to inquire about your services.
#2. Fun Facts
Share amusing facts about yourself and your company. This will strengthen the bond between you and your followers. It’ll also help them know more about what kind of company you are.
Who doesn’t love freebies? Discounts and giveaways are one of the best ways to get more followers on your page. And it’s a great way to show your audience that you care about them. Plus, if you plan it well, giveaways shouldn’t dig too deep into your pockets.
#4 Brand Stories
Your brand has gone through several phases. Even if your business is in its early stages of development, people are curious to watch how it develops.
Discuss what drew you to the business in the first place, the hurdles you faced, the victories you achieved and the ultimate aim. Who knows, you may be an inspiration to people. The good thing is that you’ll be promoting your business simultaneously.
Instagram is one of the most strategic places to communicate with customers online. Using Instagram SEO to increase your presence on the platform and raise brand awareness among a relevant demographic is vital to your success.
Don’t forget to apply all our tips on when and how often to post on your Instagram business account to increase your visibility on the platform.