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  • Quenelle Forbes

How to show up in Instagram Search

This week the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, dropped another gem for us detailing ways we are able to get our profiles out there and get discovered by our target audiences and more!


Mosseri's article will be a great tool for businesses to include in their social media strategies as we have been explicitly told how to appear in search.


Everyone know how vital hashtags are for the reach of your posts and allowing your target audience to find you amongst the one billion monthly active users. But recently there has been a great debate as to whether you should post your hashtags in the comments section or the post's caption. Traditionally, users would always put their hashtags in their captions but as users find more and more ways to make their Instagram content more aesthetically pleasing, users are posting their hashtags in the comment section.


Whilst this looks great aesthetically, it actually does nothing for your posts. Mosseri stated that for your post to be found in Search, the hashtags need to be in the caption, not the comments. So that's that debate settled!


The key theme to how you can make sure you're appearing in Search seems to be making sure you have relevant keywords in your posts and in your bio. Not only that, but you also need to make sure you have a relevant Instagram handle and profile name. Making sure they're relevant to the content you will be posting will allow you to be discovered amongst the Insta world. Additionally, adding your location to your bio is a great tool for small businesses, Mosseri notes, so people in the area can find you.


Now you might be wondering how Search works for your target audience? Luckily Mosseri has covered that too. Search results are organised by what is most relevant to the user (that key theme of being relevant is popping back up again).


When users are typing in the Search bar, Instagram try to match up what is typed with "relevant usernames, bios, captions, hashtags and places" - so you really need to make sure your profile and posts are highlighting the key words that are relevant to you and your content!


The activity of the user also determines what comes up in their Search. Instagram will show accounts that the user has followed or interacted with a lot higher than accounts they don't interact with.


When the Search brings up the results, Instagram will look at the "popularity signals" of posts and profiles when there are a lot of potential results. This means they will consider how many clicks, likes, follows or shares an account or profile has and use this information to present the user will results.


So, it's clear to see that if your profile isn't encapsulating who you are and what your content is about through the use of text, you're going to have a hard time appearing in the Search. Whilst it's clear that popularity definitely has an impact of how you will appear in the user's Search section, you need to make sure you've covered, fixed and improved the first stage of being discovered. That's by making sure you have relevant hashtags in your post's caption, making sure you have a relevant handle and username and making sure you're featuring relevant keywords in the caption.


You can find Adam Mosseri's article here: https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/break-down-how-instagram-search-works

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