I'm Cilia, Web Designer/Brand Strategist

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I harness the power of Self Expression to create Brand Strategies and Websites for Impactful Women.

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Instagram Tools to Grow Your Reach (3 handy tools!)

Instagram has so many tools to grow your reach built right into the app! These methods are free and perfect to use for a small or new business. By using these tools, you can get your posts in front of more eyeballs and into the minds of your target audience.

This allows you to reach your target audience organically, without paying for ads. If your dream clients are on instagram, let’s go out and find them!

Using the Right Hashtags

Do you remember the good ol’ beginning days of instagram? When it was easy to get likes by using #bestoftheday or #ootd?

This may have been the first instagram tools you used to grow your reach if you had a public account back then.

You used to be able to google “hashtags for likes” and these hashtags would work for reach. Hate to say it girl, but those days are OVER.

Now that Instagram has been around for over a decade, popular hashtags have MILLIONS of posts. If you searched a popular hashtag and after a few seconds hit “refresh”, there will be new posts.

Therefore, we need to be strategic about the hashtags we use. Don’t let your posts get lost in the sea of a million fish. You also want to be sure to use hashtags your dream clients would be searching or following.

For your feed posts, take time to research your hashtags by searching words related to your brand, service, and target audience. Do this on the hashtag search option in the app.

What you want to look out for in the hashtags is the number of posts.

If there are millions of posts in a hashtag, don’t use it in your feed posts. Aim for under 300K posts per each hashtag you use.

Save the big hashtags for your story. They might be reposted and it has a 24 hour window anyways so smaller hashtags aren’t as crucial for a story post.

Why do you need smaller hashtags for your feed? Being at the top location of a hashtag page is prime real estate. And you have a higher chance of staying at the top of a hashtag page if it’s a smaller hashtag group.

Use Stories and Reels

Most instagram users aren’t scrolling like we used to. Stories and reels exist because they are following the behavioral trends of instagram users. Follow these trends! This is where the traffic is.

Need help editing stories? This is covered in my FREE 3-Day Social Media Mini Course, get instant access here.

As an elder millennial, I refused to use stories when they first came out (lol). It was the same as snapchat which I had and never used. I did the same (briefly) when reels came out but then, I remebered:

Early adaptors of new social media tools are always favored.

This makes sense because if not a lot of people are posting on this section of the gram, there is less to compete with. This happened with stories, so I knew it would happen with reels.

Again, this comes back to following trends of social media users. Reels was a way for Instagram to gain back people that went to TikTok.

This might be a good time to note that content that works on TikTok won’t necessarily work on your Instagram reels. TikTok is more for entertainment whereas Instagram will demand more value like teaching something to your audience.

Alt Text

This feature is probably one of the most underutilized instagram tools for growing reach. Alt text is short for “alternative text”. This feature came out in 2018 and it still hasn’t gained popularity but this is why you should use it:

Alt text

  • shows up when your image doesn’t load
  • is read aloud by e-readers for visually impaired users
  • acts as SEO for your posts!

This plays into the SEO of instagram and being a new feature, using it now can set you apart from accounts trying it later on. The platform’s algorithm takes into account the alt text you’ve set up and puts your posts in front of people who want to see it.

So, if someone interested in eco-friendly products went onto the explore page, Instagram knows what images to show them based on not only the hashtags but the alt text too.

Grow Organically

Now that you know about these tools, check out this post for tips on how to grow your IG organically.

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