Instagram has changed a lot over the last year, and especially over the last couple of years with the introduction of Reels. But some things are still just as important today as they were back a few years ago.
So, what should you be focusing on for success on Instagram in 2023? What few things deserve the bulk of your content attention?
You can watch this video for a quick take:
Or, read below for more context and information.
Yes, Reels. Look, not everyone loves them. I get it! In fact, I don’t love them either. But they work. They work in the algorithm. They work in that your audience wants them. They help in search and growth. So, like it or not, it’s time to start doing Reels consistently.
You don’t have to go “all in” on Reels – in fact, you should absolutely NOT go all in on Reels. You should NOT forego other forms of content on Instagram in favor of only doing Reels. But yes, you should be doing Reels regularly. Even if that’s only one a month or two a month, commit to them and start to determine what works for you.
These have been the secret sauce to success for a while and they are still incredibly powerful on Instagram. Why? Because they offer double (or even triple) the exposure on your content. You see, if the first time someone sees your carousel and they don’t interact with it (expand the caption, scroll through the carousel, like or comment), then Instagram will show them that post a SECOND time, the next time they log in. The person will see the second post in the carousel. And some people are reporting that they are seeing carousels up to THREE times now – although I think this is just a test. But still!
So, if your first image or video didn’t capture their attention, the second one might. Or it might just come at a time they’re more amenable to reading or doing more. Whatever the reason, it gives you the second chance to get in front of that person and get your message clearly communicated to them. With limited reach on Instagram, any chance to double that reach should be exercised!
But, a word of warning, don’t make every post a carousel! Use these strategically with the most important messaging and intentions for your goals.
Again, DMs have been around for a long time on Instagram, but they are becoming more and more important in strategic efforts. Instagram has indicated that one of their three goals for 2023 will be to improve conversations on the platform – read: more DMs. I expect us to get more DM functionality and features. You can expect more people to connect with you and your brand via messaging.
It’s private, off the public forum. It’s a chance to build real connections and have genuine conversations. It’s a chance to learn more about your customers and what they need. It’s a chance to drive real conversions and sales.
If you’re not actively using DMs in your marketing strategy for Instagram, now’s the time to start planning for that.
Optimizing for Search
Instagram keeps moving towards keyword search and better search results on the platform. While we’re not there yet, and search still has much room for improvement, there’s no time like right now to start optimizing your content for search.
You’ll want to optimize THREE key areas: your profile description, your captions, and your hashtags. When I say optimize, I’m not talking about keyword stuffing but selecting the right phrases and words that your audience is searching for and incorporating them into your text. Don’t just use the words you want to be found for, use the words your audience is looking for.
If you’re in real estate, your profile description, your post captions, and your hashtags should all talk about real estate topics in the geographical region to serve. Use local terminology, city references, etc. And realize that your audience probably isn’t looking for listings when they search IG. They’re probably looking for design ideas, décor tips, things to do in your community, and other such searches.
You should also consider adding alt text to your images. This is super important for accessibility and should be included, but the alt text can also help categorize content on the back end.
So there you have it – the four key things you should focus on this year to optimize your Instagram strategy. Yes, of course, there are plenty of other things to focus on! Stories are still one of the best means of converting sales. Link stickers in Stories are pure gold. Going live can enhance your brand in multiple ways. And there are plenty of new features coming this year to be prepared for.
But if you focus on these key four things, you’re on the right track!
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