Instagram Marketing: Geotagging for Engagement

Sydney Arin Go
Oct 3, 2019 · 7 min read

Does your business have an Instagram account? Are you active on it and posting and engaging consistently?

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According to Jumper Media, there are 1 billion Instagram users to date, and 500 million of those users are active every day. That gives your business an astronomical potential reach with every photo you post.

But how do you get noticed on Instagram? Everyone knows that creating quality, value-adding content and using hashtags are a must, but not many people know about this not-so-secret secret: geo-tagging.

According to Sproutsocial, posts with geotags get up to 79% more engagement! And it’s not only engagement that increases, your local visibility increases, as well, which means that there is a higher chance that Instagram users in your area will stumble across your page without specifically searching for you.

By using geotags and adding a location to you business, you can achieve results without even trying.

How Does Instagram Marketing Work?

But the question is, how can you make Instagram work for you? Because it isn’t easy. Everyone knows that the more followers you have, the better you will perform on Instagram. But have you ever asked why?

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The answer is simple — engagement. If you have a lot of followers, then you have a lot of people seeing your content. More likely than not, people who see your content and have chosen to follow your account will like or comment on your posts and tag you in their own posts. The more engagement your posts get, the higher you rank on Instagram’s algorithm.

So really, at the end of the day, you shouldn’t just be chasing followers. You should be looking for people who will engage with your account, who have followed your account because they believe in what you have to offer.

And the best way to increase engagement? Start with the people around you.

What are Geotags?

Now that we have established that engagement should be your end goal on Instagram, how do you get that? The two best-known ways are using hashtags and, you guessed it, geotagging. So what are geotags and why should you use them?

Simply put, a geotag is the data stored in each of your Instagram posts that stores the location from which you posted that photo, if you choose to disclose that information. On top of that, while personally using geotags for your business in important, don’t forget to track where your influencers are, based on their geotags.

How Can I Make the Most out of Geotags?

Here is why you should use and take note of your followers’ geotags:

Geotags can tell you what time your audience is online. When you review your analytics, there will be a graph that shows how many people are online during a specific time.

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By knowing when your audience is most active, you can schedule your posts accordingly. You can get the most impressions possible per post!

If you aren’t using Instagram stories yet, then you are missing out. The best part of posting stories is that they appear on the top of the homepage! Take it one step further by geotagging your stories.

By letting Instagram know where you are, they can place your stories in location-based feeds. For example, if you tag a story in Ottawa, then when someone looks at what is going on in Ottawa, your post will be there.

Let’s say you need an influencer in Ottawa. By checking out the Instagram feed for the location of Ottawa, you can see which accounts are doing good, which accounts are in line with your mission, and which accounts you want to reach out to.

How Do I Open the Instagram Analytics Page?

Tracking your performance on Instagram is, of course, very important. How can you tell if your account is performing well if you don’t have any KPIs?

But how do you access Instagram Analytics? First, you need a business account. Some marketers say that you can do Instagram marketing with a personal account—the reality is, you can’t. At least, not effectively.

With a personal account, all your posts are private. When curious Instagram users click on your account, all they will see is a lock and a note saying, “This Account is Private.” To see your account, they would have to request to follow you and you would have to accept the follow request. That’s a little too much work.

Another thing, if you don’t have a business account, Instagram doesn’t give you analytics. Only business accounts get performance reports.

Now that we’ve established the importance of a business account, how do you get to the analytics page?

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On your phone, open the Instagram app. At the bottom of your app, you will see five icons. Clicking the right-most one will bring you to your profile. From here, there are two ways to get to your analytics page, as shown in the first two GIFs above.

The first way is to open the ‘hamburger’ menu, located on the upper righthand side of the page, and click “Insights.” The second way is to click the profile visit statistic, located just below your username, above your profile picture and follower/following count.

From there, you will see three tabs: Content, Activity, and Audience. For geotagging and location-based marketing, the third tab is where you want to be. But let’s briefly go through the other tabs.

Here’s More About Instagram Analytics

The first tab is Content.

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In the content tab, you’ll see which of your posts is getting the most impressions, engagement, profile visits, saves, shares, and more. This is where you’ll figure out what kind of content your followers want to see and what kind of content they engage with.

The second tab is Activity.

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Here, you will find how many people visited your profile and how many people clicked on your “link in bio.” You will also see how many users your account reached.

By tracking information from the Activity tab, you can find out when the best time to target new followers is. For example, for us, it is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. That means that we will be engaging with more accounts on those days, so that we have a better chance of finding more people who might be interested in our content.

The last tab is Audience. And this is where using and tracking geotags becomes important.

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In this tab, you will find statistics on new followers, where they are from, and what time they are most active.

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Here is an easy way to check how many followers you gained or lost, compared to the previous week. This stat will tell you more about the quality of your followers—if they are mostly spammy follow/unfollow accounts.

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Right below your follower count, you will see where your followers are. Why is that useful? Timing. According to this, most of our followers are in New York, so we know they are on Eastern Standard Time (EST). This means that we won’t be posting content at 5pm Honolulu time.

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At the very bottom of the page, you get to see your follower activity by the hour or by the day. Again this is very important for your social media strategy.

Our account is on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) +8, which is 12 hours ahead of EST. The by-the-hour chart reflects the time difference, in that our users are set to be most active at 12 am and 3 am, UTC+8, which is 12 pm and 3 pm, respectively in EST.

This tab tells us not only what time to post, but also what day to post our most important content.

And this is all possible because of geotagging.

On this tab, you can also see information on gender and age demographics, should that be of use to your strategy.

Now What?

Instagram is a very powerful platform. It is up to you how you are going to get the best out of it.

Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Using geotags increases your profile visibility and reach in your area;
  2. You need a business account to access Instagram analytics; and
  3. Keeping track of where your followers are tells you when to post your best content.

We’ve told you how important geotags are—now use them!

We’ve told you how important geotags are—now use them!

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