November 20, 2022

How To Generate App Deep Links To Instagram Posts, Reels, Pictures, and Hashtags

Instagram app logo

Instagram has exceeded all expectations when it comes to its status as a trailblazing app. Once upon a time, it was just a virtual space where people could upload their mobile photos in a square frame (1:1 aspect ratio), add different filters, and post them to share with a small group of friends and acquaintances.

Fast forward to today, and the app is a social media giant that lets a celebrity, brand, or the average Joe reach tens of millions of followers. The platform is adding more and more features that enhance the user experience, and anyone can use them—whether you’re an influencer, a consumer brand, or the occasional social media user.

Today, we’ll be focusing on the first two users mentioned above. By linking to specific posts within an Instagram profile, influencers and brands can achieve that overarching goal of cutting through the noise and maximizing engagement and, (ultimately) followers.

The Instagram platform offers various ways to increase engagement—such as the “boost” feature, for example— for promotion, and while these features are well worth trying, another strategy that you should put on your list is linking from different marketing channels and other social media apps to specific Instagram posts. And of course, this goes without saying, but you should definitely choose the ones that you think are especially great!

Instagram app user

For example, let’s say you’re a retail company with a presence on all social media platforms, but Instagram is the bread and butter of your content creation. It best showcases all of the clothes and accessories you sell via posts, such as pictures and reels—and even on your Instagram stories, occasionally. On top of that, your posts are very time-sensitive (holidays, sales, etc.), so it’s especially important that your customers are viewing your Instagram posts as soon as possible.

Like many brands, your audience is likely made up of people from different age groups and locations. As a result, they are probably spread across different platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, etc. How do you drive the users on those platforms to your latest Instagram content, and especially to that specific post that’s getting lots of buzz?

Of course, the answer seems simple, right? All you or your influencer needs to do is link directly to your latest Instagram images and content from other marketing channels and platforms! Bada bing, bada boom— it’s done! Well, not quite…

Here’s the thing: when you promote a regular link to a specific Instagram post, your audience won’t be sent to the Instagram app. Instead, they are sent to the Instagram web login page. This friction in the content journey undermines the success of your campaign—ultimately resulting in lost engagement, followers, and revenue. In marketing, we call this the “walled garden.”

When clicked from Facebook for example, the regular link to a specific Instagram post sends your visitor to the Instagram web login within the Facebook's embedded browser

When you think about connecting different marketing channels and social networks, it’s obvious that most people use each app on their phone, so it all comes down to “app-to-app” linking.

So, when it comes to building a successful multichannel campaign, you should always be taking into consideration what the user experience is like and whether moving from one app to another is as smooth as possible for your customers.

URLgenius and, more specifically, our app-to-app deeplinks are the way to get around this annoying walled garden problem. You simply need to update the regular link to give it that special app-linking capability. Still scratching your head? Read on to find out more about how you can increase Instagram post engagement by linking your audience directly to the Instagram app.

How Instagram Deep Linking Can Increase Your Instagram Reach & Gain More Followers

Okay, let’s answer the first question you have: What on earth is a walled garden, and how can some bushes and flowers interfere with my Instagram brand campaign?

Well, the walled garden has nothing to do with trees or greens or flowers. The walled garden is a phenomenon that occurs when a specific user within a host app (let’s say Facebook) clicks on a link to a destination app (in this case, Instagram) and is met with a pesky login page, instead of a seamless trip to the correct screen in the app (once again, in this case, Instagram).

If you update the link, however, and give it some additional magic, it can securely jump over that pesky login and open the Instagram app directly to that post.

The URLgenius link opens the Instagram app directly to the specific post where consumers can engage immediately

As we said, there is a simple solution, and make sure you’re not fooled by anyone who says you need an SDK or any development resources to do so. This is where we—URLgenius—offer you a simple solution in our deep linking platform for marketers. URLgenius lets you change links to make it easy to move from one app to another, which is important for marketing. All you have to do from there is replace the old link with the new, updated URLgenius link.

And guess what? We’re going to show you just how with our easy step-by-step tutorial. Let’s get started.

Step-By-Step: How To Create an Instagram Post Deep Link to Open in the App Directly

Like we said, this process is easy as 1-2-3. We’ve designed this specifically for marketers, and again, you don’t need any SDKs or technical resources at all to do so. Check out the box on the home page— that’s where you’ll be starting.

URLgenius home page - Instagram app deep link generator

1. Enter the specific web URL to the Instagram content

The first thing you need to do is navigate to the specific Instagram post with your web browser and copy the link from the address bar. Then, you paste the link into the box provided on the URLgenius home page. When pasting the link, notice the Instagram icon is highlighted— this tells you that URLgenius understands the type of link you just pasted.

URLgenius-generated Instagram app deep link that opens to posts, reels, pictures, and hashtags in the Instagram app

Notice the app address for that product on iOS and Android devices—it’s just showing you that information to let you know the link is going to the right place. You should also know that the end of your URLgenius link can be changed to match your campaign so that it is easy to find later, or you can just use the random characters that are already there.

2. Compose your deep link for Instagram

Now click “Compose,” which takes you to the settings page where you can copy the link to place into your social media ad or another marketing channel. To test the behavior of the link, scan the QR code, or email it to yourself or someone on your team. To go back and get your Instagram app deep link later (or look at the app-open analytics) just click ‘Console’ from the menu.

URLgenius-generated Instagram QR code that opens to posts, reels, pictures, and hashtags in the Instagram app

Notice that there are advanced features on the settings page— this is also where you can see clicks and the number of app-opens.

3. Brand your app deep links (optional)

You can use your brand’s domain for your Instagram app deep links. Just choose a word and set it up as a subdomain by creating a CName record (ask your web team). See the instructions in the settings for your URLgenius account.

URLgenius-generated Instagram app deep link URL branding

QR Code To Direct To Your Instagram Post in the App

Doing a multi-channel campaign in coordination with your social media ad? Lucky for you, every URLgenius Instagram app deep link also has a corresponding QR code.

Create a branded Instagram QR code to use online or offline to promote your post. Use them in posters, retail displays, tradeshows, and giveaway promotions. Just click on ‘QR Settings’ to find and download your Instagram QR code.

customization of URLgenius-generated Instagram QR code that opens to posts, reels, pictures, and hashtags in the Instagram app

Instagram App Deep Link Analytics

URLgenius will track app clicks, the app opens, and other information— such as referring URLs and referring apps. This chart shows where your traffic is coming from.

URLgenius-generated Instagram app deep link that opens to posts, reels, pictures, and hashtags in the Instagram app - analytics - visits by web referrer / visits by app referrer

The following chart shows the volume of Instagram app-opens by platform and device. The app-open rate tells you what percentage of people who scanned had the Facebook app installed for iOS and Android.

URLgenius-generated Instagram app deep link that opens to posts, reels, pictures, and hashtags in the Instagram app - analytics - visits by device opens iOS/Samsung

This chart shows scans by city and separately by language preference. These anonymous insights help you figure out where and how to focus your campaign, both in terms of geography and language.

URLgenius-generated Instagram app deep link that opens to posts, reels, pictures, and hashtags in the Instagram app - analytics - visits by city / visits by language/reaction

Start Creating App Deep Links and QR Codes to Specific Instagram Content Today

More followers, engagement, comments, and likes— what’s not to like? It’s time to get more eyes on that great content you’re posting!

We are always here to help you with your campaigns! Contact us with questions at about Instagram app deep linking from social media including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, etc.

If you found this content helpful, check out some of our other popular how-to posts about linking from “app-to-app” between social media apps or any app:

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