Everyone knows that most photos on Instagram are staged, they are not quick snaps! People spend hours on end to get the perfect light, the perfect filter – just to get one image onto their Instagram profile.
However, Instagram’s Explore page is a net of all things that may be of interest to you, whether you follow them or not – and is a place where you want to be found as a business.
Instagram launched Explore in 2012, a time when images were becoming more than just popular (the original name for the page) as it evolved and the community climbed toward 700 million users.
Explore is a page where you can find people just like you, where you can find your interests all in one place and is a unique set of posts than anyone else will see as it is tailored to your tastes and interests.
How does Instagram choose its content for the explore page?
As most things in social media, it comes down to data. Data is key.
As noted in this article by Hootsuite, Instagram’s algorithm considers the following:
- Content similar to what a user has previously engaged with
- Content with high engagement
- Content from accounts similar to accounts the user already follows
How do you get content onto the Instagram Explore page?
The first thing to bear in mind, is that it will only pull content from people that have a public profile. If your profile is set to private, your content will not be considered.
If your profile is set to private, only your followers will be able to view the posts you’ve shared.
According to Instagram,
“Posts are selected automatically based on things like the people you follow or the posts you like. You may also see video channels, which can include posts from a mixture of hand-picked and automatically sourced accounts based on topics we think you’ll enjoy.”
How can you use Instagram Explore for your business to gain exposure and reach a wider audience?
1) Create great content that is inspiring, relevant and sharable.
Content that is relevant to what your audience is searching for and popular in your niche will work best and will obtain greater results. Using location hashtags (explained below) will also help to bring your content to the forefront. Great high quality images, good exposure of lighting and a relevant niche or location hashtag are key.
2) Add hashtags and a location to each post.
Usually while you are typing it will give you an option to choose a location based on where you are. If this doesn’t appear, you can “add location” to search for your preferred location.
Instagram allows you to post up to 30 hashtags, however research has shown that posts with 9 hashtags perform better. Choose your tags wisely and relevant to the people you want to reach.
3) Go live.
Instagram features the top 5 live stories in the explore page. The videos that are trending are ones that have the most engagements and are in nearby proximity of the user.
With the amount of competition in this section, admittedly it can be hard to be featured in this section, however if you don’t try, you’ll never know!
Streams that are featured often include one of the following:
- Interview sessions
- Behind the scenes
- Q&A sessions
4) Know your audience
What types of things will your ideal audience be searching for? What content would they most likely interact with? What times of day will they be online?
Knowing and understanding these key facts will help you to reach the audience you desire.