Instagram just released the new Search and Explore feature and it’s going to change the way users interact with the app. For the past 2 years, we’ve had the popular page which wasn’t very popular. Instagram eventually tailored the results based on your activity which made the feature a little more useful. The newest iteration of the 300 million user app will have both marketers and users rejoicing.
For users, it’s an easier way to find the things on Instagram that matter most. With more than 70 million pictures posted every day, there can be a lot of clutter to sort through. When you search a topic, it pulls up top results, people, tags, and places. Selecting “Tags” for example will pull up the top 3 posts followed by most recent posts. My favorite is selecting places. Used to, you would have to find someone’s picture with the location tag to see other pictures tagged to that location. Have you tried finding location tags at a resort in Mexico before? It took forever! Now you can select, “Places” and all the top content appears right before your eyes.
For the user, Instagram also selects categories like New People, Extreme Athletes, and Glimmering Islands for you to peer through. It’s a fun click hole to go down. Trust us. There’s no shortage of great photography and new, interesting people to follow.
Trending Tags is another cool Search and Explore feature we love. What’s going on with this #FreeBrady thing anyways?! We love this because it plugs in the real-time effectiveness of Twitter in a visually friendly platform. Explore Posts looks like it suggests photos based on your past activity on Instagram which is always nice.
What does this mean for brands? If you have been neglecting Instagram, you might be regretting it about now.
1. Amazing photography is winning
Guess what pictures are selected as top posts? Usually the pictures with a lot of engagement and great photo quality. Same goes for suggested users like in the “Discover New People” category. If you’re a brand with high-quality content, being selected to represent a category is a gold mine.
2. Leverage your popularity
If you have built up a strong following and are owning a specific category, more than likely your content will arrive at the top of a search feed. Increase your engagement on a picture by asking a question or asking people to tag a friend.
3. Use relevant hashtags
Using relevant hashtags is essential to increasing your brand reach on Instagram. Especially now that the new Search and Explore feature provides easy access to trending topics, your expertly timed post with the right tag can be featured at the top.
4. Location tag
Before today, if I wanted to view the tags of a specific location I would have to search through hashtags and find a user or brand that tagged the location. Now all I have to do is type in the name and it appears in a second. Tagging a relevant location further enhances the visibility of your content with the new Search and Explore feature.
For home run content, use great photography, use relevant hashtags, and tag your location. But most importantly, be consistent.
What is your favorite part of the new Search and Explore function on Instagram?