The Instagram Explore function is an individual and personalized area for each user and is suggesting content that the individual user is likely to be interested in.
The selection is generated by pictures the user liked herself and pictures that are liked by her followers. Even companies can profit of this function, because if users are liking your post, this content is getting the chance to be published within the explore function of their respective followers. Therefore, the explore function supports the network effect and helps spreading your content virally!
Besides getting likes, the explore function makes your brand more famous and generates new and potential purchasers – and everything without significant costs. Furthermore, the fact that this function works with a specific algorithm automatically helps you to reach a target group that is interested in your content.
#1 Your Account is Just as Interesting as your Content
To be successful on Instagram, all you need is good and high quality content. It is your goal to stand out from the mass in order to be liked from users. To make use of the viral effect, users need to like your pictures, so take care of your content!
To create good content, the creator needs patience and intensive research. The keyword is “Social Listening”: listen to your followers and observe what kind of posts they like and what kind of content attracts their attention. It is quite easy to get this information: just click on the heart-button within the app and then on the upper left at Following. With the help of this function one can easily see what kind of content followers like and the topics they could be interested in.
#2 Timing is Key
The more interaction your posts get, the higher is the likelihood to be published within the explore area. So it is not only important what you are posting, but when. The new Instagram Analytics tool enables companies to see when followers are most active and therefore willing to interact with posts.
Source: unsplash.com/Carlos Mutz
#3 Integrate a Call to Action in your Caption
A fitting caption is very important for companies: if you are appearing in the explore function, this caption is the first thing that a potential user is going to read about your company. Think about it and find a memorable and short description! Preferably, one should be integrating a call to action, to invite the users to more interaction. Whether you are asking questions, announcing a sale or promoting your hashtags – animate your users to click on your website or to buy your products. These call to actions improve the engagement and therefore the network effect.
#4 Tag Users, Brands or Locations
If you draw attention to a big account and this account is liking your picture, millions of their potential followers are able to see it within their explore area. Increase the likelihood and tag big accounts in your posts. Managing those accounts is often quite cluttered, make it easier for the community manager and tag the brand with a @brand within your picture, so that she is able to directly scroll through your content.
#5 Use Hashtags
If you like them or not, the impact of hashtags is indisputable. Hashtags stand for topics, branded hashtags stand for companies, events and campaigns. What they all have in common – the increase of visibility. Hashtags are an effective tool to activate the interaction and the exchange with your followers and to bundle it in one place, instead of losing it in the depths of Instagram. Therefore, it is crucial for you as a company to integrate hashtags within your posts. Try to find a unique branded hashtag for your company, that cannot be mixed up with others. Do some research before publishing it, in order to avoid embarrassing coincidences with words that have a different meaning in other countries. Furthermore, it is not recommended to use the most popular hashtags on Instagram, this is what makes your post go down in the mass.
Source: unsplash.com/Ian Schneider
Cover Photo: unsplash.com/Thomas Martinsen