Since Instagram’s launch in 2010, it quickly earned its reputation as a social media giant in today’s world of point-and-shoot media sharing. Now, almost five years later, 300 million users share more than 70 million photos each day.
All of those users are using Instagram search.
With 20 percent of internet users 16-64 years-of-age flocking to the social platform, it’s a necessary marketing avenue. But, Instagram just became even more important with the launch of the Search & Explore feature. In this post we talk about how it works and how to own Instagram search hashtags.
Let’s dive into Instagram search.
To step up their competitive edge, Instagram recently launched Search & Explore to let users see the world as it happens around them with real-time reporting.
Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom says “It’s a real-time visual pulse of what’s happening in the world.”
For users, this bold move simplifies discovering photos, but for businesses, you now have another way to get your brand right in front of your targeted audience.
Instagram’s Search and Explore Feature
Launching this feature required two updates. The first was a revamp to the Explore page to support their new vision for instant and effortless image discovery. Now, trends will surface in real-time to connect users to events and conversations across the globe. Using tags and trending placings, users will experience moments from unique perspectives with visual rich content from information that’s curated with collections.
The second update was to the Instagram search feature to dramatically improve how users find exactly what they are looking for with the new Places Search. Users can peer a little deeper into any location on Earth. From restaurants to music festivals, users get an inside-look into what’s happening right now.
With new access to people, places, and tags from trending locations all at once, brands have the opportunity to land on the “Top Posts” to skyrocket their visibility on the site. This is extremely important for location-based businesses.
How does it work?
Instagram Search & Explore will individualize the experience for each user by choosing photos and videos that are liked by people you’re connected with and by current trending posts. The hashtags used on these posts will index and categorize the content to appear in what’s currently trending. The hashtags will be labeled in sections called “Top Posts” near the “Most Recent” posts to show users what’s popular for a specific hashtag or place.
Search & Explore will choose what you see by linking the trending places and suggested people into different collections by Instagram account or place. To find what’s trending, users will conduct searches to discover what, who, and where are popular on Instagram.
The results generated will depend on a variety of factors, like the people you follow, who you’re connected with, and what photos and videos you’ve previously liked.
How will businesses benefit from Search and Explore?
Search & Explore not only hands you a new way to get discovered, but you’re able to use the feature to fine tune your own Instagram strategy. For example, the Discover page will let you see suggested people and places who are already relevant to your brand. This takes a lot of guesswork out of targeting your audience because the recommendations are based on your Instagram activity. From what we have seen, this is populated largely on your Instagram hashtag and search history.
Search by Place to grow your audience by connecting with people in certain geographical locations. You’ll explore what’s being shared by your location to engage with users while finding the best hashtags for more visibility. The same feature allows you to discover trending hashtags in real-time to see if current trends relate to your product, service, or brand. If they do, leverage this to develop engaging conversations to build brand trust and loyalty. Then, use these as inspiration to help develop your own trending posts for users and places that are connected to your business.
Combining these factors will help build to Instagram’s already high engagement rates. The more you develop your engagement, the higher you’ll appear in Instagrams search results.
Step Up Your Hashtags
Hashtags are your secret weapon to success, especially since only 20 percent of Instagram posts have 6 or more hashtags and 53 percent of posts only have one hashtag. This means you’ll instantly boost your engagement by stepping up your hashtag use, but remember it’s also about quality, not quantity.
Every post needs to have multiple relevant hashtags that are specific to your audience. To choose the best hashtags, pay attention to what others are using and use hashtag tracking tools like RebelMouse, Tagboard or Talkwalker. Also, Socialmention.com and Twubs are great places to look. It is hard to influence an Instagram users search history, but Instagram hastags you can control 100%. So take full advantage.
Then, whenever you’re hosting an event, having a promotion, or just need more people to walk through your door, use these hashtags, along with your location to get in front of more people.
You can take a look at the way I user hashtags on my business Instagram.
If I had not of used these, I would have had 25% of the likes on this post.
Share Quality Photos
A great photo says a thousand words, especially on Instagram. Not to mention 60 percent of consumers say they are more likely to consider a company if an image appears with their search. So, when people are using Insgtagram Search & Explore, make sure the picture they find accurately portrays your brand. But, only share quality pictures because 67 percent of consumers say image quality is very important when choosing a company.
Select your pictures wisely because there are certain aspects that have higher engagement rates. For example, pictures of real customers have 30 percent higher engagement. Also, high amount of background space generates 29 percent more likes that those with minimal and lighter images have 24 percent more likes than darker images. Texture also comes into play with high levels of texture generating 79 percent more likes.
For even more visibility, geo-tag your photos and connect to the mapping function to make it easier to find your business. Using the right pictures will boost your engagment to encourage more likes and shares.
Post at the Right Time for Instagram People Search
71 percent of the world’s top brands are on Instagram, with 57 percent averaging at least one post per week. This means you’re up against pretty tough competition. But, posting at the right times during the day will promote your engagement.
Latergramme ran an analysis of over 61,000 Instagram posts to see when engagement was the highest. They discovered the best time to post is at 2 am and 5 pm, EST. The worst times are at 9 am and 6 pm. Plus, Wednesdays appear to be the sweet spot in the week, while Mondays have the least amount of engagement.
Create Great Captions
The captions you create for your posts will drive engagement. Although there isn’t any apparent connection in the length of Instagram captions that impact engagement, the average caption is 138 characters long, including the hashtags.
Create a catchy and descriptive caption that includes your location and your website’s URL to help with search visibility. To drive higher engagement, use @mentions in captions for 56 percent more engagement. Combining your location, mention, and hashtags will add 79 percent higher engagement.
Strive to Promote Engagement
Forester reports brand engagement on Instagram to be over 4 percent higher with 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 more engagement than Twitter. That engagement is more crucial under the new Instagram Search & Explore feature. If you want to land on the “Top Posts,” you need to step up your engagement.
The more likes and shares, the higher you’ll appear when your hashtags and locations are searched.
Websites for Instagram Search
- Make sure to check out websta, it is a great way to check out hashtags, manage posts and even customize feeds for Instagram. https://websta.me/search
- Here is an example of a page on Instagram that was just made for a hashtag. Go ahead and add what ever hashtag you want in place of the current one to see if your content surfaces or to get content ideas. It will show you the top posts on the topic, most recent. not https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/hashtag/
- If you want to learn more about how to search on Instagram, you can learn more here. https://help.instagram.com/1482378711987121
- Findgram is another tool that allows you to search Instagram photos and videos. It is a little more basic than websta.me, but still gets the job done. http://findgram.com/
How do You Search Locations On Instagram?
To search by location on Instagram click the start icon from the main screen and open the explore feature. You can magnify by clicking on the search tool. You can also add hashtags and the name of the location in the search box.
FAQ on Instagram Search
How are photos and videos chosen for the Instagram Search & Explore?
Though the exact algorithm is closely guarded, Instagram search does state that the results are tailored to each individual user based on the people you follow or the posts you like. It works similarly with video channels, automatically choosing accounts that they you will enjoy based on your previous activity. As such, you will likely see:
- Content similar to what you’ve previously engaged with
- Content with high engagement
- Content from accounts similar to those you follow
What are the best ways to get on the Instagram Search Explore page?
There are a few things you can do to increase your likelihood of appearing on the page. Some of the most beneficial are:
- First, know your audience. Know who they are, what things interest them, and what kind of accounts they follow. These insights will let you know the kind of content that’s already appearing on their explore page so you can better emulate it.
- Use relevant hashtags. According to TrackMaven, posts with nine hashtags have the best engagement.
- Add a location tag
- Publish your posts when your target audience is most active
- Use Instagram Live
How do I select the best hashtags?
One of the best ways to find the most relevant is through Instagram itself. In Instagram Search, enter a search and select “tags”. Instagram will then show results of hashtags related to the word or phrase you searched for, and the number of tags for each one. From that list, you can select the hashtags best for your business. It’s usually best to avoid the most and least popular hashtags (unless you operate in a very specific niche).
Does more engagement make your posts more likely to appear in Instagram search?
Yes. The more likes and comments your post has, the more likely it is to appear on the page. As such, you should do everything you can to boost post engagement, so focus on creating valuable posts and tag all companies and products involved with it.
What are some of the most important metrics for Instagram search?
When it comes to Instagram search analytics are important. You’ll want to pay special attention to:
- Comments – this will tell you how engaged your users are with your posts
- Follower growth rate – tells you the overall growth of your channel
- Timing – tells you when your posts perform the best
- Engaged hashtags – tells you the best hashtags to use
- “The All-New Search and Explore: See the World as It Happens” Instagram Blog
- “Search and Explore” Instagram Help Center
- “Instagram Tips: Using Hashtags” Instagram Blog
- “5 Insightful Instagram Statistices that You Should Know” Social Sprout
- “When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?” Tech Times