Follow these steps to get featured on the Explore Tab and grow your Instagram following
Since its inception, Instagram has been the top social network for sharing and discovering visual content. The Explore Tab within the Instagram app is one of the main avenues leading this discovery of great content and Instagrammers. The Explore Tab works to surface relevant content to you so working to be included in the Explore Tabs of your fans and customers should be a top goal of your social media marketing efforts. These actions will help you build a presence with a new audience leading to your account gaining more followers.
About the Explore Tab
Before it became the Explore Tab, the ‘Popular Page’ was designed as a way to show the most popular content on Instagram. This surfaced the most liked and commented posts shared on the network. It was common for the Popular Page to feature content from top ‘grammers such as Justin Bieber and other well-known celebrities. It was great for accounts who had a large following but it was difficult for the average Instagrammer to be discovered and it certainly wasn’t the best way to find content tailored to your specific interests.
Now the Explore Tab shows you content of relevance to you. The updated Explore Tab is now personalized making the content shown unique to each Instagrammer. Rather than just the most popular content globally, it surfaces the most popular posts specific to your geographic area and to the people you follow. The Explore Tab now does a great job of exposing content to people who previously wouldn’t have seen it. When your followers like a post you’ve shared it’s now possible for that post to be seen in their follower’s Explore Tab. This creates an environment for increased relevancy in the content discovery process giving you the best (if not only) way to gain viral reach with the content you’re sharing on Instagram.
For me personally, a lot of the content I interact with on Instagram is mostly related to the local Columbus food and beer scene. And you can see Instagram does a terrific job of surfacing content relevant to my interests (Immediately followed this account after discovering it).
Making your content discoverable
Since the Explore Tab serves the purpose of surfacing content that’s relevant to each Instagrammer, your top priority is to make content relevant to your target consumer. This happens from posting captivating content which they want to see while driving engagement from them. This means your engagement needs to focus on not just gaining a lot of interactions but rather gaining the right interactions. Being featured on the Explore Tab is what happens from following the right practices with your Instagram marketing so we’ve outlined the steps you need to follow to be featured.
1. Know your target consumer
The first step to getting your content discovered on Instagram is knowing who you want your content to be discovered by. Analyze the content being shared by your community with tools like SEEN Insights to understand who your audience is and the themes surrounding their sharing. This will give you an idea of what interests them and what styles you should be sharing with to increase engagement.
2. Know your moments
The second step is to understand your brand’s moments. This step is closely tied with understanding your community. With the consumer analysis you looked out at your community to understand what they’re sharing, now you’ll gain an analyze what you’re sharing to see how those posts are performing. You know your business but do you know how your community is interacting with it? Look at the Relative Engagement of all the posts you’ve shared and you’ll begin to spot patterns in the types of posts that perform better than others. These are the types of posts you’ll want to be sharing more frequently to drive the engagement that will lead you to the Explore Tab.
3. Create great content
Apply these lessons to share captivating content. By knowing what content your community is sharing and which of your posts create the most engagement, you can begin to predict and replicate the success of your posts. Each of your posts should match the themes that your community shares with while still following the patterns you identified which create the most engagement. It’s difficult to be featured on the Explore Tab without good content to be featured. Along with the photo itself, include thoughtful captions with targeted hashtags to these posts to help spread their reach. We provide lots of tips on best practices for posting. Subscribe to our blog to learn more!
4. Engage the right people
Understanding who your community is and what they like will help you with the next step of interacting with your community. One of the most important factors Instagram looks at to determine relevancy are the interactions that link different Instagrammers. Like and comment on your community’s posts to build a common bridge between you and establish the relevancy for your content to be discovered by their followers. Additionally, inspire conversations and interactions on your posts to continue in the efforts of building the relevancy for your content.
5. Know what works
Know what works. It’s hard to execute these steps flawless the first time. It takes practice and the regular right actions to be featured in the Explore Tab. Constantly measure your efforts to know what’s working with your posting and interacting. Rinse and repeat each of these steps to gain more followers on Instagram.
Bonus tip: Grow your awareness with targeted influencers
To get your brand featured in the Explore Tabs of your target audience you can leverage influencers on Instagram who have a proven track record of engaging these individuals. The influencers like those found in the Snapfluence network already interacting with them and having their content discovered so take advantage of this opportunity for authentic promotion.
These practices and steps will help you get your content discovered by your target community in the Instagram Explore Tab. Getting this exposure will lead to more followers and to learn more best practice to growing your Instagram following enroll in our free course!