Before the introduction of the Explorer page, there was a page called Discovery on Instagram that showed you the most liked content, but the problem with Discovery was that it was not personalized based on the user’s interest. After that, Instagram decided to name this page Explore, whose content is different for each user and is personalized based on their interests. Instagram Explorer page consists of photos, videos, and stories based on your interest and search. Instagram uses three models to display posts in Explorer:
- Posts liked by your followers.
- Posts with high engagement.
- Showing posts similar to the content of the pages you follow.
Instagram Explorer can be considered the most honest page because it treats you exactly as you treat Instagram. Since the beginning of 2019, Instagram added a feature to explore, so that there are different categories at the top of this page, and the user can find specific posts on the same topic in each category.
These categories include three main topics:
- IGTV: Types of long videos (more than one minute). If you enter this section in Explorer, you will see both the IGTVs of those you have followed and the most visited IGTVs you have not followed.
- Shop: In this section, you can see posts from different brand accounts in which at least one product is on sale. In the upper right part of the screen, there is a ribbon-like icon where you can see the products you have saved, and next to it, there is another icon that shows you the brands you have followed.
- Topic Channel: In this section, you can see different topics, click on each one and you will enter the posts related to that topic. For example, there are categories such as nature, travel, fashion, food, beauty and care, science and technology, etc.
- Stories: Of course, stories do not have a separate place in the above category at the moment, but they are automatically displayed in Explorer on the left side of the page, and if you click on them, a series of similar stories will be displayed to you.
Table of Contents
Benefits of logging into Instagram Explorer
Simply put, entering Instagram Explorer means more visits to your post by people who haven’t followed you yet. Therefore, entering Explorer has the following advantages:
- More engagement: since more people other than your followers see the post, even if they don’t follow you, the probability of them liking or commenting on you increases, which means more engagement, and as a result, the post is shown to more people.
- Attracting followers: many people may like your content after seeing a post of yours that went to Explorer entered your page and followed you.
- Brand awareness: Brand awareness is very important, especially for start-up businesses.
- So entering Explorer even if it doesn’t have any other advantages for you (which it does), it will make you be seen by more people and stay better in the audience’s mind.
- More conversion: If you have embedded the appropriate call to action in the post that enters the explorer, you will increase the customer or lead for yourself.
- In general, it is very important to know that the algorithm behind Explorer automatically selects posts for you, and this is not done manually. So you are dealing with a computer program that you can beat if you figure out how it works.
Here it is not bad to hear a word from Instagram itself:
“The order of photos and videos on your feed page is displayed to you based on the content you like, and there are two very important factors in this case: one is the interaction you have with the posts of an account and the other is the time the post is published. All posts will be placed in your feed but in a different order. We are always looking to optimize the order in which posts are displayed to you in the best possible way.”
8 tricks to enter Instagram Explorer
Identify the behavior of your target audience
Instagram shows content in Explorer to the audience that is most suitable for their interest. This one sentence is enough to understand the importance of knowing your audience. Relevance is one of those factors that Instagram algorithms pay a lot of attention to. Instagram knows well if a user likes certain content. For example, if a user’s interest is in the field of sports videos, most of the posts in his Instagram Explorer are probably related to sports.
So, the first step towards entering Explorer is to take a special field for yourself, get to know your audience, and try to understand what kind of content they like the most and what kind of users they like to be displayed in Explorer. To start, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What content do you like the most?
- What pages does he follow?
- What posts does it publish?
Even if you take a look at your explorer right now, you can find out what kind of posts are being made by active pages in your field of interest. Take a look at the comments to find out what is the concerns and challenges of your audience. Who are the active influencers in your target market? The answer to these questions will help you in knowing the audience and as a result producing suitable content.
Use popular hashtags and appropriate tags to be seen more
One of the most important issues that should be considered for the post to be seen more and as a result more followers and likes is the use of hashtags. Using hashtags will expose your content to more people. Interestingly, brands that use at least one hashtag have a 12.6% higher engagement rate than those that don’t. So don’t forget to use more general hashtags in addition to your brand hashtags to make sure that your post is seen by people other than your followers.
Although the allowed amount of hashtags is 30 per post, in general, the average number of 11 hashtags per post can be suitable for most businesses. Of course, depending on the error test you make with the number of hashtags, after a while you will find the right amount to use it yourself.
Try to interact with other brands and tag them on your content. This gives you the following benefits:
- The desired brand that you tagged will like your post, and as a result, the probability of showing your post to the followers of that brand will increase.
- Your post may be so well-tagged that the brand reposts it, earning you new followers.
Another type of tag is the location tag, which is especially helpful for local businesses. Anyway, hashtags and tags are features that Instagram has provided for free, so try to expose yourself to more by using them properly.
Find the best time to post for yourself
As we checked at the beginning of the discussion, we saw that if we know the algorithms of Instagram, we can solve them in our way. One of the factors in prioritizing the display of posts to the audience is the publication time of the post. Posting during high-traffic times increases the likelihood of engagement with your post. What time of day is suitable for posting depends entirely on the type of your business.
Many analytics tools like Hootsuite show you real numbers when your post is most visible and the audience is online the most. Even if the online time of the contacts does not match your online time, you can use the post setting tools and choose the right time to publish the post so that the post is automatically determined at that time.
Take advantage of IGTV
IGTV is a type of video longer than one minute on Instagram, which happens to have its place in Explorer. IGTV is a very good opportunity for content producers, if we want to make a comparison to one-minute videos, IGTV use, although it is growing, is less used by users. This point shows that the competition for IGTV placement in Explorer is less, and as a result, if you have creative ideas for IGTV videos, you will enter Explorer faster and you can grow faster.
Use video stories
There is a lot of debate about exactly what kind of stories Instagram displays in Explorer, but according to experience, Instagram’s preference and prioritization for displaying stories in Explorer includes the following features:
- Due to the Autoplay (automatic playback) of the story section, Instagram’s tendency is more toward video stories, and if you take a look at your Explorer, you will notice that fewer still photos are displayed in the story section.
- Explorer stories have more visual beauty than text and writing.
- The content of the stories is usually similar to your area of interest and the accounts you follow.
Encourage your followers to turn on your post notifications
In addition to the fact that a high engagement rate is essential for any account, it is very important when this engagement takes place. It means that the sooner you get likes and comments from the time you publish a post, the better. Instagram accounts that receive a large amount of likes and comments within a short time as soon as the post is published are more likely to enter Instagram Explorer. One of the tactics that can strengthen this issue is to ask your contacts to activate the notification of your posts so that when a post of yours is published, they will be notified immediately and they will know about your post. With this, you will reach a high volume of interaction in a short period. There are even many influencers and bloggers who have dedicated separate posts to teaching the audience to enable notifications to increase their engagement.
One of the creative things in this field was done by Gary V., a popular Instagram influencer, who created a club called the 60-second club, in which people who comment on each post in the first 60 seconds of its publication are drawn by lottery. And they are awarded prizes. Of course, being informed about the post in the first 60 seconds is only for those who have activated the notification of his posts. There are many ways that with a little creativity, you can encourage your audience to engage more.
Put a call to action (CTA) in the caption
Never underestimate the power of captions, especially when it comes to calls to action. The caption of each post is where the audience looks for your words and explanations. Do not leave any post without a caption and try to persuade the audience to do what you want in the caption.
For example, ask the audience questions, ask for their opinion, and in general encourage the audience to do what you want for you. You may have come across many posts where at the end of the photo or caption, you are asked to like it by double-tapping the photo, or you are directly asked a question and asked to answer it in the comment. These actions are exact examples of CTAs that increase engagement.
Have maximum interaction with your audience
Gone are the days of posting a photo of your food without a caption and getting hundreds of likes and comments and not responding to any of them. The audience has become smarter in social networks and is looking for intimacy and building a close relationship, and when they come across a lifeless page, they pass it by. So you are the one who has to keep the audience engaged. Responding to the comments and direct messages of the contacts, which increases the interaction rate, not only makes Instagram like you and explore you but also makes the audience loyal to you. This is where your audience will look at you not through the eyes of a page but through the eyes of a friend.
Don’t forget that comments are always more valuable than likes, so to keep the audience engaged, try to make them leave comments and talk to you instead of complaining about not liking them. The higher the engagement rate of your page, the more valuable Instagram considers your page, and as a result, it becomes easier for you to enter Explorer.
Encourage influencers and brands to interact with your page
In the previous cases, we said to tag the brands that are related to you to be seen more, but the point is that if these taggings are excessive, you may be recognized as spam, and if you are recognized as spam, you will spend a lot of time. You have to spend to set the record straight. A better solution is to use other methods besides tagging to present yourself and try to build long-term relationships with those who have something to say in your industry. You can start with the following methods:
- Follow them (without expecting a follow-up)
- Introduce yourself and connect with them directly.
- Send them the content you’ve created via direct mail or email and explain why your post is worth paying attention to.
- Mention a product that you have used and were satisfied with from a brand related to your industry in your stories. (The probability that they will share your story on their page will increase)
Ask the audience to save your post
When the name of interaction on Instagram is mentioned, everyone’s mind goes to likes and comments, but these are not the only methods of interaction, and the Instagram algorithm focuses on two other things:
Post subscription via Direct for friends
To be able to use the above two features, you need to produce targeted content. Naturally, users save educational posts more so that they can watch them again later. So, even with a small training, you can increase the chances of your interaction. Or you can use common phrases and expressions. For example, you may have seen a post that shows a picture of pristine nature and probably wrote in the caption “Send this post to a friend with whom you want to go to this nature”. With a little creativity, you can encourage and engage more with your audience.
Get ideas from posts in Explorer
Perhaps the best way to get it experimentally is to take a spin in your explorer. Probably, your explorer is also related to your field of interest or activity, and paying attention to its posts can bring you many ideas.
For example, you may see a post in Explorer that is not related to your interest. In this case, it can be said that the post probably had so much interaction that it was able to enter your explorer, so there was an interesting idea behind it. Pay attention to themes, formats, tone of captions, type of ideas, etc. See what made the content valuable and use it intelligently.
Take a look at yourself
And finally, it is very important to measure yourself. You are your own best competitor. Scroll up and down your posts a bit take a look at the statistics of likes, and comments, and save posts. If you use analysis tools, your work will be very easy. See which posts are more liked by your audience, for example, did the audience like your boomerangs or your carousels more? Did he like your funny tone or your serious tone?
In the same way, find your posts that have generated more interaction try to do more of your content, and make changes in your content production strategy.
How do I know I entered Explorer?
The fact is that when you enter Explorer, you will not be sent a special notification that directly mentions that you have been seen in Explorer. But it can be understood by analysis tools or even with a simple look at statistics.
Consider your last 30 posts. What is the average number of likes and comments? What is its minimum and maximum?
For example, suppose you had an average of 400 likes per post. If your content has been entered into Explorer, in the best case, you may have received twice this number, i.e. 800 likes, and if your content is weak, you may have received about 120 to 150 more likes than the number of 400. Of course, these numbers are completely approximate and relative and are completely different for each page. Another way is to look at the comments. If you have received more comments than usual or if you have received comments from those who are not your followers at all, you should say: congratulations. You are logged in to Explore.