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How to get on the Instagram Explore page

This article that the JC Sweet & Co. team found on Hootsuite talks about the benefits of getting on Instagram’s Explore page with seven tips on how to do it.

How to get on the Instagram Explore page

This is simple: landing a post on the Instagram Explore page means more people will see your content. Accordingly, the benefits may or may not include:

  • An engagement spike on the post or Story that made it to Explore, as your content gets surfaced to a wider audience than your followers;
  • A bump in new followers (those that like your post enough to check out your profile and are impressed by your amazing bio, highlight covers, etc.);
  • Residual increased engagement going forward (from those new followers);
  • More conversions (if you have the right call-to-action ready for all those fresh eyeballs).

Convinced? Let’s take a look at how to make it happen.

1. Post when your followers are looking

This is our number one tip because it’s the easiest win. Instagram algorithm prioritizes timeliness (a.k.a. recency), which means if your post is brand new it will be shown to more of your followers. And earning high engagement with your own followers is the first step towards getting a spot on the Explore page.

Pro tip: If your audience is online when you’re not, an Instagram scheduler is truly your best bet.

2. Learn from high-performing posts that you see on the Explore page

If you’re already following accounts that are relevant to your industry and your audience, your own Explore page should have plenty of insights for you as to what the algorithm is noticing. And what your prospective audience likes.

Because, even though Instagram isn’t showing like counts anymore, you can still get a sense of what’s working for other brands just by seeing what the algorithm promotes. In other words: if a post shows up on your Explore page that has absolutely nothing to do with your interests, you can probably bet that it has killer engagement.

So go ahead and do some low-key recon—or high-key social listening—to break down themes, aesthetics, formats, and value propositions of the posts that you wish you’d posted.

3. Pay attention to analytics

Take a look at what you’re doing that’s already resonating with your audience. You may find that they like your boomerangs more than your carousels, or that they like your jokes better than your inspirational quotes.

If you can get your own audience tapping hearts and leaving comments consistently, their engagement will help propel you to the Explore page.

4. Post visually compelling Stories that are representative of your brand

Not everyone is seeing Stories on Explore yet, but we can only imagine it will roll out quickly. You’re going to want to optimize your Stories for discovery. But how?

According to Tech Crunch’s interview with Will Ruben, a Product Lead for Discovery at Instagram, the Instagram algorithm has some specific preferences when it comes to bumping Stories up onto the Explore page.

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