How to Hack the Instagram Explore Page
The Instagram Explore page is a unique page for every Instagram user. The algorithm uses your past history to determine what to display there. It’s a content discovery area where you can see content Instagram thinks you may be interested in based on the content you’ve liked and the users you’ve followed in the past. (Image Credit: Later.com)
For a business Instagram user who’s trying to grow their following, getting on the Instagram Explore page is the equivalent of going viral. Landing your content there will definitely increase your exposure. Both photos and videos have the potential to end up there. But, sadly, there’s no exact science to it.
According to ViralRace, one of the best ways to get more Instagram followers is to aim for the Instagram Explore page with each post you make. Though it won’t happen every time, and it may take a while for it happen at all, it’s important that’s your goal every time, so you can have the best possible chance of success. Here’s how to get it done.
1. Post High-Quality Content
If you want to get the Instagram algorithm’s attention, the first thing you have to do is make sure you’re posting quality content. This means taking the time to plan the images you share to make sure they are the kind of thing your audience wants to see.
It also means paying attention to what makes a photo good, the filters you use, and the aesthetics of your overall feed. If you need some inspiration, take a look at your competitors Instagram accounts. Pay attention to the posts that have high engagement levels, and look for common threads. Do they use the same color scheme? Do they feature people? What hashtags are used?
2. Pay Attention to Your Posting Time
Instagram wants to promote content that people are engaging with, so the more engagement you can get in the short period of time after you post the photo or video, the better. This means taking a deeper dive into your Instagram Insights to look at your audience. There, you’ll be able to see the times of day, and the days of the week they are most active.
If you schedule your content to go live at these times, chances dramatically increase that your followers will like and comment on it. If they’re not online when it goes live, you’ll be relying solely on hashtag exposure. While that’s okay, it decreases the likelihood that it will be enough engagement to signal the algorithm that your content is worthy of the Explore page.
3. Share Your Post with Your Instagram Pod
If you don’t participate in one, you should try to find an Instagram Pod to join as soon as possible. Instagram Pods are groups of 10 to 15 people who work to promote each other’s content. When someone in the pod posts a new photo or video, they send it to everyone else in the pod by direct message, or in the case of larger pods, some other messaging platform.
Then, everyone in the pod goes to engage with the content – either with a like, a comment, or both. It’s a give and take, but it only takes a few minutes of your time, and because everyone in the pod is in a related niche, the activity looks natural and boosts everyone’s Instagram followers.
4. Use Hashtags That Get Attention
Hashtags are the way content is cataloged on Instagram, and can exposure your photos and videos to a new audience. You can use a total of 30 on every post, so choosing the ones that will get you traffic and attention to boost that engagement are the key to increasing your chances of landing on the explore page.
For best results, you should do research about hashtags ahead of time. Instagram bans hashtags, some seemingly harmless, (#books, #dogsofinstagram, and #goddess, for instance) because of their overuse by spammers. But it’s also important to make sure you understand what the hashtag actually means and is used for so you don’t accidentally associate your brand with something you don’t want to be part of. There’s a handful of Instagram tools that tell you what hashtags perform best as well.
If there aren’t a lot of posts there, it’s a good indication that there’s not enough traction to get you any real results. But on the other hand, if there are too many posts, the hashtag could be used so much that your photo or video disappears within seconds after it’s added to the feed, also yielding you no real result.
Vary your hashtags from time to time, keeping a nice mix of general hashtags, niche-specific hashtags, and branded hashtags. While the branded hashtags may not do much in the way of engagement for the Explore page (unless you’re already well established), they are still good to have for community building and brand awareness.
5. Rinse and Repeat
Use this approach with every single post you make on Instagram, and you’ll eventually hit the sweet spot that takes to get on the Explore Page. You can’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away because the algorithms only allow for so many posts on the explore page at any given time.
While we wish there was a surefire step-by-step process you could take to guarantee your spot on the Instagram Explore page, this isn’t the case. If there was, then everyone would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be a valuable feature for users. But, by following these guidelines, you’re far ahead of anyone who is using a random approach.