Written by Lisa Kalner Williams

July 1, 2015 at 9:26 am

Instagram Explore: Why It’s Good for Social Media Managers

Instagram Explore (AKA the search tab on Instagram) has just been completely revamped. And it’s awesome! Learn how you can make the most of this improved search on Instagram.

1. Learn what’s trending to make more timely Instagram posts. The home screen of Instagram Explore gives you the hottest hashtags on Instagram. And being that Instagram is a visual-first platform, it adds visual cues to these hashtags. On Twitter, I’d have no idea what #uswnt means — but on Instagram, the image gives me a clue.

instagram search

Ah, it’s U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team! With just a tap, I see more Instagram posts tagged with #uswnt.

Instagram Explore Popular and Recent Hashtags

As a social media manager, you should peruse the images you see in these “popular” and “recent” streams. Can you post something relevant here using the hashtag #uswnt? If your brand is about health, determination, strength, or women in athletics, you certainly can (and should). Adding timely posts not will not only add diversity to your “in the queue” posts, but it will also give you a chance of being seen in a highly visible hashtag stream.

2. Use geolocation to spot more user generated content. Instagram Explore never had an option to search posts by location — until now. If you’re a brick and mortar store, this is a great opportunity to find posts that other Instagram users have taken of your location.

Screengrab of Instagram Explore Geolocation Places

This search functionality allows you to interact with the creators of this user generated content — potentially for a repost on your own Instagram account — and to build relationships with these Instagram users for future business.

3. Find new followers with better social context. Swipe the top carousel in Instagram Explore until you land on “Discover New People.” Then get ready to follow Instagram users who might actually want to interact with your business!

This search path will show you Instagram users who

    • o

    • you follow or like on Facebook


    • you have in your uploaded contacts


    • follow you (but you haven’t followed back)


  • are liked by your followers


With a tap of the “follow” button, you’ll be connected to people who know you OR can potentially learn about you through a mutual connection.

4. Consider this increased visibility your wakeup call. Thanks to this latest iteration of Instagram Explore, your Instagram posts can now additionally be seen with trending tags, geolocation (places), socially relevant people searches, and gallery topics. With more eyes on you, you better make sure you look good!

If you’re a brick and mortar location, get your store looking Instagram ready. If you want images from your location to look good, the onus is on you, not the users’ mobile phone. Make your food look more attractive. Shovel your parking lot with more care. If you’re a social media manager that can’t control the food or snow shovelling, suggest approaches to focus Instagram users’ posts on a particularly fun area of your building — think “selfie stand.”

This “look better” idea also applies to the posts you put on Instagram. Consider the mobile nature of your Instagram followers as you create your images. Pay more attention to what ranks in the “popular” sections of hashtags you use and be inspired by what you see there.

How will the Explore tab help you better market on Instagram?

Lisa Kalner Williams

Lisa Kalner Williams is the Lead Social Media Strategist for Sierra Tierra Marketing and the Content Marketing Director for Agorapulse. You might see her speaking across the country on how to better market using Instagram.

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