Social Media Strategist, Business Nitrogen
“Ugh *face palm* what can I do to make my post go viral?” — you before reading this post.
Sound familiar? I thought so. We all have this thought at some point.
Instagram’s Explore page is THE place to be featured if you want real engagement. Wired calls the Explore page “the most honest place on the Internet.”
There aren’t any bots or fake followers that will get you there.
It’s individually tailored to each person and let me share a secret… You CAN’T just post and hope your post was The One.
But there is a secret Instagram Explore Page ALGORITHM that you need to understand!
There is a science and craft that you can discover to beat the algorithm.
The first thing? You’re going to have to create content that really stands out.
“HOW do I do that?!” — you right now
We talked about some awesome ways to make that content here.
Today we’re going to dive deeper, to understand the science behind the Explore Page.
The Explore page content varies for everyone and is tailored to IG’s algorithm which has figured out what you like to see.
That means we might be sitting next to each other and my page has a bunch of Bachelorette posts and food and yours might have cars and animals.
Here’s a snapshot of what my Explorer Page looks like right now:
So… how does the Explore page work? Although we don’t know the exact formula, we do know that it’s a combination of posts you’ve liked or commented on, accounts similar to the ones you follow, and posts that use hashtags similar to yours.
This is GREAT NEWS for you, my amazing brand/small business, looking to get discovered by your prime demo while just being you! Also, it is not just what you post on your wall, all of your Stories can be found in the same way. Told ya this is great!
Wired said, this is the last place on social media where what you see is what you get and your potential fans and customers know that.
The goal with your brand/business is to get your fans to know, like and trust you. Once they trust you, they become your customer. So, how do you get them to even know you?
The Explore Page.
Use the “location” button on your stories. Sometimes, it can get added to a location story for the day. This means when someone searches their hometown of say, “NYC” or “Bali” (where they have traveled)… it includes those Stories in the highlight reel.
You can also tag a smaller neighborhood in a larger city too and still be added.But there are other ways to make it on Instagram’s Explore Page.
Instagram collects a ton of data in order to keep people on their platform as long as possible and to consistently give them new content based off on tags (which means it’s using that data to get you on Explore).Want another hack? You can take inspiration from the types of content that appear on your own Explore page (and give it your own spin). You’ll see a large mix of videos and images.
Check out how to reverse engineer this strategy and make yourself irresistible to potential collaborators here. This process is a win-win on so many levels.
This can be one of the best ways to find yourself on the Explore Page. Of course it’s a lot of work but try to engage with every single comment on every post. That way, your community will feel that you value their time and the connection you’re making.The first 30 minutes after posting is the most crucial.
Give people a good reason to comment and engage!
You don’t want to miss a chance to have a call-to-action (CTA) in ALL of your captions to encourage your followers to have a meaningful or important discussion.
@juliealedbetter does a great job of this.
I saw her on the Explore Page and if you check her out, she asks in all of her posts to TAG a friend. Julie’s 300 comments on just one post tells you how well that’s working!
Your Instagram Business Account tells you when people interact the most. I also just polled my audience in my Instagram stories.
I also love the When To Post App which gives you multiple times.
The Instagram algorithm goal is to keep people on the platform for as long as possible. So, if your post is quickly getting likes and comments… it will show that specific post to more of your audience in hopes they’ll stay on Instagram longer.
Gary V. does this with his #60secondclub which gives away free items like his wine or shoes when you post within the first minute.
He also gives great CTAs like we talked about above. Here’s one:
Your engagement will likely skyrocket!
Before you make the Explore page, maybe you typically get 150 likes per picture or video. Suddenly, some posts will shoot to, let’s say, 600 or more and from a lot of new people.
Below is a picture from my Instagram that got around 4x more likes than normal. This hints to me that it made the Explore page.
And it’s not limited to likes, take a look at your comments. Say you start getting lots of comments from people who don’t follow you, guess what? You made it (most likely)!
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Explore page is NOT impossible and it offers you a FREE opportunity for massive exposure! So go grab some for your brand!