In early July, Instagram released two new and exciting updates that, in their own words, makes it easier to “connect to the world as it happens.” The new ‘Search & Explore’ feature showcases Trending Tags, an Explore & Discover rotating banner, and additional recommended Explore Posts. These posts are customized recommendations based on who you follow, what you hashtag, your recent locations, and what is trending at that point in time. Search became easier, too! Users are able to search by top, people, tags, and places.
To find these new features, users can click on the little magnifying glass at the bottom of their smartphone (second button from the left). These upgrades are able to expand if you click on “see all.” By customizing posts to their target audience, businesses can benefit from these new features.
Not only do these upgrades benefit business, as we will get into shortly, but the new features are extraordinary for the typical ‘Instagrammer’. Now, it is easier for users to connect to the world, which in return makes it easier for businesses to connect to consumers. In other words, businesses on Instagram can more effectively market themselves to their target audience in a new, resourceful way.
If publicity is what your business needs, the Discover People feature is very beneficial. By following similar accounts and engaging in activities with those profiles, you can create exposure for your business. Also, check out these similar accounts’ followers and expand your network socially by liking or commenting on their photos. This will only allow your brand to grow and could even create a co-brand fusion.
Trending Places is another way to get your business on the map. Say your city is trending for instance or you are visiting a trending city/location, you are able to Instagram a photo and tag the location. This will allow your photo to appear on the Trending Places page. Places are also usually hashtagged, which is another plus for businesses, since your business or surrounding location can be tagged and hashtagged at the same time. This kills two birds with one stone, giving double the chances for exposure. Hashtags can also be used along with ‘location tags’ on photos, which can increase exposure. While searching ‘places’, your business can also build awareness in a certain place, since you are able to search specific locations. ‘Places’ and ‘location tags’ can help your audience grow, however in order to take advantage of this, you have to be willing to engage in the ‘top posts’ by liking or commenting on these photos.
If you want to get your businesses’ photos noticed, you will need to use #hashtags. Trending tags populate in real time, so whatever is trending that day will be the first to surface. This week, #nationaljunkfoodday was trending and Instagram was filled with delicious treats. Posts ranged from pets posing with junk food to news broadcasters. If your business would be willing to post a “trend,” it could increase the amount of exposure and show the humorous side of your business! If you are unsure of what to post on your businesses’ Instagram and what hashtags to use (correct spelling, nicknames, and different variation of words/phrases), the new Search feature is something to take advantage of. You are able to search for the ‘location tag’ and hashtags that are the most popular and will be the most engaging. With efficient location tags and hashtags, you should see more traffic on your Instagram profile and posts. These new Instagram ‘Search & Explore’ features can are really market your business if you utilize them the right way.