The Explore page on Instagram got revamped. Here’s how to show up there…

The Instagram Explore page has always been one of the most coveted social media spots. It’s the place that new followers can find you when they search for hashtags, for example. Showing up there is key to growing quickly!

Now that it’s been revamped, it’s even more desirable. But what is it exactly? And how do you get on the new Instagram Explore page?

What is the Explore page – and how can it help my social media marketing?

Basically, the Explore page is a place to peruse content that isn’t just from accounts you follow. It’s a great way to find new accounts to follow – or just find an interesting post or two. In the past, the Explore page was pretty general. That meant that you could spend a long time skimming through without finding anything you were interested in. It was one of the most general aspects of any social media platform.

That’s why Instagram just overhauled the whole Explore system! Now, your Explore page is personalized to each user. It’s made to help people find new content they, personally, would enjoy.

So how does Instagram decide what you might want to see?

Like most social media platforms, it uses an algorithm that factors in what you look at, search for, comment on and like. Instagram then uses that to decide what else you might be interested in. This also means that your Explore page will always be evolving as you engage with Instagram.  

How do I get my social media content to appear on Instagram’s Explore page?

Since the Explore page is a major way for potential followers to find brands like yours, it is important to get content on there. In order to do that, follow these simple steps.

One: Check to see if you already have content on the Explore page

You may have had content hit the Explore page without you even realizing it. So before you worry about trying to get on the page, check out your “Insights” tab. That’ll tell you if you’ve hit the Explore page and, if so, how your posts have done.

Two: Stick to your aesthetic in your Stories

Stories have a better chance of making it to the Explore page if they match the aesthetic in the rest of your content. So if you use rose gold and grey in your photos, don’t then use lime green in your Stories.

Three: Post at the best times

Your followers have times when they engage the most and are the most responsive – and you need to figure out when those times are.

Look to see when you get the most likes and comments. Experiment with posting at different times to see how quick the response is. Then, once you know the times when you get the most engagement the fastest, post at those times.

Or, switch to a Business Profile and check your Instagram Insights.

When content gets a spike in engagement quickly, it’s more likely to get put on the Explore page.

Four: Tag products

There are a number of categories on the Explore page. One of those categories is a marketplace for online shopping. When you tag products, you can get added there. So get tagging!

Five: Make more videos and IGTV content

Videos and IGTV content also have their own tabs – and they are both in high demand! If you want to get on the Explore sight, give Instagram what it’s looking for. Don’t have videos to share? Add movement to your photos or create a video that switches from photo to photo.

Six: Connect with other accounts

When there are companies that are complementary to yours, tag them when appropriate! For example, if you run a cafe, think about taking a photo of beans you have for sale and tagging your roaster. Then they will hopefully cross-promote, helping everyone get more followers.

Seven: Use hashtags

Hashtags – the right ones, at least – are key to Instagram success. Make sure you are consistently using the strongest hashtags for your business. You can test this for yourself, or work with a professional to find the best hashtags for your posts.

Debunked: Instagram algorithm myths you’ve probably heard

Lately, there have been a lot of Instagram algorithm myths that have worried businesses. Here are the myths and the truths behind the “algorithm” that determines your brand’s success on Instagram.

Five social media myths about Instagram algorithms

One: You must post every day

This is one of the biggest social media myths. While many articles will recommend that you post daily or even twice daily, that may not always be the case. Posting more often can help with you need to grow your following, but recently, our crew at Legendary has noticed that posting too often may cannibalize the engagement you would have received on past posts. So if you’re looking for higher engagement, though, posting daily may actually be a negative, swamping your followers and discouraging them from liking and commenting on your posts.

The social media scheduling app Later has a great article that breaks it all down.

So what do you do? Test what works for your account. If your followers engage with daily posts, great! If not, try posting every 2-3 days so you get better engagement on each post.

Two: If a user swipes past one of your Instagram Stories, they won’t see your future posts

This myth circulated on Instagram, warning users not to swipe past Stories unless they never wanted to see posts from the creator again.
Of course, that isn’t true! But it did worry brands into thinking that if they didn’t have amazing, engaging Stories every single day, followers would flip past them and then never see content again.

Real deal? Stories gauge interest based on likes, comments, etc. But if someone swipes past a video, your content isn’t going to be hidden forever. So don’t stress about every one of your Stories being “perfect”. It’s more important to just be authentic and share so the right audience can find you.

Three: Comments only count if they’re over three words

There is a popular rumour that Instagram’s algorithms only count comments over 3 words. Again, not true: Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t look at length, it just looks at genuine engagement. If you’re finding that you’re not getting the attention and engagement you want, here are a few things to try:

  • Ask questions
  • Run a contest or giveaway
  • Sharing personal stories that followers can connect with

So you can stop worrying about word counts and start focusing on the social part of your social media.

Four: Swapping to a business profile will damage your standing in the algorithm

At one point, there was the belief that individual profiles got more attention than business profiles. That made companies reluctant to have a business profile. Again, no need to worry! Instagram doesn’t prioritize individuals or businesses. They are given equal weight in the algorithm.

Just choose the appropriate profile and get posting!

Five: Instagram’s algorithm hides posts  

Another huge myth is that Instagram hides posts. For a while, a ton of businesses were sharing posts asking followers to like or comment on posts so future content wouldn’t be hidden.
Instagram’s algorithm decides what content is shown first and what content is pushed down further – it doesn’t hide content per se.

So just post what works for you and focus on engaging naturally with your followers!