Last month, Instagram rolled out two major improvements to the Search and Explore functions of its app; changes that confirm its ambitions to truly compete with rivals like Twitter. In a nutshell:
The upgraded Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real-time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe. Meanwhile, the Search function now features a Places tab, which allows you to search for any location on Earth to find and interact with photos and videos that have been tagged there. On a related note, the new Top Search tab will return all the most popular content from any particular location.
What does this all mean for business?
Making the most of location-based tactics to engage with others and attract followers and customers is more important than ever. Here are 3 ways to help you do that:
1. Use Discover People to build relationships and boost exposure
The Discover People feature will suggest, people and places based on your previous Instagram activity. Use these curated results to follow and engage with potential customers, related businesses, and anyone else who might be interested in what you have to offer. Once they've noticed your effort to interact with their activity, hopefully they'll take the opportunity to look at yours. A simple and effective way to improve the discoverability of your profile.
2. Discover trending hashtags to incorporate into your posts
When you search for hashtags, Instagram will display the most popular related hastags into the Top section of search. Before you publish a photo or video, why not check out what's trending globally or locally, then add it to your caption for a potential bump in exposure?
3. Use Places search to scope out a geographic area
If your aim is to target an audience within a specific geographic area, then the Places search tab can help you do that. As well as providing you the opportunity to engage with the Top and Most Recent posts from the location, use what you see as inspiration for publishing the type of content popular with people in the area. A stunning landscape shot, a unique take on a popular landmark, a subtle nod to your business and what it offers, etc.
Over to you
Have you taken advantage of Instagram's new Explore and Search tools? What kind of results have you noticed? Let me know in the comments below!