Known for rolling out algorithms, makeovers and new features on a regular basis, Instagram (the Gok Wan of the social media landscape) has finally got it right. Well, for brands anyway.
Last month, Instagram introduced the new explore page to select users and has since rolled it out to everyone. The new page sees everything divided into nice organised ‘topics’, think Pinterest but without the endless fish plait tutorials. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just putting everything in nice neat little aesthetically stimulating sections.
The new explore page algorithm uses AI and machine learning to monitor and determine users’ interests in order to ensure the content they see is tailored for them. In the old explore page, you would see a plethora of various images appealing to various topics you engage with the most. This would give you a top line glimpse at all the stuff you love – whereas now you are able to go a little deeper, using the topic headers to delve into the content that really appeals to you instead of wading through irrelevancy.
Now the bigger question is, what does it means for brands? Well as always, it’s going to take some trial and error to discover just how much or how little impact this will have on followers and engagement. However, it does give brands a greater chance of being discovered and not lost in all the noise… or in this case memes. In an entirely unscientific study, MaseratiGB saw a 17-25% increase in followers last month.
It won’t happen just by chance though. To give your brand the greatest chance of being discovered, captions and hashtags will need to be optimised more than they already are. To optimise anything, you need to understand how well it’s already working so measuring the engagement of the hashtags you’re using is key. Then combining metrics with the type of content, time you post and the captions you use, you can in time work out the winning formula.
With the new explore page, users can click on the topic and then finetune even further by clicking on set hashtags, so a good tip is to see what hashtags are at the top of your topic as they’ll be the most engaging.
Of course, who knows how long this feature will last but I would implore you to make the most of it while you can.