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How to Get on the Instagram Explore Page: 10 Pro Tips for Standing Out

Wondering how to get your Instagram posts featured on the coveted Explore page? I‘ve got you covered.

As an experienced social media manager, I‘ve spent years studying how algorithms work and experimenting with every strategy to boost engagement.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘m going to explain exactly how the Instagram Explore algorithm works and share my top insider tips to help you master it.

Let‘s dive in!

What is the Instagram Explore Page and How Does it Work?

For anyone looking to get discovered on Instagram, landing on the Explore page is the golden ticket.

The Explore page showcases posts and Stories that Instagram predicts you‘ll find interesting based on your activity and interests. It‘s tailored to each user.

So how does Instagram choose which content to feature from the 500+ million photos and videos shared daily? The Explore algorithm looks at 3 key factors:

Information: The topics you engage with, accounts you follow, posts you like

Interests: Hashtags and keywords associated with the posts you view

Activity: How much time you spend looking at certain types of content

Instagram is constantly tweaking the formula, but posts with high engagement and click-through rates tend to perform best.

Appearing on Explore provides huge visibility to new audiences. One case study found brands gained over 7,000 followers from a single Explore feature.

Let‘s look at proven ways to catch the algorithm‘s attention.

1. Optimize Your Posting Schedule

Strategic timing is critical for visibility. You need to post when your target audience is most active on Instagram.

How do you identify peak times? Social media analytics tools like Iconosquare and Simply Measured can chart your followers‘ habits.

For most consumer-focused brands, engagement is highest:

  • Early mornings between 7-9 AM
  • Lunch hours from 11 AM – 1 PM
  • After work and evenings from 5-9 PM

B2B or international accounts may find different prime times. Here‘s a sample post timing analysis:

Time of DayEngagement Rate
7-9 AM4.2%
11 AM – 1 PM3.8%
5-7 PM4.5%
8-9 PM3.1%

Scheduling posts using a platform like Hootsuite or Sprout Social lets you optimize timing. Pay attention to when your posts perform best and focus on those high-traffic windows.

2. Stand Out With Instagram Stories

Stories have quickly become a favorite way to engage followers with spontaneous, fun content.

And activity on Stories correlates strongly with getting featured on Explore. In 2022, accounts that consistently use Stories see 48% higher interaction rates on feed posts.

Some creative ways brands can maximize Stories:

  • Go behind-the-scenes – give inside looks at products, office culture, events
  • Share user-generated content – repost customer Stories and reviews
  • Poll questions – have followers weigh in on new launches or ideas
  • Q&As – build connections by answering fan questions
  • Collaborations – work with relevant creators to take over your Story
  • Interactive stickers – leverage polls, quizzes, AR filters

Mix up these formats to craft compelling Stories. Consistency also matters – accounts that post daily Stories see 95% more profile visits than those who don‘t.

3. Write Magnetic Captions

An engaging Instagram caption can be the difference between a flop and a viral hit.

You‘ve got 2-3 seconds to grab attention as followers scroll. How do you write captions that convert?

Ask questions -Give followers something to respond to. Seek opinions on new products or ask for feedback.

Share witty musings – Entertain with humor and personality. Clever wordplay and emojis help.

Motivate and inspire – Uplift followers with inspirational quotes or life advice.

Tag people – Mentioning others draws eyes to your post and expands reach.

Use strategic hashtags – Include a mix of popular and niche tags to help get discovered.

Keep language crisp and tone consistent with your brand voice. Test different caption styles to see what resonates most with your audience.

Pro tip: Labeling photos helps boost engagement up to 66% compared to no text.

4. Interact With Your Community

The accounts that win at the Instagram algorithm are ones that engage with their followers consistently.

Liking and replying to comments shows fans you value them. It only takes 60-90 seconds to respond to your latest comments. Make this a daily habit.

Some easy ways to interact more:

  • Reply to comments with emojis and quick reactions
  • Answer questions and offer helpful information
  • Tag commenters back and highlight user-generated content
  • Follow up later if more info is needed
  • DM engaged followers for deeper conversations

Humanizing your brand and reciprocating interest goes a long way. Instagram will reward you for cultivating an active, loyal community.

5. Strategize Hashtag Usage

Relevant hashtags are still key for getting discovered on Instagram. But simply stuffing popular tags won‘t cut it anymore.

Craft a targeted mix of:

  • 2-4 broad hashtags in your niche (ie #socialmediamarketing)
  • 8-10 medium tags more closely related to your post topic (ie #instagramgrowthtips)
  • 1-2 branded hashtags to anchor it around you (ie #XYZsocial)

Research competitors‘ top hashtags and explore tags your ideal audience follows. Tools like Display Purposes and RiteTag provide data on tag performance.

Track which hashtags consistently drive you the most new profile views and engagement. Then double down on those winning tags.

6. Create Visually Stunning Content

This may seem obvious, but it bears emphasizing – eye-catching visuals are essential for Explore algorithm success.

Photos and video that make viewers pause, look closer, and engage perform best. Some tips:

Invest in high-quality gear – Sharp images attract more interaction. Consider a DSLR camera, ring light, tripod, and editing software.

Find unique angles – Play with perspective. Shoot details, flatlays, bird‘s eye views.

Try innovative formats – Leverage carousels, Reels, shoppable posts.

Use on-brand graphics – Consistent filters, color palettes, animations.

Curate cohesive grid – Plan out aesthetically pleasing layouts.

Remember, people come to Instagram looking to be inspired! Satisfy that craving for awe-inducing visuals.

7. Multi-Photo Posts Earn More Engagement

One key way to boost impressions is sharing posts with multiple images – known as carousels.

In fact, carousels see 35% higher engagement on average compared to single photo posts.

Some smart ways to use carousels:

  • Product catalogs – Showcase items from different angles
  • Process shots – Reveal steps in a tutorial
  • Event recaps – Highlight speaker sessions or activities
  • Collections – Group thematically-linked images like quotes or nature scenes
  • Location tagging – Share user photos from one popular spot

The more swipe-stopping images you include, the longer viewers will stick around – increasing likes, comments, and saves.

8. Dissect Your Top Content

Analyze which posts resonate most with your audience. Review Instagram insights to identify:

  • Highest reach and impressions
  • Top performing times of day and days of week
  • Posts with the most comments and shares
  • Hashtags and captions driving the most clicks
  • Highest click-through rates to your bio link or website

Look for lessons you can apply to refine your approach. Recycle popular captions, reproduce winning images and placements, re-use your most effective hashtags.

See an example post analysis below:

Post TypeTop Engagement TimesTop HashtagsClick-Through Rate
Product VideosTues/Thurs 4-6 PM#unboxing #review #giveaway4.2%
Behind-the-ScenesMon/Wed 7-8 AM#officeculture #team #bts2.1%
UGC HighlightsFri/Sat 8-10 PM#repost #happycustomers #feedback3.7%

Create more of the content that clearly resonates with your followers.

9. Partner With Relevant Influencers

Collaborating with influencers in your industry is a great way to put your brand in front of new, targeted audiences.

Do an influencer takeover of your Stories. Have them test and review products. Post user-generated content. Cross-promote posts.

Look for influencers with engaged followings in your niche. Coordinate a custom campaign amplifying both your brands.

Micro-influencers (5k-50k followers) often drive the best ROI. Their audiences view them as authentic experts.

10. Promote Your Account Off Instagram

Don‘t keep your Instagram growth strategies limited to the app itself. Promote your profile off-platform too.

Share Instagram handles and hashtags on your other social channels. Embed Instagram posts on your blog and website.

Send email newsletters and ads highlighting your latest Instagram content. Feature the Instagram icon prominently on marketing materials to motivate follows.

Use tools like Linktree to showcase and organize the important links to direct people to your Instagram.

The more places you expose visitors to your Instagram presence, the faster your community will grow.

Take Data-Driven Action to Get Noticed

Getting millions of new eyeballs on your brand via the Instagram Explore page takes effort. You need engaging content and smart optimization tailored to how the mysterious algorithm works.

But implementing the tips in this guide sets you on the right path. Stay consistent, track data, collaborate with influencers, and keep refining your approach.

Let me know if any of these Instagram growth strategies pay off in landing your first Explore feature! Consistently putting these best practices into action can drive major results.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.