Instagram’s Search and Explore: A Complete Guide for Growth in the Australian Market

Social media discovery is predominantly pushed by ads. However, Instagram’s “Search and Explore” page remains one of the ultimate frontiers for obtaining organic reach. Behind the “Search and Explore” options, Instagram’s well-built algorithm has made it perfect for presenting users with content they are likely to be interested in (and a little too good, when it comes to the spread of misinformation).

On either side of the equation, the algorithm continues to evolve to better discover dubious content, eradicate bias, endorse new content formats and connect users with positive communities.


For marketers, the benefits of appearing in the “Explore” tab consists of sudden spikes in reach, engagement and sales. It’s an essential space for building an audience and establishing your brand community. Check out the latest updates of the “Search and Explore” tabs in Instagram to expand your Instagram marketing reach in Australia.

How Crucial Is Instagram For Marketers?

Social media platforms dominate the internet, and Instagram is among the most influential mediums. In October 2020, it was estimated that Instagram had 1 billion active users – a billion potential worldwide users for your brand community! Therefore, the platform is crucial for marketers all around the world.

What is Instagram’s “Search and Explore” Page?

The Instagram “Search and Explore” feed is an assortment of public photos, videos, Reels and Stories, custom-made to encourage each particular Instagram user to explore more posts, accounts, hashtags or brands that may interest individual users.

The algorithm behind Instagram’s “Search and Explore” utilises machine learning to comply with and enhance its content recommendations.


The “Search and Explore” page can be located on Instagram by tapping the magnifying glass symbol in the lower menu, before the Reels and Shop options. On the “Search and Explore” page itself, users can access accounts, hashtags and locations at the top of their feed. In November, Instagram included the option for keyword searches, advancing potential reach beyond usernames and hashtags.

Below these options, contrasting categories encompassing an IGTV feed cover various topics including music, games, travel, beauty and food. Expect to discover new lists such as “audio” appearing here soon. If a user searches for something, the category will modify correspondingly.

Additionally, when a user clicks on a picture in the “Search and Explore” page, it opens up an extended scrolling feed of content associated with that photo. Instagram’s “Search and Explore” page is a huge feed that links the user with even more feeds, each one more granular and directed than the last.

As per the data of Instagram, 200 million profiles check out the “Explore’ feed every single day!

How does Instagram’s “Search and Explore” Page Algorithm Work?

No two Instagram “Search and Explore” feeds are alike. That’s because the content one user receives via the “Search and Explore” tab is customised by their “Explore Feed” Ranking System in Instagram.

The Instagram algorithm employs machine learning to fine-tune what’s displayed based on individual data sources and ranking signals.

Unlike the home page where users see posts from profiles they follow, Instagram designers organise the “Search and Explore” page as an “unconnected system.” The selection of content on each Instagram user’s “Explore” page is based on:

  • The profiles that a user already follows
  • Accounts similar to the ones the user follows
  • The categories of posts an account typically engages with
  • Posts with significant engagement

How to Appear in the “Search and Explore” Feed

Get to Know Your Target Market

Your audience already follows you on Instagram. In order to appear on Instagram’s “Search and Explore” page, it is important to learn about your current audience. Having this insight will allow you to recognise your Instagram audience’s demographics and determine the target audiences you’d like to reach within “Search and Explore”. Doing so will enable you to understand what content potential users engage with the most.

Your business account’s “Search and Explore” feed is a great place to begin researching. Explore posts, categories, and niche pages and take note of their tactics and how you might be able to emulate them. Some queries you might ask yourself during this activity may include:

  • What approach seems to resonate most with users?
  • Is there a visual design that functions best?
  • What kind of caption prompts the most engagement?

Cultivate an Active Community

One of the bottom line purposes of the “Search and Explore” page is to connect users to communities on Instagram. Community building is crucial to Instagram’s success — and should be foundational to your marketing strategy as well.

The more active your business community is on Instagram, the higher the possibility that Instagram will advocate your account to similar audiences on the “Explore” feed.

Provide your audience with the opportunity to engage with your page. Initiate and engage in brand discussions in the comment section, DMs, and other active business channels. Communicate with your community, the importance of turning notifications on for your posts to allow users to be connected with your content instantly.

Use Relevant Tags

Geotags, profile tags and hashtags are other means to expand the reach of your content within the ‘Search and Explore’ ecosystem.

Keep in mind, people use the Instagram “Search and Explore” page to explore through hashtags and locations too. If a distinct hashtag sparks somebody’s interest, they have the ability to follow the hashtag itself. By selecting key Instagram hashtags and geotags, your content will appear within the feed of those who follow such content.

Profile tags are another way to cater your posts to new users. Make sure to tag compatible profiles in your posts, whether it’s the business CEO, brand partners, influencers, the content photographer or the illustrator. Share posts from your audience to enhance community, establishing further reach and engagement.

With so many new approaches to discover content you would never have seen otherwise, Instagram’s “Search & Explore” function provides businesses with a whole new means to be discovered.

With Instagram’s user base still increasing, why wait? By applying the tips we provided here on how to navigate and take advantage of “Search & Explore” effectively, you’ll be reaching a fresh audience in no time.

If you are in search of the latest social media updates to flourish your marketing in Australia, just get in touch with our expert team.

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