The Instagram search bar can take you anywhere you want. However, to find your desired posts and accounts, you need to be familiar with some search strategies. In this guide, we’ll show anything you need to know about how to navigate the Instagram search, whether on hashtags, location tags, or accounts and some extra tips on bettering your Instagram experiences such as the explore page and business suggestions..
Table of Contents
Instagram: some history lesson
Instagram launched in 2010 and was bought by Facebook early in 2012. It exploded in 2016 gaining a quick growth momentum with more and more accounts, both personal and business.
It is now the go-to platform for most people who want to share photos and videos, especially for younger generations. Also, due to its popularity it is ideal for connection, not just for real life acquaintances but for online accounts similar to each other with same interests. People search and find many new posts, niches and accounts that brighten their day and life. The most useful tool among them is now Instagram stories since brands run 24 hours ads day by day with different stories, story views Instagram provide strong potential buyers for the brands.
Instagram search: your compass to the world
Instagram app places a big importance on the search and exploration of new content. Instagram algorithm is optimized for bringing the people their desired relevant results. The system works not only by literal search terms, where an account gets exactly what they are looking for. Instagram search results and explore page always bring more than what you initially wanted. But the new encounters are usually welcome. It is as if Instagram know what you’d be like before you even knew about it.
How does Instagram know?
Instagram algorithm knows you and all the other users really well and works to connect people: similar accounts, a business to its target audience, an influencer to more followers etc. When it comes to follower count, you may require more why don’t you go after some cheap Instagram followers without being recognized by the algorithm?
It is able to do this thanks to users’ history data. Instagram knows a lot about its users both on and off the app. Instagram search history knows the posts, accounts, reels and hashtags you frequently visit. It knows what type of posts you like and what you post yourself.
It knows your search history, what website links you click on some person’s profile, the comments you leave on your friend’s posts. It knows what type of phone you use, if it’s an iPhone or an Android. It knows your e mail account, your username and many other things.
Don’t worry about privacy
Basically, Instagram knows what kind of person you are probably better than most real people you know. This is not something to be worried about though. Only the algorithm keeps a log of your information, in other words a computer and it is the same for an Instagram account, for a personal account or a large business profile.
Your history is only used to better your experience and help you explore and connect; and for similar accounts to connect with you. Your information doesn’t leak to third parties and not used outside Instagram site except promotional reasons such as Google ads.
You confirm to use of your data by using Instagram and there’s nothing you can do about it. But it’s not much of a big deal.
Now, let’s move on to some tips as how to better navigate and utilize the Instagram search bar, search history, suggested users, posts to explore and suggestions in general.
Instagram search: account, tags, audio and places
When you tap the magnifying glass button at the bottom of Instagram app and search for a word, first you’ll be greeted by a “Top” section which is similar to explore section without searching anything. However here are posts, videos and photos that are related to the keyword you’ve searched.
If you’re into make up for example, you can search it and find vast number of posts users doing make up, promoting make up products etc. in the “Top” page. This is quite ideal for people who are interested in a niche and who don’t want to miss any new posts. Not everyone uses hashtags and Instagram search and search suggestions in this way can be really helpful.
To find an Instagram account, you need to tap the “Accounts” section after the search results appear. If what you’ve searched looks like a name or a username rather than a niche, Instagram will already first bring account suggestions in the search results.
An Instagram account has one name and one username. The word you search usually brings search suggestions related to usernames, however you can try searching people’s full names as well. It can bring what you’re looking for since most people choose to use their real and full names. But a lot of people don’t so you never know if your searches are for a specific real person and not for a celebrity or for a niche.
The earlier searches and the accounts you’ve visited will also be visible here on the search bar, your search history. You can tap on the cross button next to them to hide them.
Meet new people from suggested accounts
If you want to connect with an interesting Instagram account and don’t have anything specific in mind, Instagram has a great suggested users’ algorithm. When you’re on a profile, any account whether you’re following them or not, you can tap on the person icon with a plus right next to the “Message” button” and this will make a “Suggested for you” section appear where you can see people similar to that person and other people whom might be interesting for you.
You can also tap on your profile icon to go to your profile and use.
Surf the hashtags
Hashtag feature is the trademark of Instagram. It’s a feature that is still in use and quite popular. People who want to reach larger audiences with their Instagram posts keep in mind to add related hashtags to their posts that will draw people who like that niche.
Other ways from simply captioning a post can be necessary for your content to reach a follower base. A tag can be the determining factor whether a post reaches a certain audience or not. Just add the relevant hashtag on your post so it appears on search results.
To search a hashtag, you need to simply add the famous tag symbol and look at the “Tags” section in the search page. You can find here your interest and also relevant branded hashtags that business accounts promote. Instagram is quite active in terms of commercial and marketing activity.
Some tips for promoting your business on Instagram
If you want to better use the Instagram app for your business purposes, for example business name, using a branded hashtag, appearing on search results and search suggestions, using best hashtags, captions, web links and comments, you can check out this guide that focuses on using Instagram for your promotional business needs.
This collection of strategies also deals with the same issue but in terms of social media in general.
I know what you did last summer: Instagram location tag
Like hashtags, location tags play a big part on the Instagram content cycle. A post that is about a travelling location or an extraordinary event usually includes a location tag at the top.
To explore locations, it is really useful as well. You can simply search a location tag after you tap on “Location” section on search bar to answer your question as to what people are up to there; what’s special about that place and how do people spend their time there?
Use locations yourself
You can note your location at your own posts to let people know where you are and what you’re up to.
There are also many funny location tags made by people that have no relations to any real place whatsoever. You can use them to add a humorous touch to your post.
Start with a clean slate: Clear your Instagram search history
You can clear search history if you don’t want to see what you searched anymore, whether for personal reasons, privacy reasons or because it is too messy.
Search history is kept on two places on Instagram. First is at the search bar and the second on “Your activity” section on your profile.
You can tap on cross symbols right next to accounts to clear search history on the bar and hide them forever. You need to do this one by one by hand in here.
The procedure is the same in the “Search history” section on “Your activity”. However, here there is a helpful “Clear all” button that saves you the trouble of going over them one by one. Tap on that button and confirm by tapping on “clear all” again. This will rid you of all your search history.
However, note that search history is only deleted for you. Instagram still knows your followers, your following, website you visit, comments you leave, search history and hashtags you explore. The same problem of privacy we discussed earlier. It isn’t possible to hide from the algorithm.
However, these are stored only on computers and are used to enrich your social media experience. So, no need to worry much! Instagram’s benefits highly outweigh what you miss if you don’t use it.
Some other account history
After you clear search history, maybe you may be curious about other history logs and what is stored on Instagram. You may want to hide it all and start with a full fresh app.
For example, another history Instagram keeps is the “Account history. You can find here all the changes you made on your account since you created it: privacy changes, bio changes, e mail changes, username and name changes.
You can’t hide this information though, there is no such option. If you had an embarrassing bio five years ago, it will forever be there deep in “Account history”. So be careful about your future account changes! You can just simply don’t look though.
In this article, you can find some inspiration about bio ideas and some general rules that can help you gain more followers.
You can encounter the same problem here but a little different. Here get likes, comments and story poll replies.
You can hide them but deleted likes and comments are taken back from the posts. So you not only hide them from your history but delete them forever. So it’s suggested you consider your following and followers whom those likes matter. They may be curious as to why a certain like and comment disappeared if they notice.
You can tap settings and go to comments, posts, story and mentions settings to hide and block some unwanted interaction if your followers are bullies and trolls.
Links you’ve visited
People most many links on Instagram promoting their work whether on bios or stories. Every link you click such is stored in this “Links you’ve visited” page. And there is no way to hide or delete old link history.
However, there is an option here called “Hide history,” which stops keeping track of further link clicks. So it’s suggested if you don’t want your link visits to be kept forever on your phone. However, if it’s not a problem for you and if you may want to find a link you visited in the past again in the future, don’t use that feature.
Again, your links visited will be known my Instagram regardless of your choice of hiding them or not. This option is for your personal reasons.
How to gain more traffic on your posts and account
As we’ve been telling from the start, Instagram’s main function is connecting people. This connection can happen on friendship reasons, such as finding new people with same interests as you. It can also be on commercial terms such as sponsorships from brands, a branded hashtag, influencer business, ads etc.
You may want to gain more traffic and followers to your profile for various reasons: personal or for your livelihood. Here are some tips to be more famous on Instagram and have more visited posts and accounts.
Use search for your advantage
Most discoveries on Instagram aren’t made when people are looking for a specific thing or person. A general niche brings out more people related to that topic.
You can even create your own customer base for a thing that hasn’t existed before; a certain artform for example or unusual hand-made products.
You can’t grow without search
You have to be found on the search to gain more followers; you can’t grow only by people you know in real life. It’s a common encounter when Instagram accounts post too much or follow too much people early in their career. This can cause you to be shadow-banned and disappear from people’s feeds and searches. Check this article to see if you’re shadowbanned and what can you do about it.
Let’s move on to how you can optimize your search prospects.
Ideal hashtag and caption
As talked about earlier, search is divided into several parts and it displays results from keywords. To appear at “Top” page, your caption needs to be relevant for your niche.
To appear when people search for certain hashtags, again use the relevant hashtags. It’s suggested you should use about 9 hashtags in a post.
Your profile, bio and connections
Don’t underestimate the power of an attractive bio, username and name. If your name is related to your niche, it can bring more traffic.
Choose carefully a profile picture that is captivating and that reflects what your account is about.
Don’t forget to connect with people in same niches, exchange promotions and share each other’s profiles.