Instagram Just Got Useful For Marketers

Traditionally, Instagram has been a platform for food porn, vacation voyeurism, tweens who hate Facebook and girls in yoga pants trying to get famous. But an update to Instagram’s search and explore functionality last week may have given marketing teeth to the social network that made filters famous.

Trending Tags

One of the realities of marketing online is the need to go where people’s attention already is. That’s why Google, Facebook and Twitter’s ad networks make money. Twitter was the first social network to provide information on global and local trends. Facebook has since followed suit and, we’ve written before, that Google Trends has become an indispensable tool for marketers of every stripe. Now Instagram is joining the fray, with a trending tags section in the search area of the app. Find out what’s hot and update your content strategies accordingly.

Improved Search

Instagram search now includes the ability to filter by People, Tags, Places and Top. The latter two are money for digital marketers. Perusing/analyzing Top posts for a given search can help you research effective content, while Places give you the ability to identify geo-locations where content about a given topic might be disproportionately relevant.

Some have even speculated that Instagram’s new Places feature could help people find images relevant to particular restaurants and other businesses, perhaps replicating or ultimately replacing Yelp in that space.

Finally, the Top feature within Instagram’s new search functionality uses editors who group what they deem the best content around themes like Beach Vacation or Ancient Ruins. For marketers, this will surely become another editorial process to game: try to get your and your clients’ images selected for the chance at huge new follower upside.

Got any clever ways to use Instagram’s new search functionality for your marketing initiative? Let us know about it on Facebook.