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We’re excited to announce a new blog series with key takeaways from our weekly #SproutChat on Twitter. Join us (@SproutSocial) every Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST to discuss social media and community-building topics. We often partner with influencers in the industry and cover everything from user-generated content to agency best practices to building a brand ambassador program.

We’d love to hear your insights and introduce you to our amazing community. Follow the #SproutChat hashtag, and join our Facebook community for more on the weekly topic and discussion questions.

This past week’s topic was Instagram Search & Explore. Instagram has quickly become a main player among the most popular social channels. The quality of the content, along with the innovation of the features within the app, makes it a great place for brands to tell their stories and connect with their community. The more recent updates to search present a great opportunity for brands to creatively reach a wider audience. Using a trending hashtag or adding the location to appropriate posts can help your brand’s visibility.

What’s more, you can find people and brands to connect with using these same features. The curated collections are a great spot for inspiration and an opportunity for your brand to be included if you can provide quality content in line with the theme.

For further reading on this topic, check out our recent Insights post and full #SproutChat Storify recap. Meanwhile, here are three key takeaways.

1. Develop a Hashtag Strategy for a Cohesive Feel

Organizations of any size and from any industry can take advantage of Instagram trending hashtags, as long as they do the necessary research and start with strategy. Understanding what the hashtag is about and why it’s resonating should be the first step, followed by finding a clever way to use it in your established strategy.

2. Use the Location Feature to Increase Reach

The advantages of the location feature aren’t limited to brick-and-mortar businesses. Brands can use it when employees are attending conferences as well as to gain insight as to what is important (i.e., what they’re posting images of) to people when in attendance at certain spots.

3. Experiment With Different Tactics to Understand What Resonates

The amount of hashtag usage on Instagram is up to each organization. It’s important to see what excites and entertains the people in your community. Try different tactics to tell your story and get individuals to take action. Be creative and come up with fun hashtags that suit your brand’s voice well.

Join Us

If you have any other thoughts about Instagram Search & Explore, leave them in the comments below. Otherwise, see you Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST for #SproutChat, as we discuss some fascinating industry and global trends based on the recently released 2015 Sprout Social Index.