Instagram has quickly become one of the most vital sources for our clients. Yet, Instagrams' changing rules on how you can utilize their API to retrieve mentions has been a challenge for the media intelligence industry. At Notified, we strive to provide our clients with the best coverage possible, therefore we have combined two methods.
Instagram general search
The first method we monitor is by aggregating the full text content from a very large set of influential Instagram users. These are the "mentions" that you will retrieve when entering a search query in the "Keyword query" or "Boolean query" search interface. Let's use this post from National Geographic as an example:
If your search query was "surgeonfish" we would collect this post. We would also collect the post if it contained the hashtag #surgeonfish or mentions of the account @surgeonfish.
So, what's the catch with this method? We don't aggregate this data from every single Instagram-user (with a public profile), because that dataset would be too large to index. Therefore, we combine this method with utilizing Instagram's official hashtag search API.
Instagram hashtag search
Below the Keyword query builder (or the Boolean query builder), you will now also find a separate search box for entering Instagram hashtags. Before you can use this, you must authenticate with an Instagram business account. Please also note that each authenticated Instagram account may search up to 30 hashtags at any given time, so use your searches wisely. If we take the above example again:
As its name suggests, this method will only search hashtags, so if you searched for #sturgeonfish we would not retrieve this post. However, if your search was for #coralreefs, we would be able to retrieve it.
So how should I actually search? 😊
We understand that this may seem a bit complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy.
Our recommendation is to use a combination of the two methods. For example, if you want to retrieve mentions about New York, enter the phrase "New York" in the query builder and the hashtag #newyork in the Instagram hashtag search box.
By using both methods, you can scan the entire Instagram platform for the hashtag and combine that with non-hashtag mentions, as well as with account mentions from most parts of the platform. This combination will ensure you a unique solution to retrieve the maximum number of mentions possible.
If you have any questions or need a helping hand, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team!