Instagram is constantly updating its services and features, in order to increase its functionality for businesses. So stay ahead of the game and take advantage of these features to maximise the success of your social media marketing.
Instagram has become the perfect social network for showcasing your products and services. Not only that, but it is a great way to create an interactive portfolio for your brand, allowing you to interact with other business in the industry as well as customers. It can help increase awareness of your brand and create a community around your business, which increases your reach to potential customers. Here are 6 features of Instagram to help you improve your social media marketing campaign.
Hashtags on Instagram are an essential way to engage with people who are browsing a specific industry or market. They give potential customers searching within a market the opportunity to connect with businesses who are selling and posting about things related to this market. By adding hashtags of keywords that customers are likely to search for you can make your posts show within relevant searches.
It is important to use a variety of hashtags to increase the likelihood of your post being found by your target audience. Using popular hashtags with a large number of posts is important to increase your potential reach, however specific and niche tags that are more directly related to your post are also important to specifically reach your target audience and make your post appear higher in the search. Up to 30 hashtags can be added to each post as well as in your bio, on your profile and inside Instagram stories.
Location tags, similar to hashtags, allow people searching for a specific location to come across posts linked to that chosen area. If your business has a location customers can visit, for example, a restaurant or a shop, this would be especially important so that people can easily find and visit you; a map feature is also shown on Instagram when a user clicks on the location. As well as using hashtags, adding location tags allows you to increase your exposure to potential customers through a different filter, increasing your reach further. Location tags can be added to your profile posts and Instagram stories.
Added within the last 2 years, Instagram stories are another channel to connect and engage with your followers and the community in your market. They are the perfect way to produce content that is less time consuming to create than the posts on the main part of your profile, which may require more planning and editing. A story expires after 24 hours in the stories collection of a follower’s feed, however, there is an option to save these stories in different folders on your profile page, called highlights so that they last indefinitely.
It is a simple way of adding extra content to your page that looks less produced and may, therefore, seem more personal. Your Instagram story is displayed in a different place in the user’s app to your main posts meaning that if someone doesn’t see your post in their feed, they may see your story instead, thus extending the channels you can use to engage with your followers, within the same app.
Switching to a business profile
All businesses should make the most of the Instagram business profile feature, which any personal account can be easily switched to provided that there is facebook page that can be linked to. By making your Instagram account into a business profile, you can add your email address, business address and phone number so people can easily contact you directly from your profile. Switching will give you access to “insights” which is an analytics tool that provides a whole host of information which isn’t available from the app when using a personal account and means third-party analytics aren’t necessary. It is important to have this data to look at what marketing strategies and actions have been most and least successful allowing you to more effectively plan your social media marketing campaigns moving forward. Business profiles also give you an opportunity to pay for adverting and pay to promote your posts, which is done through the Facebook advertising tool.
Along with the introduction on Instagram stories, live video was also added as a feature of Instagram. This is not as widely used as Instagram stories as it will not be appropriate for all business to show live content. However, an example of how a business may take advantage of the Instagram live feature is to show a behind the scenes aspect of your business and answer questions from potential customers. An art gallery may record a live video when they have acquired new works of art, allowing them to issue a sneak peak to their followers. It is a more personal way to connect with your followers and people can engage live with your video by commenting and liking in real time. This may give you the opportunity to ask those watching the live video questions and for you to directly reply to these in the video.
Sharing across multiple social accounts
If you have multiple social media accounts and want to be sharing similar content across multiple channels, you can do this by connecting these social media accounts to your Instagram page. This is especially useful if you have followers who may predominantly only use one social media channel meaning that you can extend your content beyond the platform that the post was originally created for. Although it is important to share the right material on the right social media platform, there are some Instagram posts that will be equally effective and appropriate on Facebook and Twitter for example, therefore this can save time in creating unique content for every channel.
Instagram is growing at an exponential rate and the amount of people actively using the social platform is increasing day by day. The app continues to innovate and add features in order to increase the utility for personal accounts as well as business. We would love to help you make the most of these features of Instagram to improve your social media marketing campaign as part of building and managing your brand.