According to social media statistics, one social media channel which has steadily gained popularity recent years is Instagram – after gaining over 500 million active users since its launch in 2010, it’s now the second most popular social media network worldwide, outpaced only by Facebook.
The social network has evolved in reach and functionality, and is increasingly tailored to allow businesses to do more, and speak to their audiences better. We’ve put together a list of our favourite low-key Instagram features which you can put to use on your company profile. Take a look and try a few out for size!
When Instagram first introduced Instagram Stories back in August 2016, many social media users were sceptical about the new feature, and considered it a ‘rip-off’ of Snapchat’s functionality (Facebook has also followed suit with the popular trend by introducing its own version of the Story feature).
There are indeed many similarities between the Story features of the two channels, such as the 24-hour time span, amusing filters, story replies and mini analytics showing allowing you to track number of views and the users who viewed your content.
Here are our favourite Instagram Story features:
One thing to remember is that an Instagram account is either public or private, and your account’s privacy settings also dictate who can view your Instagram Stories. If your business’ Instagram account is public, but you want to tailor the visibility of your Story content, you can change your privacy settings from in the aptly named Hide Story From section.
‘Pon de Replay’
While previously your Live videos would disappear at the end of the live stream, Instagram now allows you to post them on your stories, complete with views, comments and likes from your live video, for your followers to (re)watch in their own time within the next 24 hours.
All you need to do to replay your live video in your stories is select Share at the bottom of your stream once your Instagram broadcast ends, and it would be available for 24 hours.
Exploring Location and Hashtag Stories
In May this year Instagram introduced two new features to their Explore section - location stories and hashtag stories. From a business perspective the new features are good news because they allow you to extend your reach and boost fan engagement– by adding a clickable location sticker to your story (you can find it by selecting the stickers icon on the top right of your screen), you can make it easier for potential customers to find your store as part of their exploration of a geographic location.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the hashtag option – which functions in the same way it would on a regular Instagram post – allows you to target potential followers based on their interests and puts you in front of the eyes of customers during events or contests your company is running.
Link your leads
Another new addition is the option to add direct links to a landing page of your choice as part of your Story. This feature is available to accounts with 10,000+ followers and is very handy if you are creating Instagram-only content exclusively through stories, such as contests, campaigns and promotions, to generate traffic to your site.
The link would appear in your story as a See More button (usually referred to as Swipe Up) at the bottom of the screen, which users can engage with by swiping up or tapping. What’s more, the inclusion of a link option is useful for monitoring traffic, as it allows you to add UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) to your links.
We love Instagram and we’re always watching out for the new features, so keep an eye on our account to see how we’re making use of stories: @spindogsdigital