Live video. Stories. A reply button. Instagram has been busy adding new features in 2016, and they all point in one direction: getting social.
The popular visual social platform has always drawn high levels of engagement, but a good chunk of that was relegated to likes — which are nice but may not lead to anything more. With these new features, you can really connect with your community and develop a more meaningful relationship.
Here are some ideas for brands on how to best utilize these new features:
Live video on Instagram Stories can be a big boost for brands if used appropriately, from broadcasting live at events to taking communities behind the scenes at your office. Show a day in the life of a [insert company name here] staffer or how you produce your magic. Hosting a food/fundraising drive during the Holidays? Go live to generate goodwill, encourage community members to get involved and spread cheer.
Disappearing photos/videos in Instagram Direct could be used for contests or sneak peeks at upcoming product launches or big announcements. Make new products or services available to loyal customers in your community first or hold a contest to reward community members who engage with you frequently. Just remember two things: don’t spam people and ‘disappearing’ messages can always be screenshot-ed and shared. Keep it professional!
Despite these big announcements, some of the most popular advancements on Instagram are more basic features. The reply and like features in comments makes engaging with your communities and other users much more fluid. We’ve already noticed more conversations than before these features were announced. It may be time-consuming to interact with your community members who comment if you have an active community, but that’s one of the activities that can make the biggest impact on your brand’s social efforts.
We can’t touch on Instagram’s new features without mentioning business accounts. If you’re a company or brand, switch over to a business account if you haven’t already. It’s free and comes with benefits that personal accounts do not. Gain access to insights (aka analytics), make it easier for potential customers to contact you and be able to promote your posts — right within your app. The contact button alone is a tremendous feature that allows users to call, email or get directions to your location with one or two clicks.
We’re big fans of Instagram here at CCC, and as 2016 comes to an end, we’re even more excited about what the future will hold for one of our favorite social platforms. These new features should help you create even more insta-magic in 2017 and beyond!
What’s your favorite new Instagram feature in 2016?
Has a specific feature changed how you use the app?
Have you chosen to keep a personal profile over a business one? Let us know why below.
Where does Instagram rank among your favorite social platforms?
A big fan of Instagram,