Did you know that Instagram isn’t even eight years old yet?! To put it into perspective, Instagram only launched a few months before Prince William and Kate got married (and that feels like yesterday)! In its relatively short life, Instagram has quickly established itself as a must-use platform amongst marketing agency professionals.
While, it wasn’t quite as quick off the mark as Facebook (which was basically the first prominent social media platform that’s still about today), Instagram’s features were, and still are, pretty darn fresh. We’ve compiled a list of the features that we believe can best help brands grow on the platform.
What you can do with your bio
We’re assuming most of you know about adding hashtags to your posts to make them discoverable, but did you know you can add hashtags to your bio too?
Instagram have yet to announce the full effect of doing this, however, if a person searches for a hashtag that you have in your bio, your page and posts could appear in their search, both under People and Top.
Having hashtags in your bio isn’t just for your sake though, it’s nice for your followers too. If they visit your profile and see a related hashtag in your bio, they can click it to see more content that interests them. For instance, if somebody visited our Instagram page, and clicked #webdesign in our bio, they’d then see images and videos also tagged with web design.
If you’ve not got a professional proofreader, or marketing agency looking over each of your posts, there may be times where you let the odd typo slip through. Luckily, you can edit your captions even after you’ve published them. Typos can reflect poorly on your brand, so we’d certainly recommend fixing them as soon as possible!
To do this, click the three dot ellipsis in the top right of the photo and then select “Edit”.
A word of warning
Editing a caption has been shown to negatively affect engagement for many users. Because of this, if you spot a mistake immediately after posting, before it’s received many reactions, it may be best to delete and re-post it instead. If, however, you want to edit a caption, long after it’s received a good amount of engagement, then editing the caption should be no problem!
Being able to edit a caption is also useful if you want to “tidy up” your captions by deleting hashtags from old posts.
Adding posts to your story
On every Instagram post, you’ll see the paper plane icon, next to the comment icon. Pressing this allows you to either send the post to a friend, or add it to your story.
Nowadays, some Instagram users, primarily look at Instagram stories, rather than scrolling through their feed. It’s for that reason that this feature makes it onto our list. If you want to extend the reach of your post, add it to your story so that people can then click from your story, to your post.
Where to begin with all the great Instagram Story features!?
There are so many amazing things you can do within Instagram stories, that we could probably write a whole blog on just that. But for now, we’ll keep it short and sweet and talk about the top three things you should be using within your brand’s Instagram stories.
By location tagging your Instagram story, you are allowing it to be added to the story of that location. For instance, if we location tag our stories with Cucumber Marketing, or Robson Street, our story slide could appear in the Robson Street Instagram story, or the Vancouver Instagram story. These location stories are automatically created by compiling location tagged slides throughout the day. Appearing in a location story will increase the reach of your story and could potentially attract new followers.
We’re back to talking about hashtags again! Why add hashtags to stories? The answer, is pretty much the same as our above point on location tagging. Each hashtag also has its own story that you could appear in.
Questions, polls (and gifs)
Okay, we know we’re cheating a bit here, squeezing three elements into one point, but they all have a similar function – increasing engagement.
It’s quite likely that you’ll notice more people click the whole way through your story if you have these elements, compared to a story without.
It’s not just about engagement either, it’s a way to hear what your followers and customers are thinking, as well as get feedback. If for instance, you were an ice cream shop, deciding on a new flavour to bring in, you could ask your followers which they like the sound of to gauge which flavour would do better in your shop.
Each of these story functions can be found by clicking the square face icon at the top of the page you see once you’ve got the photo or video ready to share in your story.
Did you know
At the start of the year Instagram introduced an archive, where all of your previous story slides and videos automatically save to. You can see how many people viewed your story, and also add them to your highlight stories. Our marketing agency has got so used to this feature being here, we can’t remember how we used to cope without it!
So, there we have it! Our favourite Instagram features. What we’ve not gone into, is how, and when, to use them. Using every feature and hoping for the best, is unlikely to be a sustainable way of building your brand on Instagram.
Whether your business is completely new to the platform, or has seen great success, a solid social media strategy is the best way to see your business grow. If you’re looking for social media support, call us on 604-559-7509, or stop by our marketing agency in downtown Vancouver – we always have #chocolate!