Instagram has become the one-stop-shop for all your photo, memes and video needs. It is one of the biggest photo sharing apps today with over a billion users. With so many people always logged into Insta, the potential for using this amazing app for business is limitless. In this article, we’ve listed innovative features that can help you boost your business to the next level.
Instagram, short for Instant Telegram, was the brainchild of developers Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger. It was released exclusively on iOS as an app for uploading photos and short videos. Users could add filters and organize their posts with hashtags, making it easier for users to find items related to their interests.
In 2012, the app was purchased by Facebook. Since then, it has maintained its position as the number one photo and video sharing app in the world and has become a great app to help promote business. It has also added a lot of features to expand its functionality including extended videos, stories, etc. This provides a great opportunity for businesses around the world to use this app to promote their business to the next-gen.
Note: Some of the features mentioned require having a business account which is different from a regular account.
Following are the few Innovative Instagram Features to Help Boost Your Business
Business accounts can add Action Buttons to their profiles, which can allow users to perform certain tasks, such as, make an appointment, purchase tickets, make a reservation, etc. These call-to-action buttons make it easier for users to directly perform certain tasks without having to leave the application at all, allowing you to convert more followers into customers. The buttons are integrated with popular third-party apps like Yelp, Fandango, GrubHub, etc.
Live Videos are a great way for you to keep your followers up to date on what you are doing. It is also great because it sends push notifications telling the followers you are going live and users can also directly comment and like your live video while it is streaming in real time. Live Video can help business build more brand transparency and trust with the followers. It is also a great way to bring your loyal customers to events or functions that your company is hosting, by live streaming it for all to see.
While story updates are not new, businesses can definitely use this feature to build more brand awareness. Instagram Stories work similarly to Snapchat stories and allow posters to put up a photo or a short video for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the posts are automatically deleted from your account. However, you can highlight certain posts if you want to keep them longer and your followers can still find them on your landing page.
Stories allow developers to showcase upcoming products or their most trending products to help create a bit more excitement and since stories disappear in 24 hours, users are keener on seeing these rather than the regular posts. Stories also appear as little circles on top of your follower’s feed, making it easier to access.
Shoppable Tags In Stories
While this feature is not out yet, Instagram is now working on a feature that will allow you to directly shop from Instagram stories. Companies using their business accounts will be able to tag products in their stories, which the users can click on to directly buy the tagged item. For example, if you have a model showcasing your brand’s bag, then you can directly tag the bag and the follower would be able to click on the tag and then purchase it from the app.
IGTV, short for Instagram TV, is an app within Instagram that allows users to share videos that are an hour long – similar to a TV episode. IGTV combines Instagram with YouTube, where users can upload videos directly to their Instagram profile.
This feature is great for businesses that focus on content and video creation, where they can now directly record and upload their episodes or videos on IGTV, making it easily accessible for their followers.
While you could already use ‘@’ to tag someone in posts, you can now use ‘@’ mention to tag someone in stories as well. These @ mentions can be typed directly on images or even added as stickers. You can also directly tag followers or even locations. When you tag someone, that person gets a notification through direct message. Businesses can use this by sharing posts of their followers where they were mentioned. This can help increase their reach and their brand’s awareness. This is also great when people use your brand and share a photo of it, they can mention your brand so that their followers can see it and lead them to you.
Stickers For Questions & Polls
Another great feature that businesses can use in stories are stickers for questions and polls. When you are uploading a story, it allows you a range of stickers, including ones for time, location, etc. Well, now it also includes questions and polls.
The questions sticker allows your viewers to directly ask questions by typing it up in the story and you can even reply back to their questions. The recent update also includes emoji slider polls that allow followers to show how much they liked or disliked something by sliding the emoji across the poll.
Turn Existing Posts Into Ads
Businesses couldn’t previously turn existing posts into ads without using the in-app Promote button. But now, businesses can turn their organic posts into ads in the Ads manager. This allows brands to use their most popular posts as ads to increase their reach.
Snapchat became pretty famous because of its filters, and Instagram is definitely looking to make its name in terms of filters as well. Now developers can partner with brands to create filters. However, these branded filters will probably be a high-ticket ad feature.
Instagram Music Sticker
Another amazing sticker that Instagram has included for its stories is the Music Sticker. This allows you to add soundtracks to your Instagram stories, both photos and videos, to help add a bit more mood to your post. You can select from thousands of music tracks that are already listed and add that to your story.
Instagram is rising the ranks of popularity and the number of users are also increasing making this app one of the best ways to market your brand and your product. A lot of companies such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Versache, Starbucks, and so many more are already on Instagram. It is one of the best places to be if you want to increase your brand’s awareness and reach.