At this point, new Instagram features are being added all the time and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. Then, once you feel like you’ve caught up, the challenge becomes figuring out how to capitalize on these new features.
By now, you probably know how to use hashtags, repost customer-created content, and share Instagram Stories in both your personal life and for your brand. However, Instagram has quietly released lots of new features that you probably aren’t tusing.
If you haven’t heard, one of the newest Instagram features is called Close Friends. How does it work? Well, instead of sharing your Instagram Story posts with everyone on a broad scale, you can choose to share with only your Close Friends.
Your followers who are a part of your Close Friend group will know about it since a little green box appears in the corner of the Story as they watch it. It makes people feel special and like they’re appreciated as part of your inner circle. It was created to send more private content to your closest group of friends, but as solopreneurs and business owners, we can use it for our business accounts too.
For a business, using the Close Friends feature is an opportunity to share exclusive content with your VIP customers. Here, you can offer discounts that aren’t available for everyone or share info about private events that are specifically for your VIPs. Again, it gives those followers a sense of exclusivity making your product or service seem all the more valuable.
Plus, since Close Friends is one of those Instagram features that has only just come on the scene, using close friends is a great opportunity to get ahead of the game and add this tactic to your Instagram marketing strategy.
Collections can be used to organize saved Instagram posts to refer to later on. No one is notified when you save a post to a Collection but it’s an incredible way to stay on top of things that you see while scrolling Instagram.
Create a Collection by first clicking the flag (near the like and comment buttons). It’ll go straight to your saved posts which you can find on your Profile by clicking the three lines in the top right corner. From there you can organize these posts into categories like recipes, fashion, or helpful information where you can easily refer to them in the future.
For a business, this is a great way to capture user-created content as well as making note of what competitors are doing that you may have really liked. For those who might not be ready to invest in a full-fledged social media management tool or hire a social media marketer, this is also a great way to save content that inspires you or add other Instagrammers that you’re interested in collaborating with.
Lots of brands interact with their followers through DMs, whether it’s recruiting influencers to work with them or responding to customer feedback. But instead of typing out a message, what if you used the power of audio? Sending a voice message DM to your customers is probably one of the Instagram features you haven’t tried yet.
Think of it as a more personalized touch. For instance, how much better did you feel after receiving a “Happy Birthday’ voicemail from your friend instead of the obligatory Facebook message? It’s the same concept. Especially for small businesses, this will be a great way to remind your followers that you are, in fact, run by real-life humans.
You can also use Voice Messaging as a sort of radio-style ad. By using the power of sound, whether it’s music or just the sheer novelty of it all, you’ll be engaging your audience in a whole new way.
When it comes to Instagram features, this might be on more of the personal side. But, it can certainly be beneficial for your business too. Use the Mute feature if you don’t want to see a certain person’s updates or stories, instead of unfollowing them completely.
Yes, this is a great way to avoid your aunt’s political rants without an unfollow that would cause a stir in the family, but for your business – it’s mostly a time saver. Since it’s a good idea to see what your customers and competition are up to, you won’t want to waste time watching Stories and seeing posts that just aren’t doing anything for you.
For example, you might be an influencer who follows all your friends from back home. When you’re using Instagram for work, you can mute anyone who posts a ton of content that causes a distraction in your workday.
Similarly, you can mute anyone who’s not part of your target audience of people who you actually want to be your customers. That way, you’re not spending too much time worrying about people outside of that target demographic.
Since, these days, many people skip the Instagram Feed and go straight for the Stories, it can be hard to capture the attention of your customers with just posts to your grid. With the Share function, you can share Instagram posts to your Story in order to make sure your followers are seeing your content.
A straightforward strategy is to Share your latest post to your Story with the call-to-action of checking it out on your Profile. The trick is to not give everything away, though! Using stickers and the fun tools that come along with Stories, you can make a quick, enticing post that encourages followers to see the real thing on your Feed.
The goal with these Instagram features is always to engage with your audience and drive traffic back to your Profile and eventually all the way to your website where you’ll hopefully land a sale. What’s your favorite new Instagram feature? Let me know in the comments!
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