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Instagram is probably one of the most popular social media platforms, not surprising since it has over 1 billion active users worldwide. With Instagram’s 2018 updates, they are definitely ahead of the game with their remarkable engagement tools and development towards presenting useful eCommerce functions. Businesses simply cannot afford to overlook the potential Instagram can offer them in the new year.
We know more than anyone that it’s become difficult to keep track of all the updates and new weekly announcements, and it’s especially hard to keep up with ways to promote your company.
So here’s a list of updates and opportunities, that have been launched in the past 12 months, which you as a business should be taking advantage of. Incorporate these into your social media business plan, utilise every tool possible, and help yourself towards a better future.
The launch of IGTV happened back in June, giving users the ability to share longer vertical videos on Instagram. Instagram did their research, finding that people have begun to watch more and more long-form videos on their smartphones, and they certainly did the right thing by featuring it in the app.
IGTV can be used to grow your brand and image, connect with your audience and expand your online presence. Marketers have a great space where they can stand out and make their mark. However, the content will have to add value for your customers, so perhaps share something like extended versions of something you’ve already seen to be popular amongst your target market.
Instagram Stories is ever-growing with more than 400 million daily users, it has become one of the most popular of Instagram’s 2018 updates. These ads have enabled businesses to insert full-screen promotions that can target their audience directly, by presenting the ad between stories a user already follows.
Brands can face their biggest hurdle, having to make a largely appealing ad that only has milliseconds to be seen before people realize it’s an ad and swipe off. Story ads also need to be high quality, be immediately engaging and have to remain true to the look and feel of your brand that your audience will be expecting to see.
Answering the prayers of suppliers all over, Instagram grew more than ever when they released Shopping Tags in March. Brands are now capable of highlighting individual products within their image post and link it to their eCommerce site. This ensures an easier and smoother transition for their customers, a clear gateway to shop at the moment of engagement and minimises laziness, resulting in the boosting sales and conversion rates.
In the past, the only available tools to track engagement were for liking, commenting and how many story views you got. Then Instagram, thankfully, introduced interactive stickers to Stories like the emoji slider, polls, and questions. These stickers equipped businesses with the capability to try new ways to spark engagement and collect audience feedback from your audience. For example, the emoji slider determines how each individual follower responded, as well as the overall average of responses. This is a great method that companies should be adopting, it gives quick and easy access to increase engagement, gather feedback and also assist with customer service.
And lastly some other of Instagram’s 2018 updates that didn’t make the cut, but we thought deserves at least a mention:
1. Instagram Verification – increased credibility
2. @mention Sharing for Stories – a great way to repost mentions from other users and followers
3. Hashtags for your bio and profile – adds relevancy and can help promote a campaign