Instagram Features To Help Your Business Engage Its Audience

 In Build Your Strategy, Increase Engagement, Utilize the Technology

Instagram is one of the biggest social platforms today, with over a billion users and counting, including over 500 million who are active daily. Did we mention that it’s also completely free? These days, it’s assumed that if you have a profile on Facebook or Twitter, you also have an Instagram account. This goes for both individuals and businesses. Lacking an Instagram profile may not seem like a big deal, but the truth is, your company could be missing out on a great opportunity to reach and engage many more potential and current customers. Additionally, you could be missing the chance to connect with younger audiences (specifically people ages 18-29)– an entire demographic who is known to skip out on Facebook.

Here are few useful and unique Instagram features that can help your business better connect with its audience:

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Instagram Stories

This feature allows users to post a photo or 15 second video that is available to watch as many times as one wishes for 24 hours. Once the day has passed, it is no longer available (unless you save them to your profile, turning them into “Highlights,” displayed at the top of your post gallery).

Instagram Stories are the first thing users see when the app is launched, as they appear in little circles at the top of the screen. This presents the perfect opportunity to reach your followers when making announcements and communicating other important information.

Boomerangs

Instagram stories also allow you to post a short videos called “Boomerangs.” These are basically bursts of photos that play forward and backward, creating a bouncy, high-quality video. There are many ways to use Instagram stories to create unique content for your page, keeping things fun and light while keeping your audience interested and engaged.

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Promoted Posts

Instagram allows you to affordably promote posts, causing them to show up on feeds of users who may not be already following you. These ads look exactly like normal posts, making them less invasive than other types of online advertising. You can include a call-to-action button to encourage users to “shop now,” or “learn more,” which makes it easy for your audience to visit your site without actually leaving the Instagram app. Promoting your company’s posts is a cheap way to grab people’s attention, get them looking at your profile, teach them about your product/service, and ultimately create more brand awareness.

Multiple Image/Video Posts

Instagram now allows you to upload several videos in one post, which is beneficial for when you may have several videos or images you want to post, but without clogging up your followers’ feeds. It’s similar to posting a whole photo album on Facebook. Don’t just choose one, post them all!

hashtags

Hashtags

Hashtags are a key component in getting new people to discover you on Instagram. They are searchable phrases, beginning with a pound symbol that are useful tool in reaching niche markets and people with specific interests. Users can also follow hashtags, causing posts that used the hashtag to show up on their feed.

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Instagram Live Videos

Instagram Live is exactly how it sounds– a live video stream for followers to tune into and watch in real-time. They can still be accessed after the live stream ends, as they show up at the top of the app along with the Instagram Stories. Your followers will also be notified (if they have Instagram notifications enabled on their devices) when your account goes live. Access Live is another engagement tool that allows you to host live, interactive events, during which hosts can answer pre-screened questions from audience members and discuss issues that matter to them. It’s Instagram Live, and so much more!

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Post a Variety of Content

Catch the attention of your audience by posting a combination of photos and videos.  Try to keep your page on brand and follow your company’s specific design guidelines in order to keep the look and feel consistent and recognizable when scrolling. With that being said, don’t be afraid to throw in a Boomerang video of your employees, or a video clip of an event you’re attending. By posting a mixture of photos and videos, your audience will have no choice but to “double tap” and like your content!

Post Interactive Content

A great way to get viewers to remember your company is to give them a memory attached to it. Even if it’s just a short conversation, a quiz, a laugh, or some other activity that requires them to stop and interact with your posts, it will be a unique experience that will stand out to them.

There are so many ways to make your Instagram content fun, unique, and engaging, so what are you waiting for? Try out some of these cool features and fun ideas to better connect with and grow your audience today.

While we’re on the topic of social media, check out our Facebook blog post to learn about all the ways your business could (and should) be using Facebook to engage with its audience.

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