Changes are happening everyday across all social platforms. But as of recently one of everyone’s favorite, Instagram, is rolling out new changes on the daily and I think it’s giving all of us a little bit of excitement, anxiety and frustration.
Seeing the same images in your newsfeed that you’ve already liked. Annoying. Not seeing some of your favorite brands you follow. Super annoying. And not getting your brand in front of your tribe, each and every single one of them. Extremely frustrating. But having analytics and call to actions button features. Super Awesome!
I think we’re all a little scared that Instagram is on the verge of becoming too much like Facebook, where you have to pay to play to stay on top of the ever-changing algorithms. However, to stay ahead of the game and keep users engaged, social channels are going to forever continue to roll out new changes and functions. So, today I wanted to chat about all the new features Instagram has rolled out lately and how to roll with the punches. Because that’s what we gotta do, right?! Change, adapt and kick ass!
This is definitely one of our favorite new roll outs on Instagram and that I use on a regular basis with our clients and my own personal brand, business analytics. If you’re wondering on where to find this…when you view your profile, to the right of your name, you’ll see 4 bars. Click on those bars, and there you can view your insights. You are able to view your impressions,reach, profile views, website clicks, optimal times to post and your best posts.
If your not looking at your analytics be sure to start. No better time to post than when your followers are most engaged with your content.
Impressions are the total number of times all of your posts have been seen. Reach tells you the number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts. Profile views, yep- you guessed it, it’s the number of times your profile has been viewed. You can now tell how many number of visits your website gets directly from Instagram users (so make sure you have your website linked in your bio). And my favorite measurement, the average time of day your followers are on Instagram so you know exactly what the most optimized times to post are.
Business profiles are also a free new feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business. One of the perks of changing over into a business profile is that you have a direct contact form, letting people who come across your account call, text, or email. Prior to this new roll-out you had to put this information into the text of you bio. Now, they have created a clickable call to action, as well as an option to get directions directly to your business from the app.
Zoom In & Out
How many times have you been in a situation when someone was trying to zoom in on an Instagram photo and unintentionally liked a post?! Well those days are no more, in August Instagram officially added the zoom feature. You can now pinch to zoom in on photos and videos in your feed. So if you wanted to get in on the beautiful faces of the brands and products your obsessed with, you can take your two little fingers and get up close and personal.
August 2nd, Instagram launched their stories feature. I think we all woke up that day like…say whaaaat?! To be honest, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I am definitely more of a Snapchat girl so I still like my Snaps over my Insta stories. But…I don’t want miss out on a marketing ploy that might be the next best thing, so you can definitely find me on both.
Instead of posting pictures, with stories, you can now post a bunch of photos or videos throughout the day. It is very similar to Snapchat’s stories feature. Except you can’t get the sweet filters like Snapchat has.
Not sure how to create an Instagram story? Here’s a quick tutorial…
+ Tap on the plus button found on the top-left side of your home screen on your Insta. Or you can quickly launch stories by swiping right from the main screen.
+ Tap the circle button of the screen to take photos or tap and hold to record a video.
+ Edit the photos or videos with text or add a drawing. If you hit the pen icon, there are a few fun types.
+ Tap done to save your story.
+ Tap the check-mark button to share your story and ta-da!!
You can view stories of your friends at the top of your home screen. Or if you go to their profile, their image will have Instagram’s colors circulating around the image, like shown in the image below.
This has been on Instagram for a little while now, but is still a new feature. You are now able to promote your already well-performing posts to reach even more potential customers. A promoted post means that you are turning your post into an ad. I’m sure you’ve seen those accounts and images appear in your feed that you aren’t following, those are promoted posts. This is a great opportunity to connect with more customers and users- however, this is a pay to play feature. All you have to do is simply post a picture, and click on “promote.” Then you are able to add a button encouraging people to take action, whether that is learning more about your business or directing them to go to your website. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to target for you based on your industry. In just a few steps, you’ll have your post up and running directed to a larger audience that may not know about you. This is the perfect opportunity to get in front of the right audience at the right time.
Ohhhh, this is another one of my favorites- the saved drafts. Instagram is the only social platform that does not allow you to automatically schedule and post content. This makes it difficult to manage a variety of accounts that have to be live posted on daily. However, Instagram has now made it one step easier by allowing you to create and save drafts ahead of time. And if you’re like me, always on the run, it’s nice to have a handful of posts saved in your drafts…images perfected and text laid out…so when you you’re in need of a good post, you have one on hand to shoot out. This also helps for those days you’re having a brain fart and can’t think of a darn thing to say. So on days I’m feeling extra emotional, happy and motivated…I load up my queue with thoughtful, interactive posts for those less motivated, “stuck” days.
To save a draft, upload your image and text like you typically would and then once you have everything loaded up instead of hitting share, hit the back arrow button and “save draft.”
You used to only be able to upload videos onto Instagram that were 15 seconds or less. Well, now you are able to upload a video anywhere from 3-60 seconds! Another feature I was super excited to see roll out. I think one minute is the perfect length, because anything over, let’s be honest- we all lose interest.
There’s no better time than integrating videos on Instagram than right now to connect with your potential clients and followers. Before anyone buys anything from you, they first need to know and trust you. So what better way to do that than to get right in front of them through video and show them how fun and cool you are!
Ok, the last update and one thing we’re all getting heated about, the new Instagram algorithms. I have a love/hate relationship with this new algorithm. It’s frustrating because suddenly our engagement, likes, followers all slowed down or dropped off. But, if you’re posting the right content, no need to fret. Content that generates more Instagram user interest gets more visibility.
What I’ve talked about so much within all of my posts here at Snap is the importance of engagement! engage! engage! engage! If you’re engaging with your followers and posting relevant content the algorithms won’t affect your likes and follows. Looking for ways to create engagement? Ask questions, do giveaways, link ups, hashtags to find new people that may love your brand and comment on your photos. I often get asked by our clients how much time should they spend engaging each week? To be seen in the new algorithm, you can never interact and engage enough. But what I always say is minimum 5 hours per week.
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