Instagram’s 5 hottest updates in 2018 and how they’ll help you gain Instagram followers
Instagram is one of our favourite social media platforms, it’s a fantastic tool to create a buzz around your business and build your brand’s personality. Yes! A social platform can do all of this!
Its primary goal is no longer just to entertain visitors, Instagram now boasts a whole new level of functionality for retail purposes, by incorporating call to actions (CTA) and outbound links in images. This innovation promises exciting results for marketers, and a fantastic user experience for browsers.
As the business world changes, our advertising tactics should too. Staying clued-up on the latest innovations on social media is one of the most undervalued approaches to highly-effective marketing in the digital sphere. Using a platform to its full potential is the best way to enhance your visibility and, in this case, gain Instagram followers along the way. Let’s get Insta Smart and familiarise ourselves with some of the top Instagram updates of 2018.
1. Welcome IGTV
Instagram, meet YouTube. IGTV enables Instagram users to take hour-long videos, and it’s a vlogger’s dream come true! It also makes it easier to promote what you’re all about because you can post a video longer than one minute and invite your followers to experience more of your brand’s personality.
Day-to-day activities, company tours, and behind-the-scenes project footage all make fantastic videos that provide viewers with insight into who you are. Unlike YouTube’s adverts, watching the videos uploaded by companies and individuals is completely optional. Your followers will receive a notification alerting them of your video, they can then visit their IGTV feed and watch your content. They also have the option of switching between channels, and after watching your video, they can view other posters’ content by swiping up.
2. How to gain Instagram followers using the @mention update when sharing stories
Picture this: You’ve got the perfect photo opportunity, it’s an occasion you simply have to capture. Perhaps it’s the most Insta-worthy restaurant meal ever, your new puppy, or a sunset to die for. Unfortunately, your phone is nowhere to be found.
This is when @mention sharing saves the day. Your friends take that once-in-a-lifetime photo for you, upload it, and mention @you in their photo. This allows you to share that upload into your own story when you have access to your phone again. Voila!
@mention works by giving you a notification when you get mentioned. It will give you the option to share the upload you’ve been mentioned in as your own content. You can tap to view it as a sticker, resize it, rotate it, and edit it with creative tools.
This concept gains value when it’s used in a business context, for brand awareness. It can be used to encourage traffic to your Instagram business profile when other people post images and mention you. It also gives you the added benefit of having user-generated content, meaning your followers post on your behalf while you grow your audience.
3. Shoppable tags extended to stories
Shoppable Tags is an interesting new feature which was only extended to select big name-brands, to begin with, but is now available to all profiles. The whole concept of this feature is to have your brands’ images tagged with products, making it easier for Instagram users to purchase your wares.
If the image is shoppable (i.e. there’s a product to purchase in the image), a small shopping bag icon will be present at the bottom left of the image, and small white dots will appear on the image where the shoppable products are. Tapping the shopping bag icon brings a pop-up description of the product with its price. Tapping on the pop-up description gives you an enlarged image of the product, a detailed description of it, and the option to “view on website”. Selecting the “view on website” option will take the shopper off Instagram and to the seller’s website where the purchase can be made. Shoppable tags make the whole process quick and easy while encouraging more traffic to your e-commerce website. Talk about winning from every angle!
Setting up Tap to Shop functionality requires time and an existing ecommerce website 🙂
4. Instagram Call to Action buttons.
Ever wanted to make a purchase, book for an event, or place an order via an Instagram profile?. Well, now you can! Instagram has conveniently added a feature that allows business profiles to add a CTA button to their Profiles. Your destination link gets placed in a strip above your gallery. In the past, Instagram only gave business profiles three link options, which were ‘call’, ‘email’, and ‘directions’.
Now, you are able to add action links, like ‘get tickets’, ‘start order’ and ‘booking options’. This enables customers to utilise your products and services more conveniently than ever before. These action links can be connected to booking platforms, like Eventbrite and Chownow. To do this, you will need to create your event page on that platform first. Once that is done, customers will be able to perform the purchase from within Instagram.
5. Instagram survey stickers
On a scale of 🙂 to 🙁 , how much do you love these new sticker options for Instagram stories?
We think they’re positively fantastic! These stickers allow businesses to engage with their followers in a fun and lighthearted way, whilst still getting some valuable insight. You can use survey stickers to gain feedback on anything at all – think about how that might work for each of your services and products, for example. Surveys simplify the process of identifying which areas of your business clients love, and where to invest a little more attention and fine-tuning.
There are 3 survey sticker types:
Ask a question
This sticker option allows you to ask a question, giving your audience the chance to give you feedback based on their opinions or experiences. This makes your surveys interactive which is an important element if your business is keen to engage rather than just broadcast. This sticker can also be used the other way around – where your followers can ask YOU a question, so give that a try too.
We’re already using emojis to convey tone in our texts on other social platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. Instagram’s emoji slider sticker is very similar to the ‘ask a question’ sticker, except this one gives your followers an emoji scale. The scale gives you more insight than a simple yes or no, it tells how strong the reactions are, ie “I like this feature 6/10 as opposed to 9/10”.
This sticker is used for tallying up votes. This allows you to ask a question that’s answerable with a yes or no to give you quantities, as opposed to the emoji slider’s ability to reveal quality. This is akin to the voting system used in competitions and TV shows, like Idols. It’s a great way to compare brands, products, services, and preferences your audience may have. Information like that is crucial to building your business to cater to the needs and demands of the public.
Social media for business
Instagram, like all social platforms, is in a state of perpetual growth and change. Businesses seeking to connect with their clients in the ‘Instaphere’ can expect better engagement and leads-to-sales conversions. This is thanks to an improved browsing experience and easier purchasing procedures.
This platform continues to exceed our expectations, which is why it is one of the most utilised social media tools in our results-driven marketing strategy at Brand Candy.
Learn how to manage your business’ profile and grow your audience using proven techniques and industry best practices. Contact us at Brand Candy on 031 765 1421 or connect with us in our natural habitat, the digital sphere, on Facebook or Instagram.