In the words of the infamous Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The same can be said for social media marketing. It’s always changing and evolving, adding updates and new features that can be used as effective marketing tools, but you have to take the time to explore, experiment and learn how to use them.
Not all social media channels are the right fit for every brand, but Instagram might be the one exception. Why, you ask? Well, here are the facts:
- Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and over 500 million daily active users.
- 83% of Instagrammers say they discover new products and services on the platform.
- 500 million Instagram accounts use Instagram Stories every day (and 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses).
- 50% of Instagrammers follow at least one business.
- Instagram can generate over 4x more interactions on Instagram compared to Facebook.
- Instagram helps 80% of its users decide to buy a product or service.
- 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram.
Now that you’ve read those stats, do you think Instagram is a good marketing tool for most companies? I’d say yes; but keeping up with the ever-evolving Instagram features can be a challenge for some.
Here’s a list of some of the newest Instagram features and how they can be useful in marketing your brand.
Make Your Posts ADA-Friendly with Alt Text
Alt Text is metadata that helps computers recognize what an image is. Alt text is useful for ADA users because it tells screen readers what to say when they come to the image. On a platform like Instagram, that’s comprised mainly of images, missing alt text makes the platform virtually unusable for people with visual disabilities.
When you’re posting an image to Instagram, you can tap on Advanced Settings and choose Write Alt Text. If you want to add alt text to an already existing image, tap the three dots at the top right of your post, select Edit and then tap Edit Alt Text at the bottom right of the image.
Hide Your Hashtags
Hashtags are how content on Instagram is categorized, so if you want people to find your post, then you need to use hashtags. If you don’t like to clutter your caption with loads of hashtags, you can post a hashtag-free post, and then write a comment with all your hashtags. This will keep your post looking clean without sacrificing the usefulness of hashtags.
Hashtags in your Instagram Stories can also be hidden. Just add your hashtag to the story first, and then layer stickers or other elements over top to hide it.
Countdown Stickers on Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have an option where you can create Countdown Stickers. We’ve seen these used by businesses a lot to count down to everything from events and product releases, to new blog postings and the upcoming weekend.
Poll Stickers on Instagram Stories
Poll Stickers are an oldie but a goodie. A simple two-question poll, these stickers were one of the first features that Instagram made available to Stories. Marketing is about engagement and connecting with your audience — and what better way to do that than by asking for their opinion on something? Involve your audience by polling their input on certain things. You’ll be building a relationship with your audience AND getting valuable feedback on what they like. Two birds, one stone.
Close Friends List
The Close Friends list doesn’t sound like something that would be very useful for a business, and for that reason, it tends to get overlooked by marketers.
We said it before and we’ll say it again — marketing is about engaging and connecting with your audience. If you have Instagrammers who interact a lot with your brand, you can create a Close Friends list and use it to promote specials, VIP updates, etc. You can create these lists for your Instagram Stories and add/remove people at any time. And the best part is that no one gets notified when they’ve been added OR removed. So get creative and brainstorm ways to use Close Friends lists to your advantage!
Here’s how you create a Close Friends list: Instagram Close Friends List
Need more help? Reach out to us, we're glad to help you in any way we can.