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“More than 800 Million Instagram users worldwide are active every single month and 80% of them follow a business account.” - Instagram Business
With a variety of active accounts on the platform, it is essential for a brand to stay updated and stand out from its competitors. Here is a practical guide that introduces you to the latest 2018 Instagram features and explain why it is important to use them.
It’s official, you can now shop on Instagram! This new feature makes it easier for a customer to discover your products on your Instagram page. Thanks to a direct link to your website, shoppable posts can significantly improve traffic to your checkout page. Available exclusively for business accounts, you need a Shopify store with a paid plan first and then include your product catalogue to your Instagram account.
As a brand, introducing your products through an Instagram post is a clear and easy way to display what you’re selling with an actual twist. Get creative with your approach, and stay true to your brand identity with the shoppable posts.
Instagram now allows business users to be more transparent with their audience by indicating their partnership with a brand for a publication. This feature is only available for business accounts and will be gradually available for other users. Influencers with access to this feature may also mention their paid partnership in the stories.
This mention gives more visibility to brands and gives the user a direct link to their Instagram account. Compared to the old method of #ad, this new feature allows for a better drive-to-web and also formalizes the partnership since the sponsor must approve the content before being displayed.
"The key in a brand-influencer partnership is transparency. It's the basis for everything to work! " - Jean-Philippe Shoiry, Chief of content strategy.
An influencer gains in being transparent with his collaborations. A greater transparency creates both a bond of trust with his community, but also gives a signal to brands that it is relevant to do business with him. Brands have an interest in pushing their content with influencers who have a good relationship with their community.
In addition, this initiative gives brands access to publication statistics. Identified as a partnership, or not, organic and authentic content remains the key for this platform.
Here’s how creators can identify their collaborations:
While third-party social media management programs such as Later or Sprout were already able to make an editorial calendar with release dates, it is now possible to program it directly. You understand that this new feature was eagerly awaited.
Automated publishing is good for a brand, as it can prevent publication oversights by a community manager outside of office hours, and therefore prevent your brand from missing timely moments when community traffic is at its peak.
These programs are also relevant in terms of comment moderation and performance report analysis through insights provided by programs.
But beware! While these third-party platforms can make work easier, it's very important to interact with your community. The key to success on Instagram is authenticity and spontaneity, but the exclusive use of a management program can remove the human side of the brand. It is important to give time to explore the platform and to humanize the brand's interactions with its community.
This is why the biggest risk for a company with this new feature is to program its content and no longer ensure a daily presence on the platform itself.
Your stories now have the chance to live more than 24 hours on the platform! It is now possible to save a favourite moment to the front page or simply highlight stories that permanently enrich the Instagram page.
As a brand, it is wise to share a story during the peak of traffic while keeping it on its profile for users who have not had the chance to see it.
Here’s 4 ways to use highlights to your advantage
Another novelty for stories: a notification during a screenshot to the user. Although this can put barriers to some, it can still offer companies a good indicator of engagement with their community. Therefore, have a better idea about good moves and less good shots.
Here is an idea to use this feature to his advantage and have insights on participation:
Have your audience take a screenshot of your story and customize it with GIFs.
Stay tuned for any activity related to a hashtag in your news feed. This feature is useful as a trademark when it comes to photo curation and user generated content search. It also facilitates contact with your audience.
Finally, some organization in our saved posts! Our tips? Create collections that represent your branding strategy and illustrate your tactics. For example, a User Generated Content (UGC) collection, an inspirational collection, and a collection of potential influencers for your brand.
It is now possible to share a picture of a user in a story without going through the screenshot! This method greatly facilitates sharing and gives direct access to the user's Instagram account by simply clicking on the image.
In light of these new features, 2018 promises to be a year where creativity and commitment will be essential for a brand to stand out on Instagram. At first glance, make sure your strategies are trend-responsive to deliver relevant content to your audience.