5 Hidden Features of Instagram that All Brands and Influencers Must Know
Today, over one billion people access the app every month for networking, entertainment, business promotion, and media sharing.
In the past few years, Instagram has emerged as one of the leading platforms to promote businesses, owing to the rising number of users and social media influencers on the app. As a result, it has become a hot place for sales and promotions. If you use the Instagram business account(s), to promote your business, increase the number of sales, or simply as an influencer, there are a few unique features of Instagram that you must know how to engage your audience:
First, let’s take a look at some basic tips that will help you ace your Instagram game:
- Make the most of ready-to-use effects: There are plenty of ready-to-use features of Instagram, and you should use them creatively to showcase your work. Make use of stories, filters, stickers, GIFs, videos, etc. to keep the viewers hooked.
- Create a winning profile: Keep your Instagram ‘bio’ quirky and unique. Apart from emanating your brand’s personality, it should also deliver relevant information.
- Show behind-the-scenes action: A little sneak-peek, especially in the form of videos, could help customers engage with your brand.
- Expand your reach with hashtags: Create a unique hashtag as well as use popular ones to attract more audience. Hashtags also help audiences to access your content quickly.
- Collaborate: Whether you are a business or an influencer, collaborations could fetch you more engagement, followers, and customers. Keep an eye out for prospective collaborators and partners.
- Analyze your content: Instagram offers in-depth analytical for business accounts. You can analyze this data to find out what kind of content your audience likes the most and create new content on the same lines.
Hidden Instagram Features for Brands and Influencers
- Nametags and QR Codes
A ‘nametag’ is essentially a scannable image that a user can create using Instagram. When scanned through the app, the image redirects you to the Instagram profile of the user. You can customize it by experimenting with backgrounds, colors, emojis, etc.
Although pretty similar to QR codes, creating and using nametags are a bit complicated, as they have to be exclusively scanned in the Instagram app. An easier alternative of going through this process is that you can leverage a free online QR code generator. This way, you can generate a QR code dedicated to your account within seconds. Plus, it can be scanned with the camera of any smartphone – without the need to open Instagram. You can use both the options for networking during events and conferences. Also, you can use them in e-mails or display them at physical locations (like a store) to give customers instant access to your social media profile. Influencers, too, can print their QR code on their merchandise.
In fact, Instagram is also testing QR Codes to replace Nametags altogether.
- Turn Existing Posts into Ads
If you are an influencer or an entity and want to promote your business on Instagram, running advertisements could help you gain more followers and engagement. Earlier, businesses could run an ad only by using the ‘Promote’ button. But now, by using the Ads Manager tool on the Instagram app, you can create an ad out of any of the past Instagram post(s) from your profile. Consequently, the engagement you generate will be transferred to the organic post, regardless of how old or new it is. Running an Instagram ad on past posts can be extremely beneficial, as it can help you bolster the posts that are already doing well. Furthermore, ads also usually have a spillover effect and increase the reach of other posts as well.
- Shoppable Tags
If you have an existing online business, shoppable tags are a way to use social media to promote your products. Shoppable tags are price ‘tags’ that you can attach to your Instagram posts, mentioning a short description of the product and its price. These tags redirect a user to the original shopping page, and they can shop directly from Instagram instead of using a separate app or browser. You can create these tags by linking your Instagram account to your official Facebook Page (or creating a new one) and then uploading the pictures of your products in the form of a catalog.
There are many benefits of using shoppable tags in posts as well as stories on Instagram, like:
- Shorter user journey
- Competitive advantage
- Make most of the seasonal trends
- Unfollow a User without Actually Unfollowing them
At the nascent stage of growth of your Instagram account, you might follow other pages or people to grow engagement and follower count. However, after some time, a lot of these accounts lose relevance. Their content might not be at par, does not match your values, or even relevant to you, but unfollowing them now might seem rude.
Don’t fret. Instagram has a perfect solution to this dilemma. Unfollow such accounts without actually unfollowing them by using the mute feature. You can either mute their stories, or posts, or both. Once you mute an account, you won’t see any of their content in your feed or stories. This feature, although not known to many, was primarily created by Instagram to let the user be in control of the content they want to see on their feed. This special feature sets Instagram apart from other social networks, allowing users and businesses to streamline their feeds.
- Requesting a Verification Badge
The coveted blue tick next to your profile is crucial if you want everyone who looks you up to reach your genuine profile. Instagram offers these ‘badges’ to public figures, celebrities, businesses, and brands after confirming their authenticity. Many people wrongly assume that these badges appear automatically after amassing a certain number of followers or that Instagram approaches you to verify your account. However, anyone can request a verified badge for their profile, provided it falls into one of the categories mentioned earlier. All you need to do is go to Settings > Account > Request Verification. You will also have to provide some sort of government-issued photo identification.
Remember, submitting a verification request doesn’t mean that you will get the badge, even if you are eligible for it. Instagram may deny your request, and you will be eligible to submit a new request only after 30 days of the rejection. Instagram has stringent rules regarding offering verified badges and can also revoke the badges (or even disable the account) of those who sell or transfer their badge, promote other services or try to get a verification badge through a third-party.
Instagram has revolutionized the way we consume information, shop, and get our daily dose of entertainment. Apart from being the go-to image-sharing app for millions across the world, Instagram has also become the undisputed king for product promotion and influencer market. By learning more features that they can use, both businesses and people can promote themselves as a unique brand. Remember, content is king on Instagram, so all you need to elicit genuine user engagement is quality visuals and images.