6 New Instagram Features That’ll Massively Grow Your Brand’s Engagement in 2018

In January 2018, according to insights by Statista, Instagram’s active users already made up 11% of the earth’s population. The photo sharing social media platform which is rumored to be the recent “engine behind Facebook’s growth” has also proven to be a great source of mobile ads revenue for the mother company over the past few months as brands shift focus to engage their audience with visually appealing content.

Recent updates have not only been adapted to give users a better experience on the platform, but also introduces exciting new features that content creators and brands are fast taking advantage of.

Skip this paragraph to see some of my favourite ones yet and how brands can put them to work. (Oh well, you read it all 🤣🤣🤣).

Instagram Shopping Feature

This awesome feature which comes at no extra cost or subscription is recently rolling out for everyone after a successful beta launch in 2017 which was only available to selected businesses in the US. With this feature, retail brands can simply tag products on their regular posts which leads to the product page on the brand’s website, allowing shoppers buy the product seamlessly when they click on product tags. What makes this feature so amazing? Brands can seamlessly direct users to a particular product without having them leave the app.

Instagram Product Post

IGTV

This recent feature from Instagram is an “upgrade” on the already existing self-destruct Instagram Story feature. Although Instagram allows you archive and highlight your favourite stories for more than 24 hours, but with IGTV you don’t have to worry about how many places to cut your videos.

Video content creators are probably the most excited citizens of Instagram. Imagine what your brand could do with 60 minutes of video on your Instagram. Like Boomerang and Layout, IGTV comes with a native app that integrates with your IG account.

Username and Hashtag Links in Bio

Recently Instagram now allows you link usernames and hashtags in your bio by using “@” and “#”. This creates a clickable link that can lead visitors to a specific hashtag or another Instagram profile. Although no release from Instagram says this makes your profile searchable from those hashtags, this is a great way to lead people directly to your content or another profile.

Story Hashtags and Location Stickers

Why am I talking about stickers? Yes, but these aren’t just for sticking on your Story post. Using location stickers on your stories automatically adds your post to suggested stories in the explore feed of users around that location which translates to more eyeballs on your story posts and profile clicks.

Emoji Sliders, Questions and Polls

With so many updates heading towards Instagram stories, I feel the need to write entirely about this section of the app. There tons of ways brands can currently engage with your audience in your Instagram stories. Top brands already use features like ‘Poll’ and ‘ask me a question’ to collect relevant input from customers and followers on their new services and product. With Emoji Slider, you can get you audience to rate your posts on a scale from cool 😎 tofmeh 😒, depending on what emoji you choose, you can also get feedbacks using polls or run a QnA using the ‘Ask me a question’ feature.

Action Buttons

Action buttons are probably one the best things that happened to Instagram in the last few weeks, this update which is now available to everyone is designed to expand the app’s booking and payment features for brands. Similar to Facebook’s Page ‘Contact Button’, this feature lets users make reservations, purchase tickets, start a restaurant order or book a service without leaving Instagram. While Instagram plans to bring the action buttons to more apps, business profiles can use these already added apps.

Acuity Scheduling

Atom Tickets

Booksy

ChowNow

Eatstreet

Eventbrite

Fandango

Fresha

Genbook

GetSquire

Gopanache

GrubHub.

LaFourchette

MyTime

OpenTable

Reserve

Restorando

Resy

Setmore

SevenRooms

StyleSeat

Tock

Vagaro

Yelp Reservations

There are tons of ways brands, content creators and users are taking advantage of the new Instagram features. Which are your favourites and how do you currently use them?