Instagram has changed some of its features which may influence how you use the platform as a marketing tool. Here’s what you need to know.
Some of us remember when phones were just phones; pieces of equipment we used to place calls to other people who had phones.
Then phones got cameras. They had calendars, voice recording apps, gave us the ability to do our banking, get our emails… Now, it’s hard to imagine getting through the day without our phones.
One day we’ll look back on Instagram as a social media platform we used to show off our best pictures. As businesses, Instagram was great for building brand awareness, product showcasing, and promoting offers, but very little else.
Well Instagram has changed, and you had better believe it’s now a must-have in every marketing tool kit.
Here’s what’s changed, and what it means for you.
1. Story links
One of the real drawbacks of Instagram to date has been the inability to link from an Instagram Stories post to an external website unless you had more than 10,000 followers. It meant that for small businesses, Instagram’s ability to generate leads was really limited.
Well, now that has changed and everyone can now link from their Story posts, using the link sticker. When you create a post, simply click on the link sticker and add the link.
2. Find creators
Instagram has also made it easier for brands and creators to connect. If you’re a creator, you can build a list of brands you’d like to work with, and when those brands are looking for creators to partner with, your name, and others who have nominated the brands, will show up in their search results.
Brands, on the other hand, can filter their results according to criteria including location, number of followers and age.
3. Social fundraising
Digital fundraising is a quick and simple way to raise money for a cause you care about and donate easily to those of your friends – and it really took off during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Instagram is getting in on the fundraising action.
To create a Personal Fundraiser, tap Edit Profile, Add Fundraiser and then Raise Money. Choose a fundraiser category and add details that encourage others to donate. You will need to enter your information for Stripe, to facilitate transactions.
Instagram’s social fundraising function requires approval, which normally comes in within a few hours.
We all know that Instagram collaborations are a great way to get in front of a lot of people who aren’t already following you, but until now how you appear in your partner’s timeline has been restricted to tags and mentions.
Instagram has changed that so that when you partner with another account, whatever you post in your timeline will automatically appear in theirs. This is huge for companies wanting to increase their exposure and build brand awareness.
This is a great advancement for businesses wanting to monetise their Instagram accounts.
Business accounts can now offer followers the ability to subscribe to their accounts, and for a small monthly fee, gain access to exclusive content.
Regular followers will still see your posts and stories, it’s just that subscribers get that little bit extra. It could be access to live streams or exclusive stories.
Yet, it’s not about making bucks alone – it’s about forming deeper connections between your brand and its followers.
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