1. Stories: Haven’t We Seen This Before?
Admittedly, yes, we had some apprehension with the August 2016 introduction of ‘Instagram Stories’ and its seemingly identical parallel to pre-existing Snapchat. However, the level of impact is the real difference here.
Snapchat is a far more inclusive platform than Instagram. Adding someone to your Snap circle is likely to be based off of a personal connection over searching for a user and simply viewing their story from there.
This carries us into the point that you do not need to be following someone on Instagram (as long as they have a Public account) to view their story; not to mention, promotions for profiles appear and refresh daily on the app’s ‘Explore’ tab which is a shortcoming with Snapchat.
Celebrities and Influencers that did not already have a strong Snapchat audience prior to the drop of Instagram stories have seen a significant decline in views. According to an article on Tech Crunch, media marketing and business development agency Fighter Interactive’s CEO Kwasi Asare states, “Snapchat opens have gone down a minimum of 15 percent for some big social media stars.”
On the other hand, celebs and the like that have a high following on Instagram tend to only see increases in followers – largely due to the mentioned accessibility of IG’s stories.
With all this in mind, Instagram stories are the way to go for sharing with your audience. Businesses now have the ability to snag behind the scenes shots, upcoming events, and fun clips (i.e. using the Boomerang feature, which Snapchat still lacks).
Posting stories to an account offers prime real-time interaction you can watch and rewatch countless times in a twenty-four hour period, versus a post that may get lost amongst a sea of pictures in a feed. It’s a quick, fresh, innovative way to connect with followers.
2. Creativity: What’s the real benefit here?
Even though the days of discolored border frames are gone, Instagram has kept the encouragement of creativity alive. We have seen this first hand with the additions of features such as Stories, Boomerang, Gallery, Editing tools, etc.
Keeping creativity updated is important for users to showcase themselves – whether it be as a brand or individual. You may not quite consider yourself as artsy or innovative, but Instagram and other editing apps grant us the tools to help you get there.
Outside of Instagram directly, countless free apps are available to use for editing with different filters and other tools that Instagram is currently missing. An app like Photo Grid, with no direct relation to the Instagram company, has over 100 million users according to App Annie.
3. Connection: Can I properly monitor my page’s action with a packed schedule?
Perhaps the best aspect of Instagram is its mobile efficiency. The app was built and primed for on-the-go users. Not near your computer or laptop as often as your smartphone? No problem.
Instagram has grown a very business-friendly platform with access to analytics through your company’s business profile and the ability to market your brand in real time to smartphone users.
According to a 2016 poll done by Fortune, “shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online” not to mention, “44% of smartphone users made buys through their devices, compared to 41% a year ago.”
4. Engagement: How do I increase a sense of community?
The built-in analytics feature of having an Instagram business account will become your best friend. Easily accessible with current results in real time make for helpful information, literally, at your fingertips.
Understanding your demographics is key to help shape posts and potential campaigns around your target market. Bringing in outside sources such as Iconosquare, formally known as Statigram, are great tools with additional insights and management organization.
Contests and giveaways are ever growing opportunities for Instagram pages to acquire more attention and retention.
5. Paid Media: If it’s my first time trying a campaign, how do I launch a successful one?
An article from Abegail Smith on Soldsie states that, according to research, “people remember ads on Instagram about 3 times more than the average ads online.”
By taking your campaign to Instagram, you are already making a smart first step. The popularity of the platform itself in addition to visual tools make way for a first-rate promotion.
The above article also recommends the use of the application Yotpo which allows subscribers to collect images and reviews given by your followers and in turn, shifting that information to your next post.
It really is all about taking the steps toward advancement in your Instagram knowledge. Look at big name profiles like for inspiration! A prime example is Starbucks – the account capitalizes on all available assets to create the best profile they can. Add content to your Instagram stories daily, step out of your traditional creativity zone, study the details, and execute an ad campaign.