Feature focus: 3 Instagram updates for marketing managers
There are no two exact same Instagram interfaces.
Social media developers are notorious for releasing different beta versions to different users, which can sometimes be confusing and even annoying.
But at the end of the day, all these experiments and tests are for the greater good. The marketers’ good, to be exact.
In autumn 2021, Instagram has pleased marketers all over the world with a multitude of various innovative features that can change the world of social media marketing for the better.
We’ve collected the three most impactful, popular and valuable recent Instagram feature releases to tell you how you can use them to your advantage. Read until the end of the article to find out how your business can benefit from the ‘Links in Stories’ and ‘Add Yours’ stickers, and the Instagram Collabs feature.
Links in Stories
Chances are, you already know about this feature update because everybody and their dog has been raving about it in a recent couple of days. But considering how long-awaited this one is, it would be a crime not to mention it.
Up until recently, only Instagram influencers that could boast having over 10K followers had an opportunity to share active links in their Stories. You know that ‘swipe up’ type of big boys, don’t you? Smaller accounts had to resort to using Linktree to publish the links to all the content they wanted to promote in their bio.
Well, discrimination no more!
Instagram has recently decided to abolish the swipe-up link and let everyone, regardless of the size of their followers base, share links in a form of a tappable link sticker.
All you need to do to direct your Instagram Story viewers to your website, your blog or who-knows-where-else is add the Link sticker to your story and specify the URL address of where you’re sending those who tap on it.
How does this feature help marketers? Plenty of ways, really! You can make your Stories more interactive, promote your content on other platforms and increase conversions by sharing a direct link to your product’s purchase page.
Just remember to keep it PG. Accounts that share misinformation, hate speech and indecent content will be blocked from using Link Stickers.
If your own profile could use some help, Instagram has just blessed us all with a banging feature called Instagram Collabs. This is a total game-changer for all the businesses out there that want to reach broader audiences, make more impact on their target segments and raise brand awareness.
Essentially, Collabs is a tool for creators collaboration that allows them to co-author on feed content on Reels and have it show up on both contributors’ feeds. According to Instagram, here’s what happens when you Collab:
- Both creators names appear on the header
- Content gets shared to both sets of followers
- Content appears on both profile grids
- All the engagement such as views, likes and comments is shared
To tap into new audiences, you simply need to send a Collab request to the user you want to co-author with and wait for them to accept your request. Do it by clicking on the ‘Invite Collaborator’ tab after you upload a feed post or a Reel and put in the username of the person or brand you want to include in it.
Beware! You won’t be able to leverage the benefit of Instagram Collabs until the person you’ve tagged accepts the invite. So… Don’t try to slyly steal someone’s audience and – on the bright side – don’t worry about someone unwanted tapping into yours.
Add Yours Sticker
The last Instagram update that set off a worldwide craze is the new ‘Add Yours’ sticker. After releasing its beta version to folks in Indonesia and Japan at the end of October and seeing a lot of positive feedback, Instagram decided to roll out the interactive sticker feature for everybody.
The principle is pretty straightforward. The ‘Add Yours’ sticker allows users to create a collaborative Stories album that everyone can contribute to. The top of the sticker suggests a prompt for the Story and can be either custom or generated by Instagram at random. Every response to the sticker appears in the Stories chain.
There are several ways in which marketers can benefit from this feature.
Firstly, you can increase your brand exposure by participating in public flash mobs and posting Stories in response to the already existing threads.
While the update is still hot and users are curious about how the new magic button works, they’re likely to press on it and swipe through the threads they come across out of sheer human curiosity. So, take this opportunity to publish as many responses to various viral ‘Add Yours’ prompts as you can before the hype dies out.
Just make sure to keep your Stories on brand – your existing followers will see them, too.
🔥Red-Hot Tip from VistaCreate🔥
The author of the most viral Stories threads at the moment is @astrida_03. Check out her profile for dozens of ready-made prompts your brand could utilise.
Even after the ‘Add Yours’ trend does a Clubhouse and fades out (just like every other trend that goes viral overnight), you can still keep using it to your advantage. Instead of going for generic popular threads seek the ones relevant to your specific niche or industry. To an extent, it’s even better of a decision as it helps you to reach your specific target audience instead of trying to market your business to the people who have no interest in it.
If you can’t find a chain to contribute to… Start one yourself! Instagram is great at giving kudos to the people who help to develop the community, so every sticker mentions its creator. Suppose your sticker goes big and becomes the next ‘Favourite photo from this summer’, then you can expect at least some return on investment as an honourable trendsetter.
Besides, the ‘Add Yours’ sticker is also a great tool for a brand to establish a stronger relationship with its audience and acquire some high-quality user-generated content. React to the Stories your follower’s post in the chain started by you either by responding to them in direct messages or by reposting their Stories into your account.
Congrats! Now you have three more highly-useful features in your Instagram marketing stack to utilise in your next campaign. Combine them with our 6 proven growth tactics to grow your Instagram account, and you’re all set for success!