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Everything You Need to Know About the Instagram Features and How to Use Them

Sis, let’s be clear, social media for your business is necessary. Even if you are not a social media fan, you are missing out on a “free” way to promote your business to millions of people online if you are not using Instagram for your business. But I get it; if you don’t use this platform regularly, all of the available features can be stressful. Let me take some of the overwhelm off your shoulders.

 

Take a close look at some of the features Instagram offers and how you might be able to use them to step your Instagram game up.

 

Instagram Creator and Business Profiles

To guarantee you are getting the most out of Instagram for your business or personal brand, upgrade your user profile to a creator profile or a business profile. Creator profiles are geared towards personal name brands or influencers who want to track their activity and engagement. Many of the features that you need to take full advantage of what Instagram offers do not become accessible unless you upgrade your profile. Plus, you should NEVER be conducting business from personal accounts because that violates the terms and conditions of the platform.

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Instagram Bio

Your bio on Instagram is the first opportunity for you to introduce yourself to your audience.  This is where you tell your audience what you do and who you do it for. No matter what type of Instagram profile you have, you are allowed 50 characters for your brand or business description. Take advantage of this by offering a quick promotion of your unique business qualities, and make sure to keep your biography updated according to any business or brand changes. You can even add a link to provide direct access to the products you offer, a personal website, a blog, or even just other social media platforms will increase your engagement and exposure. If you need to showcase more than one link, sign up for a free Linktree account and all of your links can be in one place.  

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Instagram Insights

With a personal profile, you will not have access to Instagram insights that track your views and general engagement. This feature is only available for creator and business accounts and gives you the advantage of understanding what your viewers and followers enjoy from your brand the most, what time your followers are online, where they  are located etc. This information acts as a guide for better promotion and learning to increase your social media presence.

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Boost Posts as Ads

Have you ever seen the little blue button under your Instagram post that says “Boost Post?”  This is Instagram’s way of allowing you the opportunity to turn any of your Instagram posts into ads that will pop up as suggested content for Instagram users who might enjoy your brand. Boosting the post is the paid option to expand your reach beyond your current following or hashtags and expose your content to new profiles.

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Instagram Shopping

You can now sell your products directly on Instagram using Facebook pay by connecting your online store to your Facebook business manager. Use this feature to promote your products in general posts and bring people directly to the product that your posts are offering. ​​

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Shoppable Tags in Stories

If you are selling products on Instagram or even just promoting them, you can now include links right in your story to bring viewers to your products. This provides easy access to your services and makes it easier for viewers to know exactly what you have to offer as a brand or small business without them having to leave the platform.

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Filters

Instagram offers 25 different filters for your photos that allow you to control the tone of each post. Small business owners often aren’t photographers or are not ready to invest in a branding shoot so using this tool allows you to enhance images before you upload them.

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Stories & Stickers

Instagram stories are always adding new features that you can use to control the image of your brand or business projects to followers and potential followers. By posting consistently on your Instagram story, you can use it as a free advertisement. You can encourage engagement from your viewers by producing polls, sliders, questions, quizzes, and countdown stickers.

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Story Highlights

Instagram stories also allow you to highlight and pin your favorite posts to the top of your profile. You can create portfolios of promotional pictures you put on your story so that they don’t vanish after the 24hour time frame. These will appear right under your biography for visitors and followers to access at any time.

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Pinning Comments

When you have followers who leave positive comments, this can also serve as a positive review for your brand or business. Instagram allows you to pin desired comments at the top of each post so that when traffic comes to your page, they are seeing great comments about you first and also lets the commenter know that you value their opinion.

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Collab Feature

With the help of the Instagram Collab feature, brands can easily co-author posts or reels in just a few taps. Once the co-author approves their tag on your post, you will share likes, comments, and even the audiences/followers on your profiles for the collaborated post/reel. Best to use this feature when you are guest speaking at an event or when you are highlighting a customer.

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Instagram Reels/Video Posts

An entire section of your feed is dedicated to Instagram Reels. These are short clips (videos that are 7-.59 secs) that can be used to promote, advertise, or develop an idea of your brand and business. It’s a great way to creatively engage with your audience using photos, texts, videos, and trending sounds. Instagram is favoring this content right now and pushing the posts to a broader audience organically so be sure to add this feature into your content strategy. 

 

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Instagram Live

This feature may be one of the best for direct interaction with your audience. You can notify your followers ahead of time that you will be going live on Instagram. Instagram will even notify your followers through push notifications directly on their cell phone when you are actively live so that they can be sure to tap in. Instagram live allows you to converse more openly and directly with people engaging with your brand or business. It’s a great form of promotion because people not only want to know what you do, they want to know how you do it. Bonus tip: invite a friend or business partner online so you can be introduced to their audience as well. 

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IGTV

Instagram TV, which we all know as IGTV, allows creators to upload high-quality, long-form, vertical videos. IGTV allows Instagram users to create channels where they can upload videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Large accounts can upload videos that are up to 60 minutes long. There is even a “series” feature so you can group videos by theme. This is an excellent feature for creators interested in vlogging their processes.

Kalea Wright

Kalea is a social media marketing specialist. She is a true social media lover and online community builder. Kalea thrives on collaboration, organization, and good relationships.

1 Comment

  1. Michelle Fox on March 24, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    This is great!! I love keeping up with my fellow Sistah’s on social media. Question: would you be willing to create a follow-up blog on ads? Are they worth it? How well do they perform? Is Instagram better than Facebook, etc.?

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