Instagram has been your darling for ages. You have mastered your game, but there’s always room for more improvement. Savvy business babes know that taking advantage of all the platform’s features is essential to mastering it.
Considering all the latest updates on Instagram (not just the algorithm!), our team decided to round up the newest features, along with some handy tips for leveraging them!
EMBRACE INSTAGRAM LIVE STREAMS
Live streaming may be your answer to higher Instagram engagement. Your live video will appear right in front of all other stories with an eye-catching “live” logo, which entices more clicks. You can later replay the live video in your Stories for 24 hours and still get even more exposure.
Next, did you know that since July, viewers can respond to your live stories in real-time?
Yep, it’s no longer just likes or comments. Peeps can now DM pictures, videos, and boomerangs during your stream. This feature allows you to build up the momentum in real time.
For instance, imagine you are hosting a brand-sponsored competition or giveaway. You can encourage everyone to enter the draw by submitting a themed picture or another type of content. You can feature submissions in real time and encourage your audience to be super creative.
And that’s not it. You can soon share the fun and co-host a live video with your BFF or a special guest. Earlier this month, Instagram announced that they have started testing this feature with a selected group of users. It is expected to roll out globally over the next couple of months. So you still have time to create a list of great co-hosts ☺
Here’s how co-hosting live videos on Instagram will work:
- A new icon will be available on the bottom right of the live screen to add a guest.
- Tap it and invite anyone who’s currently watching your stream.
- After the guest joins, your screen will be split into two and their happy face will pop up right below yours.
- You can add/remove guests as you please any time during the broadcast. Guests can also leave the stream on their own.
Feeling thrilled? Go check if by any chance this feature is already available to you!
USE THE “SAVE” FEATURE STRATEGICALLY
A while ago Instagram introduced the “Save Post” feature, meaning that you can have a private photo collection on Instagram.
Here’s how you can strategically use it:
- Save and curate shopping finds.
- List bucket list travel destinations and local recommendations.
- Organize submissions/tags from contents/giveaways.
- Track competition.
- Catalogue potential sponsors.
- Save inspirational shots for reference.
What’s more important though, is that it allows your followers to save your content for later too!
And the best part – Instagram Business accounts offer analytics for saved posts.
This gives you another valuable metric to track engagement outside of likes and comments.
For instance, we have noticed that posts on our Instagram account related to tech or blogging tips receive tons of “saves”. We use these insights to understand what type of content to share and you can do the same!
AVOID USING BANNED HASHTAGS
This may not be the feature Instagram is promoting, but banned hashtags have become a thing lately. The company now embraced the mission of automating the platform cleanup from shady content (the one violating their policies) and already banned over 60,000 hashtags.
Surprisingly, these are not just the obviously offensive or inappropriate ones. Hashtags like #boho, #tanlines, #costumes #saltwater #skype are also on the no-go list.
So what’s the problem with banned hashtags?
Using them severely impacts the reach of your post. You will not get a notification, but your post will not show up in the banned hashtag search results….and it will not show up in search results for any other hashtag you have used on your post too. Ouch!
HOW TO SPOT A BANNED HASHTAG
Go to discovery section and type your hashtag.
- Click on it and review the search results.
- If you can only see “Top Posts” for this hashtag and a message as shown in the image above – the hashtag is banned. Don’t use it!
Now, go on and start experimenting with these features. Using them should help you increase your audience engagement, plan your Instagram strategy better and ultimately get more followers.