During 2018, Instagram turned up the heat, making it one of, if not the top social media app when it comes to internet marketing. There are so many new and exciting features available on Instagram that it’s almost hard to keep up! To help you make the most out of your Instagram efforts, I created the ultimate guide to Instagram features. This guide will break down all the features and help you understand how to use them.
Before we dive into the features, you have to understand why you need to be using them. If I could sum it up into one word, it would be: ALGORITHM. This year I feel like all I have done is talk about ALGORITHMS. Although it is not an edgy topic, it is one that defines your success on social media. The more you work towards meeting the algorithm requirements, the more successful your account will be.
About the Instagram Algorithm…
The Instagram algorithm is built on interactions. In the simplest of terms…Instagram will measure how many interactions you get per story, IGTV, and post. Bottom line, your objective when it comes to the Instagram algorithm is to generate interactions from your audience. To do that, Instagram gives you tools to help you encourage interactions and engagement from your followers. Below is a guide of the various features Instagram provides so that you may encourage engagement and interactions with your audience and followers
- Poll Sticker – Find out what your audience desires! Take a poll to determine “either/or” responses based on the questions you ask.
- Questions Sticker – The feature helps you connect with your audience. You can ask your audience any question you like or vice-versa. It really helps to get the conversation started!
- Sliders Sticker – Want to know how your audience really feels on a certain topic or issue? Use a slider scale and the perfect emoji that depicts the response. The more the audience member slides, the more intense they feel about the topic.
- @Mention Sticker – Recognize your audience! Use the @Mention feature to highlight and recognize certain people. You can even use this sticker to direct people to your profile page to click on a link
- Hashtag Sticker – Using the hashtag sticker helps people discover you. Many times Instagram will randomly select stories within a specific hashtag and feature that story, giving even more exposure to the content creator. Always use the hashtag sticker on every Instagram story you create.
- Location Sticker – This is another great feature to use to get more eyeballs on your content. Use relevant location stickers on every Instagram post you create.
- Send a message – at the bottom of every Instagram story, there is the option to send the “broadcaster” a message. When viewers engage through a direct message or “DM”, this counts as a very strong interaction within the Instagram algorithm. Encouraging viewers to send a DM if they have questions that need to be answered or if they would like to continue the conversation is a great strategy to help keep your Instagram algorithm rank high.
Instagram gives you the opportunity to upload up to 10 pictures and videos to 1 post, creating a carousel post. When creating content for Instagram, think about how you can create a story or “steps” to a post that encourage people to swipe through. This type of post is considered to be highly engaging within the Instagram algorithm since Instagram recognizes that audience members pause, focus, and engage with the post to consume the entire content. The more people that “swipe left” on the post, the more Instagram recognizes it as a post of high value.
When creating content for your audience, focus on creating content the people will want to refer back to time and time again. In order for someone to view these posts in the future, the user will need to tap on the “bookmark” icon below the post and save it to a “collection” that they can name for future reference (this option is available on each and every post in the Instagram newsfeed). Examples of content that works well as “save-able” posts are:
- Graphs, Tables, & Pie Charts
Use your creativity to design posts of high value.
Now that you have an idea of what Instagram is looking for when it comes to your posts, it’s time to start creating content that increases your engagement and interaction with your audience. Need help coming up with some ideas? I have some tools for you to check out: