According to studies, Instagram is pushing full-speed ahead into the social media realm.
In fact, Instagram added more than 200 million users in just the last year. And, there are more than 25 million business profiles on Instagram which is up from 15 million in July of 2017.
So, not only is Instagram a platform you should be using for your business, it’s one that keeps changing and evolving to make things better for its personal and its business users.
Let’s look at why you need to keep your eye on Instagram in 2018.
The Instagram Shopping Feature
Up until now, it was hard to use links to your products in your Instagram posts. Sure, you can direct users to your profile info, but that asks a lot of your followers.
In 2018, Instagram makes full use of the shopping feature. What does this mean for your business? It means you can link your product and service posts to landing pages on your website.
Instagram and Shopify now have a new shopping integration. If you use Shopify for your ecommerce, you’re in great shape to leverage this feature.
With Instagram’s shopping feature, you can tag your products in each photo and list the item’s name and price right in the photo. Your followers can then click to buy your product without ever leaving Instagram.
Instagram Stories and Website Links
If you want to drive traffic to your website as well as sales, Instagram Stories are a new way to accomplish this.
While before you could only add one hyperlink in your bio, your business can now get clicks and page views from Instagram.
This is good not only for you but for Instagram, too, as it has long been seen as challenging for companies that want to drive traffic to their website.
By using Instagram Stories, you can drive website visitors to your landing pages, blog or informational pages.
With Stories, you can use visuals like photos, videos and design to drive interest. Users just have to swipe up to see more and visit your landing page.
Stories uses a “see more” call to action at the bottom of the photo. Since it’s small, consider adding a button, arrows or other design feature to call attention to it.
The good news is that this feature is great if you have more than 10,000 followers. So, what about those of you with less than that?
You’ll find an Instagram Stories hack to help with that. Your best bet is to tag users in your stories. This means you can even tag your own business.
To do this, click on the capital letter A at the top right of the app when you’re posting a story. Then, type @ followed by your businesses’ user name.
Instagram links your username to your profile, and this creates a clickable link for your followers. This lets you tease a product or download and follow it up in Stories by saying, “Visit our profile link for more info.”
Users Can Follow Hashtags
This is a great new feature especially for those of you that really leverage branded hashtags.
Your users can now follow hashtags. This means they can follow your branded hashtag and see your top posts. It also lets them view your latest hashtag stories.
With all the new changes to Instagram in 2018, you just might find that Instagram is just as important to you as your website.
More and more people are searching for businesses right on Instagram before they even visit your website. This is why the branding of your Instagram feed is so important.
Consider your profile text very carefully. Be sure it’s compelling and includes a link to your website.
Think through your Instagram strategy and design your photos and copy so they work with your branding. Your photos and imagery should be designed with the same careful thought as your website.
Plan your Instagram feed so it works together as a whole, and it can easily become the centerpiece of your online marketing.
Finally, keep your eye on Instagram in 2018 as we’re sure they’re more changes coming that benefit your business.
Engage your customers with a social media marketing strategy that drives growth. If you’d like help crafting a social media marketing plan, we can help. We’ll provide customer-focused and engaging posts that encourage trust and a connection with your business.
We are here for you when it comes to your social media posting. We’ll study your brand, and create posts that work with your overall social media posting strategy. Learn more about our services and how we can create engaging content that your customers will enjoy and appreciate.