In January 2017, Instagram released three new social media updates (with a fourth currently in testing) and the result is good news for businesses. If you are not already using Instagram’s features to help grow your business and engage with your target audience, now is the time to start.

The following updates have the potential to allow businesses to better engage with their customers, have their content shared by followers and showcase unique moments from their day across multiple platforms.

Updated User Features for New Posts

Instagram posts have taken on a new look, with image descriptions and sponsored tags moving to the left-hand side of the post, underneath the header. This allows users to more easily share posts on the app, with the icon on the right of the username now opening a drop-down menu with options to share to Facebook or Messenger. This allows users to now share other people’s posts, instead of just their own.

This can potentially expand the reach of content on Instagram, as it encourages users to share the content they enjoy to other social media platforms. For businesses, this means that there is more potential for their Instagram posts to be seen around the web, achieving greater levels of engagement and brand awareness.

Saved Posts

It is now possible for Instagram users to save content they like and come back to it later. From a business perspective, this is great news, as users are now able to save images of products and services they are interested in but not ready to buy straight away. By saving the image they like, the brand will stay at the top of the user’s mind, and they will keep thinking about the content or service offered.

Building these new sharing and saving features into the Instagram app opens new opportunities for businesses to grow their presence online. To increase the chances of users wanting to save or share your content, it is more important than ever to increase the value of the content you are offering: for example, offering high quality photography, short tutorial videos, informative content or discounts.

Save Business Stories (iOS Only)

Users can now save Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories is a feature on the app that allows users to post unique moments from their day, for a short-but-sweet 24 hours. This gives their followers an insight into their daily life, workplace or business culture. With this new update to the feature, Instagram allows users to save their stories from the past 24 hours to their camera roll as a single video.

This is a great new feature for businesses to utilise, as this video can then be re-uploaded on Instagram as a regular post or uploaded to other social media platforms such as Facebook. Businesses don’t have to worry about ‘wasting’ valuable content that will disappear after 24 hours.

Shoppable Posts (In Testing)

This new feature is still being tested by Instagram, but we can expect to see this roll out in 2017. Shoppable Posts will allow businesses to tag up to five products in their post image. When people click ‘tap to view’ they will see the tags on the image, showing the product names and prices. Users can then click on a ‘shop now’ link, which will take them to a landing page on a business’ website, where they can easily finish purchasing the items they want.

This is great news for e-commerce businesses, with Instagram helping to make it easier and quicker for users to complete a purchase directly from the app.

Do you need help creating high quality content or managing your Instagram account? We can help! Please call (08) 9226 4478 to schedule in your free 30-minute strategy session with us.