Pioneering in the Era of Social Interactions

by Natasha Ambavle |

Pioneering in the Era of Social Interactions

In the 4th century, the great baths were prominent and undoubtedly one of the most cherished parts of Roman culture. Symbolically it was a common place for bathing but, in reality, it was a meeting place for social and business interactions. Not much has changed, only today the global meeting place of the world is … Read more

What Instagram Checkout Means for Customer Loyalty

Instagram Checkout

In 2019, 60% of Instagram users claimed to use the platform to seek and discover new products (Hootesuite). They recently rolled out one of the largest releases in its history. The new Instagram Checkout is now able to support direct sales through the app. Though in beta and very limited in scope, this function is … Read more

5 Types of Influencers for Your Brand

influencer marketing

Marketers have leveraged influencers for a long time, from athletes on the Wheaties box to celebrity chefs endorsing cookware. With the advent of social media, influencer marketing has quickly trended toward helping brands expand their reach and connect with new customers. Influencers can be highly effective when they’re knowledgeable and enthusiastic about your industry and … Read more

Recent Instagram Updates: A Can’t-Miss Overview

instagram updates

Since 2014, roughly 18 new Instagram features, updates, or changes to the app have been released. Every time something changes, have to step back again, pause and think about how to frame these Instagram updates for your strategy. Considering the fact that the photo app has roughly half-a-billion users and more than 300 million active users on the network each day, you have to be on your toes all the time to adapt to all these new upgrades. Here’s an overview of what’s happened recently.

A) Instagram Stories:

This is one of the more important recent Instagram updates that has come out of the company’s goal to motivate users to create and share more content on the platform. As many are saying, it’s a near replica of Snapchat Stories and like Snapchat, the photos and videos shared in your Instagram Story are short-lived and can’t be viewed once 24 hours have elapsed. Unless you specifically select this option, the content won’t be visible on your profile grid or in the main Instagram feed.

These stories can be easily shared by all Instagram accounts. A colorful ring around a profile picture is a sign that there is a new story. To view the story, you just have to tap on the profile picture and you can see all the content they’ve posted in the last 24 hours in chronological order from oldest to newest. But what does this mean for businesses and brands?

There is always a danger of turning a business account on Instagram into a place of too polished and glossy photos. This can affect the authenticity which often comes from connecting with your audience on social media. Instagram Stories can be a great way to maintain that connection with authenticity. Through behind-the-scenes content, brands can take their followers on a journey and tell the story behind the posts in their feed. In fact, Pencils Of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world, and UFC have already used Instagram Stories. The former took their followers behind the scenes in their New York office and the later used stories to show one of their athletes at the supermarket sharing the food he eats during training camp.

instagram stories 3

B) Increased Video Length:

Longer videos have been one of the more inevitable Instagram updates, as time and again, it’s been proven that videos are the objects to which peoples’ eyes are naturally glued. It is the medium with the highest ROI. Thus, it’s not surprising that Instagram rolled out an increased time limit for videos from 15 to 60 seconds in April. It is functional with the latest version of the app. Apart from the ability to shoot directly from the app, it also allows you add filters, turn off the sound, and choose the cover photo. Similarly, you can find out how many people are viewing your videos on Instagram. All you have to do is look at the view counts.

instagram video

After clicking on the number of views, you can see the number of likes, along with the option to follow those who liked your video.

instagram video views

For brands, it’s a useful advancement as they can clearly understand the exact nature of the engagement vs. reach. If your brand video is getting enough reach but very few are liking it, then you can conclude that it is not appealing to people. It can tell you that something has gone wrong with the video and you can make timely changes. Moreover, the enhanced video length is also a positive change as it is giving more time for the video appeal.

C) Instagram Comment Moderation:

Another one of the most recent Instagram updates is a comment moderation tool for business pages. Available on new brand profiles, this tool will allow brands to block comments with words or phrases often reported as offensive from appearing on your posts.

instagram moderation

Spam comments have been around for a while and have always acted as a pain in the neck. A false or malicious comment that may be intended for a pure fun or preoccupied hatred for a brand is a great repellent for other genuine people. It doesn’t just corrode the decency of the profile, but it also creates doubts about the brand’s quality and credibility among few credulous viewers. And it can hurt the prospect of brand promotion. Similarly, it’s not at all a rare thing to see gorilla marketing stunts from some small retailers where they post about their business in a comment section of the profile of bigger retailers. This new tool can act as a deterrent to all such nagging activities.

D) Push Notifications:

Along with Instagram Stories, this is also one of the most important recent Instagram updates. You should have noticed that Instagram’s new algorithm doesn’t care about chronology that much. Instead, you’ll see posts in the order that Instagram think the most important to you. In short, rather than recency, relevancy runs the show on Instagram. For example, a photo with 19 likes and 5 comments from three hours ago from someone you regularly engage with is several posts ahead of a photo with 180k likes and 640 comments from an hour ago from a celebrity with a verified profile whom you rarely engage with. What does it mean is you have to ensure that your targeted audience will not miss even a single update from your brand profile and for that you have to take proactive measures. Otherwise, people will never hear from you. Instagram’s Turn On Post Notifications are custom-made for this purpose only.

This newly launched feature is available on mobile apps. Your customers will have to go to your profile, click the three dots (hotdog icon) and select “Turn on Post Notifications.” Once selected, they will receive updates every time that account posts new content.

instagram push notifications

The benefits of such notifications are immense. Through such notifications, you can alert followers about product launches, promotions or time-sensitive deals. And timely updates do boost the sales. Localytics’ researchers found that 65% of mobile users who selected to receive push notifications for an app returned within 30 days.  Apart from increased sales, visibility and brand presence, it also ensures a constant dialogue with your followers.

E) Manage Your Favorite Filters:

No filter is always the way to go. But if you love to use filters, you have plenty of options. Instagram comes with 40 unique filters, but as a business, you generally want consistency in the style and treatments of the filter. Consequently, a problem arises when more than one person is handling your Instagram account, as maintaining consistency becomes difficult. Don’t worry! You can now manage your favorite filters by selecting the gear icon at the end of the filter list.

It can be a great help to your design team to work on the same thought of line as far as filters are concerned. The same information will be given to the social media manager while he is devising campaigns.

F) Remove Tags of Your Company From Other People’s Photos:

You cannot stop other people from accessing your content on Instagram; Instagram stories being the only exception. That’s why the possibility of random users tagging your brand on photos that are unsuitable or unrelated to your business is a reality. But now one of the recent Instagram updates has given you the immunity from such annoyances. You can go to the “Photos of You” section, click the three dots and either choose photos to hide or adjust your tagging option. You can have automatic or manual tagging to your “Photos of You” section.

instagram remove tag

Of course, the aforementioned Instagram updates are sure to be followed by more. Just like every other social media platform, Instagram will also evolve. It’s a necessity if it wishes to devise a robust and secure monetization model. But as a marketer, you should take note of all updates. Study them, analyze them, understand them and knit your social media strategy around them. Because if you aren’t doing it, your competitors certainly are!

Instagram Business Profiles: An Overview

Instagram debuts business profiles

It looks like the masterminds behind Instagram have come to realize that their road towards success goes through the road which had already been traversed by its parent company Facebook. The latest development in this journey is that of Instagram business profiles, similar to Facebook’s company pages. Earlier,  Instagram came up with a targeting strategy … Read more

Instagram’s Algorithm Change: 21 Tips to Stand Out

instagram's algorithm change: 21 tips to stand out

If you’ve gone on Instagram at any point in the past few days, or have even just read any blog or news site online, you probably know that the photo app is changing its algorithm and that people are freaking out. Instagram has always shown users photos in reverse chronological order, but it’s planning–or at … Read more

Visual Commerce Permissions: Don’t Shoot First and Ask Questions Later

visual commerce permissions

70% of marketers are planning to increase their use of visual content on their eCommerce sites this year, and more than 75 million people use photo sharing platforms like Instagram on a daily basis. In the face of data like this, it would be absurd to shy away from using customer photos in your marketing strategies. … Read more

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Retweets (and then some)

The old saying goes, ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words’. In the new age of social media, this is more true than ever. Visual social sites, Pinterest and Instagram, blew up last year. Other social giants strove to catch up with update after update, optimizing their newsfeeds to make them more visual. Twitter, known for … Read more

Annex Cloud introduces ROI Driven Visual Commerce suite

Visual Commerce Suite

The Role of Visual Commerce in Marketing With the popularity of social media such as Instagram and Snapchat, the shift towards visual representation has risen tremendously. Everywhere you see on the social networking sites are beautiful pictures that tell a story of their own. And why not? The right hemisphere of the brain understands through … Read more

Brand Advocacy: 7 Brilliant (and slightly badass) ways to achieve it

brand advocacy

Brand advocacy has been a big buzzword. With social commerce gaining steam, businesses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the crowd. As the internet gets more personal, businesses are as well. Social for brands is becoming more of an outlet to showcase company culture and lifestyle. In order to really stand apart from … Read more

Monetizing Instagram with Curated Galleries and Contests

Instagram Curated Galleries

In the past year, social commerce has really evolved into visual commerce. Visual social platforms have boomed in popularity in the past year and businesses have flocked to them. The most notable of which is Instagram with over 150 million active users. Instagram can be a bit of a headache for businesses because people can … Read more

Introducing the Social User Generated Content Suite

Social User Generated Content creates a unique, dynamic shopping experience online, builds a community of advocates, and drives ROI Instagram became arguably the most powerful visual social platform this previous year. According to L2 Think Tank’s recent research, Instagram’s community boasts 15 times more engagement than Facebook, with 91% of retail brands flocking to this … Read more

5 Social Contests to Increase Engagement and Drive Discovery

Every business needs customers to survive. But in order to thrive, businesses need engaged customers. Shoppers who engage with a brand daily are 2x more likely to make more purchases than monthly engagers. The easiest way to engage with customers and go viral is through social contests. Social media has become an inseparable part of … Read more

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