Instagram is getting more engaging by focusing on sharing between people
Instagram has been busy updating the visual network that has grown to over 400 million Instagrammers. These updates include changes to both the aesthetics of the visuals shared as well as the functionality of the network. And as always, when Instagram updates their network, we outline the impact that these changes will have on your Instagram marketing.
Thinking outside the square
You are no longer restricted to just sharing square photos on Instagram. Now photos and videos can be shared in any rectangular size, which gives you a wider variety of content to share with your community. This also opens up the flexibility of the ads you share on Instagram (but more on that later). What you’ll want to keep an eye on, as a savvy Instagram marketer is how the new non-square photos perform in comparison to their traditional square counterparts. Experiment with different sizes of posts to understand what your followers are responding to.
Pro tip: use Instagram analytics tools like SEEN Insights to measure the performance of your posts.
When Instagram first launched Direct, they understood that the network “evolved not only into a community of photographers, but also into a means of visual communication.” Now, messaging has gotten an even larger emphasis within the app. Originally, you could only begin chats with people by sending them your own photos. This is being expanded to now enable Instagrammers the ability to enter threaded conversations, putting the emphasis on the context of the people versus just the content. Instagram is already the most engaging social network and this serves to help that engagement even further. 85 million people are already using Instagram Direct on a monthly basis so this is a great opportunity for your brand to interact directly with your consumers. Create conversations with your most passionate advocates and engage them on a more personal, one-to-one level.
Along with the new Direct Messaging, you can now also directly share photos from other users. Mentioning someone in the comments of a post has been a popular means of sharing across Instagram. With the new photo sharing, there’s an easy way to share posts with users and begin conversations around the post. Instagram says that roughly 40% of all comments include a mention, so will we see a decline in comments on posts from this new sharing option? Only time will tell, but it even if that interaction count is down, the overall engagement will be much richer as people are able to create conversations around the content surrounding your brand. Along with the ability to share photos, Instagrammers can also share hashtag search results and location pages. This makes it easy for people to interact with your branded hashtags as well as your physical locations. This new sharing makes it even more important to get involved with your community, driving them to share your content with their friends. Make sure you’re using location tags and hashtags to give you more exposure in those results as people share them with each other.
The overall strategies for Instagram marketing success remain unchanged. Sharing captivating content that your community will interact with is still as important as ever, but these new features give you more opportunities to build strong relationships with your fans on Instagram.
Learn more about how you can use Instagram for your brand’s social media marketing by reading the free ebook on visual marketing.