Instagram: It’s one of the most powerful platforms for social media marketers worldwide.
Don’t believe us?
Take a look at these incredible statistics: With over 800 million monthly active users, people from all over the world flock to this social app to share photos, interact with brands, and create new connections.
And Instagram users aren’t just active, their engaged. When Instagram celebrated its one year anniversary of its Instagram Stories feature, they claimed that the stories helped to increase engagement with the app.
According to their results, people under the age of 25 spend an average of 32 minutes on the app per day. That’s more time than most people spend showering, eating, or doing other daily activities.
So, it’s no surprise that your association could benefit from learning all about Instagram in order to reach out and engage with its target audience.
Luckily for your association, Instagram has unveiled a ton of new features that could seriously enhance the way you use the platform for membership and engagement growth.
If you’re looking to get familiar with all the new features Instagram has rolled out, you’re in luck.
We’re going to cover 4 new Instagram features that can change the way your association does its social media marketing. These features will help engage current followers, attract new ones, and even lead to attracting more traffic to your association’s website.
Let’s dive in.
1. Re-sharing Instagram Stories
Yesterday, Instagram released a feature that has been in the works since earlier in the year. And people are excited to use it.
You now have the option to re-share Instagram posts from friends and followers, having them posted on your own Instagram Story. The feature gives Instagram users a new way to react or comment on Stories while also sharing them with their own followers.
So, how does this exactly work?
Similar to but also very different from Twitter’s “retweet” option, Instagram users now have the option to share an Instagram post from a brand or influencer onto their Stories with their own added comments.
It’s easy. When you see a post you’d like to share with your Insta, tap on the “share” icon (displayed as a paper airplane- a clever move by Instagram developers).
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see a list of people you follow that you can share this post with. However, with the new re-share feature, an option will now pop up for you to “Create a story with this post”.
Tapping that option brings up your Instagram Story editor, where you can add in comments, graphics, drawings, or anything else you’d like. Once you publish your Story, it’s out there for your followers to see.
But why is this important for associations? What can this feature do to enhance your social media marketing?
Think about it this way: If you can get your followers to re-share your post onto their Instagram Story, you’ve gained some free promotion.
Encourage your followers to use the re-share feature with your association’s Instagram post. You can create a contest out of it with a fun incentive. Or, you can create a post with a call-to-action, asking viewers to re-share your post with their own opinion or comment.
Once followers start to reshare your work, your association can start to see an increase in engagement with your Instagram posts.
2. Following hashtags
Did you know you can now follow a hashtag on Instagram just like you can with a profile?
That’s right. In December of 2017, Instagram unveiled its new feature that allows users to follow their favorite hashtags on their social platform. The feature was welcomed by the Instagram community with open arms.
Before this feature was unveiled, there were only a few ways to interact with hashtags.
Instagram users could search for a hashtag through the Discover page in order to find related posts. They could also click on a hashtag that an Instagram user has used in their caption or comment.
While both of these options saw results for hashtag users, there was still the barrier between of interested app users having to go out of their way to find hashtag content.
However, with the new feature, hashtags that your association regularly uses can now appear directly on the feed of your target audience with the follow hashtag feature.
The follow hashtag feature works very similarly to the follow profile feature. Users can search for a hashtag through the discover page or tap on it in an Instagram caption or comment. The app will then direct them to the typical hashtag page that collects photos using those hashtags.
This time, there will be an option at the top of the Instagram page that will allow you to follow the hashtag. Just like a follow button on an Instagram profile, a follow button pops up right across from the hashtag itself.
The following hashtag feature will allow you to hone in on your Instagram target audience.
You can follow hashtags that they might use in their posts. Or, you can check hashtags that you typically use in your Instagram captions and follow along.
Following and using hashtags will give you an advantage when it comes to getting more attention on your posts.
3. Hashtags in Instagram bios
Still on the topic of hashtags, one feature is small, but too important to pass up.
Instagram now gives you the option of posting both hashtags and other profile pages directly in your Instagram bio.
Does your association have multiple Instagram accounts it uses? If you’re a larger association or one who creates profiles for their events, the answer is probably yes.
For associations with multiple Instagram accounts, this feature is perfect. You can link your profiles together by adding their Instagram handles into each account’s Instagram bio. Think of it this way: Add your secondary Instagram handle into your primary Insragram bio and vice versa.
If that’s not enough of a feature for you, you can also feature hashtags in your bio as well.
What is this good for?
Well, if you’re an association that has its own custom hashtag that it uses for events, conferences, or other activities, you can add it to your Instagram bio. This way, visitors to your Instagram page can visit the hashtag in a conveniently location and get a sense of what being a member is like.
This feature is great for exposure and growth purposes. Consider including an Instagram handle or hashtag in your association’s bio to get the full effect.
4. “Recommended for you” posts
There are many other updates for Instagram that have come out and are in the works (which you can find more here). But the last one we find worth mentioning is the new “Recommended for you” feature.
Similar to following a hashtag, recommended posts will now show up in an Instagram user’s feed that the algorithm believes to be a post they might find interest in.
We can break this down in simpler terms.
Let’s say you’re an avid fan of baking. You constantly look for new recipes or dessert shops in your area using the Instagram Discover page and search bar. You’ve even saved some posts you enjoy into your “Collection” tab.
Instagram will take this information it’s collected from your search patterns and like history and find similar posts that it feels you might have an interest in. It will then disperse these posts sporadically through your main feed.
This is great news for your association.
If you use hashtags and locations that could attract the occasional new viewer, you have a higher chance of getting a follow from them if your post makes it to their “Recommended for you” section.
The “Recommended for you” feature is changing the way new posts get viewed by your association’s target audience, hopefully bringing them closer to becoming new customers.
Knowing more about Instagram’s new features will help your association tailor its social media marketing to create content that will create growth and success as far as engagement and membership goes.
Keep these 4 new features in mind when creating your next Instagram post and you could see the social media marketing success your association has been looking for.