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What’s hot for social media’s hottest app?

Instagram is a big deal. Don’t believe us? Tech Crunch reported last year that the social media giant had 500 million active daily users.  While it would be nice to have a crystal ball to determine if this can and will continue, we don’t yet have that technology. (But we hear Elon Musk is working on it—kidding!) What we do have is some insights into how you can take advantage of Instagram’s reach in 2019.

More than foodie pics

Instagram catches a lot of heat, or at least it has in the past, for being a platform for selfies and pictures of people’s dinner. Sure that still happens, but it is also a powerful place for commerce. The shopping feature allows consumers to purchase what you advertise directly from your Instagram post. This kind of seamless purchasing power taps into people’s propensity for impulse purchasing.

Connect to users

Instagram’s live video option is a great way to reach out to your customers. But, many are still nervous of taking advantage of the feature. What if I make a mistake? Yes, that can happen, and you won’t be able to fix it. But the power of the connection is worth the effort. Perfect your on-camera presence with plenty of advance practice so you will feel more confident once you are rolling. And remember, if you do make a mistake, it may actually endear you to your customers who will see you as more human.

Feel free to be funny

You probably shied away from using Instagram’s funny filters in the past, because you were a business and you wanted to be taken seriously. The thinking behind that is changing, mostly due to the fact that consumers appreciate casual connections. These augmented reality filters are amusing, and people are gravitating toward business posts that utilize them. 

The long and short of it

Instagram may have been built on the idea of brief and fast interactions, but long-from content definitely has a place. Earlier in 2018, Instagram boosted its maximum video length to an hour, up from 60 seconds. Leaps and bounds, are we right? Most likely this is an effort to compete with YouTube. While we hear so much about people’s short attention spans, the fact remains that vloggers on YouTube garner lots of eyeballs with their longer videos, and Instagram wants in on that action. So should you.

Place ads in Stories

CNBC reported that Instagram Stories has about 400 million daily uses—that’s more than double Snapchat’s 191 million. Logically, then, you are missing out if you aren’t incorporating ads into this aspect of your Instagram efforts. The trick is to keep the message simple and organic to the overall feel of the story. That can mean a simple banner that works with the story or a quick video that makes an announcement. But whatever you do, you don’t want it to come across as something highly produced, or people will swipe past it.