What better way to convey your message than sharing pictures?
A picture can create a visually stimulating episode to grab your attention and tell what words could not deliver appropriately.
When marketing your business, you might have used other Social Media, but have you yet considered the advanced Instagram features that could bring leads by visual advertising? You might be missing out on a potentially massive marketing platform, which could bring success to your business.
So, is Instagram one of most powerful channels for brand promotion?
The answer to this question is easily understood if you observe the growth in the number of users and organizations using it to promote themselves.
Short story about Instagram’s growth
Instagram first made its appearance in 2010 in October and by the end of that year had more than 1 million users. The sudden breakthrough of this application was because of its availability in Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone. As the young generation had access to these devices, it led to the quick expansion of the Instagram Application. A study shows that as of June 18, 2018, it has crossed the range exceeding over 1 billion users.
Before it rose to 1 billion users, some crucial decisions were made. Instagram acted separate up to 2012 and had about 50 million users. But, in spring of that year, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. After that, there was a sharp rise in active users which led to the 1 billion mark.
Do you know how many companies have utilised Instagram and made their event a success?
The response is countless. Let me tell you about the Wanderlust festival. Originating in Tahoe, this festival has used Instagram to make their event recognised and spread throughout the US and New Zealand. All the members and staffs on their team posted stories, pictures and videos of the fiesta on their profile. Even they used their bios to promote the event through using @wanderlustfest and filled everywhere with tags and hashtags of the festival.
Instagram features for promoting your events
Seeing such rapid expansion, the question that might strike your mind is what features does it provides to gain such fame.
1. Share photos and videos
Do you remember the last time when you went to the sea and took so many amazing pictures? You immediately shared it and wanted to know how others thought of it.
Instagram lets you take more beautiful pictures which you can share on your wall for others to see. You can post these images or videos on your feed or send it to someone else through direct messaging. But in the event of direct messaging, there are some limitations. Among these, one is it restricts sending the image to more than 15 people at a time. Alongside, hashtags and sharing to other sites are disabled.
But, if you are posting the photo, then there is no such restriction. When posting, you may ask how many can we support in a single post. The answer is a maximum of 10 photos or videos. Previously, Instagram did not allow stories to contain pictures and videos. But, now you can go forth and add both these to your Instagram stories.
There is also a new feature added to photos that have attracted a lot of attention. It is the Direct Camera feature. This feature is apt if you want to share but still keep some control. Whenever through Direct Camera an image is sent to another user it is automatically deleted then once viewed.
2. Broadcast your story
Do you want your friends and family to know where you have gone today and things you have come across and learnt? The best way to do that is broadcast it to others.
This is a primary feature which is similar to the post you do on Facebook. But on Instagram, it comes with much cooler and attractive features.
Alongside updating our own story, you can also view what is in other people’s mind. A unique feature within story is that after 24 hours of posting it gets automatically removed. In your story you have the option of mentioning another person who will get a notification. You can also share your Instagram posts in your account.
3. Go live!
Remember the first time you went live? You were nervous. But after continuing for a little while, you gained confidence as you saw that number of viewers are increasing as well as many beautiful comments were filling your live feed.
The live feature has reached Instagram. Whenever you go live your follower will get a notification of it. While viewing the live video, they have the opportunity to comment and express emotion through emoji about what they feel about the live video you are making.
One significant difference between Facebook and LinkedIn is whenever a live video ends in LinkedIn is gets deleted automatically unless the user wants to save it or post it. If you have used Facebook, you must have watched that you can also see a live video and watch how many are viewing it at that moment. In LinkedIn, if you are making the live video, then you are only permitted to how the number of people watching it.
Read more: How to promote your event on social media
4. Use filters for further enhancement
Haven’t you all went through the moment that you take a picture, but it does not go with your mood? What you do is add filters to change the atmosphere to your liking.
Filters on Instagram are widely responsible for making it so well renowned. There are more than 40 filters present. It allows you to add effect to the pictures taken and maintain the brightness.
Filters are available when you are taking our picture or video. There are face filters. You can choose from a variety of effects and make a funny and fantastic view. If talking only about face filters then at present there are only eight available. Apart from these, the most commonly applied filters you can try out are Normal, Juno, Lark, Gingham, Lo-fi, Aden, Ludwig, Clarendon, Valencia and X – Pro II.
Whenever using filter do you always apply all of them or have certain individuals you like to use most. You can quickly sort the filters you prefer to be at the top.
5. #Hashtags (hashtags….everywhere!)
You just uploaded the picture of a waterfall. Now, you might want to view other waterfalls you haven’t visited yet. Using hashtags correctly can help you to find such places, and at the same time, you can help others.
Are you aware of how a hashtag works and why is it required? A hashtag is a way of making your word along the hashtag searchable. In Instagram, the use of hashtags is quite prominent. You can also use hashtags to gain new audiences.
If you upload a picture and then post it with a similar hashtag to what it defines, then clicking on the link will give you all other pictures having the same hashtag. Among the various hashtags, there are some worth mentioning. These are #instamood, #foodporn, #tbt, #instagood, #igers, #fbf, and #wcw #mcm.
6. Direct conversation
You made a funny video of yourself. You want to share it, but not with everyone, only those close to you.
Previously, Instagram did not support the means of private messaging. So, you were not able to send pictures to an individual. But recent updates have made one to one or many features available for you as supported by other social applications. Using direct messaging, you can share both photo and video to anybody you want to show it.
It also allows you to check when the person who messaged you was last online. If the person you send it to has seen it and typing a message, you can also view that.
7. Follow (and be followed!)
You found the profile of one of your favourite musicians. Don’t you want to be kept updated of all their recent albums? Instagram has made this possible with a simple Follow button.
This feature has been brought about to keep you updated about your specific interests. The way to do it is straightforward. All it requires of you is a tap and click. Similarly, if you want to unfollow, then it requires the same, a tap and a click.
Are you unaware of how to remove someone who is following you? Do you believe that blocking is the only option? That is not the case. Another way of removing someone from the following list is setting your account as private. It will provide you with a follower list in your profile from which you can remove someone.
8. Monitor activity
Are you confused about who is online and who is offline? You want to talk to some of your friends, but are they active at this moment?
If you used Instagram before 23rd June 2018, then there was no way for you to know who was active. As previously Instagram did not allow to view the activity status of another user. But, with this new update in you now can see if our family or friends are active on Instagram.
But, as you can see other’s status the same applies to you and others can see you. Don’t you sometimes want to log in and view others post without talking to anyone? Keeping in mind that you may prefer to keep your activity hidden, this feature can be turned off going to settings.
9. Automated sync and post
You went to a beautiful spot and took lots of pictures and selfies. Now, you have friends in different social Media, and you don’t want any of them to miss it. But, if you need to upload it to all your social sites separately then, it will consume a lot of your precious time and energy. Instagram facilitates syncing between other Social Media like Facebook and Twitter. Through syncing, you can easily share your twitter photos on those social sites. But before syncing, there are some limitations that you should be aware.
In the case of Facebook, syncing is easy. Both Android and iOS devices support it. All you have to do is go to profile and then to settings and link the account. You can also make the posting system automated, so that posting on Instagram automatically posts it on Facebook.
But, if you want to share on Twitter, there are some limitations. If you are an iOS operator, then you can sync Instagram with Twitter. But an android operator does not still have this functionality.
10. Hashtag and link feature available in biography
You love playing your guitar and also have made some songs. Don’t you want to share it with others? Maybe you are a vegetarian, and you want others to know it.
The easiest way to share is to link it to your bio. This new feature was added in the 2018 update. You can now make a clickable link by using the letter “#” or “@” in your biography. You can apply this new feature to divert a person to another profile or hashtag.
11. IGTV (Instagram TV)
Are you outside the whole day working and whenever you reach home and turn on the television there is nothing good to see? It is something that most of us has faced.
IGTV is a brand new application that Instagram has brought to you. It is just as the name suggests; Instagram TV. Using it you can watch long and quality videos.
For your benefit, here’s a list of things that you need to know before using IGTV:
- The best thing about it is, everybody can become a creator here, even you.
- One differentiating feature they have is vertical view. Whenever you watch videos in vertical view on your mobile, you get a little screen. But, this TV allows you to have a full-screen view when observing it in full screen.
- Another restriction you have on Instagram is 1-minute video. But, with intervention from IGTV, this limitation is lifted. In IGTV, the length of your video can be anywhere between 15 seconds to an hour. But, the one hour feature is still not open to everyone. It is only open for the verified account while others still have a max time of 10 minutes.
- The file format for your video must be MP4 having video size of 9:16 and file size of 3.6GB.
- You can use the IGTV application for watching it, but it is not a must. In the Instagram application, you are also able to view the videos.
- The option for advertising is still not available, but there is the promise of making it available soon.
12. Mute posts
You just logged into Instagram and saw that you whole feed is full of unnecessary posts. You are quite annoyed but cannot just remove the person from your list.
All of you has someone across someone in your follow list who keeps on giving such posts. The mute feature has been included to deal with such cases. It allows you to keep them in your follow list but at the same time reduce unnecessary interruptions.