Three New Instagram Tools You Should Know

 In Social Media

You might have noticed that Instagram is looking a little different these days. Tried and true features, such as Instagram Stories, are sticking around, but the social media app has announced several additional features over the past year. Here’s everything you need to know about three of Instagram’s newest tools – and why they matter for businesses.

Instagram Reels

After the massive success of the TikTok app, Instagram launched its own short-form video tool last year. This new feature is called Instagram Reels, and you can find it within Instagram’s interface rather than a separate app.

Much like TikTok, Reels enables users to create short (15-30 second) videos with an array of effects, audio clips and filters. Reels are short and should be snappy and entertaining. They feature everything from recipes and dance challenges to advice on applying for a car loan.

A good strategy for using Reels is to create engaging content that tells your brand’s story and increases name recognition. It’s also a great way to keep up with current trends.

Here are a few ideas for businesses looking to get started with Instagram Reels:

  • Film a behind-the-scenes video at the office to showcase your team’s personality.
  • Create a step-by-step instructional video for using one of your products.
  • Film videos sharing your industry expertise in short, easily digestible clips.

Instagram Guides

Instagram Guides, a feature that the app launched last year, is a valuable tool for re-purposing your existing content. It allows you to curate a series of posts with commentary, much like an in-app blog post.

Users have three options for creating a Guide: Places, Products and Posts. Each one has different benefits depending on the style, and purpose, of your Guide.

The Places option is great for curating a travel guide or sharing a ranked list of locations. The Products option, on the other hand, is helpful for brands selling a physical product. You can provide individual commentary on a collection of items rather than being limited to a single caption.

Last but not least, the Posts option is the most versatile type of Guide. This option allows you to curate a collection of any public posts, including your own, with commentary.

A good strategy for using Guides is to take your existing content, such as blog posts, and repurpose it for social media.

Here are a few ideas for businesses looking to get started with Instagram Guides:

  • Curate a list of your favorite local coffee shops with commentary from each team member.
  • Create a holiday gift guide to highlight your best-selling products.
  • Share a collection of your previous posts that share a common topic or theme.

Instagram Shop

As more and more storefronts move online, Instagram has created a tool that makes online shopping easier than ever: Instagram Shop. You can find this new feature on Instagram’s main screen (along with Reels).

There is one requirement: You must be selling a physical product to use Shop.

If businesses meet this requirement, they can create a digital storefront (called an Instagram Shop). In some cases, customers can make purchases without ever leaving the Instagram app.

Instagram users will now see Shop recommendations along with other post types on their Explore page, which can be incredibly lucrative for businesses. Shop also has its own discovery page where users can explore personalized recommendations.

Thanks to Shop, you can now tag a product in a photo just like you would tag an account. This is another great way to make your brand more visible. HootSuite reported that more than 120 million users click on an Instagram Shop post every month.

A good strategy for using Shop is to set up a visually appealing virtual storefront with high-quality images to increase sales.

Here are a few ideas for businesses looking to get started with Instagram Shop:

  • Invest in high-quality product photography for your virtual storefront.
  • Get into the habit of tagging your Instagram feed photos with Shop links for products shown.
  • Create a social media campaign designed to show off new items added to your Shop.

Instagram is constantly evolving and is growing with its user base, which means there are always new opportunities to get your brand seen and recognized. Whether your business objectives are focused on attracting new customers, learning to engage in social media or strengthening business relationships, Fiore Communication’s proven marketing strategies and services are designed to move you forward with measurable, long-term results. Click here to learn more.

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