Did you know there is more than one way to talk to customers on Instagram? Believe it or not, it’s not all about the one photo and amazing description with 30 hashtags. That used to be the only thing Instagram had…then Facebook bought it and started adding features. Instagram has come a long way and gives us multiple ways to engage with our audiences now.
Business or Personal Account
One of the recent changes to Instagram is the ability to have a Business Account. It’s a simple conversion that you’re probably being prompted to make every time you login. You’ll need to link your Instagram account to your Facebook Business Page to do this. The benefits of the Instagram Business Account are:
- Access to analytics/insights;
- Ability to see your Instagram interactions in Facebook Inbox;
- Contact button on your profile (i.e. call now);
- Map for directions to your address.
According to Jenn Herman, Instagram expert, there is no change to the algorithmm when you convert to a Business Account and if there were, it would be minimal compared to the benefits you get in analytics and promotion opportunities.
Whichever type of account you decide on, this is where you will post your best photos. Instagram started with photos and it’s still the place to engage with eye-catching design and photos in the newsfeed.
Instagram Stories are short snippets of your day, either in photo or video, and appear in the row of circles at the top of your screen. You can use photos and dress them up with Instagram’s stickers, draw on them, or add text. Each photo will stay on screen for a few seconds and then it automatically moves on to the next photo (or video) in your sequence. When your “story” is done, Instagram automatically forwards to the next person in your Story feed.
Sometimes issues need to be taken out of the spotlight. Private messages are often the best way to do this. You can private reply to a post or a comment, or you can send someone a private message to start a conversation with them. Some accounts may have to allow you to send the private message. To send a private message, look for the paper airplane icon on Instagram.
Ads on Instagram can be matched up to your Facebook campaigns, or be set up completely separate. As of writing, ads on Instagram appear in the newsfeed and look similar to other posts, but usually have call to action button below them, and always say “Sponsored”. Ads are now also appearing in Instagram Stories.
With just the click of a few buttons, you can be broadcasting Live, on Instagram, for all to see. Your followers will be notified that you’re going Live and your Live story will be right at the top of their screen if they login while you’re still broadcasting. Not only can your fans see that you’re Live, but you could be found in the Live “hub” (people who are interested in see anyone who is Live right now check here to find new people.) Instagram Live can either disappear when you stop the broadcast or you can save it to your Instagram Story for up to 24 hours for more of your fans to check it out.
So, while there are now FIVE different ways to talk to potential customers. How many of them are YOU using? Which are your favourite and which are you ignoring? Let me know in the comments, or practice sending a private message to me here: Twirp Communications on Instagram.