All of us at some point have felt inferior to social media. And as the trend gets bigger, the apps get more complex. Here we have compiled a few of the Instagram features you should know when using the app, and some tips if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner trying to find your way into modern advertising.

Video features
Instagram offers 60 second video plus location and tagging abilities, which generate more user engagement.  Because of the way the Instagram algorithm works, engagement matters - the Instagram algorithm looks at engagement to decide how high or low your post should be displayed on people's feeds, or at least how often it should show. Generally, more videos equals higher engagement - more further on in this article.

Live video and the differences and perks 
A live video is recorded in real time and shows on your followers feeds and on your profile like a story. While daunting, live video has many benefits, including: 
> Notifies your followers whenever you post
> Followers can comment and like in real time on your live video
> The video is gone once you end it (unless you choose to leave it up there for 24 hours)
The usefulness of this feature is the engagement (of course), and also the brand authenticity you can bring through the video (plus it's live, so no editing!).

Story features
The little circles at the top of your feed as you enter instagram have become one of the fastest growing marketing tools out there. A video clip of up to 15 seconds and displaying images for 10 seconds also makes the viewing process faster than any other. These stories are also only visible for 24 hours and then are for your eyes only in your instagram archive found on your profile screen.

for foundational stage entrepreneurs - all the features you need to know

This useful function also allows you to see exactly who is viewing your stories, meaning you can gage the best times for posting as well as see what everyone enjoys most with the emoji reaction feature.
Cross promote via stories of all of your platforms
Hold instagram contests via your story as there is more exposure

IGTV video feature
A very useful added function where users are able to post videos of up to an hour long like a TV series episode. These go up in your Highlights on your profile as well as being able to post a preview on your instagram grid and story.  Since this video is always up there it gets much larger exposure and engagement - your followers are following you because they want to hear what you have to say, and IGTV is your chance to give them that more in depth view into you and your brand.

Post Notifications
Ever feel like you miss posts from your favourite people? Go to their profile to turn on post notifications so you never miss another one.
> Just click the three dots (hotdog icon)
> and select “Turn on Post Notifications.” (see below!)

In a study from Localytics, researchers found 65% of mobile users who selected to receive push notifications for an app returned within 30 days. The study also discovered users who enabled push notification engaged three times more than those who opted out.

So if it’s so important to get your followers on your side with notifications how can you get them to turn them on? Just ask them! Super simple.  If they’re truly a fan why wouldn't they want to turn on post notifications? 

Then as long as you're posting content that's valuable for your followers, you can see immediate gain in engagement (even sales) when you post about your products via your account because your followers will be there first to hear about it.

Don’t forget about branding
As a brand using Instagram as a sharing and notification channel, it's important to still show who your brand is and what your core values are through the content you produce, so make sure you: 
> Have a consistent look and feel
> Choose certain hashtags and accounts to inspire you and make it your own
> Do research, you won’t know the trends if you don’t read about them
> Use Instagram's Managing Filters function - here you can select and create presets you prefer for your photos to keep a theme going throughout your feed
> Don’t over analyse, but it’s good to put together a design strategy specifically for your instagram and facebook so people don’t second guess who your posts are by and can easily recognise them in their feeds.

A function few people are familiar with but that works as a great marketing tool is the Geotagging Function, where you can set it to set your pictures via the location on a map.  It is a very helpful way for people to know where your business is situated as well as where all the different branches are for convenience sake.
Even without setting your location manually, if you turn Geotagging on it will still set your picture on the geotag map where anyone can find you and your business.
If you are someone in a line of business who doesn’t want your location available to the public, here is how you can turn this function off:
Select the location icon > click “Edit” in the top right corner > Select as many images or videos as you want and remove the geotags.

Management of multiple instagram accounts
Instagram released this awesome function in 2016 allowing users to now be logged into multiple accounts easily and just as easily switch between them.

This is great for managing one brand with many products in different categories which work having their own account, for example woman and mens shoes of the same brand but two different accounts would be very user friendly.

Connecting your Instagram to exterior analytics applications
Being able to also sign in and attach your account to many other Instagram help tools on the android and apple app stores is a huge advantage to marketers wishing to get a more in depth view into the analytics surrounding their content.  Keep an eye out for our top app suggestions in a future blog.

Instagram and other social media platforms are introducing more features every single day, and we know it can be hard to keep up with the changes. So - make sure to practice and play with all the tools and functions available in all the social media apps that you can. Practice makes perfect.

AND join our FREE one hour Instagram masterclass!  Here's the link to pick a session that suits you.

In this masterclass, we'll also touch on one of the biggest factors not considered when marketing via Instagram - the algorithm! Not heard of the algorithm. or wondering exactly how this is impacting your business? Stay tuned for next week’s blog on the INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM THEORY.

Now we want to hear from you! 
What is your favourite feature on Instagram?  And what did you learn from this blog post?

Any questions surrounding social media marketing please email Havanna -

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