By Kelly Do, David Arkin Consulting
Every day, it feels like the digital landscape introduces a new social media app competing for our attention. However, amid the array of platforms, Instagram continues to stand out as a reliable option.
Instagram’s rise in popularity can be attributed to its dynamic features that continually redefine social media engagement. As of 2022, Instagram has over 1 billion active users globally, indicating its widespread appeal.
To enhance the Instagram experience for newcomers, here’s a list of 10 popular features designed to maximize the platform’s potential and elevate your IG game.
1. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allow you to share everyday moments temporarily and connect with your target audience. Stories are 24-hour picture and video frame posts that appear on the top of your Instagram feed and can be shared on your stories with all your followers or your Close Friends list. Unless you save your stories as highlights, they’ll disappear after 24 hours.
Brands and companies can use this feature to share quick photos with their consumers to highlight what makes them special or something new.
Geotagging is a great way to increase engagement rates. You can tag the location of where the photo was taken or where you took the photo. To geotag a post, tap the “Add Location” option. Once you have tagged the location, this allows your post to be discoverable by others who are searching for posts in this location.
This feature is useful for businesses that have a physical location and want to drive traffic to their store, grow their following and boost interactions.
3. Direct Messaging
Start conversations and send photos, videos, and messages privately to friends with Instagram’s direct messaging features. You can continue existing conversations or start new ones by tapping the paper airplane icon in the top right corner of your screen. Instagram’s messenger tool can also be used for video chat or voice calls by selecting the camera or phone icon in the right corner of the conversation screen.
You can use this feature to develop relationships, collaborate and interact directly with your followers and share exclusive content.
A Carousel is a group of photos or videos that can be shared as a single feed post. Carousels can include up to 10 photos and videos. These can be viewed by swiping to the left on the mobile app or clicking through (on the desktop).
Instagram carousel posts are one of the most engaging formats brands can use on the platform. Followers can be tempted to swipe left, especially if there is a persuasive cover slide.
Reels allow you to create longer-form video content. You can swipe right from your home feed to access the camera and swipe left to the bottom of the screen until you reach “Reels” and record your video by holding down the capture button or use multiple clips by releasing the button and pressing it again. To enhance your video use tools such as filters, music, and text.
The difference between reels and stories? Unlike stories that disappear after 24 hours, reels are saved on your page the same way regular posts live on your profile until they’re deleted.
You can use reels to showcase your brand and share tutorials or behind-the-scenes footage. This feature offers chances to connect with new audiences and boost engagement.
6. Instagram Lives
Instagram’s live streaming feature allows you to host live streams with your followers in real-time from your personal or business account. This feature can be used to host Q&A sessions and promote your brand. You can download it and save it for later after the stream ends.
This is an effective growth tactic for increasing IG followers. Live streams are a good way to create an authentic connection with your followers.
Have you ever wanted to hide old posts without deleting them on Instagram? When you archive a post, you can take an old post of yours off of your profile without deleting it. Once archived, it will keep all its likes and comments. You can go back and unarchive them by tapping “Archive.”
8. Saved Post
A good way to look back on posts is to keep them using the save feature. You can save a post by tapping the bookmark icon at the bottom right, right above the caption.
As you scroll through your feed, you can use this feature to save posts to draw inspiration from in the future.
Story highlights are Instagram stories saved to your profile. On your profile, there’s a section for highlights that is located between your feed and the “Follow” button. These highlights can be customized with a cover photo and a collection of photos and videos that you’ve posted to your stories can be saved in these highlights.
Highlights give your visitors a first impression of your profile and categorize your Instagram stories by theme.
Insights can help you learn more about your account’s followers and performance. It is made out of 3 main sections: Reach, Interactions, and Audience. These insights display account reached, engaged accounts, total follower count and content you shared.
You can use this feature to track your metrics on specific posts, stories, videos, reels, or the overall account. This feature also gives you little details such as the time of the day when people interact with your content.