Are you looking to grow your business online? Build your community? Increase brand awareness? Or drive traffic to your website? Luckily for you, the features available on Instagram is a fantastic way to do just that!
Whatever your business goals may be, there are lots of excellent features on Instagram to help you grow your business online.
Ready to dive in? Keep on reading to discover our favourite Instagram features for small businesses.
As Instagram continues to make power moves as they transition into an e-commerce friendly platform, small businesses are able to take advantage of their features. In addition to building an engaged, loyal audience, brands can now showcase their inventory in the Instagram ‘Shop’, where customers can process transactions quickly and effectively – directly within the app itself!
Building a strong online presence is a necessity for any small business, especially in the era of social distancing where it can be difficult for customers to shop in a physical storefront. This is where Instagram can be used as a valuable lifeline to continue to allow businesses to grow.
For businesses that rely on selling products, look no further than Instagram’s Shopping features.
Instagram is continually releasing features that support small businesses within the app. Instagram Shop is an innovative way to allow businesses to tag their products in their posts and stories, providing customers with quick and easy access to items available in their store.
Shoppable posts make it easy for customers to shop featured items by categorizing the tagged posts, and product stickers can be used on Instagram stories to make content shoppable.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram introduced two new ways for people to support them by offering Gift Cards and Food Order options.
Businesses can use new interactive Stories stickers within their content to increase awareness of the ways that their community can support them. Through select partners, they have the ability to share links by including a ‘Gift Card’ or ‘Food Orders’ Stories sticker.
Gift Card buttons can also be added to an Instagram profile to encourage customers to purchase redeemable vouchers within the app. By tapping the button, the customer will be redirected to the business’ chosen platform to complete their purchase.
Gift Card and Food Order stickers can be utilized through partners such as Caviar, ChowNow, delivery.com, DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats, and more.
Instagram’s ability to host long-form video content through its IGTV feature is an excellent way for small businesses to showcase their products, services, and tutorials in a way that builds relationships with their customers.
In this example, The Lip Bar shared an extremely timely tutorial in the midst of COVID-19 for an easy makeup look that could be accomplished in just five minutes. This tutorial was a super effective way as it shows how the products can be used and applied.
IGTV video descriptions also have the unique ability to contain clickable links, which is a great way to drive traffic to a website and shop the products that customers saw in the videos.
Instagram stories are one of the best ways to engage with customers and collect feedback for your business, and there are tons of Instagram Stories stickers that enable you to do so.
From polls to sliders to fun quizzes, these interactive stickers provide a super easy way to invite your customers to participate and interact with your brand and content.
Instagram poll stickers are quick and easy, offering one of the best ways to ramp up engagement in your stories content. Simple often always works best, especially when we look at how Dunkin’ Donuts used this tool:
Emoji slider stickers are another easy way to boost engagement, and are super versatile thanks to the wide range of emojis that you can use.
They can also be used in really creative ways. Check out how The Knot, a wedding planning app, used it to inject some humour and personality into the content they produce!
Since their release last year, question stickers have been very popular for small businesses, creators, and brands alike. They are a great way to gather feedback, encourage interactions from your audience, and build relationships as it provides the opportunity for brands to humanize themselves.
Check out how Air BnB used questions stickers on their Instagram stories to publicly share responses from their audience.
Utilizing Instagram Stories is a surefire way to enhance your social media presence and pinning them to your profile can be used strategically as a way to extend its shelf life of the usual 24 hours.
One thing to keep in mind is to prioritize the Instagram Stories highlights so that the most important and recent information comes up first.
For example, Briogeo has a ‘New products’ section right at the beginning of their highlights reel:
Instagram highlights can also be a great way to carry over your brand’s visual aesthetic, as the cover images are completely customizable.
Overall, it’s very clear to see that Instagram is packed with amazing features and tools to help grow and support small and large businesses.
As Instagram continues to transform and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape, we can only expect to see more and more new features to support businesses and that align with the shift in consumer purchasing habits in the online space.