5 Instagram Features Perfect for Small Businesses
While they might not always be obvious, there are tons of great Instagram features for small businesses that can help you grow online.
Whether you want to strengthen your community, build brand awareness, or even make e-commerce sales, there’s an Instagram feature to help you achieve your goals.
Why Use Instagram for Business?
Instagram is a powerful tool for any brand or business, especially following the platform’s recent moves into e-commerce.
Not only can brands build thriving communities on Instagram, they can now showcase their inventory in “Shops,” and process transactions directly within the app.
Essentially, Instagram is becoming the new, online home of shoppable inspiration.
#1: Instagram Shopping
If your business relies on selling products, Instagram’s Shopping features could be perfect for you.
Instagram is continually unveiling innovative e-commerce features as they look to find new ways to support businesses on the app.
Now, businesses can now tag shoppable products in feed posts and Instagram Stories, as well as having an “Instagram Shop” discovery tab on their profile to showcase in stock products.
Instagram’s shopping features essentially make the journey from discovering inspiration on the app to purchasing much more streamlined, which is great for any business looking to increase sales.
Instagram is also rolling out the functionality for influencers to drive sales through checkout on behalf of brands.
NOTE: Instagram Checkout and Shopping for Creators is currently being tested by a limited number of brands and influencers, and only available to shoppers based in the US. However, we’re expecting these features to be rolled out more widely in the near future. Stay tuned!
#2: Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a great tool for businesses looking to build meaningful connections with their online community.
In recent months, Instagram Live usage has skyrocketed — with brands pivoting to lifestyle-orientated live broadcasts in lieu of in-person events.
By bringing people together in this way, businesses are strengthening their community and showing a much more human and authentic side to their brand.
Instagram Live Shopping
Soon, businesses will be able to share direct links to shoppable products during their Instagram Live broadcasts.
Product links will be shown at the bottom of the video stream, so people can easily tap to learn more or “Add to Bag.”
#3: Gift Cards and Food Orders
In a direct response to COVID-19, Instagram has rolled out 2 new features for small businesses: Gift Cards and Food Orders.
Gift Cards are a new way for businesses to sell redeemable vouchers on the app, available via a profile button or a new Instagram Stories sticker.
While Food Orders provide a new way for businesses in the hospitality sector to drive awareness of their food delivery services.
#4: Pinned Comments
Pinned comments is one of Instagram’s newest features, and it’s an awesome way to set the tone for your brand and community on the platform.
For example, you can choose to pin positive comments that endorse your products, or ones that champion your brand values.
Plus, by curating your comments in this way (Instagram currently allows up to 3 pinned comments on any post) you can divert attention away from trolls or spam bot comments — which can harm your brand perception.
#5: Instagram Stories Highlights
As we’ve already covered, Instagram Stories are a valuable tool for business — and Instagram Stories Highlights are the best way to extend their 24-hour shelf life.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to prioritise the Instagram Stories Highlights that drive the most conversions for your brand.
Your highlights are also a great opportunity to strengthen your visual branding on Instagram, as you can create Instagram Stories Highlights covers that support your aesthetic.
To summarise, Instagram is full of tools and features to help your business grow.
And as the platform continues to evolve, we expect to see more and more features to help businesses thrive online.
There’s never been a better time to get started!
Ready to kickstart your brand’s Instagram strategy? Get in contact with me today!