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Don’t Ignore These Important Instagram Updates for Your Small Business

By: Andrew Deen

 

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Instagram is more than just a platform for sharing cute photos and videos. It’s a social media platform, yes, but it has also become an important marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses can’t afford to ignore social media altogether, especially if they offer products or services with a strong visual component.

If you’re already using Instagram for your small business, then you probably know the potential of the platform. But it’s also important to realize that what you need to do to succeed on the platform is always shifting. Updates to the algorithms and the app itself, along with changing trends in audience behavior both make a difference in what strategies will be successful.

Staying on top of the latest trends and updates is important for remaining competitive on Instagram. Here are some of the latest updates you should be aware of, as a small business owner.

Engagement Metrics: Are You Filtering Out Fake Accounts?  

Engagement is one of the most important factors in any social media strategy. Your content could be fantastic, but if no one is engaging with it (liking, commenting, sharing, etc.), it’s not doing its job or it’s not reaching the right people.

Your engagement metrics will help you to understand how well your strategy is doing on Instagram. If your posts are getting lots of engagement (per number of views), then you’re probably doing well in building your brand on social media. But wait—there’s a catch. Fake accounts could be inflating your numbers and making you think you’re doing better than you really are.

When viewing your engagement metrics, it’s important to take fake accounts into consideration. There are tools available that can help you filter out fake accounts and see what your real engagement numbers are.

Is Influencer Marketing Still Relevant? 

A year or two ago, it was all about influencer marketing. Big brands were paying thousands for sponsored content and even small businesses were working with micro-influencers to boost their brands. But is this tactic working for small businesses anymore? Has the influencer bubble burst already?

The answer is: maybe. Some influencers have great engagement and are skilled at creating sponsored content that drives new sales for brands. Others simply want to cash in and will work with any brand that approaches them.

If you want to leverage influencer marketing, it’s important to do so carefully. Realize that you need to find the right fit and choose influencers who really care about creating a campaign that will result in ROI. Otherwise, you’ll just be flushing money down the drain.

It’s also important not to overpay for sponsored posts. As a small business, you won’t be working with influencers who charge thousands per post!

Instagram Direct & Messenger Are Merging

Instagram is owned by Facebook, and some of the features of the two platforms are merging on the Instagram app, notably, Facebook Messenger, which will soon replace the Direct Message feature on Instagram. This merger is great news for small businesses, as it will help to streamline social media engagement and make Instagram’s direct messaging capabilities much more powerful.

As a small business, it’s important to understand that social media interactions have become a form of advertising and customer service. Engaging with your audience on Instagram is important—and this merger will likely give you even more access to your customers and potential customers.

Instagram Stories Now Have Even More Power 

Stories might disappear after only 24 hours on Instagram, but they’re becoming much more powerful for small businesses and influencers. Since this content is temporary and more “real-time” than traditional posts, the platform’s update is giving Stories more weight and will see them as a favorable attempt to gain more organic traffic by creating quality content.

It might feel strange to create Stories for your business, especially at first. But if you focus on consistency and providing content your customers will love, you can’t go wrong! Plus, it will get easier and more natural over time. Stories are now a great tool for businesses that want to grow organically on Instagram.

There are lots of guides out there for succeeding on Instagram. But it’s important to remember that the platform is always adapting and changing—and your strategy needs to adapt along with it. Keep up with the current trends and updates and you’ll be well on your way toward making the most of social media for your business!

Published: September 25, 2020
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