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Are You Using all of Instagram’s Features?

Since the launch of Instagram 10 years ago, the popular platform has grown to over one billion monthly active users and nearly 500 million daily active users. If you’re new to the platform, you may wonder what the hype is about and whether it’s really that important for running a business. You’ve known since the beginning that Instagram is the pretty platform, maybe with overly edited photos in a neat grid formation. But it is more, so much more than that. Is it possible you’re not using all of Instagram’s features? Beyond 2-3 posts on your newsfeed each week, how are you utilizing this popular platform?

Create a Business Account

Have you wondered what the buzz is about the Instagram Business Account? Maybe you’ve used a personal account for a few years and thought it was fine, so why change? If you’re hoping to reach more potential clients and grow your business through the platform, you’re going to need a little more oomph than that. With an Instagram Business account, you can get insights on your posts and stories, get insights into your followers and their interactions with your content, and add info about your company, such as business hours, your location, and phone number.

Display Consistent Branding

Since the ‘gram is such a visual platform, it’s important to create esthetically pleasing posts, using consistent colours and fonts, professional photos (some stock photos are perfectly fine!), but don’t forget the candid photos of you and your team to really connect your audience to the faces behind the brand.

Utilize the Stories Feature

Instagram stories are a great way to insert casual snippets of your day without clogging up your feed. They don’t need to be on brand or follow any pattern, and they disappear in 24 hours. If you want to keep them longer than that, save them as highlights and you’ve got them forever in the little circles above your feed. Cool fact: Over 500 million accounts use Stories every day! (Hootsuite)

Do Live Videos

Many people are terrified of doing video, especially LIVE video. But in 2020, video really is king.

82% of viewers say they prefer seeing a live stream rather than a brand’s social posts. (Tech Jury, 2020) Plus, Instagram Live gives you the top position on the story feed, increasing your brand’s visibility, while sending push notifications to your existing followers when you’re live.


Instagram launched the feature in June 2018. It gives brands the opportunity to make videos longer than typical Instagram Stories and posts. This is a great way for your audience to get to know you and engage with your account. Imagine what you can show them – at no cost – in a 10-minute video!

Use Hashtags

Are you still avoiding hashtags or using obscure/over-saturated ones without doing any research? Now is the time to change that! Hashtags do serve a very important purpose on Instagram: making your content more easily discoverable. For the best hashtags, study your competition, top influencers, and businesses in your local area. Keep them relevant to not only your brand, but to each specific post. Pro tip: change up your tags and keep a saved list for each different post type.


When you have a potential audience of over one billion, it’s a great idea to invest in targeted marketing. An Instagram ad is simply a post or story that a business or brand pays to promote to specific audiences. You can boost any of your current posts (especially if you notice a post is doing exceptionally well organically). You decide how much you want to spend and set the parameters; Instagram does the rest!

Sell Products

If you’re selling a product online, you need to be taking advantage of Instagram Shopping. Most of your potential customers are already on the platform – hello one billion users – so take advantage of it and make it easy for them to purchase. Instead of redirecting them away to your website, they can make the purchase right from within the app with Instagram shoppable posts!

Interact with Other Users

This one is often overlooked, but don’t forget we’re talking about “social” media. Following other accounts and commenting on posts is a great way to increase followers and engagement. And don’t forget to thank others for following your account or commenting on your own posts. The Golden Rule absolutely applies here: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in Canada (Hootsuite) and it’s no wonder. This simple but powerful platform packs a huge punch when it comes to social media marketing. Enjoy playing around with the features we’ve listed above. We’d love to hear if you’ve found these tips helpful!

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The STGP team is here to help with all things social media, website design, graphic design, and online marketing! If you need more eyes on your business, reach out. We love helping business owners take advertising off their TO DO lists.

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