5 New Things You Must Know About Instagram
Ben Blakesley, marketing expert and social media marketing leader of Reebok, returned to The NAMM Show in 2017 after hosting a popular session on Instagram two years earlier. During his NAMM U session, he updated retailers on the latest changes to the platform, discussing new ways to connect with customers and audiences.
He offered examples of how Instagram can work well for retailers:
• Relationship-building. Instagram can build customers for life, but retailers need to create an emotional connection.
• Product awareness. Visual media demands you take advantage of great product photos, especially in the music products industry.
• Humanizing brands. People and pictures bring your brand and name to life.
• Foot traffic. Instagram only works if you give customers something valuable to find in your store.
• Brand awareness. Let people know what your brand stands for.
Blakesley stressed the importance of consistency in social marketing. Then, you can build, measure and achieve results.
Instagram Recap (2015): What We Know
1. No links. It’s not terribly effective to put links in bios consistently. Users aren’t looking for deep interaction.
2. Not shareable. Instagram posts don’t spread the same way Facebook or Twitter posts might.
3. Very discoverable. Great for reaching new audiences and people who wouldn’t have seen your content otherwise through the use of relevant hashtags, such as #NAMMShow.
4. Interaction is key. Being social is the key to success. Have conversations with people. Like their comments.
5. Mobile-only. Instagram requires a mobile device to work properly.
6. Beautiful images required. You have to provide good imagery. It’s why people are there.
5 New Things You Must Know About Instagram
1. Image sizes. You can now publish different image sizes, horizontally and vertically. Take up as much real estate as possible to get people to stop scrolling. Go for larger vertical images that use as much of the screen as possible.
2. Longer video. You can now record and post videos that are up to 60 seconds long.
3. Advertising options. You now have options to advertise. Since Facebook owns Instagram and many users link their accounts together, you have more targeted advertising opportunities. “Social media marketing isn’t any different from normal marketing,” Blakesley said. “You’re still trying to get the right message, at the right time, to the right person. It’s as simple as that.” Every ad on Instagram has a clickable call to action, so you can get consumers off this platform and make a connection with them to achieve what you want to achieve.
4. New engagements. In 7 seconds, 1 billion photos get “Liked” on Instagram. Plus, you can now “Like” comments, and you can send direct messages to individual users or groups through private messaging. You must answer these messages. (Not doing so would be like ignoring phone calls at your store.) And keep in mind that there’s a whole generation of users who don’t use the telephone—they use social media instead. Also, you can bookmark content to be saved for later.
5. Stories. Instagram Stories gives you another space to be more real-time. Posts or events are there for 24 hours, then disappear. You can publish a sequence of photos or videos. The NAMM Show is a perfect opportunity to tell a story for your customers. It adds a whole new layer of interaction and connection with the consumer that wasn’t there before. Users view and comment back to you through messages. There are no “Likes” with this—you must check your messages for it have value.
5 More Things About Instagram!
1. Analytics. Certain accounts have access to this. Talk to your Facebook advertising rep to see if you can use this program.
2. Zoom in. You can now zoom in to pictures. You can hide a coupon code in the picture and have people find it. Test this, and find out what works for your store.
3. Boomerang. This began as a standalone app and is now integrated. You get 1 second of video or a photo to show your personality and how human you are.
4. Live videos in Stories. Viewers can react and comment in real time. You can change what’s happening on the screen based on what they’re saying.
5. Tags and Links in Stories. Now you can tag other accounts—another community connection point. Links in Stories gives users a prompt to swipe up and stay in the Instagram app, but it opens a browser window. You can direct users to any website with swipe-throughs.