This week I will be talking you through links, tags, mentions, the algorithm, explore and stories! This blog will give you a good understanding of Instagram and the ways you can use it for your business. This part of the blog goes into more depth of Instagrams features, it’s not all just images! One of the biggest growing features is stories. It has been suggested that more people are watching stories than scrolling through the timelines viewing images! So if you’d like to learn more about these features, continue reading.
Something I see a lot of is people putting links in the caption of their post, this is okay if other people are searching on a desktop as they can easily copy and paste the link. If they are using a device they can’t copy the link directly from your caption. Most Instagram users do use a mobile or tablet, unfortunately, this can cause problems for you when it comes to directing them where you want them to go.
The only way to get a hyperlink on Instagram is from your page bio. The intention of this link is to go directly to your website but you may want people to go elsewhere. You may want them to buy ticket for an event or view a specific page, so you can edit this as often as you like. If you are putting the link in your bio (where it says ‘website URL’) then be sure to let people know that in the caption by saying ‘link in bio’!
Mentions and Tags may sound like they are the same thing but they are slightly different. A mention is a link to another persons profile in a caption/bio/story. A tag is a link to another persons profile within the picture itself and often used to point out the Instagram accounts of those in the image.
Mentioning others on Instagram is very simple, all you have to do is type @ and start typing the name of the account you would like to tag. This creates a hyperlink that will direct to the (mentioned user) profile. The user you have mentioned will also be notified that you have mentioned them in your post.
When tagging others on Instagram you simply need to select ‘tag people’ when adding an image, you then need to tap on the photo (where you want the tag to be) and then type in the name of their account.
As explained above, tagging others on Instagram is when you ‘tag’ that person in an image. This is useful if there are others in your image and you can tag their profile. You will notice that if you tap once on an image in Instagram, black rectangles come up with account names, these are tags. This will also be visible from the subject of the tags’ profile.
You may want to mention others on Instagram if you are promoting an event and there are others involved. Again, they will be notified.
Your Instagram timeline is not sorted chronologically, it is sorted by an algorithm. This means that Instagram will show you posts that they think you will love even if it’s 5 days old! They are changing this soon so that very old posts do not get bumped to the top of your timeline so you may have to start posting more frequently. Algorithms can and do change fairly often.
The explore tab on Instagram is where you will see posts from users that you don’t necessarily follow but Instagram thinks that you will like their content. This is useful as a business, as it allows you to connect with new people, potentially gaining you new students.
It will also give you an idea of what other users with similar interests are posting and you can see which hashtags that they use and possibly relevant for you to use too.
Direct Messaging is also a feature on Instagram, this allows your clients/students to get in touch with you or vice vera. You will also get notified in your direct messages if anyone mentioning you in their story (more on stories below!)
A fairly new feature of Instagram is that you can upload stories (similar to Facebook or Snapchat). You can upload as many as you’d like within a day but they will only last for 24 hours. They also offer some cool effects, it’s worth playing around with it and getting the hang of how it works.
Stories have become increasingly popular and you can mention other users in them too! They are more interactive for other users and you can add in ‘swipe up’ options to direct them to a website (only available if you have over 10,000 followers).
Another feature of Instagram stories is the ability to Archive them and publicise them to your profile, these are known as highlights. This means your story will be public for as long as you’d like it to be (unlike the normal stories you see on your news feed which are automatically deleted after 24 hours). There are a few ways you can do this. One of the ways to create a highlight is to view your story (must have an active story) and select ‘highlight’ at the bottom left of the screen. Another way is to make sure that you archive all of your stories and when you want to create a highlight select the ‘+’ button underneath where it says ‘story highlights’ on your profile and you can then choose any of your archived stories.
When you add a story highlight you will need to create an album. When creating the album you will be required to add a title and cover photo. This can be quite useful as it allows you to organise your highlights neatly.
If you need to edit a highlight simply select it and click on the 3 dots on the bottom left and select edit highlight! There are some pictures below explaining this.