Today, Instagram released a few new features, including a color tool and a fade tool in the photo editing interface. They also added the option for users to get notified when specific accounts they follow post something on the network:
This feature, which is just one of many that Instagram has released over the last few months, could prove incredibly valuable for social media marketers looking to stay top-of-mind among their followers, helping them grab an even bigger share of the already skyrocketing engagement on the network.
By notifying users who aren’t actively looking at the app when posts go live, marketers create an impression by appearing on the lock screen, and a greater chance that users will engage with their photo or video by taking them directly to that image, rather than appearing in their feed as they scroll.
How Can Brands Take Advantage of This Feature?
1. Promote the Feature Across Networks
Sometimes all it takes is letting your followers know that they can subscribe to your posts. You can do this by sharing the message on Instagram, but your social networks don’t live in vacuums. In fact, our recent study of brand followers on Twitter found that “Instagram” was one of the most common words in profiles of users who follow fashion brands.
Be sure to remind your users on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well. They likely will be willing to follow and subscribe to your posts on Instagram if they engage with you on other networks.
2. Create Contests
Create a campaign that encourages your followers to be the first (or one of the first five, 10, 20, etc.) to comment on a post. Be sure to let them know the contest is coming, and that they can increase their odds of success by subscribing to post notifications from your brand. I don’t know about you, but if there’s a chance that I’ll win stuff, I’m more likely to take action .
3. Activate the Feature For Your Most Influential Followers
Reward the users who promote your brand by engaging with their content and letting them know that you’re interested in what they publish. This will make them feel like a valued part of your brand experience, and continue to act as an ambassador.
4. Activate the Feature For Competitors
Stay up on what your competitors are doing on the network so you’re not caught off guard. By subscribing to their posts, you’ll be aware of their new campaigns, promotions, and content strategy on the network.
5. Promote Sales and Products
Much like campaigns, I’m more likely to subscribe to notifications if I think I’ll get the inside scoop on a sale or promotion. Offer discount codes that expire or “first looks” at new products and features. Users will be excited to stay in the know.
Part of a Bigger Strategy
While this feature is a great tool in your arsenal as a marketer, make sure it’s not your only focus. Your social programs and campaigns should be cohesive and integrated across all of your channels to maintain brand integrity and a unified voice.