Posts

Instagram hasn’t become as synonymous with advertising or online marketing as it’s older sibling, Facebook, has. However, new stats announced by the company show business is booming on the popular social media platform.

Since July, more than 10 million businesses have launched business profiles – Instagram’s version of Facebook’s Pages – totaling over 25 million business profiles.

Instagram’s business profiles rolled out in May of last year and saw an initially slow response. The profiles give brands a more professional appearance on the app, including a “contact us” button and access to analytics features.

The inclusion of these business-oriented features has helped woo more advertisers to the platform, as well. Since the launch of business profiles, Instagram has increased its advertiser base from around 200,000 in February 2016 to more than 2 million in September of this year.

According to Instagram’s statistics, approximately 80 percent of Instagram’s 800 million monthly active users follow a business. Additionally, around 40 percent of the 500 million active daily users view at least one business’s profile each day.

Interestingly, two-thirds of the more than 200 million people that view a business profile each day did not previously follow the brand. That suggests the pages are effectively helping connect businesses with new potential customers and fans.

The Thanksgiving shopping weekend has officially become the biggest social media event of the year, garnering more discussion on Facebook and Instagram than even the most recent Super Bowl.

According to an email from Facebook to Social Pro Daily, more than 130 million people talked about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday this year.

Facebook alone generated more than 226 million interactions from 90 million people about the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, while 52 million talked about the deals and shopping experience on Instagram.

Surprisingly, Black Friday and Cyber Monday weren’t the biggest days of the weekend on social media. Despite being considered the smaller event of the holiday, mentions of Small Business Saturday actually surpassed mentions of Cyber Monday. The day devoted to local small businesses also created two of the top hashtags on Instagram with “ShopSmall and #ShopLocal.

Other notable stats from the weekend according to Facebook:

  • There were more than 450 million views over the weekend on Facebook of videos related to Black Friday and similar topics.
  • Black Friday conversation on Facebook and Instagram was driven by women between 35 and 54.
  • Men between 18 and 34 were more likely to discuss Cyber Monday.
  • More than one-third of Instagram business profiles posted Instagram Stories during the holiday weekend.
  • The top five shopping-related hashtags on Facebook and Instagram over the weekend were: #BlackFriday, #CyberMonday, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #ShopSmall and #ShopLocal.
  • The three most engaged states on Facebook were Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Instagram is quickly growing from just a platform for users to share pictures and videos towards a fully-fledged combination of social media and shopping. With the help of Shopify, Instagram is rolling out a new feature allowing “thousands” of merchants to seamlessly sell their products through Instagram just in time for the holiday shopping season.

The feature allows selected merchants to tag items in their Instagram posts to mark that they are available for purchase. When viewers see the post, they can easily click the tags to directly purchase the items without ever having to leave Instagram.

The feature has been in limited testing for almost a year, but it has been restricted to just a small number of high-profile brands like Warby Parker and Kate Spade. Since then, they’ve been gradually opening the feature to a few other merchants through Shopify.

The early response to this testing has been enthusiastic, so Shopify has now decided to expand the feature to a larger testing group including “many thousands” of merchants. They say they expect to roll it out even more widely in the near future, but they want to test and refine the system before a complete launch.

Instagram Banner

Instagram’s carousel feature for ads has been popular with brands as a great way to highlight their products and tell a story in their ads, and now it is coming to everyone.

Instagram announced this week it will be sharing the slideshow-like carousel ads to organic posts with all users, as well as expanding the number of photos or videos that can be shared at a time.

The feature is expected to roll out to all users on iOS and Android devices in the coming weeks. When it does, both advertisers and everyday users will be able to choose up to 10 photos and videos to include in a single post. Users can then swipe through the content to see more.

instagram-carousels

Regular users will be able to sort the photos or videos in their carousel manually, choosing the best way to tell their story. Advertisers will have this option, as well as the choice to let Instagram sort the content based on performance.

While the carousel format allows users to include several pieces of content in a single post, it does have some limitations. Most specifically, carousel posts do not allow for landscape photos or vertical videos. Instead, all photos or videos included can only be in Instagram’s traditional square frame.

Instagram is also labeling carousel posts to help make them easier to recognize in your feed. Similar to video posts, all carousel posts will include an icon next to the posts’ thumbnails.

instagramlive

Considering the success of live video on Facebook and other social media platforms, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Instagram is trying its hand with live video. But, they have put their own twist on it.

Today, the social photo and video sharing platform announced it is rolling out live video within their Instagram Stories section. However, these videos don’t remain once you stop streaming. Instead, they immediately disappear.

The feature is already rolling out and is expected to be available to everyone around the world within the next few weeks. Users are able to share live video for up to an hour and control their streams by notifying friends when they go live and deciding whether to allow comments.

“Live video on Instagram Stories helps you connect with your friends and followers right now,” according to a blog post announcing the update. “When you’re done, your live story disappears from the app so you can feel more comfortable sharing anything, anytime.”

All you have to do to start streaming is swipe right from the home feed and tap the “Start Live Video” button. You can also see who else is live streaming in the Explore area of the app, under the “Top Live” category.

Live video isn’t the only thing disappearing on Instagram, either. The platform is also rolling out the option to have automatically self-destructing photo or video messages when sending direct messages to friends and groups.

The feature operates almost exactly like Snapchat’s well known disappearing photos, which allow users to share content in a “spontaneous, pressure-free way.”

“You can choose a group or create one in just a few taps—and you can also send to individual friends at the same time,” Instagram wrote in a blog post. “Send anything you want, from inside jokes to your worst selfies. Unlike other messages in Direct, these photos and videos disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them. And you’ll see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.”

social-media-adventure-1

Want to get the most out of your social media efforts? There is no one-size-fits-all method that is guaranteed to give you success across every platform like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Each platform has its own demographics and user behavior that means you must adapt to make sure you are striking when the iron is at its hottest.

Matt Booth from AddPeople made that easy to do with a simple infographic breaking down the demographics, user behavior, and best times to post for the biggest platforms you might be marketing on:

social-media-adventure

Instagram Banner

How many times have you spent several minutes, maybe even hours, planning and scheduling the perfect post to social media, only to receive a torrent of hate in response? I don’t mean disgruntled customers voicing a complaint. I mean the abusive, hateful, and often vulgar comments that flood social media posts from brands, celebrities, and anyone else who chooses to post on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

These awful comments have become so commonplace many just view them as an unfortunate fact of life, but some social platforms are starting to take steps to erase the hate from their sites.

This week, Instagram unveiled a new filter that users can enable to hide inappropriate or abusive comments and messages aimed at making the image-sharing platform a safer place for brands and users alike.

tumblr_inline_odcy7uzhmv1qm4rc3_540

According to the announcement from Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, Instagram hopes the new feature will help foster a community where “everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.”

The new feature allows users to hide comments containing words or phrases that are frequently reported as inappropriate, but posters can also list custom keywords or phrases they wish to have hidden in comments under their posts.

While the feature gives posters more control over the comments they receive, it isn’t without its limits. The filter only blocks negative or inappropriate comments and can’t be used to block other abusive types of media uploaded to the site like image memes or videos.

Brands who receive rampant hate from trolls or abusive users also still have the ability to delete comments, report users, or block specific accounts.

Enabling the filter is easy. Just click the gear icon in your Instagram profile and click on the new “comments” feature. From there, you can toggle the filter on and off or add your own list of words or phrases you wish to have blocked from your page.

While the tool may be an effective way to filter out the random abuse many receive on social media, I would caution brands from using it as a way of hiding messages from users with legitimate complaints or issues, as that only tends to make matters worse.

Instagram is still typically thought of as a niche social platform. But, with over 300 million daily active users and counting, the Facebook-owned app is far from a scrappy upstart.  It’s a hugely popular platform that is still being overlooked by advertisers and brands.

Brands that incorporate Instagram into their social media strategy have been shown to receive high levels of engagement and brand awareness. Even more, the platform has been shown to be a powerful lead generation tool.

These aren’t the only reasons your brand could benefit from being on Instagram. In fact, Buzzoid compiled 22 reasons you should consider the platform into a stylish infographic. Check it out below, or at Buzzoid’s site.

instagram-stats-infographic

Instagram is launching a new feature, but many are saying the new feature seems inspired by another popular social photo app – Snapchat. The new feature called Instagram Stories lets users and brands share a collection of moments that disappear after 24 hours.

Insa1

If that sounds familiar, it is because the feature is very similar to Snapchat Stories. Not only does it allow users to easily package their best moments of a day into one easy-to-view collection, but Instagram Stories also includes the ability to draw on photos or videos to make them even more exciting.

“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over-posting,” an Instagram rep told AdWeek.

Insta2

The new feature is already available on iOS and Android mobile operating systems. It can be found at the top of Instagram feeds, where you can either share your own stories or tap icons to look at what others have shared in the past day.

Unlike most Instagram videos, clips included in stories are limited to 10 seconds. There are also no likes or comments on stories.

For now Instagram isn’t saying whether marketers will be able to take advantage of stories by promoting them like normal posts, however, businesses can still use the feature to engage with the community and build recognition for their brand and products.

InstagramBanner

The algorithmic timeline is starting to take over.

For the longest time, the algorithmic timeline was a defining characteristic of Facebook, while sites like Twitter and Instagram used chronologic timelines to keep people up to date as things happened in real time. However, Twitter made the controversial decision to implement an algorithmic timeline earlier this year and Instagram has officially announced they will be making the change next month.

Of course, this isn’t a total surprise. The Facebook-owned platform was bound to implement the algorithmic timeline sooner or later. In March, Instagram started testing an algorithmic which sorts user’s feed based on their interests and activity instead of sorting feeds by the most recent posts.

The announcement of the algorithm tests prompted a collective panic attack among many who bemoaned the loss of one of Instagram’s defining features and worried their posts would be seen by fewer people. However, Instagram says switching to an algorithmic timeline will actually increase exposure for posts, especially from influencers and brands.

According to the photo-and-video social platform, people miss 70% of the posts from people they follow when they use a chronologic timeline. The company says their tests showed the new timeline increases exposure and engagement, which is a win-win for users and brands.

“We found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way,” Instagram wrote in a company blog post announcing the official rollout.