Instagram is a great example of the evolution social media has gone through in recent years.  Fortunately, it’s gone from a place mostly used as a digital soapbox to a place to drive traffic and even sales. Let’s get into a list of the latest and greatest features and updates. Each one can help you get the most out of the app and maximize Instagram for business.

Links and Stories

If your business has over 10,000 followers, then you have access to Instagram’s newest feature, which allows you to add links to your Instagram stories.  Say you want to share a company blog post.  With this new Instagram for business feature, you can now send people directly to the blog page by including a link in your story.  Not only that, but you can also add UTMs to your links to monitor your traffic. Pretty neat, huh?

Adding a link to your Instagram story is simple:

1). Upload a photo or a video (either taken directly through the Stories app or imported from your phone).

2). Click on the “chain link” icon, located in the top right corner of your story.

3). Add your desired URL.

4). Edit your story, and be sure to include a CTA like “Swipe Up For More!”.

Obviously, this only works if you have more than 10k followers. If you don’t, we’re having a different conversation to get you that big following. Hit us up with questions and watch for future posts about growing your audience to maximize Instagram for business.

Archive Old Posts

The Archive feature allows you to keep your company profile up-to-date without forcing you to permanently delete any outdated posts.   With this feature, you can simply move these posts into a private tab.  If you decide to return the posts to your profile, they will reappear in their designated chronologically ordered spots.

Here’s how to archive a post:

1). Tap the three dots at the top right of your post.

2). When prompted, select “Archive”.

3). The post will then be moved to the “Archive” folder.

4). To repost, simply tap and select “Show on Profile”.

If there are posts in your feed that no longer represent who you are (after a re-brand for example), archive those sons of B’s.

Private Collections

Using Instagram for business in strategic ways will help you get the most out of the app and all the great content already on it. This feature will allow you to save other users’ posts to a private collection.  You’ll be able to do so without alerting anyone, and you can even organize these albums by name.

Saving a photo to a collection is simple:

1). Tap the “bookmark” icon (located at the bottom right of your desired post).

2). Select the collection that you want to save your post to.

3). To access your collections, tap the “bookmark” icon on your profile.  

Creating a new collection is just as easy:

1). Tap the “bookmark” icon on your profile page.

2). Tap the plus-sign icon (located in the right-most corner).

3). Enter a collection name and then tap “Next”.

4). Save any desired photos or just tap “Done” when you are finished.

There are couple benefits of this feature for those of you looking to use Instagram for business. 1) saving great competitor content that you can replicate/improve on yourself, or 2) save helpful content you can learn from in your business.

Replay Live Videos

The time limit on live videos has been extended, thanks to another brand new feature.  Often, using Instagram for business means reaching as far as you can with your content. Prior to this extension, live videos would disappear as soon as the stream came to an end.  Now, live videos are visible on your page for up to 24 hours.

Reposting the video will not cause it to lose any likes, comments, or views.  These status-markers will appear alongside your live video automatically.

Here’s how you can make sure your live videos are still viewable when you turn them off:

1). Swipe over to “Live Mode” and begin your video recording.

2). Once you have FINISHED broadcasting, tap the “Share” icon at the bottom of the screen.

3). Your video will then be playable for 24 hours.

You can drive traffic back to your event, tip-of-the-day, or beer pouring story for a while longer, making this a helpful tool when using Instagram for business.

Manage Instagram Filters

With so many filters to choose from, it can be difficult to keep track of which ones to use for certain campaign posts.  Thankfully, Instagram will now allow you to organize and manage your favorite filters.  You can add, hide, and rearrange your favorite filters so it’s easy to access the ones you use most.

Here’s how you can manage your filters:

1). Keep swiping to the right on your photo/video filters until you reach the “Manage” tab.

2). Here, you’ll be able to add, hide, or rearrange your filters.

3). To rearrange your filters, tap and hold the desired filter.

4). Drag and drop the filter into any desired position.

TIP: Your feed should be consistent and uniform if you’re using Instagram for business. Use this feature to pick a couple filters and stick to them, so you have a recognizable brand and feel on your profile.

Location and Hashtag Stories

If your business has hit a popularity plateau, it may be time to extend your reach.  Instagram’s location and hashtags in stories can make that happen.  This feature will allow you to add a clickable location to your story, making it easier for customers to follow your brand ― or even pinpoint the location of your business.

Here’s how to use to use location and hashtag Stories:

1). Create a new story.

2). Tap the “Stickers” icon (located in the top right corner).

3). Select “Location Sticker” and type in your desired location.

4). Edit your post as needed.

5). Tap “Next” to post your story.

TIP: When using Instagram for business purposes, be engaging on as many of the relevant Locations and Hashtags as you possibly can. Example: if you’re in the restaurant biz in Phoenix, you need to like every #PhoenixFood #PhoenixRestaurant post there is. And comment on them too!

The Places Tab

The Places tab is a part of Instagram’s Search and Explore page that often goes overlooked.  This tab will provide you with the top nine posts in your area, as well as the most recent posts listed in chronological order.

The Places tab will keep you up-to-date on all of the local happenings, giving your business a great location-based advantage.

Here’s how you can search Places:

1). Tap the magnifying glass icon (located at the bottom of your profile).

2). Search “Places” for speedy access to the tab.

3). Type in and select your desired location.

If you’re a local business, this is MAJOR. Get on the places tab and engage with people in your surrounding area. Getting on their radar can be the difference between them never coming to your business and them buying something from you. This also applies if you’re a national business. Engage with people at locations where you know you’ll find potential customers.

Comment Block Filters  

Things can get a little treacherous when trying to use Instagram for business if you aren’t on top of everything people say on your profile. Negative comments can wreak havoc on any company’s profile and reputation.  However, Instagram’s comment block filter will ensure that your page remains professional and productive.

There are two types of comment block filters: automatic and manual.  Automatic filters will do all of the dirty work for you, flagging and hiding comments based on Instagram’s pre-programmed algorithms.  On the other hand, manual filters allow you to take the wheel; you will be able to enter exact keywords and phrases that you wish to have blocked from your comments section.

Here’s how to enable comment block filters:

1). Go to your “Settings” tab.

2). Scroll down until you locate “Comments”.

3). For automatic filters, select “Hide Offensive Comments”.

4). For manual filters, select “Enable Keyword Filters”.  You will then be able to enter exact keywords and phrases.

Staying up-to-date with social media is a great way to gain popularity and support for your business.  Becoming well-versed in the latest and greatest online features is even better.  Social media platforms like Instagram will extend the reach of your business to a wider audience, creating positive momentum for its reputation. If you want to get good at Instagram for business, trying new tactics and exploring what the app has to offer is the way to go.

Bonus: Disclose Paid Partnerships

Influencer campaigns and celebrity endorsements are popular advertising choices amongst business owners.  However, the rules and regulations surrounding these partnerships are not always well-known.  Buzzfeed has recently reported that 93 percent of Instagram celebrity ads are not compliant with FTC regulations.

Fortunately, Instagram is currently testing a new feature to resolve this issue.  Posts and stories will now display a “Paid partnership with…” notification, making it easier for influencers and celebrities to disclose their sponsoring brands.


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