What The Latest Instagram Updates Means For Your Brand

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The only thing that is constant on social media is change. Instagram is always working on ways to improve their app. Luckily, you have us to keep you updated on the latest Instagram news and what it all means for your brand. Being able to stay relevant and up to date is key when it comes to promoting your brand on any platform.

  1. Notification Center on Desktop Version

This month, Instagram rolled out the first ever desktop notification center. You can finally see, in one place, who is liking and commenting on your photos when using Instagram’s desktop version. Simply click on the heart icon located on the top right hand corner of your screen. A drop down menu will appear and you can now access all of your Instagram activity in one place, no matter what device you are on! This is great news for marketers and will make managing your brand’s activity easier on the desktop version. It’s important to point out that this update does not exactly mirror the notification center we are used to on mobile devices. You will not be able to see your follower’s activity when using the desktop version. However, there’s a good chance we could see that in the future.

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  1. 3D Touch Feature

When Apple and then Android, came out with a 3D touch feature, Instagram was quick to incorporate the new feature in the app’s mobile version. 3D touch, referred to as “Peek and Pop,” is a pop-up window that appears when a user lightly presses on the screen. This allows users to get a glimpse of the content without having to wait for the entire page to load. This feature works for usernames on news feeds and photos and videos on the notification tab and explore tab. Once the pop-up window appears, the user is given options to like, view profile, and send content as message. Your followers can interact with your brand and share your content faster than ever! This will not only cut back on a lot of time for the user, but also means brands literally have a second to attract their audience. The glimpse of content the user sees will determine if they click through to your feed for more or move on to the next thing that catches their eye.

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  1. Landscape/Portrait Mode

Instagram finally took the hint and now supports posts in both landscape and portrait orientation. The days of using Instasize in order to fit more into the frame are over. You can finally say goodbye to using the square camera mode in order to maintain Instagram’s signature square limit. This update applies to both photos and videos. Making the option between landscape or portrait, is as easy as choosing a filter. But before you get too excited, beware that when viewing a profile grid, all photos are center-cropped to maintain consistency no matter what orientation it’s in. For this reason, your photos may get cut off when in thumbnail view. All and all, this update is great and will have your profile feed looking cleaner and more consistent than ever!

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  1. Revamped Explore and Search Page

The last Instagram update that helps your brand is the revamped explore and search page. Not only does the page have a new look, but you can now search trending hash tags, people, and locations in real-time. Jilly Badanes director of Marketing at Viraltag outlined 5 ways the new feature can help your brand.

  1. Find people to follow, recommended to you, based on your Instagram Activity
  2. Find trending hash tags that relate to your brand and participate in the conversation
  3. Explore what is being shared connected to your location
  4. Find inspiration in top posts and replicate what has proven to work well
  5. Use “search” to find the best tags to drive traffic

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In some ways, Instagram is becoming more and more desktop friendly, much like the app’s owner, Facebook. On the other hand, new updates are enhancing the way we experiencing the photo-sharing app on mobile devices. I have a feeling there’s a lot more in store to enhance our experience with the app on all devices! Be on the lookout for more Instagram updates!

Let us know in the comments sections how these updates have been useful for your brand and don’t forget to follow us on our own Instagram @hashtag4thegram!

The Perfect App for an Instagram Planner

With over 80 million photos posted daily, marketers are being forced to focus more heavily on the science of Instagram posting — how to get the best content in front of the right people before that content is no longer relevant. It’s estimated that 75% of social engagement occurs in the first five minutes after the content is posted. Giving marketers a short amount of time to reach their consumers in a fun and creative way.

Before there was Planogr.am there was…well, nothing. In one of our previous posts “7 Apps Every Marketer Needs,” we mentioned an app called Planogr.am, the first visual planner for Instagram. Created by Brandy Pham and her husband Andy, the app was designed from a designer’s and editor’s point of view. Brandy, a content creator for  @brandypham had to manage her time wisely when she became a new mom. Trying to plan out her posts was a long and tedious process. Andy saw there was a correlation between Instagram posts and online sell-through. When Brandy would post to Instagram she would make a sale. 

In the non digital marketing world and just the regular old fashioned marketing world, a planogram was and still is used in retail to show the placement of products on a shelf. It helps to maximize sales and minimize wasted space. They can also serve as a reference when trying to analyze retail performance to identify one of the potential culprits in lower sales.

How it works:

  1. Upload one or multiple pictures at a time
  2. Hold and drop the unscheduled image or (images) where you would like them to be placed
  3. Tap the picture when you have decided
  4. Add your captions
  5. Schedule now or later. There is a calendar view so you will be able to see when your posts are set to be scheduled and posted. You are also able to swipe right to post something in real time or left to delete.

Why should marketers schedule Instagram posts?

Planog.am helps cultivate brand presence and maximize potential earnings. Brands like J. Crew, Oreo, or J Brand use apps like Planogr.am to display there products.

What do you think of Planog.am? Love it as much as we do? Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to follow us on our own Instagram @hashtag4thegram.

7 Apps Every Marketer Needs

<p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BDBEFV8ORkN/&quot; style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Be sure you have every app a marketer needs. Link in bio. #marketingtips #marketingdigital #apps #tagsforlikesapp #abeautifulmessapp #regramapp #vscocam #layoutapp #blogging #planogramapp</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by #DoItForTheGram (@hashtag4thegram) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2016-03-16T14:05:21+00:00">Mar 16, 2016 at 7:05am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> //platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js” rel=”attachment wp-att-117″>IMG_7283

Instagram is a great tool for customer acquisition, SEO, customer service and lead generations among others. Brands use instagram to engage with their customers through creative pictures and videos. It humanizes the brand and engages it users. New apps are constantly being launched whose purpose is to enhance pictures through filters and other editing tools. With all these new apps available to everyone, simply posting a picture and using one of their filters isn’t enough to get all the traffic you might have hoped for. In order for your brand to do well on Instagram and make your posts memorable, which is ultimately the goal, you have to be sure your posts will get enough engagement and likes. We have put together a list of the 7 Apps Every Marketer Needs to enhance their Instagram fame, err I mean game.

  1. Regram: Apps like Regram or repost allow marketers to build an image- based community by sharing others content that reflects the brand, products, services, and values. Think of it as Instagram RT. Marketers need to realize that Instagram Instagram isn’t just about the brand’s image, but the fan’s image as well. Companies like Ben & Jerry’s and the NBA are two great examples of companies that use a combination of their own images and videos, as well as, their fans images. Not sure how to RT an Instagram picture? Here’s how to Regram.
  2. TagsforLike: Is an app, also a website, that compiles popular hashtag data. Once you download the app, search a related hashtag category and add a few that relate to your post. Unlike Twitter, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in each post. However, studies have found that 11 hashtags yield far more interaction than any number up to 11. Hashtags, much like regramming, allows marketers to engage with their customers. Hashtags are a way for people to search and follow accounts. Using the right hashtags will bring more traffic to your account and end with a lot more followers.
  3. Planogr.am: Have you ever wondered how brands like JCrew posts a series of pictures? Instagram is a new platform and for a while marketers weren’t able to schedule their Instagram posts in advance. Now there are a few new apps that allow you to do exactly that. My favorite is Planogra.am. 
  4. Spreesy: Turns your company’s brand Instagram and Facebook pages into powerful, automated sales channels. “A free and unlimited ecommerce platform. Speezy has “comment buying” which means your followers just enter their email address on one of your shoppable posts and they are taken to a secure checkout. Your inventory is synced with your Etsy, Shopify. You can also grow your email list when someone enters their email with #subscribe.
  5. VSCO Cam: Is one of the many editing apps marketers can use to make their pictures look polished and put together. VSCO Cam has filters not offered on Instagram. The app has 10 filters to choose from. Once you have chosen a filter you can manipulate the picture, much like Instagram, however #doitforthegram prefer VSCO Cam filters over Instagram filters. Why? Check it out for yourself! We believe a smart marketer will take the time to cross their t’s and dot their i’s before posting a picture. Instagram has great tools to edit pictures, but sometimes it’s smart to go above and beyond to make sure your picture is #instaworthy. Not sure what filters to use on VSCO Cam? Try a few of these combinations to get started. #doitforthegram also found a few other editing apps to check out here.
  6. A Beautiful Mess:  Is an editing app that allows a marketer to add creative texts and graphics to their photo, making it #Pinterestworthy. Adding text to your pictures can help viewers decide if they want to read your caption or not. We all know a picture can be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it helps to give your audience clues as to what you are trying to communicate. “A caption makes a connection between the photo to your message, brand, business, etc.”
  7. Layout: create a collage of multiple images and videos. Layout is a unique way for brands to display their company is more than one picture. Check out a few layouts here.

What are some of your favorite apps? Have a favorite app we didn’t mention above? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Instagram @doit4thegram.