Instagram is continuing to grow and dominate its niche as an image-sharing platform. Capitalizing on its audience, Instagram also continues to add to its feature list, attempting at times to coopt ideas from other platforms (such as Reels, part of an ongoing trend to dominate the short video market), or expand its existing features.
Its most recent update allows users to customize their profiles even further, highlighting specific posts or curating certain posts by pinning them at the top of your account. Digital marketers and social media managers alike should take note to make use of this feature to further curate and personalize their accounts.
What This Update Means for You
Instagram’s most recent update might not make a world of difference for a lot of digital marketers and social media managers, but it does present an opportunity to clean up your profile, pick three pinned posts that best represent your brand, or utilize the pinned post row as a “media banner” to highlight seasonal promotions, important causes, recent collaborations, product announcements, or other important news and information.
Instagram isn’t limiting this feature to photo posts – users can pin Reels, as well. The three chosen pinned posts will be featured at the top of the profile grid.
Pinning a post is simple. Navigate to your post of choice, click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the post, and click “Pin to your profile”.
If you’re not pinning posts to the top of your Instagram profile, you’re missing out on additional visibility to your most important content.
- Kaylee Sachs, Social Media Manager
This feature is separate from the ability to pin certain Stories to your profile, a feature that has been around for some time.
On Twitter, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri explains that: “Creators are incredibly important to the future of Instagram. And this week I’m excited to talk about a number of new features that we’ve designed specifically for creators. … Your profile is your space, so we’re looking for more ways to give you control over that experience.”
Other Recent Instagram Changes
In addition to the ability to pin three posts on your Instagram profile, Meta is rolling out several new changes to Reels across both Facebook and Instagram. Instagram Reels of up to 90 seconds in length are now being supported, versus the previous limit of 60 seconds.
Furthermore, users are now able to import their own audio from their gallery for any reel they post and utilize the same interactive stickers that were already implemented for stories (such as quiz stickers, poll stickers, sliders, and so on).
If you haven’t played around with reels yet, these features are quite exciting – they give marketers an extra 50 percent runtime on any reel, which means more time to formulate their message, feature a product, or spend time with the audience without rushing the pacing of the reel.
Aside from the obvious messaging potential of video over images, reels are massively popular, are drawing in more engagement than photo posts, are viewed by about 9 out of 10 Instagram users, are largely capturing younger audiences, and are continuing to be Instagram’s primary focus for the near future.
However, 90 seconds is also a pretty long time, and there’s no real need to make use of the full minute-and-a-half each time. Most reels are still quite short, considering Instagram launched them with an austere 15-second time limit, originally.
Making the Most Out of Instagram
As simple as the platform was at its inception, Instagram has grown into a popular image and video-sharing platform with massive potential for businesses who know how to utilize it. Sadly, Instagram marketing is a little bit more complicated than taking weekly pictures of your product and uploading them with a funny caption.
The key to good Instagram marketing is targeting. If you know what your audience looks like and what they tend to be interested in the most, you will have a much better idea of how to engage with them, draw out the biggest conversations, and find the most consistent path toward growth.
There are dozens of social networks all over the web, and the average person has an account on about eight of them. While Instagram continues to lag behind behemoths like Facebook and YouTube, it still sits comfortably within the top 5 most-used social networks on the planet, with an active user base of nearly 1.5 billion people. That’s three Twitters.
Aside from a massive user base, Instagram is an ideal choice for many digital marketers because it proves itself as a useful tool for lead generation and organic advertising, time and time again – 9 out of 10 Instagram users follow a business account of some kind, and over 80 percent of users report finding products and services specifically through the app.
Those numbers aren’t inflated, either – about 60 percent of the app’s active users spend at least 7 hours a week interacting with brands and friends, and browsing content, and every month, an estimated 130 million users use Instagram Shopping to browse and buy products through the platform.
Of course, your reason for being on Instagram shouldn’t boil down to “everyone else is doing it, too”. Between Instagram shopping, high user engagement, and brand awareness, there are many ways to leverage Instagram’s popularity for lead generation. But you need to make sure that the return on investment is worth it for your business and industry.
Do The Analysis Work
What does your audience look like? Who are you catering to? What should your content be? One of the easiest ways to figure out a profitable media niche for your type of business is to do a little competitive analysis and see what your global or regional competitors are doing to grow their brand awareness.
Hiring an experienced team to manage your social media accounts and seamlessly integrate a social media plan into your overall SEO and digital marketing strategies is another consideration. They, too, will utilize competitive analysis to get an idea of what does and doesn’t work, and leverage data analysis to compare and contrast different ad campaigns, reel concepts, and image trends.