Well, they’ve done it again! Instagram rolled out two new updates to its social platform yesterday providing new Instagram Stories features that have been long-requested by users. First let me identify each new feature, then I’ll cover what each means to brands and events in particular.
Update 1: Face Filters
Right about now I’m betting Snapchat is wishing they would have just sold themselves to Facebook when they had the chance. Instead, as the “Snap” IPO tanks, Instagram rips the last real differentiator between Snapchat and Instagram Stories with the addition of face filters. Yes, you can now turn yourself into a panda, unicorn or whatever else the Instagram programmer minds come up with right from within your Instagram Stories feature.
Update 2: Linked Hashtags
It wasn’t that long ago that Instagram rolled out the ability to tag other handles directly from your Instagram story. This allowed users watching a story to click directly into the profile of whomever was tagged in that post. But what they forgot about was the rampant use and reliance on hashtags. Well, not anymore! Hashtags on Instagram Stories will now click directly through to the full list of posts for that specific tag.
What Does This Mean for Brands?
Quite frankly, the Face Filters don’t mean much (yet) other than reiterate my prior position that Snapchat is for amusing children and not a place for brands to spend their time marketing. Unless of course, your brand is targeted at the 13 – 22 set, in which case it may be worth a shot. Even then, keep in mind that the analytics on Snapchat are far inferior to those of Instagram and Instagram Stories, so really, let’s just move past Snapchat for business ok?
Now the linked hashtags on the other hand are a, say it with me now, “Game. Changer.” Especially for event marketing and branding. Think about it like this:
General good practice on Instagram is to only post one to three photos per day, though usually one or two is ideal so as not to completely annoy your target audience. Even on the days when you post multiple pictures, you’re not going to do it back to back right? (Again, see prior statement about annoying your audience by dominating their feed.) BUT, the addition of Instagram Stories allows users, i.e. event attendees and media, to post consistently throughout an event without this fear of alienating followers through bombardment.
So now you can have your custom event or brand hashtag added to every post of an Instagram Stories at your event and get them to link back to all of the other permanent posts ever using that hashtag thereby connecting the current event to the overall brand in one more way, beyond the experience they are having on-site. #MindBlown right?
Want to learn more about how you can use these new features at your event? Let’s chat!