16 Instagram features and hacks small businesses should know of!

I may be slightly biased but, IMHO (in my honest opinion) there is no other app that is as fun as Instagram.
It’s everything from informative, hilarious at times, keeps your creative juices flowing, sometimes challenging, and always has something new – especially filters and features that they bring to the platform.

Sometimes we often miss on little things and features on a social platform that adds great value to small businesses to help them grow in spurts or all at once 🙌
Let’s walk through some Instagram features and hacks that small businesses should know of?

1. Highlights

Instagram stories are currently available only for 24 hours after which, they vanish. The highlights feature on Instagram allows you to extend the life of these stories and pull up archived stories and place them as highlights on your profile for as long as you want to, and also label them.
Here’s how you can create a highlight-
1. Open the Instagram app.
2. Tap the thumbnail of your profile picture in the bottom right corner.
3. You will now see the “Story Highlights” with a few blank circles to it’s left. Tap the plus sign above “New.”

4. You will now be redirected to all the stories you’ve shared earlier that were archived.
5. Select the stories you want to compile for a highlight.
6. Tap “Next” after you have decided on the story or stories to be used as highlights.
7. Name your Story Highlight and add a cover photo that will be added as a highlight image on your profile.
8. Tap “Add” to add it to your highlights.

We also suggest you create cover images similar to the colours of your business logo for add-on aesthetics.

2. Saved Posts / Collections

Instagram is slowly shifting in favour of the private “saves” metric while taking a step back from the public ‘likes’ while also considering letting it go completely.
This means in order to crack the algorithm and also grow your account, you should be switching all your attention to getting more people to save your Instagram post!
For this, you should create posts that would make your audience tap the “Save” button while scrolling.
These posts could either be something for your audience to look back at or something super informative and add value to somebody on your feed!

This feature can also be used to create collections of your own posts or posts that inspire you, a post that motivates you to re-create something or could also be a few collections with posts related to your products/service.

3. Quick Reply

This feature allows you to create multiple quick replies for different types of questions that you get often. You can create snippets and add a shortcut text to it as a “saved” message. So, instead of typing out the same message multiple times, you can simply type the shortcut/ keyword and the quick reply message that you’ve saved will show up!

You can follow these steps to create quick replies/ saved replies on the mobile app.
1. Open the Instagram app.
2. Tap the thumbnail of your profile picture in the bottom right corner.
3. Now tap the 3 lines at the top right corner.
4.Go to settings by tapping the ‘gear like icon’
5.Tap on the Business option
6.Then on Quick Replies/ Saved Replies
7.Then Tap on the ‘+’ icon and start typing the message and Shortcut.
8.Tap the ✔️ option at the top right and you’re done⚡️

4.Managing multiple accounts

Imagine having to maintain your personal account, business account and that finsta too by logging in individually in and out of accounts.
Instagram now allows multiple login options that let you to switch between accounts in a few seconds. Here’s how-
1. Tap on your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
2. Then tap the 3 dots at then on Settings
3. Scroll to the ‘Multi-login’ option
4.Pick the accounts you’d like to log in with a single password.
And you’re done!

So when you log in with the Instagram account credentials that you selected, you’ll be auto-logged into the accounts you added it too.
Also, you can select a total of 4 Instagram accounts to log in with one credential.

5. Scheduling

As a small business, one person wears multiple hats and you can take one hat off by opting for an app that would help you compose posts, suggest content and also schedule these posts for a future date ensuring your Instagram account is active and engaging.

One such app is Crowdfire that recommends content, helps you maintain a content calendar, schedule posts for a future date and at the right time.
You can read more on this here

6. Instagram Bio

Instagram bio is one of the most important features that help your business or individual profile to gain better engagement and exposure on the explore page.
While you already may have followers that know you or your business, growing your audience takes more than the people who already know you. For this, you must optimize your bio with the necessary keywords and hashtags for the best results.

You can also use font generating apps to add some quirky text or symbols in your bio.

7. Filter/Disable comments

I don’t think we can ever completely get rid of negative comments, hate or spam on your social accounts.
But, Instagram allows you to filter/ report and disable comments from your posts.
You can also restrict accounts from your profile too.

8. Approve tagged posts

This feature helps you have more control over the posts that anybody on your profile would be able to view.
It’s again one of those features that allow you to reduce spam and keep the tagged section on your profile clean.

In fact, Instagram allows you to also manually approve tags.
You can follow these steps to see these options-
1. Tap on your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
2. Then tap the 3 dots at then on the gear-like icon, Settings
3. Go to the ‘Privacy’ option and then you’ll see the ‘Tags’ option
4. Tap on it and you’ll be able to explore it!

9. Add invisible hashtags and tags

One way to do this is to place stickers and gifs over the hashtag or you can change the colour of the pen to match your text and ensure it camouflages with the background or any other element in your story.
Here’s a visual representation, step-by-step of how you can do it –

10. Post in stories

The post in stories option allows you to share the posts from your feed to your story by tapping on the airplane icon below the already published post.

While swiping through stories, one can tap it to check out the original post and eventually see more posts on your profile.
This is a great way for your content to get more exposure.
While sharing, you can customise the sticker, resize it, rotate and also add text, gifts and emojis to make it more eye-catching.

11. Enable post notifications

The IG algorithms may be tricky and do not show all your posts in the feed of your Instagram followers. The ‘Enable post notifications’ feature allows your users to enable notifications for the posts you share to the feed, Instagram Stories, IGTV and even Live videos.

As a business, you can always encourage your followers to tap that bell icon and enable these notifications and also create interesting engaging content that makes them want to tap the bell icon and be notified when you publish on your Instagram account.

12. Business profile

It’s important to switch to the business Instagram account in order to add contact details and email ID that show up on your profile for your users to connect with you easily.
Also,  when you switch to business Instagram account, you’d be able to fetch analytics that allows you to dig deeper into the metrics/numbers the app offers and understand what kind of posts do better for your business’s social accounts.

13. Add music to stories

To make your Instagram stories more interesting, you can add music to them via the music sticker.
All you have to do is follow these steps-
1. Compose a Story.
2. Tap the sticker icon at the top.
3. Then tap on the ‘Music Sticker’
4. Browse the song, adjust the lyrics to 30 seconds and you’re done! 🎵

14. Security

The security of your account is always a priority and as a business, it’s suggested you activate the two-factor authentication in order to avoid data loss, identity theft and any kind of fraud.
Here’s how you can set up the two-factor authentication -
1. Open the Instagram app.
2. Tap the thumbnail of your profile picture in the bottom right corner.
3. Then tap on the Security > Two-Factor Authentication
4. You’ll see an option   ‘Get started’
5. You can now choose to set the security method via an authentication app or via SMS
6. Enter and code and Save.

15. Apps to use to create content

As a small business, you may have very little time to create original content, for this, we suggest you use apps that recommend content or apps that help you create content in just a few clicks.
Canva is one such app that helps you pick a template for the social media platform you’re publishing to.

Here’s more on free apps that you could use to create great Instagram content.

16. Preview feed

Building a consistent Instagram theme for your feed is tough but essential for small businesses.
It’s not only for your current followers to consume content but also for your potential followers that scroll through your profile and decide whether they should follow you or no.
To be able to manage a profile that is aesthetically pleasing, informative and well organised, it’s important to have a visual of the feed before it goes out for your audience. For this, there are apps like Preview, Planoly, Later, etc. that allow you to add content, organise, preview the feed and also schedule the posts for a future date.
This not only ensures your feed is on point but also ensures you’re consistent.

That’s all folks! 💪

With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Try it for free.


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