Instagram, the social network based around sharing images, has introduced a number of contact management and business-related features designed for those companies using Instagram to obtain brand exposure. The feature is called Instagram Business Tools and has been unveiled this week, to be introduced across the world over the next seven months. Instagram explain on their blog that after a number of success stories from businesses using their Instagram account to raise product awareness, they started researching into what companies wanted from their account. Their blog explains how the business interviewed and listened to businesses and realised there were three core needs: businesses wanted to stand out, get insights and find new customers. The social platform has developed these new features with these three ideas in mind.
Some of the features are easily introduced: for example, some businesses wanted customers to be able to email questions as comments were clumsy to keep track of. Instagram are introducing a feature that allows businesses to amend how customers, or potential customers, get in touch with them - allowing the ability to call, text or email by tapping the contact button. There's also a means to get directions baked into the application. Instagram are also introducing the ability to modify an existing post and easily convert it into a promotional post by adding a button recommending viewers take an action - right from the mobile application. This post can then be used by Instagram to target an audience and may be promoted for as long as the business need. Instagram can support a business by recommending a given target audience for their promotional posts.
The Instagram Insights feature is designed to show businesses the demographics of their followers, along with what they are into and what posts resonate better than others. This information is available from the mobile application and of course this data may be used to allow a business to tailor its feed to create more relevant and timely posts. Logically, businesses can use the Insights feature to help determine what posts to convert into a promotional post and who should see it.
That Instagram's new features will be available straight from the mobile application is an interesting and welcome development as it makes it especially easy for businesses to access and use the information. The new improved service will be available in the next few months for the United States, Australian and New Zealand markets, with the company planning on rolling out the improvements across the rest of the world by the end of the year.