5 New Features of Instagram for 2023 – Podcast Episode 236

by | Mar 30, 2023 | Instagram, Latest, Marketing Strategies, Podcast, Small Business Help | 0 comments

Hey there, my fabulous listener, welcome to episode 236 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.

Thanks for lending me your ears today – I know you have lots of choices, so I sincerely appreciate me being one of them!

If you’re enjoying this podcast – I’d love you to take a screen shot and share it on your socials and tag me in it.  How cool would that be!

Don’t forget you can get the show notes for this podcast at www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/236

Did you have a listen to last week’s episode? We chatted with Michelle Marks about Mission and Vision Statements for our small businesses.  It was a great episode with so many pieces of gold.  Head back there if you didn’t listen in – www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/235

It’s been a while since I’ve been down the Instagram rabbit hole on my podcast so I thought today, let’s have a look at some of the more small business useful new features on Instagram.

Instagram never stops to surprise us really.  They are, as much as I hate to give Zuckerberg a compliment, showing us the way to being innovative, listening to what the users want and resilience.

If it’s your platform, you will have seen loads of changes, some have come to Australia, some have not yet, some you will be excited about, and others, not so much.

The trick on a platform like Instagram is using the tools of the platform that help you grow your business and provide better value to your ideal audience by expanding your reach.

So, let’s look at 5 new features on Instagram and how you might use them to help you grow.

The first one is Meta Verified.  This is Meta’s next iteration on making some more coin from us and really bringing the platform from “free” to “paid” for small business owners, regardless of whether you do paid marketing.

You can now pay to have the blue tick on your Instagram profile (and Facebook).

This one did surprise me as just a month earlier, Meta did announce that they were “removing increased reach as a subscription feature” – but alas, here it is.

Twitter of course tried to implement it, and I’m not a Twitter person, but my understanding is that it wasn’t a successful revenue stream for them!

So what does the blue tick mean?  It’s basically a way for Instagram to verify the authenticity of your account.  It says to the world “this account is real, this account owner is genuine”.

It can quickly build trust and credibility with your followers.

A verified account is “more likely” to be seen by a wider audience, but that’s yet to be proven.  Certainly, the unpaid version of the blue tick did this, but the paid model is yet to show itself.

I have two problems with this.  Firstly, and this one is my cranky one, just because Meta couldn’t work out a way to stop all us having our accounts hacked and having IDs stolen and being scammed by fake accounts, now we have to pay to be authentic?  I think it’s a cop out.  And a little of How Darn You sort of thing.  You created the platform, you allowed bots and badies to get an account, but now it’s up to us to ensure our own safety and pay for that safety …. This is just a big business thing to do.  Make the little people pay for a problem we created.

Secondly, will it work – is it worth it (as I come down off my high horse).  My answer – is maybe.  I think if you are, as with most new features on platforms like this, an early adopter, you might see some extra reach but as it becomes mainstream and everyone who’s authentic has a blue tick (and that will happen otherwise, if you don’t have a blue tick and everyone else does, your authenticity will be questioned), then I can’t see how it will help get you more reach, because everyone can’t get more reach – the Maths just isn’t there!

Of course, it’s not all about reach, they say you’ll also get access to new features, improved security, priority support (like there’s any non-priority support!!) and more opportunities to collaborate – whatever that means.

Will I do it, yes probably if I’m honest.  My business is all about marketing and testing and measuring – so this is something I would like to test so I can tell you more about it – whether it’s worth it or not.  At the moment, I am just cranky it’s a thing!

If you want to know more, click here: https://about.meta.com/technologies/meta-verified

The second big update or new feature is one that I’m excited about but isn’t here yet, well not for me anyway. 

It’s Broadcast Channels.

I am a fan of this one because it’s about community building.  It’s basically a new messaging space that acts as a direct line between me (the creator) and my followers who want to hear all the latest news directly – so no missing stuff in someone’s feed.

For me, it feels very Podcasty.  Although, I don’t think it’s for live video – it’s more written content to read and the only channel I’m in is Meta’s and it doesn’t appear to be interactive, but I am sure when the little people like us get it, it will be.

Anything that builds community within platforms I like.  Many people say that Facebook groups are dead, but really dead Facebook groups are dead, ones run by fabulous leaders who enjoy creating community are thriving.

So, I’m looking forward to broadcast channels, although I have to say I am a little frustrated as every time I go to apply for one, it says I already have access, which I don’t …. Grrrrr – but I’ll keep updating and trying!

If you want to learn more or request early access, here’s the link: https://help.instagram.com/783859809732797

The next little hack with Instagram that’s a little new is quiet mode.  Did you know you can silence your notifications by using quiet mode?  You can choose a period of time that you want things to be “quiet” and stop notifications – like between 11 pm and 7 am or better still between 9 am and 5 pm!

To do it, just go to your profile, menu, settings, notifications and then Quiet Mode.  A great little tip for those of us who are totally distracted!

The next little feature that’s come along in the past few months – this one was late last year was the ability to add music to your posts – so just normal posts via the normal way you do posts on Instagram through the app!

It’s just in the menu before you share, where you will find other features that we are used to like location, tag people and tag products – now you will see add music.  Pretty cool little feature too!  Haven’t seen it used heaps, but it’s there!  So if you didn’t know, now you do!

The last new feature that I wanted to chat about today (and there’s been tonnes so I could literally do a podcast for hours on new features) is Scheduling – won’t that be great! Being able to schedule content into Instagram.  I have it – you do have to have a professional account to schedule, so if you don’t have the ability that might be why.

You can only schedule, at this point, I believe, reels and posts.  But to schedule, just go through to do your post as usual and when you get to the screen where you would write your caption, scroll down and click advanced settings, see schedule post and then pick your day and time!  I do love the idea of this, especially for reels where Meta Business Suite is pretty subpar.  If we could just schedule in Stories with all the stickers and music etc, my life on Instagram would be full!  Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but would be better!

I think as we get more and more features on an app like Instagram, it’s important for us to think about the fundamentals of marketing – because we can’t be all things to everyone and can’t be everywhere at once and shouldn’t be either!

Maybe it’s time you sat down and had a think about where your audience actually hangs out, what platforms are really best for you to attract the clients or customers you need and within those platforms which features you should be using to attract those ideal clients again.  It’s no longer about choosing which platform, it’s now about choosing which features in those platforms.

So, how’d you go?  Did you learn something or hear a feature that you are a little excited about trialling?  I hope so.

I would love for you to share this episode with another business friend, who also loves the Gram and would love to know about these little new features.

Got questions or thoughts? Get in touch or head to the Facebook group – Like Minded Business Owners and let me know.

If you loved this episode and found it valuable, please take 30 seconds out of your day to leave me a rating and review if you want where you are listening.  One more goal of mine is to reach more people with this podcast, and you can help me achieve that, by leaving me a review!  Thanks in advance.

See you next week on the podcast for episode 237!

But in the meantime, let’s hang out on social and get social on social – you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and my fav LinkedIn.

But whatever you do,

……..remember small business peep, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!

 

 

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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

 

Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

 

Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

 

Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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