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Want to get more engagement on Instagram Stories?

First, focus on the views. Second, get creative with stickers!

Instagram Stories are a fun, free, and effective way to engage with your audience, even if they aren’t seeing your posts in their feed.

With over 500 million people watching Instagram Stories every day, you want to get them involved and engaged with your business!

Ready to learn more? We’re going to take a deep dive into some of the best strategies and top tips for getting more views & boosting your Instagram Stories engagement:

Instagram Stories Engagement: How to Get More Instagram Stories Views

Building a large and loyal audience of Instagram Stories viewers is a great way to build brand engagement – think of your stories like a magazine or reality tv show about your business.

With all the work going into creating your stories (p.s. we have a course for that), you want to make sure that people are actually watching them, too!

Here’s how to get more views on Instagram Stories:

#1: Use a Storyboard to Create Structure

When you storyboard your Instagram Stories ahead of time, you’re putting time aside to make sure that everything you post has a clear purpose and tells a little bit more about your brand and business.

With a clear beginning, middle and end to your stories posts, your viewers will be more likely to stay engaged till the very end.

That means you might see your exit rates on your Instagram Stories analytics drop as your viewers stick around for all your posts!

Also, think about offering something unique with your stories posts. Rather than just reposting the same content you have shared everywhere else, make your Instagram Stories content unique and give your audience a reason to watch!

It could be as simple as including some behind-the-scenes content of your office or store for example.

Not sure how to storyboard your Instagram Stories? No problem! We have the perfect Instagram Stories storyboarding template to help you get started:

#2: Design Beautiful Instagram Stories  that Match Your Brand Aesthetic

Creating Instagram Stories that not only look great but reflects your Instagram aesthetic really pays off when it comes to growing your audience.

Firstly, having your Instagram Stories, feed posts, and website branding aligned means you can boost brand awareness as your viewers start to recognize your unique style.

Once you have that aesthetic nailed across the board, it can help you stand out from the crowd and gives your followers a sense of familiarity.

Your followers will know what to expect when they tune in to your stories and will want to keep watching every time you post something new to Instagram Stories.

Making sure that you’ve cohesive look and feel across all of your Instagram posts does take time and effort, but it can really help build a loyal audience.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our video guide to using popular design app, Over to create Instagram Stories that reflect your brand aesthetic and captivate your audience.

How To Design Instagram Stories That Captivate Your Audience - YouTube

#3: Understand What Instagram Stories Content Resonates With Your Audience

Figuring out what kind of content your audience likes the most can really pay off when it comes to views and your engagement levels.

Use your Instagram analytics to learn more about what types of content performs best and then use that insight to tailor what you post.

For example, if you see that you have tons of views on your behind-the-scenes content, but your exit rates increase when you share static image posts to your stories, you can then edit your storyboard and concept ideas to include more BTS action!  

You could even create some “content buckets” for the type of content that performs the best, like how @Everlane has their regular Transparency Tuesday Instagram Stories posts:

Just remember to always keep your Instagram aesthetic in mind when posting different types of content!

Check out how @GoToSkincare manages to have behind-the-scenes videos, product posts, and user-generated content in their stories posts, while still maintaining their core branding style:

#4: Collaborate with Other Brands on Instagram

Feeling stuck in a rut and not sure what to post to keep your fans viewing your posts?

It might be time for a collaboration!

Whether you host an Instagram takeover on your stories, co-design a product, or simply lead an Instagram Live with another brand, collaboration projects are a great way to build new audiences and keep your followers engaged with something a little different.

Check out how Anthropologie teamed up with The Good of the Hive to create hand-drawn bee prints for their storefronts for Earth Day:

Or on a larger project scale, Billabong collaborated with fashion influencer Sincerely Jules to create a summer collection. Both brands showcased the products on their Instagram Stories, with plenty of user-generated content making it onto the Highlights:

Just remember that when you look to partner up with another brand, make sure you’re thinking about their target audience too. You want the partnership to be mutually beneficial and something both your audiences will want to engage with.

#5: Use Hashtags in Instagram Stories to Improve Your Reach

If you’re looking to get more views on your Instagram Stories, you need to be adding hashtags to your posts!

Adding hashtags to your stories is a great way to give your content an added chance to be discovered by new audiences. When people search for a hashtag on Instagram, if it’s popular enough, they’ll be able to view active, real-time stories on that hashtag’s page — including your own.

And if they like what they see, they might even tap follow on your profile!

You can add up to 10 hashtags to your Instagram Stories posts, or one using the Hashtag Sticker. They can also be hidden under GIFs or change the color the of hashtag text so it blends with the background. So there’s no excuse not to add a hashtag to your next post!

Looking for more ways to use hashtags to grow your audience? Check out our 10 Instagram Hashtag Hacks + Tricks You Definitely Want to Try blog post for everything you need to know!

#6: Know When Your Audience is Most Engaged on Instagram Stories

Knowing when your audience is most active on Instagram is key to boosting your viewer count for your stories posts!

If you can nail down when your followers are most likely to be tapping through stories, you can plan and schedule your post to go live at a time that suits them most to watch.

Start by looking at your Instagram Insights — every Instagram business profile has access to Instagram’s native analytics, which can serve up some great metrics and insights on your followers’ behaviors.

Under the Activity and Audience tab, you can see when your profile had the most engagement, reach and impressions, and also when your followers were most active on Instagram.

However, when it comes to stories, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when your stories posts received the most views with just Instagram Insights alone.

Luckily, if you’re on a Later paid plan, you have access to 3 months’ worth of Instagram Stories analytics (while Instagram Insights only offers 2 weeks). For each post, you can monitor when you saw spikes in your view rates throughout the day and learn from these metrics when the best time to post is for your audience.

#7: Schedule Your Instagram Stories in Advance

Scheduling your Instagram Stories means you’re planning for success!

Now that you have your best times to post worked out for your profile, you can set aside time to plan and schedule so you have a much better chance at boosting your audience views and reaching new audiences.

It also means you never miss a chance to improve your overall Instagram Stories storyboarding, calls to action or include a swipe up link.

Think of this planning and scheduling time as your “Instagram Stories review” — you’ll be able to give everything one final look through and once you’re 100% happy with what you’re going to post, all you have to do is schedule a time for it to go live!

Later’s Instagram Stories scheduler is available now on all paid plans, starting at $9/month. Upgrade now to get access or start scheduling stories!

#8: Cross-Promote Your Instagram Stories on Your Feed

If you have tons of engagement on your feed posts, you can leverage it to drive to your Instagram Stories!

It’s a really simple technique that helps remind your followers that you have live Instagram Stories and that they stand to learn a lot more if they tap to watch your most recent posts.

It’s a strategy we use on Later’s Instagram profile, especially if we have great content to share, but can’t share it all in a post caption!

Check out how we added a call to action in our feed post caption to direct our followers to our Instagram Stories so they could learn about mental wellbeing at work during Mental Health Awareness Month:

View this post on Instagram

Inhale, pause notifications; exhale, block offensive comments. Basically a yoga class — for your phone. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Head to our Instagram Stories today for some tips to create space to breathe in your day-to-day, by using some handy (& not super obvious) tricks to build a more mindful workspace on your phone. Proven to release toxins, gain focus, and build strength. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ It’s not just time online that could be affecting your mental health. Constant push notifications, Direct Messages, and comments on your posts could be impacting you more than you realize. ⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀ Link in bio: 12 Apps & Tools to Help Protect Your Mental Health at Work⁣ ⁣ ⁣⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀ : @outdoorvoices⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth #realconvo #menatlhealthawarenessmonth #mentalhealthawarenessweek #socialmediamentalhealth⁣

A post shared by Later.com (@latermedia) on May 14, 2019 at 4:37pm PDT

#9: Reposting UGC in Content Themes for Your Audience

Reposting Instagram Stories and sharing user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to fill your feed with beautiful content. But it’s also of huge value to your audience — UGC is 50% more trustworthy than any other type of media!

User-generated content is the word-of-mouth equivalent on social media, meaning that every post or story about your brand that is created by your customers is UGC gold. But you want to make sure you’re thinking strategically about what UGC you repost.

Instead of reposting every piece of content you’re tagged in, think about how you can cluster your UGC together into different themes.

For example, Fella Swim groups UGC together in an “As Seen On” series, using their own branded Instagram Stories template.

Similarly, Ban.do hosts a “Friday Night Likes” series which followers know and love:

#10: Get Creative with Animations on Your Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a popular place with over 500M daily users. So one way to stand out from the crowd is with creative and engaging Instagram Stories animations.

There are tons of great apps and tools like Mojo and Over..

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Working online, especially in social media, presents its own unique set of challenges for our mental health.

From never fully switching off from our work and constant ping notifications on our mobiles to receiving hurtful comments on our Instagram accounts, it can be difficult to protect our mental health each day.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Month in the US, and Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, we’re rounding up some of the best tools, features, and apps to help build your resilience both at home and at work.

Create a More Mindful Instagram Space for Work:

If you’re a brand on Instagram or a social media manager, you know all too well how time spent scrolling easily adds up.

But it’s not just time online that could be affecting your mental health. Constant push notifications, Direct Messages, and comments on your posts could be impacting you more than you realize.

Thankfully, Instagram has some great features that you can use to soothe your scrolling experience and find some headspace throughout your working day.

#1. Mute Push Notifications on Instagram

Need a little quiet time away from Instagram?

You can use the mute feature to silence Instagram’s push notifications for a set amount of time. From 15 minutes to 8 hours, you can choose how long you’d like to take a break.

When the time is up, your notifications will return to its normal settings without having to be reset. That means, you can easily carry on with your work after getting the downtime you need!

Of course, if you’d like to turn off push notifications completely, you can do this through your phone settings:

#2. Use Instagram to Manage Your Time Spent on the App

When you’re working on your Instagram strategy and engaging with your audience, it’s all too easy to spend a chunk of your day on the app.

Instagram knows that you don’t have to be online all the time to engage and manage your account, so they created a tool to help you set limits on how much time you spend on the app.

Using the Daily Reminder tool, you can choose how much time you want to spend on Instagram every day. Then set a daily reminder to give yourself an alert when you’ve reached the set time.

It’s a great way to manage your time and raise your awareness of how much time you’re spending on Instagram each day. Once you’ve maxed out your Instagram time, you know to power down and close the app.

#3. Block Offensive Comments on Your Instagram Account

Thankfully, most of Instagram is a friendly, inclusive place, but trolling and offensive comments can, unfortunately, seep into your profile and have a negative impact on your mental health – especially if those comments are targeting you, your business and your community.

It’s time to put a stop to negative comments on your profile — within Instagram’s settings, you can block offensive words that you don’t want to appear on your feed:

To access the tool, click the “Privacy and Security” from the Settings menu and scroll to tap “Comment Controls.”

Note: This tool is only available in English at the moment, but Instagram will continue rolling out more languages over time.

#4. Take the Focus Away From Your Likes

Recently announced at F8, Instagram is officially testing hidden likes on posts with a percentage of users in Canada.

That means that Instagram is already making moves towards reducing the importance of a post’s like count. And if you’re part of the test group, your profile and posts may look something like this:

Unfortunately, there is no way to opt-in to hidden likes if you’re not part of the test group. But you can start building a habit of ignoring the likes as much as you can.

Instead of watching that like count on your recent post go up as the day goes by, try to focus on your overall engagement rate when it comes to building your social report at the end of the week or month instead.

Also if you spend time reviewing the positive comments and saves you’ve had on your posts, your mindset will shift away from the heart icon, and realize that success on Instagram is more than a like count!

#5. Schedule Your Instagram Content in Advance

When we speak to social media managers and business owners who use Later, the one thing they love is that you can “plan it and leave it”.

Being able to schedule your Instagram content in for a week (or more!) ahead of time means that you can set specific time aside for Instagram, and then not have to spend so much time on the app each day.

“The platform I utilize to post a lot of my social media posts is called Later. It allows me to disconnect from the app and just have it on a desktop, where I can still do my work and create, but… there’s some distance. There’s something about that distance that can be so, so, so good for the soul.” –@beingisbeautiful

If you want to help safeguard your time, schedule your content to auto-publish in advance with Later, so you can get onto more important things in your day.

#6. Go Grey on Mobile to Focus on Your Tasks

If you have Google Pixel phone, you can literally grey out your screen so you can focus on using the apps that need your attention.

By removing any distractions, you may find your mind will be able to better focus on one task at a time, and your overwhelming thoughts could be reduced too.

via android.gadgethacks.com

Just follow these steps to set your phone screen to Grayscale. You can also set a Do Not Disturb and Night Light setting on your phone too!

Use Apps to Find Moments of Calm in Your Work Day:

When you break it down, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Our brains are often at full capacity with deadlines, to-do lists, reports, meetings, phone calls — the list can seem endless!

So it’s easy to see how our mind can feel overwhelmed.

While every job is bound to have some stressful periods, there are ways that you can start to incorporate small moments of calm and mindful actions to help relieve any work-related anxiety.

Here are some apps and tools to try out at work:

#7. Clear Your Mind with Headspace App

The award-winning and research-backed meditation app is a team-favorite here at Later.

Headspace has hundreds of meditations (some are just 5 minutes long!) on everything from stress to sleep to focus and anxiety.

When it comes to stress, a work-based study found that 30 days of Headspace lowered stress by 32%, and just 4 sessions reduced burnout by 14%.

So if you’re looking for ways to quiet the internal chatter in your mind at work, pop on some headphones and give Headspace a try.

Available on iOS and Android.

#8. Build Healthy Habits with The Fabulous App

Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing often starts with building a healthy habit.

Whether that’s a reminder to drink more water, take a break from your screen or to get outdoors on your lunch break, The Fabulous app helps you build that into your day.

While you’re building new habits with small, daily changes, you can also learn some of the science around mental health.

Available on iOS and Android.

#9. Get in the Zone with Noisili App

Looking to block out external noise and find some focus?

To help you improve your focus and boost your productivity, Noisili lets you mix different sounds and create your perfect work environment.

Whether you want to listen to the background noises of a cafe, or the ocean waves crashing in a thunderstorm — you got it!

We find it useful for helping us focusing on a detailed project we find overwhelming to get started with  — a good background noise soundtrack can make all the difference to relieving stress and keeping our attention focused on the task.

Available on desktop, iOS and Android.

#10. Record Your Thoughts with Aloe Bud App

Are you finding your thoughts a bit overwhelming? Sometimes getting them down on paper can help, but that in itself can feel like a daunting task when there’s a lot going on in your head.

Aloe Bud app helps you organize those thoughts with small and simple reflection prompts to help you micro-journal how you’re feeling each day.

Instead of being presented with an intimidating blank page, the bite-sized check-ins help encourage writing down your thoughts while reducing overwhelming feelings.

Available on iOS.

#11. Reduce Your Phone Screen Time with Moment

If you work online, we can probably guess that you spend a lot of time on your phone.

Whether that’s managing your Instagram, answering emails, editing your photos — we spend a lot of time looking at a small screen in our hands.

If you’re looking to reduce your screen time (especially outside of work hours!) try out Moment app.

Through short, daily exercises tailored to you by a Moment Coach, the app helps you use your phone in a healthy way so that you can be more present for the parts of life that matter most.

Available on iOS and Android.

#12. Stretch Out Some Stress with DeskJob App

Sitting and staring at your screen for too long will only add to your stress levels — so getting up, moving and stretching it out is so important for your mental and physical health.

Take a look a DeskJob app — it’s a basic app that simply reminds you to take a break from your desk and guides you through some easy stretches you can do at work. There’s nothing fancy about it — just useful prompts keep your mind and body nimble!

Available on iOS.

Take Time Each Day to Check-in On Your Mental Health

Whether you want to use an app to record your thoughts, or inwardly reflect on your feelings each day, dedicating time each day — no matter how busy your workday gets! — to your mental health is important.

And equally important, is sharing how you’re feeling and reaching out for help when you need it.

This month, Instagram has collaborated with the AFSP on a public awareness campaign called #RealConvo. It aims is to raise awareness of mental health and to inspire people to share their personal mental health experiences.

In an interview with Mashable, Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) stressed that “every conversation, no matter how small, encourage progress”.

Some of Instagram’s most influential mental health-focused profiles are taking part in the campaign, sharing their personal experience and helping build the conversation further.

Founders of @SadGirlsClub and @SadBoysOrg, Elyse Fox & Kelvin Hamilton created a video as part of the campaign:

View this post on Instagram

Meet Kelvin and Elyse. Elyse is the founder of @SadGirlsClub, and she's on a mission to connect communities and spread awareness through vulnerability and storytelling. Kelvin (known as Jocko Graves) is a multidisciplinary artist in NYC. No stranger to the pressures and prejudices packaged as "black masculinity," Kelvin recently launched @SadBoysOrg. • Their #RealConvo tip: “Creating healthier, more vulnerable dialogues will allow us to create healthier relationships.” • Having a #RealConvo about mental health can change lives. That's why this #MentalHealthAwareness Month, we've teamed up with @instagram to highlight inspiring creators and community leaders who are champions of having real, authentic conversations on mental health. Today, we'll be filling your Feed with their stories — with videos of them sharing tips on how to be true to who you are, find community both on and offline, and how they prioritize their well-being in the age of social media. • : @caseymcperry

A post shared by AFSP (@afspnational) on May 2, 2019 at 5:20am PDT

Along with other influencers like actress Sasha Pieterse, and advocates like Gabby Frost, founder and CEO of @BuddyProject and Vivian Nunez, founder of @2damnyoung, the campaign promotes the importance of being vulnerable online and creating healthy dialogue around mental health disorders like depression.

While the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and other mental health problems, present themselves in different ways for different people, if you’re feeling down at work (and at home), it’s important to remember that there are people around who are able and willing, to help you.

Chatting with..

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When it comes to brands using Instagram for fashion, it’s a fast-paced, competitive world that has tons of business benefits.  

A fashion-forward Instagram strategy can drive traffic, make sales, and attract a loyal community of followers.

But it’s not just about being a trendsetter — an Instagram strategy for a fashion business needs to not only captivate an audience, but also start a conversation, share experiences, and sell their brand lifestyle.

Check out these popular tips, tricks, and industry-favorite features to help you create your own successful Instagram for fashion marketing strategy!  

Table of Contents

Instagram For Fashion: Why is it so Successful for Brands?

Fashion brands continue to pave the way of “cool” on Instagram.

In fact, Instagram is a “powerful fashion force, that is setting trends and boosting sales,” according to global fashion search platform Lyst’s Year in Fashion Report 2018, charting findings from 80 million shoppers in 120 countries.

It makes sense – the highly-visual platform is the perfect place to inspire new trends and promote a lifestyle beyond the rack.

“By nature, Instagram is well suited to fashion brands to whom the visual and “community” dimensions are essential: purchases generally linked to a feeling of belonging to a group, or through the imitation of stars, etc,” reports The Conversation:

The Lyst’s Instagram fashion report also revealed that “celebrities, and their outfits, remain the most powerful influencers, shaping what customers look to buy online.”

To no surprise, celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian drove some of the biggest spikes in search, influencing shoppers around the world:

View this post on Instagram

ready for the weekend

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Aug 30, 2018 at 6:39pm PDT

Influencers are even partnering with brands to create their own fashion lines, because of their mutual success on the platform.

For fashion brands, features like shoppable posts and influencer marketing make it easy to showcase your brand on Instagram.

But the challenges lie in getting your products seen and sold to your target audience — competition is high and the fashion world moves fast. So having a strong fashion-focused Instagram strategy is important.

How Instagram Became the Fashion Trendsetter People Can’t Get Enough Of

Instagram is now a driving force in the fashion industry, paving the way for new trends and fashion inspiration. And its trendsetting powers show no sign of slowing down.

From bike shorts and belt bags to “ugly” sneakers and tiny sunglasses, the latest fashion trends have a viral effect on Instagram.

And while we can’t deny that most fashion trends are born from supermodels on the runways of Fashion Weeks and celebrities’ red carpet looks at the Met Gala, there’s still a huge amount of fashion-forward conversations and trends being led by Instagram.

Spotting something on Insta is the modern equivalent of a great recommendation from a friend,” Grazia’s fashion news and features editor, Laura Antonia Jordan tells The Guardian. “It’s accessible. Aspirational but attainable – that’s the magic combination!”

A prime example includes brands like Rouje and Faithful the Brand.

Known for their recognizable “it-girl” dresses, they account for some of the most wanted brands on Instagram — you just have to look at the huge amount of brand mentions and tags to see how Instagram users are fueling their unique fashion style in the industry, and their growing sales.

Another key fashion trend that dominated Instagram feeds this year was led by Realisation Par’s leopard print skirt, known as the “Naomi”.

In fact, pieces like the “Naomi” sold out numerous times online and led to dozens of look-alike leopard print spin-offs.

But according to InStyle, this wasn’t Réalisation Par’s first experience with Instagram success.

First, the flirty long-sleeved Alexandra dress took over Instagram feeds and was seen on everyone from Kylie Jenner to Bella Hadid.  Followed closely by the “must-have” Violette wrap-dress and then the Juliet.

Successful launch after successful launch, it quickly became clear that the Australian brand was in the business of “creating pretty summer clothes that truly go viral”.

When it comes to leading conversations, sustainable fashion has been a hot topic on Instagram over the last few years. According to Lyst’s report, brands that put an emphasis on their sustainable materials and production techniques are getting noticed on Instagram.

Instagram searches including sustainable related keywords this year, such as ‘vegan leather’ to ‘organic cotton,’ saw a 47% increase reports Lyst. For brands, sustainable fashion has been the conversation to be part of in 2019.

Take Veja sneakers for example. The cool, sustainable V10 sneaker was everywhere during New York Fashion Week. After being spotted on Meghan Markle on her Australian Tour, the brand saw a 58% year-on-year search increase.

Sustainable “insta-famous” brand Reformation was another favorite among Instagrammers last year.  Their Thelma dress was among the top ten most viewed dresses of the year.

@reformation

For business owners, Instagram is taking center-stage when it comes to brand awareness, promotion and driving sales, and now is helping to shape the trends that take the streets.

I started the Instagram account before I even launched the website,” Lisa Bühler, founder of Lisa Says Gah tells The Guardian, recognizing Instagram as a powerful “discovery” tool for fashion.

@lisasaysgah

While previously we relied on fashion magazines, celebrities, and TV ads to push out styles and trends, now Instagram followers are free to engage, follow and even start a trend – and brands are paying close attention.

This year, it’s more important than ever for fashion brands to not only be present on the platform, but make sure they are also part of the leading fashion conversations.

With today’s biggest fashion influencers looking to Instagram for style inspiration and shoppers diligently browsing their Instagram feed before making a purchase,  it’s crucial for brands to go all in on a well-rounded Instagram strategy and stay ahead of the curve!

Planning Your Instagram For Fashion Content Strategy

Instagram is a highly-visual platform, giving fashion brands the flexibility and creativity to sell more than just a “look”, but rather a lifestyle.

Shoppers are no longer limited to searching for an outfit by scrolling through endless studio photos on a company’s website.

Many popular fashion brands have even created a “shop our Instagram” section on their website, as their influencers and feed pose as a perfectly-curated lookbook:

aloyoga.com

In fact, a third of all Instagram users have purchased an item of clothing they saw on the platform!

So what can we learn from these Insta-famous brands success? How do you make sure you’re catching your target audience’s eye?

Here are some of the most popular types of content your brand should be posting to Instagram:

The Types of Content Every Fashion Brand Should Be Posting

Instagram is the perfect platform to bring your brand’s story to life. Some of the most popular Insta-brands have become masters at visual storytelling and capturing the “perfect” shot.

These are the most engaging content types of images and videos fashion brands should include in their content mix:

  • Brand mission
  • Product features
  • Product updates
  • Lifestyle content
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Behind-the-scenes

Take Frank and Oak for example. They include a mix of products, behind-the-scenes shots, FAQs, HQ life, and more to give their viewers a well-rounded look at their business.

Here are a few ways fashion brands on Instagram are using these types of content to share their story:

Brand Mission

It’s important to think about your why when creating your Instagram marketing strategy. By using Instagram as an outlet to spread your brand mission, you’ll be able to draw in new audiences and, ultimately, attract new customers.

This year, clothing brand Marine Layer introduced a new program called Re-Spun, a revolutionary recycling program that’ll give your old tees a new life. Re-spun makes it easy to donate your old tees (you even get a $5 credit per tee), which they deconstruct and then re-spin into new, recycled tees!

When you click the link in their bio, you’re taken to an engaging landing page where you can submit your mailing address and receive a free prepaid mailer, or get directions to drop your tees off in any of their stores.

To help get the word out, the company is using Instagram to their full advantage — by spreading the message in creative ways on their feed, Instagram Stories, and with influencer marketing:

Mate the Label, another brand taking on an eco-friendly approach to fashion, also uses the platform to spread their mission to create less waste:

While still showing off their products, the fashion..

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Just in time for National Small Business Week, Facebook recently announced that it’s expanding several of its small business-focused tools, including the ability to book and manage appointments directly on Instagram and Facebook!

This is a big deal if you’re a service-based business on Instagram.

Rather than spending a ton of time scheduling customer appointments and sending out reminders, you can now accept and manage appointments, collect customer information, and send appointment reminders all from a single location — your phone!

Wondering how you can use the new appointment booking feature for business? Read on to find out! 

Instagram’s “Book” button isn’t anything new — it’s been around since early-2018 when the platform first started testing call-to-action buttons for business profiles.

But up until this point, when you tapped “Book” on a business’ account, you’d be taken off of Instagram to an external landing page to complete your booking.

You also had to use a third-party service to manage your bookings, like Acuity Scheduling, Appointments by Square, or Booksy.

But that’s all changing now! According to Facebook, they’re in the process of rolling out a new appointment bookings feature that lets Instagram users book appointments in real-time, directly on Instagram and Facebook!

With this new tool, service-based businesses on Facebook and Instagram will be able to accept and manage appointments, customer information, and send appointment reminders all from their phone.

How to Use the New Appointment Booking Feature on Instagram 

In order to use the new appointment booking feature, you need to have an Instagram business profile with a connected Facebook Page.

Start by opening your Facebook Page and clicking the blue call-to-action button below your Page’s cover photo. 

Click “Start Setup” and then “Next” if you want to show your available appointments (in this case, you’ll need to set the days and times that you’re available). If you don’t want to show your available appointments, click “Not Now.”

Note: If you choose to hide your availability, people will have to message you to request an appointment.

Businesses also have control over their appointment messaging and can adjust their preferences for things like appointment approval and advance bookings.

Click “Next” to add your services and service descriptions including price, duration, and images.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can connect the feature to your Instagram account.

Once you’re done connecting the button to your Instagram account, you should see a new “Book” button just below your bio!

When someone clicks your Book button, they’ll be able to confirm the time of their appointment.

They can then request the type of service they want (like a personal training session), add any additional info, and tap “Request Appointment” to book.

When a booking request is made, you’ll be able to choose whether you’d like to send customers appointment reminders or follow-up messages!

You can also see all of your scheduled appointments by heading to your Facebook Page and clicking “Appointments” at the top of the page.

This is one of those clear-cut features with a very simple use case — especially if you’re a service-based business on Instagram!

What we really love about this feature is that it works equally well on Instagram and Facebook — and you can manage all your bookings from a single location (your Facebook Page). This basically streamlines the booking process on Instagram and Facebook and makes it a lot easier to manage your appointments across both channels!

Plus, with the ability to follow up with customers via Messenger, you can keep the conversation going and keep your brand top of mind!

Have you tried the new appointment bookings feature on Instagram? Let us know in the comments!

Always stay up-to-date with Instagram! Join over 1 million Instagram marketers and subscribe to the Later newsletter to keep up with all the latest Instagram trends:

The post How to Get Your Followers to Book Appointments on Instagram appeared first on Later Blog.

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Have your likes disappeared on Instagram?

Instagram has officially hidden likes from users in Canada, and we have all the info you need about this major change to the platform.

Keep reading to find out why Instagram is hiding likes, what the new design looks like, how it works, and the impact it could have on influencers and businesses:

How Do Hidden Likes on Instagram Work?

As we reported from F8 2019, Instagram is officially testing hidden likes with a percentage of users in Canada.

Here’s what the new hidden likes design looks like when you’re scrolling Instagram:

“As you scroll through your feed, there are no like counts,” explained Mark Zuckerberg. “You can see who liked a photo or video, you can tap through to see [the list], and if you have the time you can add them all up yourself.”

But can you still see how many likes you get on your own Instagram posts? 

Yes, you will still be able to see how many likes you’re getting on posts, even if your followers can’t.

But the number won’t automatically appear under your post, instead, you will have to tap “others” under your blog post to go through to the total number of likes:

How to Hide Your Likes on Instagram (Or Get Them Back):

Right now, only selected users in Canada have access to hidden likes on Instagram.

If you’ve been selected for the test, you’ll see a banner at the top of your home feed letting you know why you don’t see likes on another user’s posts anymore.

How do you get into the test group? 

Unfortunately, there is no way to opt-in to hidden likes, or opt-out if you’re already part of the test group.

Instagram hasn’t commented on exactly how big this test is, but as a resident of Canada, I can say that the test is a lot bigger than I thought it would be.

I took an informal poll on my Instagram Stories @taylor.loren, and about 70% of my Canadian followers answered that they no longer saw likes on Instagram.

This is, of course, represents a massive change to how Instagram and its users function. The number of likes a post gets, while not the best measure of “success,” has long been a kind of status symbol on the platform.

The “hiding” of like counts seems to be purely about helping users share more authentic content without getting caught up in the competition.

Zuckerberg said as much during his keynote, stating “We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”

How Will a Like-Free Instagram Affect Influencers and Brands?

The big question on everyone’s minds is: how will this affect Instagram influencers and businesses?

Personally, I think this is a really positive change for the platform. Instagram Stories don’t have any public metrics, and that hasn’t stopped it from exploding in popularity with both users, brands, and influencers.

The fact that your “like count” is out of sight means that the focus is on your content, rather than a number, and can allow you to post more freely without being limited to your best times to post.

I think removing the ability to see likes removes the pressure to only post what performs best. You can post what you want without feeling like people can see the drop in engagement and judge you for it.

— Paige Williams (@paigebackstage) May 3, 2019

And because your likes are hidden away, it serves as a mental health reminder to check in with yourself: do you really need to know how many people liked your recent selfie?

Obviously, this change does have major implications for influencers. For one, it could make it more difficult for brands to find Instagram influencers to work with.

In 2019, brands care more about reach and engagement rate than they do followers, so without the ability to publicly view an influencer’s likes (aka their engagement), it could make it harder to gauge how engaged their community is. Suddenly, a good influencer media kit is now deemed essential.

Lia Haberman, formerly VP Audience Development at Livestrong, notes that hidden likes could result in a spending shift away from influencer marketing and towards paid advertising on Instagram. “This will likely increase the amount of ads as brands look for more exposure and make it difficult for anyone but established influencers to get a foot-hold.”

On the other hand, health and wellness influencer @davecoast is excited about the change, saying that he hopes this will be a “step in a more authentic direction, where brands start looking at other metrics that derive more meaning, like reach or impressions or saves.”

There’s also the creative component to think about, he explains. “I think influencers and users will be more willing to post more artsy/cool/different content if likes are hidden. For example, every third photo on my feed used to be of a subject other than myself, which didn’t perform as well.”

“But I liked that it challenged me to think differently about my posts and show my life in another way. But as ‘engagement rates’ became increasingly important with brands, I decreased these posts and do them every 9 posts instead of 3 now.”

I think that a like-free Instagram will result in influencers feeling they have more freedom to post what inspires them instead of "what gets more likes". I think businesses will have to rely on comments and work a lot harder to engage their demographics and encourage discussion

— Sophia (@sophiaideas) May 3, 2019

As for businesses on Instagram?

“Businesses on Instagram will have to be more creative in analyzing data and get specific about what content is actually driving the business, and supporting your business goals,” explains Mel Brittner, social media strategist at Later.

“Likes were always a false currency, but an easy number to give when asked how content is performing and an easy way to compare, so I think this shift forces businesses to look at what’s actually working.”

Alexis Davis, founder of the social agency The Content Plug, predicts that “brands will need to convince stakeholders that organic Instagram still has a place in marketing plans based on the ‘hidden’ analytics.”

But don’t worry yet: this test doesn’t mean that likes are going away for everybody, and it will likely be months before we hear anything more about how it’s performing.

Looking for ways to get more engagement on Instagram? Enter your email below to get our free Instagram for Business in 2019 guide, packed with everything you need to know! 

The post Instagram is Hiding Likes: Here’s Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Later Blog.

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There are some big Facebook changes coming soon in 2019, with the company’s focus shifting to community and privacy.

Along with a new mission, Facebook also announced a brand new logo and a complete redesign of their web and mobile apps at F8, along with a lightning-fast Messenger app, featuring end-to-end-encryption on the mobile app and the brand new desktop app.

Here are the new features and changes coming to Facebook in 2019:

Facebook Update #1: A New Mission and Focus on Privacy

Opening his keynote speech, Mark Zuckerburg set the tone for the future — a stronger focus on privacy.

As our digital world is continuously growing and changing, “privacy gives us the freedom to be ourselves,” said Zuckerburg.

We’re in the midst of a real shift in how we interact online, explained Zuckerburg. Previously, posts were shared openly online, with the aim to reach as many people as we could in our network and reveal more about ourselves each day. But now, we need that sense of intimacy more than ever.

Facebook groups are literally my favorite social network pic.twitter.com/G5jhrqe8VT

— taylor loren (@taylrn) April 30, 2019

Today, the fastest ways we’re communicating online is through private messaging, small groups, and Instagram Stories — “It’s easier to feel like you belong when you’re part of smaller communities,” said Zuckerburg.

And with that shift in mind, the future for Facebook and its apps, including Whatsapp, Messenger, and Instagram, will have tons of improvements to their privacy settings!

This year, we can expect to see more spaces for private interactions, either in direct messages or in Facebook Groups, with stronger end-to-end encryption, so that even Facebook won’t be able to read your private messages.

Zuckerburg also spoke about our online safety. For 2019, Facebook is making sure that not only what we say is safeguarded, but there will also be work put towards reducing a post or message’s permanence. That means that we may start to see more communication streams and posts with expiry dates similar to Instagram Stories.

Another exciting new feature is Facebook’s ability to privately message any of your contacts, via any of Facebook’s platforms. That means that you could potentially Instagram DM a friend via Facebook Messenger, or post to a Facebook Group with Whatsapp!

While there was no official launch date announced for these features at F8, Zuckerburg made it clear that improvements to users privacy is front of mind, and we’d start to see these big changes in the coming year!

Facebook Update #2: A Totally New Facebook Logo and Redesign

Get ready for some big aesthetic changes at Facebook!

Firstly, the company’s “big blue” app is undergoing a full redesign — soon the iconic blue logo will be updated to include a sleek white trim, and the blue border along the top of the desktop page screen is also having a revamp.

Plus, the new design will give prime “app real estate” to features like Groups and private messaging.

That means that communities and Group pages are going to be more prominent in the app, making it easier to post and engage with others in your network.

For businesses, this is big news — while it might impact engagement on Business’s Facebook Page, it may open up the opportunity to organically grow and expand your audience with a Facebook Group instead.

Overall, we can look forward to a much cleaner design from Facebook, with a simpler and more streamlined way to navigate from your feed, to your private messages, to your Groups.

It’s the first major Facebook redesign in five years, and while an exact date for the web redesign wasn’t announced during the keynote speech, the new and improved mobile app has already launched!

Facebook Messenger is also getting an upgrade:

Smaller and faster — that’s the aim for the Messenger app’s new upgrade.

And aesthetically, we can expect to see your friends’ Facebook Stories being prioritized in the app design, making it a place to share time-sensitive and private posts, similar to Instagram Stories’ Close Friends feature, or Snapchat’s direct messaging!

Plus, more social features are coming to the Messenger app too — Facebook is currently testing a feature where you can opt to watch Facebook videos with your Messenger friends at the same time.

Messenger will also have a stand-alone desktop app that will allow people to message each other, and even message between Facebook’s various apps — like Instagram and Whatsapp!

This could be a real game-changer for private messaging — one unified platform to manage all your DMs, from your laptop, could be the answer we all need in our business and social lives!

For the millions of businesses who rely on Facebook to engage with their social community and market their product online, these improvements could make a real difference!

In terms of spec, the new powered-up version of the Messenger app is touted to be 7x smaller and twice as fast as some of the other leading chat apps in the market. Plus with a nickname of “Lightspeed”, the newest version of the app weighs in at less than 30 megabytes, plus has a cold-start time of 1.3 seconds.

While it’s all in testing stages, Facebook revealed that we can expect the new, super-powered and super-social version of Messenger coming later this year.

Facebook Update #3: More Focus on Community Groups

The big focus at this year’s F8 keynote’s speech was community — and Zuckerberg made it clear that the business is going to focus on building both public and private communities online.

As Zuckerburg mentioned, our digital lives need both a public and private space. This means users are turning to Facebook Groups and closed communities to post and share details of their life to an audience that they know will be engaged and interested on the topic, just as much as they are.

From travel, gaming, parenting, gardening, the topics on which Groups are forms are endless, and offer a real online community space for businesses.

Plus, look out for more Group recommendations across the app — when Facebook suggests a new Group for you to check out, it will be more relevant to you and how you’re engaging on Facebook.

Similarly, businesses are using Facebook Groups to engage with their customers and followers and it offers up another platform to engage and communicate with the fans in a semi-private (as Groups usually require an admin invite or acceptance form) space.

So with this in mind, we can expect to see some changes around how Facebook Groups are presented, and how we’ll find and engage in them.

There are already tens of millions of active Groups on Facebook, so the new app and desktop redesign will make Groups easier to find, thanks to a new revamped Groups tab. Here you’ll be able to find a personalized feed with all the updates from your Groups in one place.

This means you’ll easily be able to separate your Group posts with your personal News Feed posts and hopefully, engage more with both in a streamlined way.

And with the new ability to easily share News Feed posts with your public and private groups, you might find it easier to post and engage with your Group feeds.

There’s no denying that Facebook’s big announcement at F8 for greater privacy and greater community features were welcome changes!

For businesses, the changes offers a huge opportunity to organically grow your audience with Facebook Groups, and build a community of engaged followers online.

Facebook is offering up a safer online experience for everyone, and with a sleek upgraded design and new community-driven features, this year might deliver a welcome boost in engagement and active conversations online. Watch this space!

Don’t forget, with Later you can schedule and automatically publish your Facebook posts! Sign up for a free account and start reaching a larger audience by scheduling your Facebook posts with Later.

The post 3 Major Changes Coming to Facebook in 2019 appeared first on Later Blog.

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Nonprofits, rejoice: Instagram has made it easier than ever to reach supporters with the new donation sticker for Instagram Stories.

With just a few clicks, Instagrammers can support their charity of choice, or help spread the word to collect donations from their followers.

And the best part? You don’t have to worry about any transaction fees – Nonprofits will receive 100% of the proceeds made through the donation sticker.

Ready to get philanthropic? Here’s everything you need to know about donation stickers on Instagram Stories:

Starting this week, Instagrammers will be able to use the new donation stickers to raise money for nonprofits including Oceana, St. Jude, Autism Speaks, Black Girls CODE, The American Heart Association, and many others.  

To get started, simply tap the donation sticker button after you’ve taken a photo or video in the Instagram Stories camera.

Next, search for nonprofits to select the foundation you’d like to support and share with your followers.

First, you’ll notice a list of foundations you are currently following, followed by foundations supported by people you follow:

You’ll also see three dots next to each foundation, allowing you to quickly view their profile:

Once you’ve selected your nonprofit, give the sticker  a fundraiser title:

You can customize the color of your quiz by tapping the color wheel at the top of the screen.

Once you’re finished, simply share your story to let your followers start donating to your favorite cause!

To see how much you’ve raised, just swipe up on the live story. The full amount of what you see in your stats will go straight to the nonprofit of your choosing!

How to Use the Instagram Stories Donation Sticker For Nonprofits

If you’re actively on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a friend posting a link to donate to a favorite charity for their birthday or for a significant life event. Facebook’s donation tool, the Charitable Giving feature, has reportedly raised over $1 billion as of November 2018.

The Instagram Stories donation sticker is expected to see similar outcomes, and has the potential to be a big game changer for nonprofits on the platform. Previously, nonprofits on Instagram only had the option to share a donation link in their bio, or a  “swipe-up” link in their story if they have above 10K followers.

Now, nonprofits have endless reach with the Instagram Stories donation sticker, allowing for their supporters to share a quick and easy way for their followers to contribute to the cause.

The donation sticker also gives nonprofits the chance to be a more creative when sharing their mission and asking for support.

Take The American Cancer Society for examples, who uses the donation sticker to show all the ways your contribution can make a difference:

The nonprofit Water, committed to providing safe water and sanitation for all, shared a quick “how-to” on the new donation sticker, encouraging their followers to add it to their stories:

Nonprofits can also use the sticker to build awareness or share an announcement. The ALS Association shared the donation sticker to let their followers know May is ALS Awareness month:

While the donation sticker is available to all users, businesses can put the new feature to good use, too!

This year, many businesses are jumping on Instagram Stories to share ways their brand is making more sustainable and ethical business choices. The new donation sticker is another great way to further their brand’s mission and share the causes that matter to them most.

Influencers and celebrities are already jumping on the new feature as well. For example, Charles Melton for the popular series Riverdale, took to Instagram Stories to share his support toward the Special Olympics:

Singer Pharrell Williams also shared the new sticker, asking followers to join him in supporting From One Hand to AnOTHER to help provide children across the US with the tools and resources to meet their unique potential:

However you choose to use it, the new donation sticker is a great way to share your support and a chance for Instagrammers to help make a difference.

Are you planning to use the new Instagram Stories donation sticker? Let us know in the comments below!

Learn how to grow your business and stay engaged with your followers using Instagram Stories with our free Instagram Stories Course!

The post How to Use the Donation Sticker on Instagram Stories appeared first on Later Blog.

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