These New Features Can Help Drive Reach and Engagement for Brands and Creators

Instagram has added a whole host of new features lately. You may have already seen or used some, but there may be other features you might not have heard about yet. 

Staying on top of new features can help you keep up with trends. Why is it so important to keep up with trends? Posting trendy content can help drive your reach and your engagement. It’s the type of content that your target audience is looking for and when you deliver on that need, you’ll see big returns!

Let’s take a look at some of the top new features that you should take for a test drive–or at least keep your eye on!

1 | Schedule It

Posting manually on Instagram is a time-consuming task, especially if you post multiple times a day. To help content creators and brands, Instagram now has a scheduling feature that allows you to schedule a picture, carousel, video, or reel up to 75 days in advance. Not only does this help you save time by scheduling in bulk ahead of time, but it can also help you post more frequently during high engagement periods. Check out your insights to determine what the best time to post is for your account. 

To schedule a post, simply open the post composer and create your post like you normally would. But instead of hitting post, open the advanced settings and then tap on “Schedule this post.” Select the day and time for your content to go live and confirm your selection. 

2 | Music Isn’t Just for Reels

Music is powerful and engaging! Instagram took notice of the popularity of adding music to Reels and now allows you to add music to photo posts as well. The hope is that it will drive engagement on photo posts. Time will tell if adding music to still photos translates in the same way as it does with video posts.

To give this feature a test drive, create your photo post. Scroll down through the options for your post and tap on the “Add music” option; then simply select the song you want. 

3 | Refine Your Carousel

A much-anticipated update to Instagram is the ability to delete certain images from a carousel post. Did you make a mistake in selecting an image for your carousel post? Instead of deleting the entire post and reposting just to get rid of one image, you can now delete a specific photo from your carousel post! Don’t worry, if you change your mind about refining your carousel post in this way, Instagram gives you 30 days to restore the photo. 

To refine your carousel post, tap on the three dots in the upper right and choose edit. Scroll through the photos and find the one you wish to delete. Then tap on the delete icon in the top left.

4 | Add a Message Button

Encourage further engagement on your posts by adding a message button to your post. This button will display just below the image or video and is a handy feature for businesses looking to motivate consumers to get in touch with them. Note that this feature is only available to business accounts. 

To add a button to your post, scroll down through your options on your post creation screen and tap “Add a message button.” 

5 | Group Together

Instagram is rolling out Group Profiles. It’s like Facebook Groups, but for Instagram. It allows a collaborative environment where members of the group can share content to the group. This is a feature perfect for super fans of a brand or communities, like artists, who want to share their knowledge and creative inspiration. 

This feature is currently in beta testing, so be sure to keep your eye out for it to roll out to more users. 

6 | Note It

This feature isn’t available to everyone yet, but if you have it, it’s a great way to engage your followers through the messages section of Instagram. Think of Notes as a virtual sticky note or the new MSN messenger status. It allows you to leave a short note to your Close Friends list or to followers you follow back directly in the inbox. Like Stories, Notes disappear after 24 hours so they can help create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that drives up engagement. However, you are limited to 60 characters so be sure to keep it short and sweet! 

Some ideas for Notes include reminders for Lives, asking a question, or promoting a new product launch. To share a Note, head into your messages and hit the large plus sign button. Type up your Note and press Share. 

7 | Get Subscribers

Instagram is rolling out a new feature for Creators called Subscriptions. It allows you to offer exclusive content via a subscription, giving content creators a way to make more predictable income from their content. Creators can set their monthly price and then post exclusive content on the platform, and Instagram won’t take a cut off the top of your profits!