With over a billion users, Instagram is a major player in most business’s marketing strategy. Whether it’s being used to build your personal brand, showcase your product or directly sell through the app, Instagram is a powerful tool for any business.

Yesim Saydan, a social media strategist, broke down for us what those changes could mean for you and your business. Saydan left a successful corporate career leading global projects for multinational brands to set up her Boutique Social Media Consultancy to help entrepreneurs and executives reach their business goals via social media.

If you haven’t leveraged all that Instagram has to offer to increase visibility to your business – here are some of the newest updates and Saydan’s recommendations on how to use them.

1. Automate Your Direct Messages On Instagram

Instagram is allowing a number of its partners such as ManyChat, to help you create your own communication bot. You can use the bot to not only answer questions, but to thank people for sharing your content, reply with keywords, and offer support.

This is especially effective for growing your email database. “Tell your followers to message you a specific keyword like “Instagram,” and your bot will take them through a series of chat conversations you set in advance to warm up your leads, nurture them and then present your lead magnet,” suggests Saydan. “The great thing here is that the bot only picks up those trigger words. You can continue to chat with your friends and existing clients in the DM’s, while your bot helps with preset queries for your prospects.”

2. Instagram Live With Audio Controls

With the popularity of Clubhouse, Instagram has now added controls to mute your audio and even turn off video during your live recordings – essentially giving your attendees an audio-only experience.

“I believe that video significantly accelerates the trust we build towards someone, so in my opinion as a business wwner, showing yourself on camera is very important,” notes Saynad. “I know many of my clients will be happy about this feature though, as they are still warming up to the idea of being on camera and like that aspect of Clubhouse.”

3. Instagram Reels Insights

If you have a creator or business account within Instagram, you can view your account insight which will let you know how many people have visited your profile, clicked through to your website, started following you, etc. Reels, aka vertical videos, up to 15 or 30 seconds, has been the feature with the highest reach on Instagram in the last few months.

“This is especially exciting for any content creator,” says Saynad. “Use these insights to analyze how well your reels are performing and optimize from there. Track and measure topics, format, music, lighting, length, etc. to see which ones are performing best. From there you can really create optimal reels that resonate with your audience.”

4. IGTV Monetization

After Snapchat and Tiktok created their monetization programs to attract creators, Instagram decided to offer one as well.

“IGTV Monetization allows anyone with 10,000 or more followers the ability to put ads on their content,” remarks Saynad. “If you have a nice sized following and are committed to creating content on a consistent basis – this is a great way to bring in some extra income.”

5. Instagram Reel Remix

Instagram has released the ability to play an existing reel next to your own reel similar to TikTok’s Duet feature. As long as the other reel has the remix feature enabled, you’ll be able to create reactionary or side by side commentary to a reel already created.

“This feature will save us time, as we can repurpose existing Reels to create new ones!” notes Saynad. “This is great news for content creators who find it difficult to come up with new and fresh content consistently.”

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