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How Instagram’s New Features Help Brands Target New Audiences

With a 66 percent increase in users over the past year, Instagram is essential to visual social media marketing for many businesses…and it recently became more valuable.

Last Tuesday, Instagram unveiled major, new features to users in the United States, giving the app a more global feel. Instead of pulling search results solely from your Instagram connections, the Search and Explore pages now include posts from outside your network.

These changes can pay big dividends to brands that invest in the social network. Here are two ways you can use these new features to increase your brand’s reach on Instagram!

1. Track What’s Trending

Brands now have two ways to discover what’s happening in the world around them. The scrolling bar at the top of the Explore page provides users with images and videos they may not have thought of searching before. Twice a week, Instagram editors pick new themes to keep the visual content fresh and exciting. Right below the curated section, users also see a trending tags section, which lists popular hashtags based on their location.

The benefits? For starters, you no longer have to log into other social media sites, like Twitter or Facebook, to find what’s trending before posting on Instagram.

Additionally, once you’ve determined which hashtag you’d like to use, be sure to tag your location with the post. This will lump your contribution with similar photos or videos on the same topic and increase your overall reach to current and potential followers.

2. Search for Similarities

The search page is now separated into three categories: people, tags and places. Each brings up results dependent on your location.

For example, if you are a footwear store looking to expand your audience, you could search “loves shoes.” By doing a general search, you would find hashtags with those words, providing you with conversations to listen in on and users to follow or target, like fashion bloggers or undiscovered shoe brands.

The updated search features can also help determine which spellings or abbreviations are most popular for the location or hashtag you’re thinking of using. Misspelling a location or using a hashtag incorrectly will decrease your chances of getting noticed.

Doing amazing work but not getting noticed? Sign up for Dorie Clark’s “Speak Up, Stand Out: Tips for Becoming a Thought Leader” webinar today!

Image: Adrian Korte (Creative Commons)

Tags : social media

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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