Some Tough Love for Instagram
At the beginning of each new year, many businesses take time to reflect the prior year and make note of what went great and, well, what didn't go so great. You should be no exception. Instagram, your photo sharing platform has taken social media by storm! You help followers get a glimpse into the lives of ordinary, everyday people and businesses. You've done wonders for visual communication and content sharing. So overall, we like you.
But there is certainly room for improvement. As businesses begin revamping their marketing and social strategy to include your platform, you're lacking a lot of features that would make life easier for brands. Here are our top suggested improvements for 2017.
Create a URL option in the post or hyperlink the image
The whole point of using social media is to share interesting and relevant content with followers...in a timely manner. When you aren't able to include a link for more information with that messaging, it poses a time problem. Yes, you can place in the link in your profile and instruct users to go to the "link in profile" but that's one extra step a user has to take to find the info they want to learn more about. Humans have the attention span of a goldfish so the extra action they have to take is not just missed opportunity, it's just really annoying.
For example, take our free online credibility checklist post we shared with our Instagram followers. There is no way for them to click directly on URL in the post or even on the image itself to go to our website and download the checklist. Lame.
Play nice with Twitter
For the love, why can't you and Twitter get along? When sharing a photo from Instagram to Twitter, Twitter followers don't want to see (or click on) a link to the photo in the tweet (see extra step comment above). They want to see the actual photo. So please, icksnay the link and replace it with the photo users intended to share.
No direct scheduling posts
Businesses are busy. Like, really busy. And if their audiences (and society for that matter) are expecting that they have a more active presence on social media, why not make it easier for brands to plan their social activities? Offering advanced scheduling capabilities would help alleviate this added stress. Yes, you could utilize third-party sites, like Buffer and Sprout Social, to achieve this functionality. And yes, we get that not every post needs to be schedule, as many grams happen in the moment. But being able to schedule some evergreen content directly in-app would be extremely helpful (and appreciated!).
Stop Being a Snapchat Copycat
In the words of Regina George, "Stop trying to make fetch happen." Your effort to compete with Snapchat isn't doing much to cut into their user base. According to an article from Business Insider, there is no change in the number of videos or snaps that Snapchat has produced since Instagram launched the "Stories" feature. So, why?
So look Instagram, we're not all perfect. But, if you're looking to make 2017 more amazing and help brands justify using your platform, then you'll wise up a bit and offer more business-friendly options. Even if you make just one of these changes, you'll make the social lives of brands so much more better.