How to Use the Newest Instagram Features — May 2021

How to Use the Newest Instagram Features — May 2021

The world of Instagram, now owned by Facebook, is fluid and ever-changing. With updates coming out daily, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the new features and changes. While all of these features can seem superfluous, making use of everything Instagram has to offer has its advantages. With over 1 billion active users, ensuring your profile stands out to your target audience can only be accomplished when you interact with your audience. From Reels to Instagram Live, here are three updates to the features we know and love! 


Reels is a video concept where content creators can share and discover short videos on Instagram.This feature allows creators 15-seconds to create multi-clip videos with fun effects and audio. Since it’s rollout in late 2020, Instagram users have seen millions of views, followers, and engagement thanks to this interactive concept.

Creating a reel is super simple and a fun way to engage your audience in a new way! To make your own reel, head to your Instagram stories camera and choose ‘Reels’ which is located next to ‘Story’ and ‘Live’. Here you’ll see all of the editing tools available like Audio, Effects, Align, and Speed. This ensures you can create a cohesive video even if you’re uploading several different clips. You can either upload a video from your camera roll or start recording. After you’ve finished your Reel, you can add text, music, gifs, and much more to make your video branded and ready for your audience. 

One of the newest functions released for Reels is ‘Remix’. This feature allows users to collaborate with a Reel to show their reaction, create a duet, or respond to the Reel in a split-screen video. It’s a super fun and unique way to engage with another brand! To use it, simply tap the video you want to duet and click ‘Remix This Reel’. From here, you’ll film your response and post it for the world to see! 

Instagram Live & Live Rooms 

Instagram Live has proven to be a beneficial tool for businesses to grow their following and engage with their audience. From establishing trust in your brand to increasing your discoverability for potential new followers, Instagram Live is a valuable feature when it comes to establishing human connection with your audience. 

To start an Instagram live, open the Stories camera and swipe across to the “Live” mode. Tap “Live” to start your video. From here you can ask or answer questions, share new information or products, or highlight your business in an authentic and fresh way. The opportunities are endless! Once you end your Live, it will be available for followers to stream for 24 hours and you have the option to save it as an IGTV for longer storage. 

New this year is Live Rooms. Live Rooms enables users to go Live on Instagram with up to three other people or accounts. If your brand calls for it, this is a great way to monetize your Instagram account. Live viewers can now purchase badges for their favorite creators to show their love! With Live Rooms, your audience has the opportunity to buy badges for the hosts and use other interactive features like Shopping and Live Fundraisers. Overall, Live Rooms will without a doubt increase your reach and following, as your participants’ followers will be notified of their collaboration with you. 

Starting a Live Room of your own is super simple. Open your Instagram app and swipe to stories. Swipe left in the Instagram Live setting on your Story and pick the Live camera option. From here you can include a title to grab your followers attention. Tap ‘Rooms’ to add in your other participants. 

IG Stories

Instagram stories are a fun and easy way to share content, information, polls, and much more. If you have over 10,000 followers, you also have the option to add a ‘swipe up’ to your stories which takes your viewers to direct links! It’s suggested that you keep your story updated daily since content on your stories only lasts for 24 hours. Create branded, engaging content for your stories and interact with your followers to increase credibility and brand trust. 

A new feature recently rolled out by Instagram is the stories caption feature. This automatically turns verbal words into written. Since a majority of users watch stories with their sound off, this is a great way to keep your followers engaged with your stories and to become a more inclusive profile. To add this feature, simply record a video or upload one from your phone. Then, you’ll open the stickers option and look for the new sticker titled “Captions” – this will automatically add your speech to text! 

Go out and conquer Instagram! Stay tuned for more social media insights, tips, and tricks coming soon.

How to Optimize Your Instagram Account for Growth

How to Optimize Your Instagram Account for Growth

With over 1 billion users on Instagram and growing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast pool of businesses, influencers, and personal accounts that Instagram has accrued since their launch in 2010. In just over 10 years, Instagram has grown into one of the most influential social media platforms in the world. 

According to Facebook, owner of the Instagram platform, 81% of their users research products or services on Instagram and 54% of people surveyed by Facebook say they made a purchase after seeing a product or service on Instagram. This is why promoting and optimizing your Instagram is key to growing your business. The easiest way to ensure growth on Instagram is to make your profile identifiable, easy to understand, and informational. 

Simple Steps to Optimize your Instagram Account for Growth

  • If you think of the Instagram search bar as a search engine tool, you will start to notice brands that have made their profiles easy to find and identify. This includes using a relevant handle, username, profilo bio, and photo.
  • For businesses, it’s suggested to use your logo as your profile photo to ensure immediate brand recognition as soon as your Instagram handle shows up under the search bar. Additionally, be sure to keep your handle (such as @styleblueprint) simple, easy to spell, and as close to your company’s name as possible. Avoid using underscores and periods if possible. 
  • For your profile name, you have 30 characters/spaces to either spell out your company name again or give a bit more information about your company, where you’re located, and what exactly you sell. Since this doesn’t have to match your handle name, think about using SEO keywords to describe your business such as “Nashville Coffee Shop” or “Atlanta Hair Salon”. This will help you rank higher when people search keywords or hashtags in the search bar.
  • Your bio is another way to expand your optimization with keywords about your business in 150 characters. If you’re a spa, you should use secondary keywords such as “facial services” in your bio. After adding in your bio, be sure to set your profile to a business page and add a category such as “News and Media” or “Restaurant”. This helps Instagram quickly narrow down search results. 
  • Contact information is vital to converting those who visit your profile into customers! Add in each and every way a potential client can contact you under the contact options tab. Here you can display your phone number, email, website, and address directly on your profile. After your contact information is set, learn how to put the ‘Highlight’ option to work for you! Create branded icons for each Highlight and add relevant stories. This is an easy way for new followers to get to know your company and the type of information they can expect from your Instagram.
  • Now that your profile is set, work on maintaining a brand aesthetic throughout your static profile grid. Use similar filters and clear and professional photos each time you post to your feed. When typing captions for your posts, research relevant keywords as these are vital to showing up on the ‘Explore’ page. Don’t forget to use ample and relevant hashtags at the end of your caption, too. Aim for 10 to 20 hashtags per post to increase eyes on your profile via the search bar tool and the Explore page. If you want readers to go from your post to your website, use a link in bio tool to help you track your website clicks and help your followers easily access information. Finally, be responsive and interact with your followers and similar accounts to establish yourself as an active and trustworthy account. 

Growing your Instagram audience takes time and commitment but it can be a vital tool to growing your business or brand. Don’t get discouraged with your progress and you’ll see your followers steadily grow for years to come.

How To Get Ahead On Pinterest

How To Get Ahead On Pinterest

How to get ahead on Pinterest

Welcome to week three of SB Media’s Pinterest series! By now, you’ve learned how to create the best Pins and master Pinterest advertising. This week, we’re moving on from the nitty gritty and getting into the fun stuff: holidays, seasons, big events and special moments.

Ever browsed Pinterest for holiday table setting inspiration or DIY Halloween costumes? Ever done it months ahead of time? You’re not alone. People use Pinterest to get inspired about the major moments in life. Pinners start early and are ready to act, whether that means trying out a tip or purchasing a product.

If you’re looking to get ahead on your Pinterest business profile, it’s important to master Pinning for seasonal moments and cyclical trends. Whether you run holiday campaigns, seasonal promotions or just aim to stay on trend, we have compiled some tips to help you succeed.

How to Get Ahead on Pinterest

  • Choose moments wisely. Pinners plan for all kinds of events – from Black Friday deals to Diwali celebrations – but your business doesn’t have to promote content for all of them. Select a few moments or cyclical trends that align with your brand, and Pin that content well.
  • Start early. Pinterest recommends promoting content early – at least two months prior to an event – to ensure it reaches the greatest audience possible. That’s why you may want to start pinning those holiday cookie recipes now.
  • Get creative. Rely on our guide to creating great Pins, and put a twist on it. Creative content like gift guides, bucket list ideas and “survival kits” can help your campaign stand out against the crowd.
  • Guide your search. Looking for campaign inspiration? Pinterest’s Guided Search Tool can help. Just enter a search term like “Mother’s Day,” and Pinterest will provide you with related keyword suggestions to help you tailor your Pins to what Pinners are actively searching for.
  • See the possibilities. Pinterest Possibilities Planner is your complete guide to seasonal moments and popular events on the platform. Check out their event-specific tips and Pinner interest calendar here. Bonus: For quality holiday Pinspiration, visit their Holiday 2018 boards.

Interested in more Pinterest tips and tricks? Your StyleBlueprint team would love to advise you. Contact us for a consultation.

*All stats sourced from Pinterest here.

Pinterest Ads Manager 101

Pinterest Ads Manager 101

Blueprint.Inc | StyleBlueprint

This week at SB Media, we’re continuing our Pinterest series. As you may recall, we’re dedicating the month of September to sharing how to best use Pinterest to grow your business.

As we showed you last week with our guide to creating the ideal Pin, your brand’s organic Pinterest presence is a vital component to success on the platform. This week, we’re sharing another element to the Pinterest success equation: advertising with Pinterest Ads Manager.

Why Should You Advertise on Pinterest?

  • Pinterest is a future-oriented site, and Pinners are constantly looking for inspiration. You can use Pinterest to influence your target audience’s future behavioral choices and tendencies.
  • Advertising on Pinterest can help you get ahead of the competition, as people tend to browse Pinterest in advance of other platforms.
  • Pinterest ads, or Promoted Pins, can increase your brand’s impressions and engagement metrics over time, as Pinners frequently engage with others’ Pin boards, and tend to revisit their own Pins after saving them.
  • Pinterest offers unique metrics, like “save” and “close-up” data, that other platforms don’t. This data can offer you a nuanced look at what engages and interests your audience.

Pinterest Ads Manager Tips

  • Establish Your Business Profile: In order to advertise with Pinterest, you will first need a business profile. If you haven’t done so already, you can set one up here.
  • Promote Top Pins: Pinterest advertising operates through promoted Pins, and some Promoted Pins perform better than others. It’s best to promote Pins that are already generating engagement on your boards. Pins that your audience is already viewing, saving or re-pinning will be most successful when you broaden their reach.
  • Use the Pinterest Tag: The Pinterest Tag is a code that is placed on your website to track Pinners’ behavior on your site once they leave Pinterest. Pinterest Tags can provide you with all kinds of data, ranging from page views to checkouts. You can also use this tool to determine which audiences to retarget going forward.

Interested in more Pinterest tips and tricks? Your StyleBlueprint team would love to advise you. Contact us today for a consultation.

*all stats sourced from Pinterest here.

5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Pin

Blueprint.Inc | StyleBlueprint

Chances are, you’re well aware of the impact that using Pinterest can have for your small business. With 200 million active users each month, the platform can be instrumental in generating awareness for your brand, increasing brand engagement or driving direct conversions on your products or services.

At the heart of this social media giant is the Pin, a 238 pixel space from which to inspire Pinners to engage with your brand. But, creating high-performing Pins can be a daunting task. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to make this process simpler for you.

1. Enhance the Visual: Pinterest is a visual platform, so it’s vital to create Pins with aesthetically compelling images. Always use high-quality and high resolution images, and apps like VSCO and Afterlight make editing a breeze. Colorful, non-busy lifestyle shots perform best.

2. Optimize Image Size: According to Pinterest’s spec guide, ideal Pins are vertical format, 600px wide and 900px high. Vertical Pins occupy the most space on feeds and look best on boards.

3. Capitalize on Captions: Pinterest allots 500 characters for Pin descriptions, so use this space to give clarity or context to your Pin. Include search terms relevant to your Pin and direct Pinners back to your website.

4. Incorporate Branding: Pins are a great place to subtly promote your brand, but don’t overdo it. Pinterest suggests either posting images of your products OR using styled images with your brand/logo added in a text overlay. Branded Pins should look seamless with your boards and feed.

5. Keep Mobile in Mind: 80% of Pinterest content is consumed on mobile platforms, so the best Pins are designed with mobile in mind. Pinterest suggests that businesses upload their Pins to secret boards first, and check for mobile compatibility before publishing them publicly.

Interested in more Pinterest tips and tricks? Your StyleBlueprint team would love to advise you. Contact us today for a consultation.

*All stats sourced from Pinterest here.

Why Every Complaint is a Gift

Blueprint.Inc | StyleBlueprint

We are big fans of customer complaints at StyleBlueprint. Is that surprising to you? To clarify, we don’t enjoy when our clients are upset, but we do appreciate the fact that they’re telling us why they’re upset and providing us with the opportunity to fix the problem.

When a customer complains, they’re dropping honest feedback right in your lap — without any effort on your part. Since 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, don’t waste the opportunity to fix things with those who do!

Here are a few tips for turning negative feedback into a positive experience for you and your customers:

1. Don’t take it personally. First, take a step back from the complaint and make sure you’re able to assess it from an objective point of view. It can be hurtful to hear negative feedback about your business. Make sure you’re able to put yourself in the customer’s shoes before replying or resolving the issue.

2. Respond, respond, respond. No matter what the issue is, you must respond! If you don’t abide by the mantra that the customer is always right, then at least let the customer know why their review was unfair. Offer a way to resolve their issue or to come back in and experience your business again. If the customer is rightly complaining about something, then own the mistake and offer to make things right immediately.

3. Take action. Depending on the complaint, you may need to take action to rectify the problem. Don’t just solve one person’s issue — take the learnings and communicate or apply them to your company as a whole.

4. Follow up. Do you want to really impress your unhappy customers? Follow up with your customer to get more feedback after the issue is resolved.

5. Ask your customers to leave you reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback! Send a survey or post on social media to ask your followers what you can improve. You may be surprised by what you hear!

RELATED: Why Online Reviews Matter

Speaking of asking for honest feedback … do you have any issues, thoughts or ideas that you want to chat with us about? Feel free to send them to [email protected] and we’ll follow up with you!