Up Your Social Media Game with These New Instagram Features for Small Business

Up Your Social Media Game -- Take Advantage of These New Instagram Features for Your Small Business

Since paying more attention to my visual branding, I’ve come to really love Instagram. Actually, that’s an understatement. I’m pretty much obsessed with Instagram.

If you’ve been on the image-heavy social media platform lately, then you may have noticed some new Instagram features like live video streaming and short stories a la Snapchat. You now also have the option to make your profile a business page.

I’ve been experimenting with these new Instagram features and have found a few ways to use them in your marketing plan. Here are just some of the ways I’ve been taking advantage of all the new stuff on IG.

New Instagram Features

Show Behind the Scenes Using IG Stories

I was recently traveling for a client that hired me to create, teach and film a few business classes for them. Since I was traveling and working with some awesome people, I figured it would be a good idea to show my Instagram followers some of the behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a professional blogger and social media influencer.

I used new Instagram features like Stories and Boomerang (technically not new but they added it to the IG app) to show things like camera setups, sets, a tour of my hotel room and the goofy stuff we did on breaks.

Teach Something Using IG Live Video

During our lunch break, I decided to use one of the new Instagram features to teach my audience something. More specifically, I used the live video feature to show them live footage of what was going on and introduce my followers to some of the people I was working with.

For example, I was working with a local mastermind facilitator and yoga teacher who was interviewing me for my client. I got her on live video to talk about what we were doing and she even gave my followers some yogic hand stretches for the office.

Market Your Products and Services

Another thing I use the new Instagram features for is to market my products and services. For example, I created a few stories right before going on air for a radio show. This showed them the behind the scenes I already mentioned, plus I was able to share a tip about how bloggers and business owners can get free PR.

From there, I directed them to an on-demand class I sell that teaches them how to get free PR for their businesses. I simply put the link to the sales page in my bio and let them know the class was available for them to purchase.

Granted, it’s important to note that I’m always sharing valuable content. I don’t only use the new Instagram features to try to make sales. That’s simply one piece of the overall marketing pie.

Show Them You’re Human

I’ll use Boomerang to make goofy videos and post them to my Stories. I’m somewhat goofy by nature and it shows my followers a side of me that’s different from my normal “business-y” stuff.

People relate to people, so make sure you’re using the new Instagram features to show people that you’re real.

Final Thoughts

When used in the aforementioned ways, the new Instagram features can certainly be a real game changer for your marketing plan. There’s no longer a need to go on different apps for different features which makes things a whole lot easier.

Instagram Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Instagram


How to Post to Instagram From Your Computer

How to Post to Instagram From Your Computer

How to Post to Instagram From Your Computer


  • Instagram’s Web view doesn’t let you post photos or videos
  • You can only view photos, videos, and edit profile
  • There are apps that let you post to Instagram from a PC

Instagram is one of those mobile-first platforms that just don’t seem to care about the desktop. The app has a barebones Web view that only recently started letting people sign up for the service. Until then, people without smartphones had no way to sign up for Instagram.

Things aren’t that bad anymore and you definitely can sign up on the Web, but it’s still not possible to post photos from there. Even the official Instagram app for Windows doesn’t let you post photos from all devices. It didn’t work for us on a Windows 10 laptop, though if you have a Windows 10 convertible with a camera, your experience might be different.

If you want to avoid using third-party apps, then you could try an Android emulator such as Bluestacks. You can install Instagram for Android via the emulator and start uploading pictures and videos just as you would on a smartphone. But that’s very complicated way of doing something that should be relatively simple.

Thankfully, there are third-party apps that will help you use Instagram on the desktop. This does mean that you allow a third-party app access to your Instagram account and some data and if that makes you uncomfortable, you probably will just have to wait until Instagram releases an official tool for this. If it’s not an issue, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Download and install Gramblr on your PC and Mac.
  2. Open the app and create a Gramblr account. You will need to provide your Instagram username and password during sign up.
  3. The app will open a new tab or window in your browser and prompt you to select an image.
  4. Now, either click the big box and choose a file to upload or drag and drop an image or video.
  5. Click and drag on the image to crop it.
  6. Hit the green Save button.
  7. You can now apply filters or other effects and once done, hit the green Continue button.
  8. Now write a caption and add your hashtags.
  9. Below the image, you can type Instagram usernames to tag people as well.
  10. Click Send.
  11. Now the picture or video will be posted to your account. For videos you can even select a cover image while uploading.

That’s how you can post to Instagram via your PC or Mac. The process is fairly simple and worked reliably for us on both platforms. Gramblr even lets you schedule posts, but be aware that your computer must be on at the time of upload.

While Gramblr will serve most users, if you want, you can use a Chrome extension extension to get the job done. Of course you will need Google Chrome browser if you don’t already have it. Follow these steps to use Instagram on the desktop via Instagram From Computer extension:

  1. Install Instagram From Computer extension.
  2. Click the computer icon on the top right, next to the three vertical dots icon.
  3. This opens a new webpage in a new tab.
  4. Enter your Instagram username and password here, along with a caption for the picture.
  5. Click Choose file and upload the picture.
  6. Now click the green Send button to upload the picture.
  7. Once the progress bar on the right hits 100 percent, your picture will appear on your Instagram feed.

These two tools get the job done if you are looking to use Instagram on the desktop. If you have a Mac, you could use paid tools such as Uplet (Rs. 620) that offer a decent, if not fancy, interface without editing any of the filters or ability to control things like cover images for videos.

While the official smartphone apps still offer the best Instagram experience, if you must upload images from a computer, these are the best ways we could find. Do you know any other good alternatives for Instagram on the desktop? Let us know via the comments.

For more tutorials, head to our How To section.

Tags: Instagram, Gramblr, Instagram From Computer, Microsoft, Windows, macOS, Apple, PC, Mac

Instagram Stories Live Video Feature Rolling Out to Users Worldwide: Here’s How it Works

Instagram Stories Live Video Feature Rolling Out to Users Worldwide: Here's How it Works


  • It will work for users with Instagram version 10 and above
  • The live video feature shows up in Stories
  • It has been rolled out to users globally

After releasing it in November and making it available only to users in the US, Instagram has now introduced live broadcasting on Instagram Stories for users worldwide. The Live video feature will work in the same way as Facebook Live, and will allow users to go live for its followers to see real-time feed via the social app.

Live video on Instagram Stories is rolling out globally for all users with version 10.0 and above across platforms. The new Live button shows up on Instagram Stories, which appears when you swipe right on the home page. The Live Button now sits at the extreme left in Instagram Stories section, followed by the Normal, Boomerang, and Hands-free mode. Hit the Start live video button and the app will start looking for a proper connection. Once it is satisfied with the connectivity, a countdown starts to warn you to get ready for the live video. As the live video starts, followers are notified of the development so that they could come and watch the live broadcast. The number of people watching your live video is also shown on the screen.

Unlike Facebook, the live video does not get saved on Instagram, and disappears as soon as you finish with the broadcast. There’s also an option to comment on the live video, and the user can even pin it to the top for everyone to see. The user can alternatively even disable comments if need be. You can switch cameras from rear to front mid-recording, and can even see the time since you started recording by tapping on the Live button on the top-left edge.

Instagram has also added a new section in Explore called ‘Top Live’ that shows you all the people that are live currently with the most popular ones getting the top spot.

Tags: Instagram, Instagram Stories, Apps, Android, Apple, Social, Instagram Live Video

Instagram Gets Better on iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus

Instagram Gets Better on iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
Photo sharing for iPhone users can be more fun as Instagram on Friday rolled out iPhone 7 and 7 Plus-specific features that support wide colour capture and display – and users don’t need to update the app.

According to a report in TechCrunch, Instagram had first announced a series of iPhone 7-specific features – the wider colours and Live Photo conversion to Boomerang; a special colour filter; one-finger zoom on the 7 Plus; and instant access to the Instagram Stories camera with 3D touch – in September 2016 after the device’s unveiling.

“If you are on an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, Instagram now supports wide colour capture and display throughout the app – writing an eng blog on it soon,” tweeted Mike Krieger, Co-founder, Instagram.
Users can also post GIFs to Instagram Stories even without capturing them on its stand-alone app Boomerang. Apple Live Photos can now be converted into Boomerangs.

“To turn a Live Photo into a Boomerang, first open the Instagram Stories camera, swipe up to upload something from your camera roll, and select one of your Live Photos shot in the last 24 hours. Then while previewing it before you post, give a forceful 3D Touch to the screen, you will see a little loading wheel, and then the Live Photo will appear as a back-and-forth Boomerang you can share in your Story,” the report explained.

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: Instagram, Apps, Social, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple, iOS