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10 Must-Try New Instagram Features and How To Use Them

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

So IG just dropped a ton of new ways to create story content (The new section is literally called “Create”!) So today we’re going over 10 of these brand new features and how to use them to engage your audience, gain followers, and create new eye catching content.

#1: Reels

Reels lets you record brief (we’re talking 15-seconds) videos and set them to music. You can use reels like you’d use TikTok: Keep it quick, engaging, and visually fun. And always keep it real. This is a great way to show your not-so-picture-perfect side, have a little fun, educate your audience, and just go play.

#2 On This Day

Much like Facebook’s Time Hop, this feature allows you to look back to what you posted 1 year ago. Great for marking your business milestones or highlighting big-deal posts, this feature can help you tell your followers your brand story in a quick and creative way.

#3 Shoutout

This feature gives you the chance to “shout out” another account on Instagram. Some of the options include a plain shoutout (“add your own text here” style) a Happy birthday option, and an anniversary option. If you’re big on collaboration and highlighting your fellow babes and local businesses (which we all are, right?), try using this feature to shout out your clients, customers, collaborators, podcast guests, favorite bloggers, and team members. This is a great way to grow and foster your community.

#4 Add GIFs

Let’s have some fun. Show off your humor with this feature. Have a funny “Friyay” gif to share? Wine Wednesday a big deal at your restaurant or shop? Just want to give your followers a break from the world? Add some GIF goodness and see how they respond.

#5 Templates

Templates look like Instagram’s answer to Canva: This feature offers everything from “Ranking Pizza Toppings” to a list of top accounts to follow, to the chance to share a quote of the day or what you’re currently listening to. Templates can be a great way to get your audience engaged, see if they agree with your “rankings” and get to know them a bit better by sharing a little more about you (with beautiful templates to support you visually!

#6 Mentions

Collaboration is the big thing from this latest round of new features and the “Mentions” feature is no different. This one lets you highlight accounts when they highlight you and helps you strengthen your relationship with those people in the process. It’s also a really cool way to show your audience that you’re constantly connecting with your online community. Pretty much a win win here right?

#7 Ask a Question

This feature is an old favorite but it just got a facelift and looks even better. Ask your audience a question and feature their responses. This can give you amazing insight on where they are and how you can continue to help them.

#8 Polls and Quizzes

We put these two features together because they’re pretty similar. Polls allow you to give your audience two options so they can vote. Which is great for things like deciding which pattern to print for your new shirt design or having a little fun with a silly question on a Friday. Quizzes allow you to set “right” and “wrong” answers, perfect for testing your audience’s knowledge and getting to know how they see your company. Getting your followers engaged with polls and quizzes is great because it’s one click but can tell you so much.

#9 Non-Profit Donations and Register to Vote

Instagram is allowing you to get active in your community and the elections. Their register to vote feature connects you with information on voter registration and the Non-profit Donation feature allows you to collect donations for registered nonprofits that you care about. This is a great way to connect to your clients, to what you both care about, and to go beyond your brand to make a difference.

#10 Countdown

We should’ve had a countdown to the countdown feature because this one is ah-mazing. Want people to know your sale ends in 12 hours? Want to close your membership registration at midnight? Launching your new site in 7 days. Get the excitement and urgency going with the countdown feature.

Let’s Go!

Well there they are: The best and newest ways to connect with your online audience on Instagram.

Now that you know your way around these features and have some potential ways to use these features, go out and make them work for you! And if you’re looking for accountability as you reach new followers and grow you business, check out our Babes In Business Membership here.

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