Hello? Is it me you’re looking for? Instagram introduce extension to the “Suggested Users” feature
I’ve been enjoying the new extension of the “suggested users” feature, quietly introduced by Instagram this month. It has been available in Settings for some time, but now they have integrated it every time you click to Follow someone new, offering three other suggested users. If you’re following this person – why not consider these other three? You’re in the mood for freshening up your News Feed, so why not Follow more? It is a clever way for Instagram to continue ensuring we stay glued to their channel but most importantly it is good news for brands. To harness the value of this new feature, your brand must understand that active, targeted networking is key to building a successful social media presence. If you haven’t taken Instagram as a serious player in the social media marketing mix – you should do now.
When I spotted this addition to the feature on Instagram, I remembered a comment Scott Collen, fellow co-founder of the bi-monthly Silicon Junction social meetup#Battertweet, made to me a short while ago that he doubted the value of Instagram and criticised it on the basis of not having this very feature. Good things come to those who wait Scott and this new functionality highlights some of the key elements brands must understand and put front and centre in their social media strategy.
But first, what is a suggested user? They are the best of the best – the super users, the leading lights, the top Instagrammers with 1000s of followers. The suggested users has always been a very exclusive club as the users are selected by the team at Instagram HQ. I’ve heard they used to maintain a list of 200 but this number has now been slashed, although the list does change all the time. If your profile became a suggested user, you would see your Follower count climb rapidly. Imagine if a suggested user engaged with your brand? The first step to making this happen is to Follow them and when you do, Instagram will suggest three more. And so your super-charged networking with the biggest influencers on Instagram begins.
This extension to the “suggested users” feature on Instagram highlights the importance of knowing which categories (aka keywords and hashtags) your brand “belongs” to. When building a social media strategy, it is important to define the areas of conversation and content in which your brand will always take part. Selecting the key categories means you can target the right circles and engage with the right users – brands must actively find and interact with the right people, in order to achieve meaningful engagement and results. Identify just one influencer for your brand, follow them and Instagram will deliver three more to you instantly. Birds of a feather, flock together.
Many brand owners are overwhelmed by the size of the social media audience and far too often fall into the trap of using social media like a broadcast channel. Tweeting out into the ether is a scattergun approach and has very little effect – you wouldn’t go to a networking breakfast and stand at the edge of the room and shout your company news to the room. Instagram is filled with powerful influencers and this new feature further facilitates real connections between individuals / brands / organisations who are relevant and valuable.
Have you been using the new “suggested users based” feature on Instagram? Let me know if you’ve seen a lift in your Follower and Following number recently – you’ll find me over on Twitter @Gertrudeandivy or our Instagram @Gertrudeandivy