Engagement boost Instagram. Later’s Year in Review: Every Cool Feature We Launched in 2019

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It’s been a big year for Instagram, and for everyone at Later. 

From watching likes disappear from our posts, to launching Instagram Stories scheduling, we’ve been busy behind the scenes making sure your Instagram strategy is ready for 2020, and for years to come. 

Every feature or tool we launched in 2019 had our customers’ goals in mind—so if you think your Instagram marketing is in need of a little oomph or helping hand, we’ve got you covered! 

To help you prep for the next decade, we’re rounding up every cool new Later feature in 2019 (there’s so many, we even made an infographic for it!).

Table of Contents:

  1. Later Features 2019: The Three Must-haves For Businesses

  2. Later Features 2019: Sharing Stunning Content is Even Easier

  3. Later Features 2019: Even More Insight From Later

Later Features 2019: The Three Must-haves For Businesses

All good things come in threes, right? 

We sure think so, because 2019 bought 3 brand new tools and features that will make running your Instagram strategy and growing your business so much easier!

#1: One-Stop-Shop for Instagram Stories Scheduling

The beauty of Instagram Stories is that they give your followers an inside look at your business.

They’re ???? for your Instagram strategy — in fact, a whopping 62% of consumers become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on Instagram Stories. 

But regularly posting quality Instagram Stories can be really tricky. That’s why one of our very first launches of 2019 was the Instagram Stories scheduler. 

Now you can plan, storyboard, and schedule your Instagram Stories from the Later dashboard.

Making it a 2-step process from planning to posting, saving you tons of time, so you can get on with the bigger things (like creating awesome content and growing your community!). 

When it’s time to post, you’ll get a notification from Later on your phone that lets you put the finishing touches to the stories posts, and voilà!

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Later customer and global fashion brand Mr. Porter, was one of the first to take our Instagram Stories scheduler for a test drive in early 2019. 

Since then, they’ve been sharing stories more often and building a stronger relationship with their +1M followers: 

“We love planning out our Instagram Stories content in advance, so that we can create a more cohesive look and post more often. It gives us time to focus more on strategy, and less on logistics.” – Mr. Porter

Ready to kick start your stories strategy in 2020? Save time and get more views on stories by planning, optimizing, and scheduling Instagram stories with Later!

#2: Linkin.bio by Later: More Powerful and Now Free!

The link in your Instagram bio is valuable real estate—you can use it to drive traffic to your website, product shopping pages, or to help your followers find out more about your services.

But with only one link to play around with, it can be difficult to stay on top of updating that URL every time you want to direct your followers to a certain place.

That’s why we created Linkin.bio almost 2.5 years ago! You can tag your Instagram posts with any link you want (think product pages, articles, and blog posts!) to turn your feed into a clickable, optimized landing page.

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And the best news of 2019? Linkin.bio is now FREE!

We wanted to find a way for every business to drive more website traffic and reach their sales goals through Instagram with Later. And it’s been well received by brands and businesses big and small, like WELL+GOOD, USA Today and BASI Pilates. 

But the good news doesn’t stop there — this year we also released a Shopify integration for all our Pro Customers. 

Now you to easily connect your store to Later, and tag your products in Linkin.bio posts!

Shopify stores will know exactly how much revenue each Instagram post generated through the link in your bio—a major help to businesses wanting to measure ROI from Instagram.

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Want to start driving traffic and making sales from Instagram? You can set up Linkin.bio by Later right now for free. No trial or credit card needed!

#3:The Easy Way to Find and Share User-generated Content

Creating picture-perfect content for every single Instagram post can be time-consuming. 

And we know how important maintaining your Instagram aesthetic is for your grid. 

So to help you out, we released a whole collection of new user-generated content features that make sourcing, sharing, and crediting content a cinch! 

Now you can find on-brand content and add it to your Later Media Library for resharing in just a few clicks—whether it’s photos and videos you’ve been tagged in on Instagram, or any image from the web. 

And don’t worry: we help you give proper credit every time.

Not only will sharing UGC add an authentic voice to your content, it’ll keep you on top of all your tags and mentions. That means you’ll never miss a chance to engage with your fans and followers. ????

Want to learn more about the powers of user-generated content? Check out our Ultimate Guide to UGC here!

But 2019’s feature launches don’t end there! We have tons more cool, useful, and FREE tools to help you build up your Instagram strategy for next year. Here’s a peek: 

Later Features 2019: Sharing Stunning Content is Even Easier

#4: One-Click Auto Publishing for Instagram Videos

Get this: social video gets shared 1200% more than text and images combined. So there’s no denying that engagement for videos on Instagram is soaring

If you’re looking to up your video game in 2020, we’ve got something that will make it a whole lot easier. 

This year, Instagram expanded their API to include video publishing. And as official Instagram Partners, we were able to start building auto publishing for video as soon as we heard the news.

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Scheduling a video post in Later is as simple as scheduling a regular post. Just upload your video, select a date and time, and your video will automatically publish to Instagram at the scheduled time.

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To boost engagement on your Instagram account, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Post high-quality content: Share visually appealing and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Use high-resolution photos, well-edited videos, and compelling captions. Develop a consistent posting style and theme that reflects your brand and captivates your followers.

  • Use captions that encourage interaction: Craft captions that inspire your followers to engage with your posts. Ask questions, invite opinions, or encourage users to tag their friends. Make your captions relatable, informative, or entertaining to capture your audience's attention and encourage them to leave comments.

  • Engage with your audience: Actively respond to comments on your posts and take the time to engage with your followers. Like and reply to their comments, answer their questions, and show genuine interest in their thoughts. By engaging with your audience, you foster a sense of community and encourage them to continue interacting with your content.

  • Utilize Instagram Stories: Take advantage of Instagram Stories to share behind-the-scenes moments, updates, or exclusive content. Use interactive features like polls, quizzes, questions, or stickers to encourage your audience to engage with your Stories. Engaging Stories can lead to increased profile visits and engagement on your main feed.

  • Host giveaways or contests: Organize giveaways or contests that require users to engage with your content to participate. For example, ask them to like, comment, or share your post to enter. This strategy not only boosts engagement but also helps expand your reach as users share your content with their own followers.

  • Collaborate with influencers or other accounts: Partner with influencers or other accounts in your niche to collaborate on content or shoutouts. This can help expose your brand to a wider audience and increase engagement on your account.

  • Use hashtags strategically: Research and use relevant hashtags that are popular in your industry or niche. Hashtags help users discover your content and increase your chances of reaching a broader audience. Mix popular hashtags with more specific or niche ones to maximize exposure and attract engaged users.

  • Encourage user-generated content: Inspire your followers to create and share content related to your brand or products. You can do this by running contests or challenges that require users to post their own content and tag your account or use a specific hashtag. User-generated content fosters engagement and creates a sense of community around your brand.

  • Analyze your insights: Regularly review your Instagram Insights or use third-party analytics tools to understand which types of content perform best and drive the most engagement. Pay attention to metrics like reach, impressions, likes, comments, and saves to identify patterns and optimize your content strategy accordingly.

  • Be consistent and authentic: Consistently post quality content and engage with your audience authentically. Building a loyal and engaged following takes time and requires you to provide value, be genuine, and actively participate in conversations.

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By implementing these strategies, you can boost engagement on your Instagram account and create a vibrant and interactive community around your brand. Remember that it takes time and effort, so be patient and continue to refine your approach based on what resonates best with your audience.

Even better? You can also trim and crop your videos in Later to make sure they’re perfectly optimized for Instagram. ???? 

Ready to take on Instagram videos in 2020? Here’s everything you need to know in our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Video!

#5: Speedy Scheduling for Pinterest Video Pins

With 300 million monthly active users and over 175 billion Pins, Pinterest is a huge discovery engine for businesses. 

In fact, 72% of Pinterest users are inspired to shop when using the platform, even if they aren’t looking for anything in particular. It’s the perfect place to start sharing video content for your brand. 

So, Pinterest + your scroll-stopping videos = a match made in marketing heaven.

There are a few important differences in scheduling a video Pin through Later, so make sure you check out our blog post outlining all the details to become a Pinterest pro!

#6:  Later + Adobe Spark for a Killer Feed Aesthetic

The secret to a stellar Instagram feed? A well-crafted aesthetic. ✨

Maintaining consistency across your feed takes some serious planning, and chances are you use an editing tool or two to perfect those posts ahead of time. 

If one of those tools is Adobe Spark, then you’ll love our latest release: the Later and Adobe Spark integration. 

The brand new tool helps you use Spark to create striking visuals for social with professional filters, text overlays, even animation, then quickly share to your Later Media Library in a couple of clicks. 

And here’s the best part: both Adobe Spark and Later are free to use.

First, you’ll need to have the Later Chrome extension installed. 

When you’re done editing your image in Spark, click “Share.” From there, choose “Later” as the publishing option, and you’ll be guided through adding the image into your Later Media Library. 

Want to know what the future holds for the Instagram aesthetic? We’re sharing all our predictions for 2020 in this blog post!

Later Features 2019: Get Even More Insight From Later

#7: Get Access to Strategy-building Hashtag Analytics

Instagram hashtags are one of the most effective ways to grow your following — especially if you’re using super relevant hashtags that aren’t too saturated (like the ultra-popular #coffee or #work.) 

But sometimes it’s hard to tell which hashtags are really working for you. How do you know which ones are pulling the most weight? ????

Well, now you can skip the guesswork and get some real insight.

Later’s hashtag analytics rolled out earlier this year, and they can help your decipher which hashtags are helping you achieve your goals.

Once you know which hashtags you can attribute to different metrics (like impressions, or even saves), you can be more strategic about how and when you use them.

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Ready to get clued up on Instagram hashtags? Check out these hashtag hacks for quick-win ways to improve your strategy!

#8: Tweet-worthy Twitter Analytics

If you’re sharing visual content on Twitter, you’ll be happy to know that Tweets with images receive 18% more click throughs, 89% more likes, and 150% more retweets on average. 

That’s a huge pay-off for a humble Tweet!

And if you’re sharing that visual content through Later, we can help you see what’s working — without having to jump into another app.

Our Twitter analytics were released this spring, and give you details on each Tweet for the past 3 months. We’re talking impressions, engagement, favorites, RTs, replies, follows, media engagement, and clicks (even for shortened URLs).

The benefits of Later Analytics don’t stop there! There are tons of cool analytics features and tools accessible from your Later dashboard. Check them all out here.

#9: Easy Exporting of Instagram Analytics to CSV

So, you want to Excel at record-keeping?

Yep, that was a cheesy spreadsheet pun. ???? And while social reporting is serious business, we want to make it as painless as possible for you. 

Now you can take all of that valuable Instagram insight from Later Analytics and share it with your team, thanks to a handy export feature we rolled out in June.

Not only will regular exports give you super tidy records, but you can play around with that data in a few different ways since it’s a CSV. 

Want Instagram reports at your fingertips? Check out this Later help guide to export all your valuable data in two-clicks!

Later Features 2019: Tiny Tweaks With Big Impact

#10: Reply to Comments in a Thread on Desktop

If the comments on your Instagram posts are blowing up, congratulations! That means your engagement levels are up and your content is hitting the mark with your audience. 

But all that chatter can get overwhelming real quick if you don’t have a system in place to manage your replies.   

To help get on top of your Instagram conversations, one of our improvements this year helps you reply to comments in a neat, threaded fashion—right from your desktop!  

Plus, it’ll help you quickly and easily engage with your followers (which is always a win). 

Learn how brands are strategically using Instagram comments to grow their following!

#11: Tag Instagram Profiles or Locations on Mobile

Tagging relevant businesses or profiles in an Instagram post can help boost engagement, increase the likelihood of your post being shared by a larger account, and (cool bonus!) it teaches the Instagram algorithm who (and what) is important to you.

You’ve been able to tag users and locations in Later for a while now, but it was only recently that we made this functionality available on our iOS and Android apps! 

If you’re using Later to schedule some posts on the fly, now you can add those little finishing touches that’ll bring a ton more engagement.

That’s a wrap ????

2019 was a phenomenal year for Later. And it’s all thanks to you. 

Our goal for 2019 was to make Later the best tool for our customers—whether that’s for posting to Instagram, reporting on your progress, or selling your products online. 

And that goal isn’t going anywhere. We have plenty more cool features up our sleeves! 

We can’t wait to help you rock it in 2020! 

Start using all of Later’s features to your Instagram advantage — sign up today to get your Instagram strategy ready for 2020:

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