So, we’ve had:
- feed posts
- video content
- close friends lists
How could Instagram help us connect even more easily with the people we love, or with our Shopify brand followers, you ask? (We’re assuming you asked because you’re here reading this blog.)
Well, the new feature has recently been rolled out: introducing ‘Instagram Notes’.
What is an Instagram Note?
Instagram Notes are basically like a short status update, which you can share with your followers or close friends. They’re kind of like ‘text versions of stories via DMs’ as they sit at the top of your inbox, above your most recent messages. You can add text of up to 60 characters in length.
They’re a good way to share how an individual is feeling, or their current thoughts, but they can also be very useful for Shopify brands to share key pieces of information with followers, such as news, updates and announcements.
How Do I Share an Instagram Note?
It’s quite simple.
- Open your Instagram app
- Tap the inbox symbol on the top right of your screen
- At the top of your chats list, tap your profile picture
- Tap ‘Share what’s on your mind’
- Enter your note of 60 characters or less
- Below ‘Share with’ tap either ‘Followers you follow back’ or ‘Close friends’
- Tap share to share your note
Once you’ve done this, your note will be visible above your DMs list and with those you’ve shared it with, exactly the way stories are shown above your and your followers’ feeds.
Shared notes will last for 24 hours and you can only share one note at a time, so if you click ‘Share what’s on your mind’ again before 24 hours has passed, then it will replace your current note.
You can also delete your active note at any time by tapping on it and clicking ‘Delete Note.’
The Benefits of Shopify Businesses Using Notes
There are 3 main benefits to your ecommerce business using Instagram notes.
1. The algorithm may favour you
It has long been thought that Instagram as a platform typically favours accounts that make use of all the different released features. Not in any great and obvious way (there are no 1st, 2nd and 3rd medals being given out here!) but generally if your account only posts static images to your feed with no stories, reels, no DM activity or responding to your followers’ comments on your posts, you’ll be expected to get less reach and exposure generally. When accounts use all the released features, sharing photos, videos, stories, reels, interacting with other accounts, and now notes, and are generally very ‘present and engaged’ on the platform, you’ll typically be rewarded with more exposure.
2. Additional marketing
It can easily benefit your Shopify business by acting as a marketing channel. Whilst users will most likely share notes based on thoughts, feelings, and ideas, as we previously mentioned, businesses can use notes to make announcements, share key pieces of news or alert followers to special events like competitions or giveaways.
An additional use for notes can be to do market/business research - for example, finding out what your consumers want to see more of, asking their thoughts and opinions on product releases etc.
Now this has been done often by online businesses before, such as by asking questions and running polls in stories, however, there is a certain expectation that if a question is asked in stories, or if a poll is run, a business could share the responses and answers in follow up stories to the initial query. Sometimes people can feel discouraged to respond to story questions for that reason.
However when a user responds to your note, it opens a DM chat to enable you to have a private conversation, which removes the expectation for the users that their question/response might be shared publicly, therefore making it more likely for people to share their thoughts and opinions honestly.
3. It's easy
Notes don’t require a lot of effort - you only need to draft your announcement/query in less that 60 characters. No images, no videos, no time needed to carefully plan where your text is placed and with what font and accompanied by what stickers. It takes 1 minute to create and share, if that.
And finally, something to consider depending on the type of Shopify store you have and the audience it attracts generally.
Notes are very positive as they’re not a pushy form of communication - your followers won’t be notified if you add a note, and they’re also not visible unless they drop into their inbox to view their DMs.
But what if your followers don’t go into their inboxes to see your notes then? Well, that’s the purpose of recognising your key audience demographic, and more specifically, what portion of Gen Z users are there.
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, suggested in the Meta Marketing EMEA Summit 2023, that while Instagram is not only the highest reaching social media platform for Gen Z (born 1997-2012), Gen Z’s primary use of the platform is DMs rather than feed or stories.So if a large, or even reasonable portion of your audience is made up of Gen Zers, then they’re likely to be visiting their inbox more frequently and more likely to see your Notes.
This aspect can even be taken into consideration when reviewing what types of news to share via feed, stories and what to share via notes, and you can tailor the announcements you make depending on which demographic you want to find out about it, to different placements and features within the app itself.
Ideas to Get Started on Instagram Notes
So what can your Shopify business share via Notes right now? Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:
- New product announcements
- Updates on delivery issues/high order volume delays
- Updated open hours on days they might change for a physical store
- General business announcements
- Asking questions for market/business research
- Asking questions to generate conversations and build relationships with your followers
- Add an exclusive discount code or special offer to Notes - whoever responds can benefit from the code. This will encourage them to keep an eye on your notes in the future
- Friendly authentic messages/updates on what you’re doing designed to humanise your business (especially if your audience is full of loyal followers who know your business/team well) - ‘Our team is loving this sunny Friday’, ‘Exciting catch up today to talk about our new range - stay tuned’
As ever, if your Shopify business could benefit from a helping hand with its social media presence and output, drop us a line here at Eastside Co and our team will be happy to discuss how we can help grow your audience and help you make more sales.