Creating Exclusivity with Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’Feature

    Visioneer Digital Marketing Agency

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    Exclusivity is a powerful psychological phenomenon that all too many marketers understand, but never really take advantage of when it comes to crafting their strategies. As humans, the idea of exclusivity is something that resonates deeply within us for a number of reasons. For one, human beings have a voracious desire to feel included and a part of a group. When we become a part of a group that gains access to something exclusive, we feel special.

    Exclusivity also means privilege. When something is only available to a select group of people, and we just happen to have made the cut, it makes us feel important and privileged.

    Furthermore, exclusivity means scarcity. When something is exclusive, that means not everyone can have access to it. This conjures up a sense of urgency within us, making us feel like we need to take action in order to get in on the good stuff.

    It is for all of these reasons and more that exclusivity is wildly appealing to customers.  When we gain an exclusive position or access to exclusive information – it makes us feel good about ourselves. And when brands make us feel good about ourselves, we feel good about those brands and are more inclined to initiate and cultivate relationships with them.

    Instagram officially introduced ‘Close Friends’ in November of 2018 and many companies are seeing this new feature as a valuable tool for building exclusivity with their business, brand and offerings.

    If you’re interested in learning more about Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ feature and how you can use it to create exclusivity for your business, then check out these next few lines.

     

    How to Use Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ Feature

    ‘Close Friends’ is a relatively new feature that allows you to share your Instagram stories with a select group of individuals that follow you.

    Let’s face it – pretty much everyone (including businesses) have struggled at some point in time or another with the notion of having to share their posts to their entire audience on Instagram. After all, you don’t necessarily want your mother seeing the same content that you show your friends or colleagues and maybe you find that you don’t want your friends getting annoyed with the marketing content that you send your customers.

    Before the ‘Close Friends’ feature, the only options we had for exclusively communicating with a select group of individuals in our audience were Instagram’s DM (direct message) feature and the “Hide Story From” option, which requires you to manually enter in the name of each individual you’re not interested in sharing your content with.

    The main problem with the “Hide Story From” option is that it is an all or nothing choice. If  you include an individual’s name, then they effectively became blocked from seeing all of your stories.

    This presents some obvious problems.

    Fortunately, the ‘Close Friends’ feature offers users a little bit more flexibility.

    To get yourself started, all you have to do is click on the Profile Settings tab on your page and select Close Friends on the menu.

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    This then leads you to a menu where you can quickly include the individuals you’re interested in adding to  your ‘Close Friends’ list. All you have to do is click the green Add button beside their profile picture.

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    The app even goes so far as to give you recommendations on individuals you may want to consider adding based on how often you interact with their accounts and also provides you with a search option to make the process of looking someone up more efficient.

    Once you’re finished selecting the individuals, you simply click the Done button at the top right corner of the screen. Once you do this a menu will pop up confirming that you would like add the individuals selected to your list. All you do is press OK and voila! – you’re all set!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    When it comes to sharing stories with your list, you simply just record in the normal fashion and the app will give you the option to share the story with your ‘Close Friends’ list.

    It’s important to note that the display may differ slightly from one mobile phone to the next. For example, iPhone users will see a green Close Friends circle at the bottom of their screen when recording, however, other users such as those with Android phones may not see this. This is absolutely fine, as the platform gives you numerous ways to note that you want to send your content to your specific list.

    If you happen to be a user who doesn’t get a green Close Friends badge at the bottom of their screen when recording, all you have to do is click the Send To or Next button, at which point you’ll be able to specify that you’d like to share your content with your list.

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    When the content is posted, users included in your close friends list will be able to identify that a story is using the ‘Close Friends’ feature because the post will have a green circle around it. Furthermore, when they open your story, they’ll see a green ‘Close Friends’ badge in the upper right-hand corner. Another great aspect about the feature is that your ‘Close Friends’ list is private and as a result, no one will be able to see who is included in your list.

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    Users can also view and edit their list. On the main page of your profile a new badge will be displayed next to the one that shows your number of followers. All you have to do is click on this badge and a menu will pop up allowing you to add or remove individuals at will.

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    Needless to say, Instagram has done a pretty great job at intuitively integrating the feature into the app.

    Using Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ Feature for Business

    The great thing about this new feature is that both individuals and businesses alike can enjoy numerous benefits from this added degree of exclusivity on the platform.

    However, it’s important to note off the bat that if you’re a business looking to leverage the ‘Close Friends’ feature on Instagram, you’ll have to get comfortable with following individuals in your target audiences if you don’t already. This is because the feature only allows you to add individuals to your ‘Close Friends’ list if you are actively following them.

    Fortunately, the very act of following your target demographic alone is a great way to help spread awareness about your brand and get on your consumers’ radar.

    Once you’re there, you can use the feature to cultivate relationships with your audience and encourage them to take action in a number of ways.

    For instance, you could use the feature to send personalized video messages to certain segments of your audience. Every now and then it’s important to remind your consumers that you care and there’s no better way to do this then singling them out and letting them know. Maybe you decide to make a list composed of individuals who have recently purchased a product or service from your company and send them a thank you message.

    You could also use the feature to reward loyal followers with everything from bonus features, services and products to exclusive or time-sensitive coupon codes.

    If part of your business’ success relies on educating your consumers, you could use the feature to share important and valuable information such as lessons, training sessions or secret hacks, tips or tricks on how they can get the most out of your offerings.

    You could furthermore use the feature to share previews of new products or services with the customers on your ‘Close Friends’ list without having to worry about your competition getting the scoop on your strategy.

    When it comes down to it, social media is all about engagement. Use the feature to engage with your audiences. Ask them questions, offer advice or send out inspirational messages. You could even use the feature to get feedback about your business, products, services or other important issues you need clarification on. You’ll reap the benefits of hearing what your audience has to say and your audience will feel included and see that you’re making a genuine effort to reach out to them and truly listen. In the end, it’s a win-win.

     

    Conclusion

    Instagram’s new ‘Close Friends’ feature provides businesses with a valuable opportunity to connect with their audience on a more exclusive, personal and invididualized level. There are countless ways you can use this new tool to create value for your business and customers alike. In the end, it all boils down to creativity. Use this article as a guide to help you brainstorm the various ways you can integrate Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ feature into your social media marketing strategy and get the added boost you need over your competition in 2019.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sources:
    https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-instagram-close-friends-list-business/

    https://www.socialpilot.co/blog/how-to-instagram-close-friends-for-business

    https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/social-media/instagram-close-friends/

    https://digitalbeauty.com/instagram-close-friends-feature/

    https://instagram-press.com/blog/2018/11/30/share-with-your-close-friends-on-instagram-stories/

    https://medium.com/@dianabriceno/how-heart-centered-personal-brands-can-use-the-close-friends-feature-on-instagram-d3e5589d85f5

     

    Social Media Blurb
    Exclusivity is a powerful psychological phenomenon that all too many marketers understand, but never really take advantage of when it comes to crafting their strategies. As humans, the idea of exclusivity is something that resonates deeply within us for a number of reasons. For one, human beings have a voracious desire to feel included and a part of a group. When we become a part of a group that gains access to something exclusive, we feel special.

    Exclusivity also means privilege. When something is only available to a select group of people, and we just happen to have made the cut, it makes us feel important and privileged.

    Furthermore, exclusivity means scarcity. When something is exclusive, that means not everyone can have access to it. This conjures up a sense of urgency within us, making us feel like we need to take action in order to get in on the good stuff.

    It is for all of these reasons and more that exclusivity is wildly appealing to customers.  When we gain an exclusive position or access to exclusive information – it makes us feel good about ourselves. And when brands make us feel good about ourselves, we feel good about those brands and are more inclined to initiate and cultivate relationships with them.

    Instagram officially introduced ‘Close Friends’ in November of 2018 and many companies are seeing this new feature as a valuable tool for building exclusivity with their business, brand and offerings.

    If you’re interested in learning more about Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ feature and how you can use it to create exclusivity for your business, then check out these next few lines.

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