To the untrained eye, Instagram is just one big platform. However, if you zoom in you’ll notice that different people “live” in different parts within the app.
You have people who mainly tap through the stories, feed scrollers, and the Instagram live aficionados. Sure, they might cross over into the other “neighborhoods” on the ‘gram but oftentimes they stay in the same places. Human beings are creatures of habit after all.
Recently, Instagram announced the release of the "close friends" feature. If you haven’t already played around with it, here’s how it works:
Either within the stories or in the settings panel, you can add people you wish to make your close friends so they can see stories nobody else on your following list will see. They will not be notified when they are added or removed.
When you go make a story, you can tap the green “close friends” circle so this story is only seen by your close friends.
Once the story is up, it will be part of your story sequence. Only close-friends will get to see the segments within your story that you added just for them.
How can this feature be relevant to heart-centered personal brands?
Heart-centered entrepreneurs tend to be a mindful bunch who are filled with passion and nurture meaningful relationships in our “tribes”. The moment the “close friends” feature launched, I saw an opportunity to connect with my community on a deeper level.
The main advantage I see to this feature is for online entrepreneurs running a consulting or coaching-style business. This can include anyone such as marketing consultants, personal trainers, online educators, dieticians etc. The feature is ideal to build a more intimate connection with paying clients whether they are a 1:1 client or group training clients. Here are ways you can use the feature to cater to paying clients inside your community:
Make stories that are speaking just to them with valuable pieces of training to help reinforce a past session, lesson, or discussion.
Hold your clients accountable with reminders on what they need to do. For example, a personal trainer might remind clients to get in their workout or demonstrate how to do a complete routine the client has paid for.
Post reminders for your next call, meeting, or training.
Run targeted polls just for them to get an idea of what actual paying clients would want you to launch next.
Make them feel special and allow your “close friends” to be your beta testers for new products/services.
Not only will this level-up the value you are providing to your clientele but also maintaining engagement levels so you stay at the top of their feeds. The more you interact with a profile, the more likely the Instagram algorithm is to label it as something important that should continue showing up for the other account.
So tell me, how will your brand be using the “close friends” feature?