An increasing number of brands are using Instagram as part of their marketing strategy. There is no denying that it takes up quite a lot of time when using it properly, but there are many ‘shortcuts’ or simple hacks brands can take advantage of. Here are five top hacks for brands using Instagram.

Hack #1 – Hide Hashtags In Stories

It’s basic knowledge for any brand using Instagram that you have to use hashtags. They are absolutely essential if you are to use Instagram successfully. However, they can look quite unappealing.

Adding account names and hashtags to your Stories is advantageous, to say the least, but can take away from the actual content. Luckily, there is a way you can hide them so they are still searchable but not visible to your audience.

It’s really simple – add a cute sticker over your hashtag. It hides the hashtag and adds a little fun to your Story. After all, it’s that kind of embellishment that makes Stories so fun and popular. You can also add the hashtag in the same color text as the background if that’s possible, which will also hide it.

Hack #2 – Partial Reveal

If there is a photo you only want to reveal part of to your audience, there is a wonderful hack to create this effect quickly. In Stories select the brush tool and a color, hold your finger in place and the whole screen should flood with color. Now use the eraser tool to rub over the part or parts you wish to reveal.

This trick could be useful if you’re getting ready to reveal a new product or a brand revamp, you could show a different part of it every day and keep your audience guessing. This will also boost engagement and create a buzz.

Hack #3 – Archive Stories

Rather than take up space on your phone, you can archive your Instagram Stories for later use, or to download and save later. Head to Settings – Privacy – Story Controls and slide Save to Archive on. With this enabled, after 24 hours is up, your Stories are saved. It’s like a little iCloud within Instagram.

Hack #4 – Streamline Content

Brands are often trying to target different people at different times, especially on social media. The Close Friends feature on Instagram is perfect when you have a post with particular people in mind.

For example, if you want to share brand sneak peeks with industry Influencers other than the general public. This also works for wholesale partners or stock lists, whatever is relevant to your brand.

From your profile page swipe left and select Close Friends. From here you can make a list of whoever you want, Influencers for instance. Then when you’re posting a Story you want to target to that particular group of users, select Close Friends instead of Your Story.

Being a part of this exclusive group makes people feel special and can positively affect your engagement levels because of this.

Hack #5 – Hide Posts of You

If you’re a popular brand and have people tagging you in their photos and videos, but you don’t necessarily want these being added to your profile page, there is a way to hide them. This also goes for any embarrassing personal photos friends add.

You don’t have to remove the tag and risk offending anyone, just head to the Privacy and Security tab under Settings and click on Photos and Videos of You. From here you can select Hide Photos and Videos and choose which ones stay and which ones go.

These are just five of the many hacks that brands and businesses can utilize to boost engagement and get more followers on Instagram. It should be a good starting point if you weren’t sure how to grow your account further, and every few months new features are introduced, which means new hacks for success.