If you are promoting an Instagram profile with the aim of further monetization – you gain subscribers, regularly post new content, sell something, it is logical that you should have an open profile. But this openness also has its drawbacks – not everything can be made public. Therefore, Instagram launched the “Close Friends” function, with which you can create a list of “favorites” and share with them content that is inaccessible to most subscribers.
In this article, we’ll explain why you need a feature, how to set it up, and how to use it for business purposes.
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What is Close Friends and how to use it for business purposes
The Close Friends feature has been around since 2018, but some users still haven’t fully realized its potential. What is the function – we will tell you with a short example:
You have a serious expert account where you post business-related content. But friends from ordinary life and relatives are still subscribed to you. It will be strange if a story appears in a serious profile where you are drunk singing in karaoke and jumping across the dance floor at a foam party. Previously, for such content, you had to create a separate closed profile, where you had only your own and keep the worker separately. Now you can send content to a selectively limited circle of “friends” without being torn between accounts.
Of course, the feature is needed not only to share funny stories with relatives and friends from real life – it can also be used for work purposes.
Here’s what you can post for your close friends list:
- Exclusive content – you can create a closed club for selected subscribers and post content that is inaccessible to most followers. To get into the “club”, offer to be active on the page – this way you motivate subscribers to leave more likes and comments. By the way, this is one of the ways to increase your reach on Instagram.
- Promotions, promotional codes, company news – a way to organize your loyalty system on Instagram. You can offer promotional codes with discounts in closed stories for existing customers or those who applied but did not make a purchase.
- Subscription materials – Let’s say you sell expert content (trainings, training courses). Add customers who paid for the subscription to the list of loved ones and send content.
- Communication with colleagues – a way to discuss working and non-working moments, hold an “online planning meeting”, agree on a content plan. Of course, there are more convenient tools for this, such as Trello or Zoom. But if you have a small business focused on Instagram and a couple of employees, it’s easier to discuss everything on one platform rather than registering with several services.
- Testing stories – if you are responsible for maintaining a corporate profile on Instagram, you can send test stories to your colleagues, bosses or customers for approval (show how the publication will look before making it available to all subscribers).
- Invitation to private events – one of the ways to encourage subscribers and motivation to be active in the profile. You can tell subscribers that the most active will get access to a private event for their own, but in fact add the maximum number of followers to the “Close” ones, that is, invite as many people as possible (if there are resources for such events). Subscribers will try to get into the “closed club”, and everyone who receives an invitation will consider himself a chosen one.
- Target audience surveys… The Close Friends feature is a free way to conduct market research. Add subscribers whose opinion you are interested in to the list and create polls for them, which will then form the basis of your marketing strategy.
- Focus group… You can supplement the previous task and send ordinary stories to selected subscribers, watching how they react – whether they like them, write comments, how many people from the list watch the stories. You can directly ask questions about the design of stories – what to improve, what you like / dislike.
- Working with influencers… Add bloggers you cooperate with as close friends and discuss working moments with them, for example, how the story should look, what improvements to make.
Who else will use the function:
- employees who are afraid that the management will see their funny stories and consider them frivolous employees;
- famous public people.
In general, the function is suitable for any Insta users who do not want to create a separate closed profile and lead a “double life” on Instagram.
Advice: Edit the list of close friends for different tasks. You can maintain a separate list box.
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How to make a Close Friends list on Instagram
An unlimited number of users can be added to the list. At the same time, the added subscribers will not receive any notifications and will not know that they are “favorites” until they see stories for the closed list of users in their feed. The created list is available only to the owner of the profile. It is impossible to view someone else’s list or find out which of your friends / subscribers have been added to such lists.
Important: Stories or live streams created for close friends differ from the usual ones in that they have a green circle outline. The story itself displays a bright green bar at the top of “Best Friends”.
How to add someone to your Close Friends list
There are 2 ways – through the profile menu or through the story editor.
Through the menu:
Click on 3 horizontal stripes on the main profile.
We find the list of “Close friends”.
When you create a list for the first time, there is zero in the left column “Your list” – that is, the list is empty. Then, as people are added, the figure will change. You can find accounts manually by typing a nickname or name in the search bar or browsing through recommendations. To add a person to the list, simply click on the green Add button.
After adding the nickname disappears from the recommendations and goes to the “Your list” section.
PS Instagram tracks your interactions with other users – communication in Direct, likes / comments on each other’s pages, views of stories and live broadcasts. Based on the collected data, Instagram suggests adding certain people to the list.
How to remove someone from your Close Friends list
To delete an account from close friends is simple – go to your list, in front of the nickname, press the “Delete” button.
For subscribers added to the list, a mark appears on the avatar – a green circle with an asterisk. This mark is visible only to you.
How to post stories, conduct live broadcasts for close friends on Instagram
We go into the story editor, select the creation of a story (or “Live” mode). If this is a story, then after creation, at the bottom, click on the “Close friends” icon.
If the list is not formed, you will be prompted to create it first (this is the second way to add people to the list, the first was described in the previous section).
Create a “Close Friends” list to share unique information with your favorite followers. Create private clubs, notify customers about discounts and news, discuss workflows with colleagues. Of course, there are other services for all this, but if there is such a function on Insta, why not use it?
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