It might seem like Instagram Name-tags are a newly launched function, but they've actually been around in a different guise for years. Social media platforms have long been trying to push QR codes onto us and get them into mainstream usage. Not sure what a QR code is? You'll definitely have seem them around - a white square with a pixelated pattern of black squares. When scanned using an app on your phone, they perform a pre-programmed function like taking you to a brand's website, event listing or social media account.
These codes are huge in Asia, especially China, being used liberally to help with everything from swapping contact details to making payments. For whatever reason, they haven't had the same welcome in the Western world but the digital kingpins seem pretty determined in getting us using them. Believe it or not, you'll have had your own unique QR code for each profile already, hidden in the depths of each platform. Now, Instagram have given them a bit more of a user-friendly aesthetic under the new identity: 'Name-tags'.
The idea behind them is making it quick and easy to follow a new Instagram account in real-time & real-life. They require the person wanting to follow the account to scan the 'tag', using the scanning feature within Instagram which is currently hidden in the side bar on the right hand side.
So far though, we've only seen the name tags being shared across social media. Whilst this is great to look like you're keeping up with the latest social media functions, it's a little redundant. You can't scan something on your phone, with your phone; that's like some freaky Inception s**t. And the follow button is just THERE above it. Which is easier, think about it?
I bet you're wondering what the fuzz to do with them then? The answer is get creative. Here's our top 3 ideas:
If you have a shop or stall, get the code printed up or on a display screen. Place it in a prominent Point of Sale position - like near the till. Encourage customers to scan and follow you right there and then. You're gaining followers who are obviously interested in your brand or they wouldn't be in your shop - these are the folk who are more likely to engage with your content and actively raise your social media game. This would equally work if you were a pop-up shop or exhibitor - get it on your pop-up banners and display stands instead. It's all about that interaction with your customers and prospective customers encouraging them to engage with your brand.
Imagine if you had a new business, with the Instagram name tag in the window. This could draw in local interest about your brand without you even making any effort. Get word of mouth and anticipation started before you even open!
You can even take it up a level with the use of a Smirrl counter. These display and update your follower numbers in real time, right in front of your eyes, making it a great interactive tool encouraging real life customers to become digital fans.
Look like a super-efficient social media wizard and put it in somewhere prominent or easily accessible for when you're 'in the moment'. Maybe stick it to the back of your phone, have it as your phone lock screen or get it added onto your business cards. Great for if your online marketing is heavily Instagram led.
If you are an e-commerce brand that leans heavily on Instagram for business, you might want to add your Tag to your packaging. Maybe on the box, the wrapping, the enclosed delivery note/receipt?
If you don't send things out in the post, how about adding your name tag to carrier bags - either printed on or stickers? The same could be same for any other promotional material.
Like we said, get creative. These are just are initial ideas of ways to make them work off-screen. With the holy trinity of social media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) being so set on making them 'a thing' it could be a good time to think about how to incorporate them into your brand identity and get ahead of the curve. Where will they have the most impact to gain new customers who aren't already following you? Where will they get noticed? Where is a natural place for them in the customer journey? What is a really inventive way to present them?
If you are giving them a go. You can find yours in the new side bar on the right side of your Instagram profile, find NameTags' under the menu
Once you're in your 'Name-tag' menu there's several options for you customise to something relevant to your brand:
Swipe to change the colour gradients from the pre-set options
Position the frame around your face, click the frame to choose from a few different options of themed surrounds. (Notice we intentionally missed out our face here!)
Click the emojis on the background and select from any in the emoji catalogue.
Let us know how you get on with them. Would be great to hear all the different creative ways you're using them to build your following.
If you have any questions at all, give us a shout