Instagram has launched a feature called ‘Create’ Mode, which you can access by swiping left from your ‘Story’ menu.
A spokesperson from Instagram describes this feature as a new mode to combine interactive stickers, drawings, and text without having to share photos or videos.
That means you can still use most of the same interactive features that you’ve grown to love, but under an entirely new interface Mode. The only difference is that you can’t attach a picture or video, which you need when using the interactive stickers from the ‘story’ interface.
Now, let’s talk about what’s under the new ‘Create’ Mode and how you can use it to engage your followers.
1. Be Open With The Ask Me Anything Sticker
The way it works is up to you, whether you ask a question, or you let your followers ask you something. There are also various template questions provided by Instagram.
This sticker is a great tool to use when you’re looking for external input from your audience. Ideally, you should ask a targeted question that has the most potential of piquing your audience’s interest.
When someone submits a response to the sticker, it comes in privately. You can see it under the view count icon in your story.
You can then share the responses, and whoever submits them will get notified if you do so. Not only does this spark a meaningful engagement, but it also shows your audience that you actually take the time to read their responses.
Starbucks took the creative route and used the ‘Ask Me Anything’ sticker by quizzing their followers what drink is coming back. They used emojis to give hints and used colorful images as backgrounds in their stories.
Then, they posted answers from followers who had the right guesses. To end the suspense, they finally revealed that their S’ mores Frappuccino is indeed making a comeback for the summer.
The ‘Ask Me Anything’ sticker is versatile and can be used in so many different ways for different occasions. You can learn more about your followers, ask them what they think of your brand, or like Starbucks, build up the suspense for a new product release.
2. Test the water for new content or product with Poll sticker
This poll sticker is a handy tool to test which campaign, product, or topic that the majority of your audience prefers to see next. It’s certainly not detailed enough to be considered a valid market test, but at least the response that your followers give should give you a hint of which of the two options they would be interested to see.
Again, the response will be visible to you privately. You can see who votes which options under the view count icon in your story. This should be very useful to you, especially if you run a blog subscription or targeted campaign. By knowing who votes for what, you can eventually use both options and just target them to different groups of people.
IKEA used the polls to ask their followers what they liked whilst showing off their new catalog. Sticking to their simplistic roots, their polls were nothing out of the ordinary but it was accompanied by stunning visuals and great furniture design.
Instagram’s poll sticker is an excellent customer research tool. Instagram itself has a large user base, so it’s a great place to test new products or services. Polls help brands get a better idea of what their audience is interested in, giving them a valuable insight into what their customers prefer.
3. Share your favorite accounts/things to follow
The main purpose of using this sticker is to give your two cents on which accounts are worth following. If you’re building followers based on a certain niche, this could be a good way to mutually promote other accounts. Showing who you follow or who you’re endorsing could be a good way to start showing your niche based on who you recommend with this sticker.
Although this feature doesn’t provide on-screen interactive fields like many other stickers, given you have followers who agree or have similarities in who they follow or who they’re currently hooked into, it could still be a powerful conversation starter.
This Mode comes with a lot of options. You can share the music you’ve been listening to lately, random thoughts, or even interact with your followers by asking questions. Another feature that comes with this Mode is the ‘On this day’ feature which allows you to share a story or post you published on the same day the previous year.
4. Hype up product launch with the countdown sticker
Got a product or content to launch? This countdown sticker allows your followers to turn on notifications once the timer runs out.
This could be a very valuable method of announcing product or content launch effectively. The only challenge is making a pitch good enough to make your followers turn on the countdown notification.
Build up hype for an event or a product launch with this countdown sticker. It’s a great way to build anticipation and keep followers on their toes and remind them that you exist and that something awesome is coming along the way.
The countdown sticker isn’t just for events or product launches. Many brands have used it for TV shows, holidays, sales, and pretty much anything. For example, you can even create a countdown for having pizza.
Whether it’s a huge event or a simple meal, a countdown is ideal for any situation. However, keep in mind to include an interesting title and other elements such as gifs or captions to reel
5. Try the “draw something challenge”
Not only does the new ‘Create’ feature has different implementations of the existing stickers, but it also adds several new templates.
One of these templates is the ‘draw something’ challenge. You get a blank canvas to draw on, and you can ask others to draw their own version by tagging them in your story.
This could strengthen your bond with others in your niche, especially if you’re working in the visual/art/graphic design industry. This one provides off-screen interaction between you and the accounts that you challenge to draw something.
Get creative and challenge your followers to a drawing challenge. This is great for encouraging engagement which will be good for your page in the long run.
For brands who are into creative stuff such as arts and crafts or those selling stationery, this feature can be used to engage with your customers. For example, you can host a giveaway based on the best drawing by a follower.
Another thing you can do is create a community with a drawing challenge. Remember to include a creative title for the challenge and a hashtag so it doesn’t get buried in other posts.
6. Start conversations
Once you’ve engaged with your followers regularly, it’s going to be much easier to actually talk with them. This brand new sticker from Instagram allows your followers to start a chat with you using the story as a trigger topic.
This could be a great way to start a group discussion on certain topics from your story.
For example, if you’re opening a new shop or studio in a certain area, you can use the discussion sticker to invite followers to engage with your brand. Followers can ask you all kinds of things, such as when your place is opening, operating hours, and many more.
This is also excellent for building communities. Although it may seem like something small, the discussion you created with the sticker can even be called a ‘mini’ community— and that’s better than nothing.
7. Layer stickers onto your Stories
No rule forbids you from using more than one interactive stickers to improve the engagement rate from your story.
If you think your poll needs a longer explanation, use the ‘ask me anything’ or ‘discuss’ sticker:
Refinery29 is one of many brands who are always up to date with Instagram’s latest features. Here, they combine the ‘Quiz’ sticker with text and locations to show followers where they’re staying in Tokyo.
Combine different stickers and get creative. There are no exact rules on how to use Instagram’s ‘Create’ Mode so you’re free to experiment with different combinations.
With the new ‘Create’ Mode, you’re not limited to just what we showed in the examples above. You’re free to combine and use the stickers any way you like. The possibilities are endless.
Whether it’s the poll sticker or if you’re asking your followers what they think of your latest product launch— it’s time to give Instagram’s ‘Create’ Mode a try.
Instagram provides a lot of free tools that you can use to interact with your followers, but before you get to that stage, you obviously need to generate a solid following first. Check out these proven tactics to get more Instagram followers to get started.