3 Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Instagram Stories

by Morgan Alverson | Oct 24, 2017

Instagram stories have really taken off (sorry, Snapchat).

Not familiar with Instagram stories? They’re quick photos or videos that live for 24 hours. They’re shown at the top of the screen when you log in to Instagram, and they immediately grab the attention of users. If you aren’t even using Instagram, well that’s another issue and we need to have a chat. 😉

Instagram now has over 800 million monthly active users. And 500 million of those are daily active users.

FIVE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE. That’s a ton of people that are active every single day on this platform. And if you aren’t using it, you’re missing out on that opportunity (or should I say opportunities).

Instagram is definitely something that you should have integrated into your marketing strategy, but Instagram stories is a big part of that.

1 in 5 stories on Instagram receive a direct message, and about 70% of Instagrammers follow a business. (source: Entrepreneur)

Here are 3 important reasons you should be using Instagram stories:

    1. Show the human side of your business even more. Your business will seem more real and vulnerable through an Instagram story, especially knowing they go away in 24 hours. They are more real.
    2. Maintain visibility with your followers. Stories appear at the top of the app, which not only makes it easier to view content but also grabs attention as soon as a user logs in. With Instagram’s new algorithm, this is now more important than ever.
    3. It’s more engaging than your Instagram profile. You can do a lot more with an Instagram story with the features that are available, allowing followers to interact with your content more than just liking and commenting.
via Instagram Blog

 

 

What to Post on Instagram Stories

So now that you know why it’s important, it’s time to jump in and start posting stories! Not sure what to post on stories vs normal Instagram? I’ve got a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Tag other accounts! Think influencers, partners, user-generated content, etc. This tag will alert the user through a message that you tagged them, providing more visibility to your content.
  2. Create a poll. This is a great way to engage followers and ask them a question with two possible answers. Plus, you’ll be able to see who votes in your poll and what they voted, giving you more insight into who your followers are.
  3. Link to your content (if you have more than 10k followers)! While you can’t put a link in a caption on Instagram, you can put a link in an Instagram story (again, only if you have more than 10k followers), and all users have to do is swipe up on their phone and they’re taken directly to that link. If you don’t have more than 10k followers, you can still alert users about the link in your profile.
  4. Do a live video. Live videos are placed first in the rotation of Instagram stories and Instagram will alert your followers when you’re live. Think creatively here — what would your followers be interested in seeing?
  5. Share an exclusive offer. Delight your Instagram followers with an offer specific to them.
  6. Be creative! Use stickers and features within Instagram stories and don’t feel like you have to design something for it. The whole point is to be real, authentic, and fun!

Always Remember Your Profile is Your Portfolio

While Instagram stories are a place to have fun and be real, you want to keep your Instagram profile clean and cohesive. There should be a strategy here (go check out Syrup’s Instagram and see if you can figure out ours!). Your profile is where you should post the high-quality images that follow your brand’s voice and marketing strategy, while stories are for the unedited images. It’s not about being perfect on your story, it’s about being real.

Before you can get started with Instagram stories, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid Instagram account. Ensure your profile is up to date. Look at your avatar, bio, website link, etc. And make sure you’ve been posting to your profile on a consistent basis. You don’t want to have a dead or inactive account that posts only to Instagram stories.

Struggling with ideas or where to start? Reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn! I would love to help.

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 by Morgan Alverson

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