In January, Instagram announced that it now has 500 million daily active users of its Stories feature. This is over double the number of active daily users of its competitor, Snapchat – making Instagram one of the fastest growing social media platforms!
Instagram stories are fun and allow users to easily share their favourite moments with their followers. They are also great for businesses, allowing you to build brand awareness, grow your engagement and following, and drive traffic to your website in a single swipe.
If you haven’t started using Instagram stories for your business yet, now is the perfect time. So, let’s get started!
About Instagram Stories
Instagram stories is a creative feature that lets users capture moments of their lives, whether this be a photo or a video, and share it with their followers. The feature comes with cool filters, sound effects, tags, swipe up links and much more! Although Instagram stories only last for 24 hours and it’s good to be mindful of when you post, you can add these to your highlights which allows you to showcase stories on your profile indefinitely.
The clever design of Instagram stories has us glued to viewing them for longer than we ever intended. You don’t know what’s coming up next, therefore you end up watching stories that you never even knew you wanted to watch. And, it’s much easier to carry on watching than exiting – which is why it’s perfect for businesses!
1. Story telling
One of the most affective ways of promoting your brand is by telling a good old-fashioned story. Simple stories with a beginning, middle and end are the best to active the user’s brain and are the easiest to remember. A great way to promote a business is telling the story behind the brand. Let your customers see behind the scenes by sharing with them a glimpse of the inner workings of your company.
2. Exclusive content
Instagram stories are a great way to share company updates, such as exclusive offers, new product launches and future events. The best way of sharing these with your audience is by adding a personal touch! Make your followers feel special by treating them to insider sneak previews, coupon codes and future event information. This will not only boost brand awareness, but also encourage potential sales.
3. Making use of tags
Using Instagram tags is a great way to reach out to a wider audience to increase your views, followers and brand awareness.
The three main tags you should be using in your stories are:
Including hashtags in your stories is an easy way to increase views from people who are using hashtags to search for relevant content. Therefore, it is important when choosing these to pick specific, targeted hashtags that will help increase your exposure, opposed to using overly populated tags where you are likely to get lost in the crowd. You may also choose to use your own branded hashtags, with the aim that your customers will begin using these. You can encourage customers to use your own branded hashtag for a chance to be featured on your Instagram story.
Adding location tags to your Instagram stories will help you get discovered in more searches and show up in a specific location’s story. This can come in handy for businesses that have a physical location and makes it easier for potential customers to find you. However, if your business does not have its own physical location, you could consider using popular locations nearby to ensure you show up in these search results. You can also use location tags when attending events to reach those with shared hobbies and interests.
Tagging accounts in your story is a great tool for brands that want to increase engagement and build relationships. Instagram now prompts users to share others’ stories when someone has mentioned them in a post. Therefore, mentioning other brands, influencers or users with a large following opens up opportunity to reach their follower base as well as your own.
4. Keeping posts consistent
With the recent changes to Instagrams algorithms, some businesses have experienced a decrease in engagement. This is where Instagram stories come into play. Regularly posting fresh content to your story means that you are continually engaging with your audience, keeping your business front of mind.
5. Connect with your customers
Instagrammers enjoy taking photos of brands they love and this is a great way to connect with them. Using images from happy customers in your stories will help strengthen relationships and make them feel valued as customers.
6. Increase engagement
Have you ever thought about introducing polls or questions to your story? These are fantastic features for interacting with your audience, receiving customer feedback and making your stories fun! Perhaps you could run a Q&As or find out what content your customers would like to see?
7. Get others involved
Another way to rapidly grow your account is with an Instagram story takeover. This is when you take over another Instagram account for a short period or allow another business or influencer to take over yours! It’s a fun way of grabbing your own audience’s attention, as well as the audience on the account you have taken over. This partnership is designed to be mutually beneficial for both parties and can be a key strategy for audience growth.
8. Swipe up feature
If you are Instagram verified or have reached over 10,000 followers you are able to unlock Instagram’s ‘swipe up’ feature for your stories. This is great for e-commerce businesses and for driving traffic to your website. The swipe up feature allows users to swipe up on a story that contains a URL and be redirected to a landing page of your choice, whether that’s a product page, blog post or a newsletter sign up.
If you would like help with building your brand’s presence on social media, you can contact us online or call us on 01536 316100.