Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with over 300 million active daily users. One of the key features of Instagram is Stories, which allows users to post content that is shared for up to twenty-four hours. Instagram is constantly adding new features to Stories, so this is an indication that it is here to stay and will only continue to grow. As a small business owner, Instagram Stories are a great way to showcase your business in a behind-the-scenes way and build personal connections with your customers.
A few ways to incorporate Stories into your social media strategy:
Share behind-the-scenes videos
Instagram is a visual platform, so when sharing photos and videos on your Instagram feed they should look good and stay consistent. Instagram Stories only last up to twenty-four hours, so they are great for sharing behind-the-scenes videos of your business that won’t interfere with your feed. Your customers want to see the person behind the screen, and the faces of people behind your business. If you have a brick-and-mortar store you can showcase new product arrivals, or if you have a restaurant you can show how a certain dish is made.
Instagram Stories don’t have to just be videos, they can also be photos. Sharing photos of your business, storefront, products, or services are a great way to share new content with your customers. Instagram Stories allows you to add things such as text, stickers, polls, and hashtags:
Add different styled text
Instagram Stories allows for you to add text on top of photos and videos. You are able to add different styles to your text such as Classic, Modern, Neon, Typewriter, and Strong. Adding text to Stories is important because not everyone is going to be watching with their sound turned on, so make all of the important details readable. Adding text also allows for you to share new products, updates, or to just say hello to your followers.
Add hashtags and locations
Similar to how hashtags and locations work in Instagram posts, they help increase the exposure of your Stories as well. You can add hashtags through the text feature, or you can add just one hashtag with the hashtag button. These hashtags and locations are searchable so your followers are able to click-through them in your Stories. This works great if your business has a branded hashtag. You can include the branded hashtags on your Stories, and it will take your followers to see all of the other posts with your branded hashtags.
Mention other accounts
Mentioning other accounts in your Instagram Stories is a great way to increase your engagement on the platform. This will help bring over other accounts to your Stories and profile. You can mention other businesses in your area that you admire or give them a shout out. Also, if you have any specific customers who are constantly engaging with your account you can mention them in a thank you story. Mentioning accounts works just like hashtags and locations do, and users are able to click on them to go to that account.
Create a poll
Another new feature on Instagram Stories is the option to create a poll. This can be any question that you want to ask your followers, and there will be two options for them to choose from. After someone votes, they will see the poll standings in percentages. As the account who created the poll, you are able to see who voted for which poll answer. Polls can be used for having fun with your followers, or collecting feedback about a product or service that you offer. The best part about this is that followers can’t see what other followers voted for so it helps to get more active participants in any questions or surveys you run.
Add GIFs or stickers
Instagram Stories are a fun way to interact with your followers, and if you want to have fun with them you can add GIFs, which are animated pictures, or stickers. The GIFS on Instagram are powered by Giphy, so there is a huge supply of GIFs to choose from. Adding GIFs and stickers to your Stories help set them apart and grab your followers’ eye.
Instagram Stories also allows you to stream live videos. This is a great way to show behind-the-scenes footage of your business, showcase new products, or live stream an event. Another way to go live would be to run a Q and A with your followers where you can talk about a topic that your business is an expert in and your followers can ask questions. Going live builds a trust between you and your followers, which is one of the best way to generate sales. Once you are done, you have the option to save the video to your story for followers who may have missed the live stream.
Show up on Stories consistently
The key to successful Instagram Stories, or any social media platform for that case, is to be showing up consistently. You should be sharing photos, videos, and behind-the-scenes footage on Instagram Stories at least a few times a week.
Group similar Stories into Highlights on your profile
Instagram now allows for you to save Stories as Highlights on your profile. You can create and save similar Stories and put them into different categories on your profile. For example, you can have one Highlight about your products, services, or employees. This allows for your business to showcase specific content on your profile for your followers to view at a later time.
Stay true to your brand but have fun
Instagram Stories do not have to be polished, professional photos and videos every time. It is important that you are sharing content that is on brand to your business, but you shouldn’t be forgetting to have fun while doing it. Stories only last for up to twenty-four hours so the content can be fun such as a joke, a funny incident that occured, or a video of your business having fun. Remember to always consider your brand’s audience when posting on social media, because everyone can see it.
Stories help with engagement
Instagram, like any other social media platform, is always changing its algorithm. The algorithm is basically how Instagram decides to show your posts in the News Feed, and who they decide to show them too. One way to increase your exposure on the platform is to create engaging content that your followers want to like and comment on. Posting actively on Instagram Stories will help increase your engagement because your followers will be clicking through them, voting on polls, and clicking on the hashtags, mentions and locations.
By incorporating Instagram Stories into your businesses’ social media strategy, you are opening up the doors for new and engaging content for your customers. Stories are a great way to share content that is not suited for your business’ news feed, and it helps to build trust with your followers. Behind-the-scenes content allows your customers to build relationships with the people behind the camera.
If you need additional help with curating content ideas for Instagram Stories, or social media management, please contact us at info@kapokmarketing or call us at (727) 214-5844 to learn how we can help.
Follow us on Instagram @KapokMarketing to see what we are sharing on our Stories.