In the times of global pandemic and social distancing, business need to find a way to foster real connections with customers. Unique engaging and interactive social media features will help you and your customers adjust to the new normal.
Instagram is an essential choice for your business social media platforms. We have recently discussed the usability of Instagram Reels. Now it is time to focus on Instagram Stories. There is no doubt that Instagram Stories is one of the best choices for interactive content. The feature, launched in 2019, was an instant hit, gathered 100 million daily active users within the first two months of its release. Snapchat-inspired design and interactive stickers have helped Instagram Stories become what Snapchat never could. As always, the way you utilise the feature will influence the benefit it gives you. Today we will discuss how to use Instagram Stories for business.
What is Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories is a feature in a format that combines photos, videos, texts and stickers in a creative whole. It allows users to collate pictures and video footage into short slideshows overlaid with text, graphics, videos, gifs and emojis. Additionally, users are able to add locations, hashtags, mentions, donations, polls, questions and a few other stickers.
Instagram Stories bar appears at the top bar in the app and are the first thing your Instagram followers will see when they open the app. It will also disappear after 24 hours. Luckily, these stories are automatically saved. You can add them to your profile content by creating story albums, which will be a resource your followers can go back to.
What can Instagram Stories do for businesses?
To start with, Instagram Stories helps businesses to reach more users. 2/3 views on business Instagram stories are from non-followers who want to learn more about the business as well as its products and services. Moreover, stories are discoverable and you can also use hashtags or tag other people or brands to expand your stories’ reach.
However, Instagram Stories is not only a tool for creating brand awareness. The feature also provides opportunities for businesses and freelancers to increase their online conversions. How? If you produce an engaging story and enable options such as questions, polls and surveys, you can easily engage with customers who responded to your content. This can be done through initiating a conversation by thanking them for their participation. Depending on their feedback, you can talk more about your services and products in more details. This significantly increases your chances for new sales and widening your customer base.
Lastly, Instagram presents multiple different ways of interacting with customers. Whether you promote your services, products or events, you will be able to find the best way of conveying the content via Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories lets you customise your input to best match your audience and the nature of your business.
What type of content is best for small businesses?
Instagram Stories brings more balance to the application. It enables business owners, freelancers and influencers to share more informal and playful content with their audience. You can include as many videos and photos as you wish without having to worry about posting ‘too much’ and cluttering your followers’ feed. Ultimately, Instagram Stories help businesses to bond with their audience and make them feel like they know the business on a more personal level.
Here are a few ideas for using Instagram Stories to promote your business:
- Create visual tutorials and demonstrations for your products
- Provide free tricks and tips
- Share photos of your products posted by your customers
- Take your followers behind the scenes
- Present teasers of new products
- Introduce discount codes and limited offers
- Host Q&A sessions
- Launch polls and quizzes
- Promote your seasonal offers, upcoming events and marketing campaigns
Instagram Stories is an innovative way to reach out to your audience, build loyalty and break the traditional boundaries between business and customer. Keep your content audience-focused, think outside the box, stay engaging and provide value. As Instagram continues to update and improve upon its Stories format, it is clear that Instagram is the platform for brands wanting to increase their sales, and Stories is the format that helps them get there.
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