Instagram Stories hit the platform in 2016 – but have you been using them properly to promote your business?
Your story is a feature which allows a photo or text to remain on the site for 24 hours from the upload time. Instagram stories are easily accessible near the top of the app’s front page, and they are absolutely critical to the success of your company’s account. Inspired by Snapchat (which, if you’re curious, can also help your business), stories have become increasingly popular. So, how can you use them to boost your engagement?
1. Directly interact with your followers through polls, questions, and links.
Instagram added the “questions” feature in 2018, allowing the poster to ask a question and followers to answer through the story. Use this to your advantage! Find out the kind of content your followers like, and push more of that out. The same goes for polls, which allow you to post two options and your followers to select which they prefer. Finally, you are able to attach a link to your story. When your followers swipe up, you can send them directly to your website, a blog post, an article, a YouTube video, or something completely different. The possibilities are truly endless.
2. Get personal with your audience.
This doesn’t mean expose your deepest, darkest secrets to your clients; show them a sneak peek of what a typical day looks like for you and your business. However it relates to you individually – creating samples in a lab, editing photos, designing a logo, or even sitting down for coffee with your team. People love to see what really goes on in the day-to-day life of a business. By showing your audience a snippet of how you function, you are creating a more personal connection with them and helping them feel included more directly in your process. (Tip: if you’re posting a video, attach the “sound on” sticker somewhere on your story. It’s been proven that if a video has this sticker, people are more likely to watch more of your video instead of tapping through.)
3. Keep the quality of your stories the same as your posts.
If you have a stunning Instagram feed full of high-quality photos but you upload a grainy, poorly filtered photo to your story, that doesn’t exactly work in your favor. As with most things in life, consistency is key. However, if your phone camera doesn’t have the best quality, don’t stress! Instagram allows you to upload to your story directly from your camera roll. That way, you have the ability to maintain the quality of content your audience expects from your brand. For behind-the-scenes posts that may not come directly from your high-quality camera, a well-lit photo or video always comes across as more professional. All in all, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with your content.
When it comes to Instagram stories, feel free to play around! Stream a live video from the office one day. Upload a song you’re loving. Create something funny with the “superzoom” feature, or a looped video with the “boomerang” feature. The possibilities are limitless, and with a great Instagram story presence, you’re sure to see results from your audience. So what are you waiting for? Upload your first story today and see where it takes you and your business!