So you have an Instagram account for your business..and now you can share a story? Sounds confusing, if you are new to Instagram I am sure! Basically the Instagram Story is an additional bonus to share what is going on with you and your account, and it only is available to view for 24 hours. Your followers can access it above your posted video and image area. You can add multiple stories, however they only last 15 seconds each and then the next appears. This allows your followers to be quickly updated, informed or entertained and move on to the next account’s story. If the story account holder has a large following, they may offer a ‘Swipe for More’ button to redirect you to another website to learn more about their subject. Once you reach 10K you can do this too! – Goals right?!
That’s easy – What are you doing today, right now, planning for, selling, promoting?
What’s great about the Instagram story is that you can use this to sell a product, promote your brand (personal or corporate), or use it as a medium to keep your followers up-to-date, in a fast paced and engaging display.
Instagram stories have the ability for you to include a link if you’re a business profile and you can prompt followers to swipe up and visit a specific web page. This is essential if you have a blog post to promote.
If you’re not a business, you can still promote your new posts and tell users to interact with your profile. You can also include a link in bio, so you can tell your followers to click the link in bio for more information or to direct them to a relevant page.
You may not think it is interesting to you, but your followers want to see the small things that make up your everyday life. Teasers are a good way to build excitement for future content and products. Giving your followers a sneak peak will keep your brand on top of their minds as they anticipate the release of new content or products.
The more I write about the Instagram story, the more I think about how I should be using it more myself. Instagram has added a new feature which allows you to add a poll on your stories. You can ask any question you like and with a tap on the screen, you can see what your followers answer and it tells you exactly who answered what. This is a game changer… This is essentially free market research and if you ask the right questions, you can gain some great insight about your audience. Especially if you are struggling with what content to share. Ask your followers what they want to learn and see more about. I know personally, I participate in these a lot.
This applies to business and blogs more than anything. If you’re trying to keep a certain look or style on your Instagram feed, it probably isn’t the best idea to repost photos or videos from your customers or readers. This is because you don’t have control over how your customers take these photos or videos, but testimonials are always a great source of content. Instagram stories are good way to showcase the content that your users share about your product without ruining your Instagram feed. You might even make their day by reposting their footage!
Additionally, if your brand picks up any press, it is a good idea to use your Instagram stories to display this. =
Adding to your story is easy! But, before you start, let’s take a step back and look at some of the Instagram story mistakes I have seen, and you should be aware of before creating your first story.
This is one of my pet peeves, and I have chosen to un-follow some accounts that posted, long over done videos in their stories. You can swipe away, and move on to the next account story. Instagram stories, are limited to 15 seconds per individual story. But… you can post however many stories you want. The key is to avoid the swipe away! The swipe away is a follower skipping your entire story and you want to minimize this by keeping your stories short and concise. Just like Snapchat, the last thing you want to do is watch a short film from someone else’s story. The stories are limited to 15 seconds for a reason, so consider that when posting your content. You don’t want to lose your follower’s interest.
Just like any form of social media, avoid too much promotion of your business or brand . This generally means providing value before hitting your followers with a promotion or call-to-action to do something for you.
Again, you are limited to 15 seconds per Instagram story for a reason. No one will be able to read a story, even an image if it is full of text. The user can hold down their screen to pause the story, but they may not know that and miss your message. Make sure your content grabs their attention and brings some sort of value to the audience.
What is a neat feature with Instagram Stories is the ability for you to use hashtags that will help users across the platform discover your content. Avoid using too many hashtags since this would look very spammy on your story, but you also want to avoid using irrelevant hashtags. Add a few in where it makes sense and make sure it creates some type of value for discovery.
It is time to give you some inspiration to go out there and create great Instagram stories yourself!
HubSpot is a great example for a company to use the Instagram story as a way to create more engagement between their brand and their audience. Their posts, as well as their stories use their famous orange brand color – which gives it consistency. When I see their stories, I know it is their content, without looking at their profile logo. They offer a giveaway in the story below, with simple, clear instructions (CTA) in a total of 3 stories, not just one with too much information for the 15 seconds.
Instagram stories are great, but don’t stop posting to your account like usual. Stories are an added bonus to keep your users engaged and hopefully gain new followers. Try to use high quality graphics and photos and remember the story dimensions are 1080 Pixels Wide by 1920 Pixels in Height. You don’t want to crop out important elements.
Try to be as unique and genuine as your brand or business is. It will be more relatable and attract the right people! Need help developing your Instagram brand? Complete the form below. We can help get you started and manage your growth!