As a marketing professional, you’ve heard about Instagram. And with more than one billion people on the platform, hopefully you’ve already created an account for it, too. However, have you heard about Instagram Stories?
Instagram launched their “Stories” feature in August of 2016. If you haven’t heard of Instagram Stories before, here’s the lowdown: it’s a feature in the platform which allows users to post a photo or video on Instagram, which lasts for only 24 hours. These posts don’t appear on the regular grid system of Instagram, but rather in their own section above a user’s feed. You can even add text, GIFs, music, polls, etc. to your Instagram Story to make it come alive and interact with those watching it.
But enough about the background of Instagram Stories—how can you use them? The Stories feature on Instagram is a helpful tool any marketer can utilize. Here are some ideas for how to take advantage of Instagram Stories for business.
1. Go behind the scenes.
One of the best ways to take advantage of Instagram Stories is to go “behind the scenes” within the company. Followers love feeling like they get the inside scoop on something, so help humanize the business by showing a raw, informal glimpse inside to customers. Of course, be mindful to stay on brand and don’t get too personal.
2. Share a special offer.
Like we said: followers love feeling like they receive special treatment. Help boost your followers through Instagram Stories by sharing a special offer just with those who watch the story. After 24 hours, the story will disappear, and anyone who doesn’t follow the story will wish they had, and will keep a sharp eye out for another later.
3. Interview a team member.
Speaking of going behind the scenes, why not interview a team member on your Instagram Story, to show a more personal side of the business? Host a variety of team members and ask them questions about the job, the business and even—when appropriate—their personal lives. Followers will enjoy feeling more connected to the humans behind the work.
4. Engage with customers.
When it comes to engaging with customers, Instagram is an extremely useful tool. Use Instagram Stories to your advantage by engaging with customers through different features on the platform, such as hashtags, polls or questions. You can even reply to customers’ stories, or answer any comments or questions they send in to yours.
5. Encourage influencer marketing.
Encourage influencer marketing by hosting challenges which ask followers to tag the business in their post, tag their own followers on your post or even share your post on their own Instagram Story. With Instagram Stories, you have influencers all around you who can share products or services with other followers around them.
6. Create a tutorial.
Finally, consider using Instagram Stories to create a tutorial, showcasing your product or services. For instance, a printing company might share a tutorial on how a follower can design the perfect holiday card for the upcoming season. By creating a tutorial, you show followers how your business can fit easily and seamlessly into their lives.
There’s no doubt about it: Instagram is a beneficial tool for marketing. And with their latest feature Instagram Stories, a business can reach a whole new level of engagement with followers. Use these tips to take advantage of Instagram Stories for business and see how you can increase your bottom line.