In some circles posting more than one Instagram post a day is considered a faux pas. Enter Instagram Stories. Stories were introduced in 2016 in an attempt to keep up with Snapchat. Some people were wary of them at first, but they’ve quickly become a staple for influencers, businesses, and people everywhere. In fact, over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
Stories are a bit more casual than typical posts and, since users have to click to interact with them, you can post more frequently than you would to the main feed. Using Stories, you can be more authentic and less scripted. Instagram Stories are intended to be shot vertically and tend to be fast-paced.
Ok, so now you know what they are, but how do you use them?
Use your Instagram Story to highlight your brand personality and show people what you’re all about. Have different members of your team take over the Story for the day, to show your audience what a day in the life of your business looks like from different perspectives. The more engaged your team is, the more engaged your audience will be.
To create an Instagram Story poll, you need to create a Story post, ask a question and give at least two answers, allowing your followers to vote. This is great for two reasons. First, you can get real-time feedback on how your audience feels about a given topic. Second, the poll gives viewers an added way to engage, so engagement is typically higher. People LOVE to share their opinions (sometimes too much, but that’s a whole different conversation), so why not give them the platform to do it?
An Instagram Story is built to disappear from your page after 24 hours, but the good news is that you can create highlights that live permanently on your profile, right underneath your bio. This is a great place to host things like “about us” or contact info, and still keep it true to the Instagram platform.
Similar to a poll, you can add a button that allows viewers to ask questions. Then, you can answer their questions right there in the Story. If no one is asking any questions, don’t be discouraged. You can enter a couple of questions on your own story and answer them since questions are anonymous to the viewer. This way, you know the important questions are asked and answered, and people won’t feel like they’re the first to ask.
Another great way to supplement your Story is by adding links. Instagram does not support links in feed posts so you can’t promote your product, blog post, or article. Fortunately, Instagram Stories do allow you to add a link so people can swipe up and visit the intended page. So, put a call to action in your post, telling your followers to go to the Story for the link. (This one can be a bit complicated because Instagram requires a certain number of followers to add links, so if you can’t find the option, it might be that they aren’t enabled for your account yet.)
Story ads pop up in between Stories from people your audience follows. It’s a great way to get in front of new people, in a place you know they’ll be looking.
Instagram Stories are getting bigger by the day. For help on Instagram or any other platforms, contact us today! (Also, follow us on Instagram for a look at how The DofM team uses Stories for our business!)