Five Ways To Use Instagram Stories for Business
Let’s face it. Whether you’re snapping a picture of your Coconut Caramel Macchiato (don’t forget that extra shot of espresso) or trying to dig up some information on a potential employer- Instagram will be up there as your first port of call. With 1 billion monthly active users, it’s fair to say Instagram has bloomed from a blog splattered in pictures of food and cats into a fantastic marketing platform for businesses worldwide.
With new features sprouting regularly, it’s an effective way to not only showcase your business but to communicate with clients, influencers and an ever-thirsty audience.
So, what is an Instagram story I hear you shout? To put it briefly, amongst all the other engaging features, your story is a chance to project updates, promote yourself and keep followers engaged in your daily goings-on. It’s live on your feed for 24 hours and over 200 million people partake every day so it’s easy to imagine why it is so vital for a business to stay on top of such an innovative platform.
Stories are Discoverable
“Discoverable” basically means anyone can see your story whether or not they follow you. Why is this beneficial to your business? Should you include hashtags or locations (don’t worry, we’ll get on to this later) then people will instantly be able to see your story and know what you’re all about. In the same way, other accounts become visible to you making it a great way to network and discover potential clients.
Tagging, Hash-tagging and Locations
The power of these three simple words is astonishing. Let’s start with tagging. In your story, you have the ability to tag other accounts regardless as to whether you follow each other or not. This strengthens relationships (and might even build new ones!) by making you feel valued and acknowledged. So, with that in mind, if you want to communicate with a large client, granted they notice your tag, they can see your story and get in touch. Exciting right?
Hash-tagging is slightly different. Based on what your story is about, you can place hashtags (for example, if your story is about cars then you can #mercedes, #wheels, #silver) in a way that allows the entirety of Instagram to find your post easily with the search of a word.
Locations are pretty much self-explanatory. Wherever your story is set, Instagram has the amazing ability to geo-tag. What this essentially means is that your location will appear on other people’s feeds if they wish to look up that particular place. Again, it’s a phenomenal way to showcase your story and get other like-minded people discovering your business.
Keeping Your Audience On The Hook
Through multiple stories, you can engage your audience showcasing snippets of new projects being worked on without giving too much away. This gives you a brilliant leverage on your audience as it gives them enough information to leave them craving more. These sneaky peaks can make a follower go from feeling average to exclusive to your brand or company and let’s be honest- who doesn’t want to feel special? By introducing a hype, you give your followers a need to continue this journey through your story.
You want people to truly get some insight on what exactly it is that you do? Live streaming is the perfect tool to break down that imaginary wall and gift your audience the ability to see things from your point of view. Whether you want to live stream a meeting (bearing in mind Instagram offers the option of choosing who can and can’t watch your stories), a fun event that your company has organised or promote a Q&A with a CEO, live streaming is your portal from the outside world to the inside. Remember how nosey we are as humans…everyone wants to know what happens behind closed doors.
Finally, you’ve followed all the points, created an engaging and stimulating story and your audience reacts amazingly! It would be a vast shame for it to just disappear in the space of 24 hours. From the brilliant team that brought you the ability to add gifs to your story, I present to you: highlights! A story of yours that highlights a course of events taken over a period of time can now be added to your profile allowing other users to watch your previous work without the worry of it vanishing. This is a great way to showcase past work almost acting as a portfolio for your company.