By: Lauren Boyce, Intern
If you or your business has an Instagram account, chances are you’ve experimented with, or at least viewed Stories. Instagram Stories are fifteen-second pictures or videos you share with your followers that disappear in 24 hours. They can be a handy and fun feature to utilize for helping promote your business. Below, we delve further into five reasons why it’s important to use them.
1. See and Be Seen
Instagram stories give you the potential for some great reach. According to Instagram’s internal data from 2019, Stories are used by 500 million users every day. Stories are also always at the very top of your followers’ feed, making your content easily seen and easily accessible. No need to worry about being hidden by the algorithm here!
2. A Peek Behind the Curtain
Stories are a great place to show off some of the “behind the scenes” to your business. Users want to see the human side of a brand, and studies have shown that authenticity is playing a much more significant role in consumers’ decisions now.
Take a series of quick videos introducing members of your team, demonstrating how things are made, or addressing frequently asked questions. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it and add in some humor if fitting for your brand.
3. Turn the Tables
Stories are also a good way to find out more about your followers, too. Multiple features within Stories allow you to get information from and engage with users, such as polls, Q&A, and quizzes. These features are great ways to ask for feedback, survey which product or service they’d like to see debut next or open the floor for your audience to ask you questions. Your audience will feel more connected to you, and you’re showing them that you value their opinions.
Plus you can see the individuals who viewed the story not just the total count and start identifying those most engaged with your brand.
4. Interaction and Engagement
While polls, Q&A, and quizzes offer ways to learn about your audiences and get certain information, Stories offer the unique ability to interact and engage with your followers as well. For instance, if a customer or guest mentions or tags your business in a photo, you can share it to your Story as a way to give them a shout out back. This helps build relationships online and encourages engagement going forward. Just remember to tag them in the story so they get notified!
5. COVID-19 Specific Features
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, staying in touch with your audience is essential. Instagram has launched various COVID-19-specific features for use in Stories including a Stay Home sticker, a Thank You sticker (intended to thanking health care heroes and others serving on the front lines), and a Support Small Business sticker.
When you use these stickers, your story will be added to a shared Instagram story for other to see. In particular, the Support Small Business sticker offers a new way for consumers to discover new places, as well as the opportunity for your business to reach new customers/guests and stay connected to those you already serve. Further, this feature allows for a lot of the engagement and interaction abilities noted in point four.
We hope that in reading this, you’ve identified some opportunities for your own business to utilize Instagram Stories. Not sure how to begin? Don’t worry. We’re here to help.