Instagram has created a feature much like the stories that we view on Snapchat, Instagram stories. The “story” feature on Instagram has been around for a little over a year now, but many users have yet to try it out. Instagram stories create a new opportunity for businesses to share things about what they do and how they do it. These stories can be used in several different ways to bring new life to your Instagram account.
Instagram stories provide your followers with another way to engage with your account. Stories expire, unlike the normal postings you’re used to making on the app, so there’s no risk of “over-sharing”. With these stories companies you can provide followers with little tidbits of information about what they’re doing, keeping their followers engaged and interested.
Instagram stories will appear in a bar across the top of your Instagram feed when an account has a new story, their profile picture will be circled by a purple ring. Stories play in chronological order and just like Snapchat, allows viewers to skip past content or entire stories. Stories do not receive “likes” and any comments made on a story are kept between the commenter and the account that’s story is being commented on.
Common ways that companies use their Instagram stories include behind the scenes looks at how a product is made, live video of a post being created, or small updates on new products or services that the company will be providing. Another interesting way that companies use their Instagram stories is through direct communications with their followers. Viewers of an Instagram story can swipe up to ask questions or make comments about the content, creating an entirely new opportunity for customer engagement. This reflects well on a company’s customer service, showing they do listen to what their followers are saying and care about getting them the response they deserve.
So, how do you create the perfect Instagram story? We’ve got the low down.
Instagram is known for being a social platform where people put their best face forward, stories allow for accounts to add some authenticity to their plethora of content. As stated above, a popular use of Instagram stories is to provide a “behind the scenes” look into the content that is usually published onto an account. For example, a clothing brand could film the process of styling their models, or a non-profit could put a story up showcasing the preparations for a big event.
Another way to use an Instagram story is to allow different people to “take over” your story for the day. Instagram stories present a unique opportunity for brands to collaborate with each other, thus presenting their following with different viewpoints. An example of this could be a popular makeup brand allowing a model to takeover their story and film behind the scene footage of their “getting ready” process involving their makeup. Story takeovers do not have to be someone famous or well know either, it could be someone in your following that you reach out to, to showcase how your product impacts their life. These provide your following with a more realistic view of your brand, rather than just the polished posts you make to your feed.
Live content is huge these days, and Instagram stories present the perfect opportunity for this as well. Instagram allows users to “go live” with video. When an Instagram user goes live, their following is notified, giving them the opportunity to tune in and watch. Live video offers a sense of urgency to viewers, which will boost your engagements. Live videos on Instagram also allow the viewers to comment and see what other viewers are commenting as well. This presents a great opportunity for Q & A sessions with your followers.
Instagram offers many tools to make your stories just as beautiful as your permanent postings, with filters, stickers, and effects. Don’t be afraid to use these things, they often can make your stories more engaging for viewers. There are stickers for Instagram stories that allow you to create polls and have your viewers vote on things, making them feel involved and important.
Instagram stories may have been around for a while, but are you using it to its full capacity? It’s time to get out there and start sharing.