Instagram Stories and How They Can Work for Your Business

Many of you have probably heard the term “Instagram Stories” at least once in passing. In case you’re still wondering what that means or if it matters to your brand, let me explain.

Instagram Stories is a feature added to Instagram in August 2016, allowing users to compile multiple photos and videos into a single “story,” which their followers can see for 24 hours. As Instagram says, this allows you to “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile” – which means it’s a fun way to keep interaction with your followers high, without overposting or taking over their timeline.

Only a year after Instagram released the feature, they announced that over 250 million people use it every day, proving that it could be a huge asset to any business, whether you use it to showcase an event or promote a sale.

“It’s a fun way to keep interaction with your followers high, without overposting or taking over their timeline.”

The advantages

Instagram Stories offer a number of features to help your story organically stand out among everyone else’s. Not only can you add fun stickers and emojis to your photos and videos, you can also:

  • Link to websites from your post. If you’re a verified account with more than 10,000 followers, you can use your story to direct clients to a landing page or a sale when they swipe up. This is an important feature because standard posts will not allow links.
  • Make a poll. Followers love the interactivity and love being asked for their opinions – so you can keep them engaged while gaining valuable feedback from their responses.
  • @mention other people or companies. Use an “@” symbol before the user’s Instagram handle. This will alert the person or company that you mentioned them, which could help spark conversation.
  • Tag different topics. Use a “#” before a keyword to turn it into a searchable tag. Your story will appear in the results when people search that term or when they click on the same tag in another post.
  • Add your location. You can add your location to stories – which is great for promoting events or reaching out to potential customers in your area. If a user searches for the location tagged, your story will appear in the results.

The drawback

Though you can promote stories on Instagram, it’s only when you use the “swipe up” feature to link somewhere – meaning other organic features, such as polls, aren’t promotable. Keep this in mind while you’re planning your content.

Using stories strategically can help you connect with your customers and create brand loyalty that will last. Learn more about how the Balcom social team can help you keep up with stories and other social trends.

Tags: PR & Social Media

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