Since its acquisition by social conglomerate Facebook last year, Instagram has undergone some pretty significant changes. The massively popular network has introduced several new features and changed its appearance multiple times – adding plenty of promotional power for businesses.
One such change is Instagram Stories. Though controversial at first, this feature is rapidly gaining traction and is now an essential tool company can use to interact with existing followers – and gain new ones.
Why are Instagram Stories now essential for businesses that share via social?
For those new to Instagram Stories, they may appear to be a little pointless. Many don’t share much information or possess much in the way of substance. How can they possibly be beneficial from a business perspective? The answer lies in human behaviour – the way users have started to engage with Instagram and with social media in general. We now have our phones with us 24/7 – and many people choose to while away even the shortest amount of free time by flicking through feeds and scrolling through moving media. Instagram stories added another dimension to its already contagious and addictive interface – tapping into our insatiable need to be ‘busy’ and occupy our minds with rapidly changing, instantly gratifying images, sounds and videos.
Presence is the keyword here. As a business, you engage in social media marketing and SEO to remain front of mind – and sharing Instagram Stories is no different. By keeping putting your product or service out there in an interactive way, you will gain viable interest, new followers and fresh customers. Instagram stories offer a new way to be present – one that can’t be ignored by businesses who increasingly compete with more and more brands for headspace online.
Instagram Stories needn’t be complicated – or time-consuming
When you take into account the principle aim of Instagram Stories – presence, and boredom quenching – it’s easy to see why content doesn’t need to be complicated. Yes, it should be relevant and high quality in order to reflect the nature of your business – but it shouldn’t feel difficult or confusing.
It’s best to keep things simple when you share stories on Instagram. Often, these compilations offer a snapshot into daily life at a business or current happenings. For example, restaurants can use stories to share food preparation, show off finished dishes or screenshots of positive reviews. Shops can use stories to promote new products or sales. Those in the service industry could share their trip to a conference or client event in real-time. There are so many angles to come from –
Start off with several Instagram Stories per month
To familiarise yourself with Instagram Stories, start with just one or two per month. Get to grips with the posting technique – simply recording or taking pictures in real-time, adding text, emojis and other media to brighten them up or add clarity and context. Once you’re successfully posting one or two stories per month, then you can move on and start to plan them on a more regular basis.
Plan ahead for better Instagram Stories
Planning ahead is essential for social media success – across the board. Regularity is key. Therefore once you are confident with Instagram Stories, you should start to prepare them in advance and schedule times each week to create and post them. Remember to gauge reaction and ask for feedback to ensure your stories don’t get skipped over and instead offer real value and engagement for your brand.