A Business-Owner’s Guide to Instagram Stories

More than 500 million people post and view Instagram stories every single day. That is the population of an entire continent! Instagram stories are one of the most popular and most beneficial tools for both users and marketers. As a business owner, it is now critical to add Instagram Stories into your marketing strategy.

Instagram stories are short posts that are pinned to the top of every user’s home page that disappear after 24 hours. They are ultimately “prime real estate” considering that your posted Story is now the first thing that all of your followers see when they log in. There is a colorful ring around a profile to indicate if something is added to a story. Having something posted to your Instagram Story increases the likelihood that your profile will draw attention to users.

Creating Instagram Stories is just like creating a regular post. From the home page, swipe left or click the camera icon in the top left-hand corner. You can either choose to take a picture or video in the moment, or upload from your camera roll. There are several filters, stickers, and tags to choose from. Like traditional posts, the user is able to add hashtags and location tags for anyone to see that looks up that tag on explore. Making your posts more exciting and more visually appealing will catch the attention of more users and will be more likely to drive engagement.

Now that you know how to create Instagram Stories…what’s next?

Using Instagram Stories to promote a business or even to just get your name out there is fairly simple because there are so many options. Research shows that posting on an Instagram Story at least once a day is the most beneficial. This shows followers and other users out there that your page is alive! People will be more likely to engage with your content and join the community of your page. Stories allow for quick, in the moment updates of how your business operates. The priority is to show your audience something more about you and what you offer. This helps to create an informative and engaging community that people will want to join by following.

So get posting! Here are our ideas and tips about how to use Instagram Stories for business:

#1 Behind the Scenes Action

Give your followers sneak peeks or access to content that usually wouldn’t be posted on your feed. This adds more excitement and creates a better chance of someone becoming interested in your page and your business.

#2 Turn posts into stories

Is there something you posted on the main feed that you don’t want to lose into the vast sea that is Instagram posts? Encourage your followers to visit your post by sharing it on your story. Simply click the arrow icon next to the like and comment button on the post you would like to share, and choose “Add post to your story.” Users can then tap on the post in the story and it will take them directly to the full post on your profile.

#3 It’s a way to post more frequently

We all know those accounts that bombard your feed with posts every hour, and you have no choice but to unfollow. Unlike regular posts, instagram stories allow you to post multiple things to share more information in one convenient place without annoying your followers. You can use Instagram’s bulk stories uploader button found in the upper right-hand corner when browsing through your camera roll to select multiple items to make multiple Stories.

#4 Share posts from followers and fans

Instagram Stories are a great way to share what your followers are putting out there. Featuring followers on your profile encourages them to continue posting about your business which is also seen by all of their followers. Promoting this encourages your business to be advertised to a larger audience for free! You can repost things on your Instagram Story such as when someone leaves a good review, shares a picture of your product, or posts at your location.

#5 Engagement tools and stickers

In addition to stickers and hashtags, Stories have engagement features which drive audience participation. These tools include a poll, multiple choice quiz, questions, countdown, and a slider tool with an emoji of your choice. Use these to learn about what your audience enjoys and what they want to see more of.

#6 Link directly to shop or website

Business profiles with more than 10,000 followers have the option to link a website directly to an Instagram Story. The user simply swipes up and it redirects them to your website instantly. People are more likely to purchase a product or visit a website if it is convenient for them. With this tool, it takes no more than a second for them to be on your website or wherever you want them redirected to.

These all sound like wonderful ideas, but do these Stories really disappear after only 24 hours? Well yes….and no. The story itself on the top of the homescreen will in fact go away after 24 hours. However, you have the option to create Instagram Story Highlights which save these archived posts directly to your profile under your bio. These highlights allow for viewing of the previously posted story forever! There is no limit to how many highlights you can have, so if you’d like, you can have different themes of highlights for different types of posts. This allows your followers to easily view something that they are looking for or for something that interests them.

Instagram Stories are becoming one of the best places to increase exposure, drive engagement and improve brand awareness. Now that you know the basics, take your phone out and get snapping!

We here at the AD Leaf have a staff of trained social media marketing professionals to help you improve your social media utilizing tools such as Instagram Stories. We’ll help your business get the exposure it needs on all social media platforms. Give us a call at 321-255-0900 to schedule an appointment with us.