Instagram has introduced a bundle of new features in the past few years, and it can be quite difficult to keep up with the latest releases. One aspect of the social media platform that is constantly changing and developing is Instagram Stories, the temporary photo/video sharing feature that allows customisation and creativity. Many businesses shy away from Instagram stories, but with over 300 million daily users, we’ve collected all the ways that you can use them to your business’ advantage.
One feature of Instagram stories that businesses can benefit from is Highlights. Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, making them perfect for quickly sending out information to your audience, but what happens if it’s still relevant after that? With Highlights, you can create your own collections of Instagram Stories that stay on your feed permanently. You can give them titles and order them how you like, and they appear at the top of your profile. One brand that frequently uses Highlights is MissPap, a growing fast fashion retailer. By collating their stories into ‘Newness’, ‘Campaigns’, ‘MissPapped’, ‘Glam AF’, etc. the user can easily navigate the stories to find what they are looking for.
Swipe up to Shop
If you have more than 10k followers, Instagram gives you the option to use a ‘Swipe Up To Shop’ feature. This allows you advertise a product on your story, and with the CTA, direct people directly to the associated section of your website to buy that specific product, saving your customers the time of browsing your whole website and potentially changing their minds. This feature can be changed to ‘learn more’ or ‘see more’, so you can promote a blog article, a web page – anything your audience might engage with. 15-25% of Story viewers swipe up to follow a link and engage directly with a brand’s website, so by using this feature you are drastically increasing your web traffic.
Behind The Scenes
One of the best ways that you can use Instagram Stories is to show behind the scenes type previews of your business and show team updates, sneak peaks of new products and general hints of day to day life. Consumers really like brands that they can get behind, understanding the backstory and feeling like they have a special insight into a company, so this feature can really help promote your business.
Stickers & Tags
Once you’ve selected your image or video, Instagram allows you to customise your story with loads of features. ‘Stickers’ allow you to get creative with your stories, and there’s a huge variety of them that you can use that can be beneficial to your business.
– Add a questions sticker so people can ask you questions. This means that you can get direct feedback from your audience and discover the FAQs straight away!
– Add a music sticker and search for a song. With this, you can make your story stand out by attaching music that viewers can search from the story itself!
– Add a poll sticker or emoji slider sticker to write your own question and customise the answers. By adding these you can gauge your audience’s reactions, find out what they prefer between different options and so much more! On top of that, you’re making the story interactive, which increases your engagement and captures your audience’s attention.
– Add a location sticker. You can easily add your location directly to your story so that when your viewer clicks on the sticker, they can see all the posts in that location, you can even tag your office!
– Add a hashtag sticker. Adding a hashtag stickers means that you can promote a certain hashtag, but it works similar to the location sticker, so the viewers can click on the sticker and see all posts containing that hashtag.
Multiple Stories, One Narrative
On Instagram Stories you can upload videos of up to 10 seconds in length, any longer than that it and it will just cut off. However, one hack that is extremely useful for your business is to upload a longer video and simply cut it into snippets, with three 10 second stories making up your 30-second interview, for example. In addition to this, you can edit your stories so that the text appears in stages – so you’re not bombarding your viewer with lots of information at once. To do this, create your first story, save it, and then upload it again and add more text etc.
These are our tips and tricks for using Instagram Stories for your business, but the most important thing to remember is that it is a feature created for you to demonstrate your creativity and play around with styles and techniques. After all, it only lasts for 24 hours!