You’ve probably noticed that there’s a new kid on the Instagram block: stories.
And it’s time for your business to get on it.
Well as you likely already know, Instagram has been throttling reach and moved away from the chronological timeline last year. It’s infuriating but not unexpected! After all, Instagram is owned by Facebook and soon Instagram businesses will be faced with the same complaints that Facebook pages have (ie. paying to reach your fans).
But the antidote is already sitting right there in front of you!
It’s called Instagram Stories.
So what’s the advantage?
For starters, stories sit nicely at the top of your timeline and the users who you interact with the most always appear first.
That might not seem like a big deal at first but the stories feature is changing how people interact with Instagram. As wonderful as photos are, video is always much more enticing! And having a string of videos sitting there at the top of the screen is incredibly tempting!
I know I’ve opened Instagram only to get transfixed by watching story after story and forgetting about the timeline entirely! I’m sure the same effect is happening for everyone.
For brand visibility, it’s crucial that you jump on stories now. No one really knows the reach of your feed vs. stories yet. And if people (as I suspect) are ignoring the timeline in favor of just watching stories, you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got stories for them to watch!
Remember, unlike your posts, Instagram Stories are not kept forever! They disappear after 24 hours, which lends them a much more casual feel that your oh-so-curated and perfect feed. Smudgy eyeliner? Messy hair? Stumbling over your words? Who cares! By tomorrow, it’ll all be gone anyway so go ahead and let yourself appear a little human to your audience.
Besides, no one can comment on your stories either except by direct message so if the internet meanies come out it’s not really a big deal.
Now that you’re convinced of how important Instagram Stories are to your brand, the next question is what to post? Here are five easy ways to get started.
5 Ways To Use Instagram Stories
1. Behind The Scenes
Creating a successful brand is all about creating a sense of connection with your audience! And what better way to do that than by giving them a real glimpse of your behind the scenes operations?
If you’ve ever watched a “what’s in my purse” video on YouTube, you know exactly how interesting getting personal can be! Collectively, we love getting the inside scoop. So don’t deny your readers the chance! Share your favorite coffee shop, your most-used tools or even your outfit of the day. Basically, anything you decide to share with your audience will help fill in those blanks and make you much more relatable as a brand.
No one’s perfect and every entrepreneur faces a different struggle (or as I like to call them: business adventure!). But sharing yours is a powerful way of making yourself relatable to your audience. If you’ve got a personal struggle in your business, it might just be worth sharing in a quick video or two. Remember, it’s pointless to pretend to be perfect! Your real core audience will love you no matter what so don’t be afraid to let it all hang out once in a while!
3. Rants & Raves
Feeling extra passionate today? Why not channel that energy for your Instagram audience? Whether you’re struggling with software or wanting to give someone a personalized shout-out, your Instagram story is a great place to do so! People who are real, raw and honest are few and far between in the online world. Passion is always authentic and your audience will naturally gravitate towards that energy!
4. Sneak Peeks
Working on something new? Almost ready for your new launch? The sneak peek or preview is Instagram Stories heaven! Your audience always wants to know what else you’ve got up your sleeve. Showing things off ahead of your release date is an awesome way to educate and get your audience excited for what’s to come.
5. Q & A
Instagram Stories lends itself particularly well to a Q & A! Ask your readers to DM you some questions and then just take a few videos to answer them. Besides, it’s always smart to figure out exactly what your readers really want from you. Creating a Q&A is just a smart way of starting that dialogue with your biggest fans.
I hope this post inspires you to start using Instagram stories for your brand!
Let me know which strategy you found most useful & please remember to share!
Have a productive and ass-kicking week!