5 Creative Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business
Using Instagram stories for your business might seem like one of the more challenging aspects of social media and business. It can be easy to see how the quick pictures and videos might be used among friends, but how can a business use the tool effectively? We’ve got some suggestions we think might work for you and using instagram stories for your business.
First a few quick tips:
- Videos can only be 15 seconds long so you don’t want to plan a huge speech, but you can break up your concept into different videos.
- You can change the color of any text added to Instagram stories by tapping on the color buttons and holding them down when you’re in typing mode.
- Add a filter to photos by swiping left or right.
- Always keep the three Golden Cs of Social Media in mind
Go Behind the Scenes
You can use Instagram stories to give a behind the scenes look at your business. While in general it’s a good idea to keep the profile page adhering to a certain aesthetic, stories gives you a chance to be more free. The stories can disappear after 24 hours or remain on your profile if you wish them to. This gives you a fair bit of control. Show how a product is made or take your followers through your office. Introduce some of your staff. Create an authentic personal touch in your stories that rewards the people who watch them. Keep it sweet and simple and do your best to be interesting. Use all of the embellishments that Instagram offers by way of stickers, gifs, and effects.
Offer a Giveaway or an Exclusive Coupon Code
If you want to make your Instagram profile a destination, one great way to do that is by offering giveaways or coupon codes exclusively though your Instagram stories. Do it a couple of times, and your customers will want to follow you to make sure that they don’t miss out. Mix it up and offer different things. You can hashtag stories and they are searchable just like regular posts. Additionally, when you first start something like this out, you might want to mention it on your other social accounts, for example, tweet, “Check out our Instagram Story today only for something special!’
Any terms or conditions should be mentioned. For example, if you are offering a free drink with a any entree but the offer is only good for one day, you want to make sure to mention that in your story.
Keep in mind that you can prepare Instagram stories in advance on a site like Canva. Simply email your designs to your phone and save them to your gallery. Once you open up Instagram stories on your phone, tap on the little circle that will bring you to your gallery and upload the pictures in the order that you want them to appear. You can also record any videos you may want to use in advance, too, which gives you a chance to perfect the way you want them to appear.
Point Out New Posts
Due to the way Instagram’s algorithm works, it’s likely your followers may see your story before your post ever surfaces in their timeline. If you have a special post that you want followers to see quickly or that you want to make sure they don’t miss you can make an Instagram story that points them to your new post. One way to do this is to screenshot your profile page, mark out the new post, and type “New Post.” You can draw an arrow to it to emphasize it. You don’t want to overuse this tactic, but it can come in handy for those special posts you don’t your followers to miss. This is particularly helpful if your post
Post User Generated Content
Sometimes fans of your company or brand might post pictures you don’t necessarily want to repost on your profile, but would still like to use. Posting them to your Instagram story gives you a great option. If you get a lot of such pictures, you can have a day where you just post these photos. As always, follow the best practice of inquiring for permission to repost content. If you get the go-ahead, you can screencap the pictures and add some text or stickers from within Stories if you like. Or your fans and customers might be kind enough to email you the picture itself. If you would like to see more pictures by users, you might consider hosting a giveaway to encourage user generated photos.
Develop a Weekly Theme
Consider developing a weekly theme around something you have to offer. Offer tips for physical fitness if you’re a gym, baking or cooking if you’re a restaurant, food pairings with beer if you’re a brewery. If you’re a car dealership, you might suggest some maintenance car owners can do on their own. Choose a day of the week, be consistent, and your followers will start to look forward to it. As always, don’t hesitate to promote it on your other social channels to drum up excitement and interest.
The more you start using Instagram Stories the more ideas you’ll come up with on your own to make it work for your business. If you’re a little shy at first, trying using Stories on your personal Instagram profile. Experiment with different settings to get comfortable with it and then start making things for your business profile. It’s important that remain willing to take risks and try new things. You never know what could prove to be the next big thing for your business! Let us know how using social media