Businesses need to be strategic when deciding which platform they are going to be using to add to their current social/marketing plan.
There’s around 700 million monthly active users on Instagram and more than 15 million businesses are now using the platform. Over half of those businesses are creating Stories every month. These stories are beneficial as they allow businesses to share a behind-the-scenes view, as well as business announcements, event promotion, broadcasts and interviews.
There’s also an option to tag users in Instagram Stories and if your account is verified you can add links to your website that will appear as a ‘See More’ button.
How can Instagram help businesses?
Instagram has a number of features to allow businesses to promote themselves. However, it is up to the business to use Instagram correctly to ensure these features are effective.
One of the most effective ways to use Instagram is to share stories. For example, restaurants could show how their dishes are prepared, musicians could show how their music is recorded, or sports teams can share training sessions with fans. This can easily be re-created in any business. For example, if there’s an event happening within your office, film and upload it to your story. This allows the audience to build a personal relationship, rather than just seeing a business’ logo.
Secondly, there are How-to Tutorials, to help educate your audience. This could be relating to your business and how certain products are used or it could be general tips to help customers. Using this on your Stories is likely to encourage users to watch as they are receiving some valuable; help and guidance in a fun and interactive way.
Instagram Stories is often used for promotions too. For us, we can use it to promote our new blog posts. Instead of simply asking people to read our blogs, we highlight the key points via Stories. Repurposing content across channels is a great way to ensure it reaches as much of your audience as possible.
Selling on Instagram
As Instagram Stories only lasts for 24 hours, this makes it a great way to promote limited time promotions. This strategy is often used by online clothing retailers. The use of exclusive giveaways or discount coupons can help entice followers.
This doesn’t necessarily mean it can only be used for discounts. The time limit could be used for competitions, it can create a sense of urgency to enter before time runs out, thus increasing engagement.
What else can you share?
Several social media influencers share motivational quotes on their Instagram Stories. These can be used in Stories to break up the constant flow of news or promotions. It doesn’t always have to be a motivational quote. It could be a quote shared from a recent blog or a quote from a team member. If it is relevant to the followers and it’s going to bring positivity, it is worth sharing.
Another way to keep your Instagram Stories fresh and interesting for your audience is to have an Instagram Stories ‘Takeover’. This could simply be another person in the business, but it gives the audience a fresh look into the business as each employee will have their own style and preferences when trying to interact and engage about the business. An Instagram Stories Takeover is also something that can be hyped up days or weeks before it is happening, giving teasers about this could generate interest and encourage some users to follow your story to be sure they don’t miss out.
Finally, Stories now has a LIVE recording feature. Businesses can make great use of this for both informative and fun purposes. For example, if they are attending a conference or event, they could record snippets for their audience to learn from. Or they could do something within the office to give people a behind-the-scenes view. There can also be announcements and build ups to the live recording, again to tease the viewers and encourage them to stay connected to the business.
Keep up to date
These are just a few of the many methods that businesses can use to interact with their audience on Instagram Stories. Instagram is constantly developing so it is important businesses keep up-to-date to keep their audience engaged. Hopefully you find these tips useful but please get in touch if you would like any support with your Instagram account.