The Basics Of Using Instagram Stories For Business
Documenting Day To Day
Instagram content is commonly thought of as the most heavily edited and manufactured content you’ll find from everyday users on the Internet. This isn’t necessarily a negative attribute as showing you or your business at your best is a great way to show what you’re capable of. To small business owners however, it can feel like a great deal of pressure to always be putting out high quality content. Thankfully we have Instagram Stories.
What Is Instagram Stories?
For those unaware, Instagram Stories are quick images and videos you can take and post straight to your Story, a feature at the top of Instagram’s app, that last for 24 hours and play in chronological order. They allow users to post significantly less edited photos and are viewed by many to be more in the moment shots/clips without cluttering your followers’ feeds. The ease and speed by which you can post allow for a more stream of consciousness style of posting.
Day To Day
Now, you must be asking, how can you use Instagram Stories for small businesses? The first, and potentially easiest, method of using the Stories feature to your advantage is by showing what a day in the life of your business is. If you are the only employee, you can show what steps you are taking to grow your business. If you have a team, maybe post small victories you all achieve throughout the day.
By posting about this, you achieve several goals. First, you are creating intrigue in people who may want to follow a similar path to you. By showing what your day looks like, other entrepreneurs may feel connected to you and can spark conversation. The other goal you hit upon by posting your day to day is a personality you create with your followers. By showing not only your successes but also your struggles and frustrations, you humanize both yourself and your company. This is invaluable in this day and age as being seen as authentic and is what consumers are largely looking for on a personal level.
Advertising Other Platforms And Events
Now, one difficulty many face when first starting out on Instagram is that they may feel like they can only post photos, and that those photos have to be directly relevant to the business at all times. Thankfully, when it comes to Instagram Stories for small businesses, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. One of the alternate options on Instagram Stories is to post solid color backgrounds and write some text over this.
This method can be used to advertise directly to consumers. Of course, you don’t just want to post an ad or anything too directly sales-y. What you can do instead, is consider your other platforms. Maybe you’re planning to go live on Facebook later for a customer Q&A. You can post when that event will be taking place and perhaps provide a link. maybe you have an active blog about your business and you want to promote your latest entry. You can post an excerpt from the post and provide a link so that users who are interested can check out the full article. The possibilities are only limited by what you want your followers to see.
Using Instagram Stories for small businesses isn’t much different from traditional advertising of course. The benefits of Stories is that you can show any quick snapshot throughout your work process. A great potential for work like this is showing your process.
Now, that can mean a few different things. Say your business has a lot of action behind the scenes that most people don’t know or even necessarily think about. You can post a tour through your process to show people a unique piece of your industry. Another option could be showing a product you make or represent in action. Simple tutorials like this can excite people for upcoming products or services you provide.
Interact With Followers
There are also other functions of Stories that you can use with any content you make to create excitement. Stories are one of the best options for interacting with your followers because of the numerous small features Stories possess. If you want to give your followers direct control over a minor decision, you could use poll stickers. You can use poll stickers to create a vote between two options that anyone who watches the story can partake in. You can get incredibly creative with these polls. It gives your followers the chance to interact with your brand, presents a face to the brand, and makes viewers want to watch more.
Another option Stories provides is question stickers. You can pose a question to your followers that they can answer. With this, you can do anything from a simple opinion question to an impromptu Q&A. This kind of direct interaction also excites people and brings them back for answers that you can share publicly later once enough questions have come in. These buttons are only the tip of the iceberg as Instagram is always adding new features. Always remember, the more you can interact with your followers, the more loyal they will be to you and your brand.
Instagram can be an invaluable tool for your small business if you are willing to put in the time to learn its ins and outs. Using Instagram Stories for small businesses can be the way to get your name known in your immediate community and beyond. If you remember to be proactive, post often, and even have fun, people are bound to begin following you and your business.
Interested in integrating Instagram Stories into your digital marketing strategy? Contact us here.