By now you’ve probably heard about the latest Instagram update that allows you to share Stories like Snapchat. Maybe you’ve even tried it out. But you may be asking, how and why should I utilize this for my business Instagram account? Well, I’m here to answer your questions and give you a little rundown on using Instagram Stories for your business.
What is it?
Instagram Stories is the newest feature on the Instagram platform that performs many of the same actions that you may already be familiar with from Snapchat. This means you can post multiple photos or videos that appear in succession as a slideshow, separate from your Instagram profile and feed. You also have the freedom to customize these photos with text and drawings to allow for creative freedom and expression. Each post to the slideshow (or story) will be visible to your followers for 24 hours and then it will disappear.
How do I use Instagram Stories?
- To get started, tap the plus sign in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Tap the round button to take a photo or hold it down for up to 10 seconds to shoot a video.
- If you want to get creative with your post, you can edit your image or video.
- Select the pen tool to doodle on your photo
- Or select the keyboard tool to add text or an emoji
- Or swipe right to select a photo filter.
- You can also save your photo at this stage by pressing the download icon in the bottom right corner.
- When your masterpiece is complete, tap the checkmark to share it.
- Your Story will appear at the top of your friends’ feeds and will also be visible on your profile page by tapping your profile picture.
- If you forget to download your pictures before you post them, just go to your live Story to save your pictures. Open your Story, tap on the three dots in the bottom right and select “Save Photo.”
- If you’re curious who’s viewing your Story, simply swipe up when viewing the photo or video on your Story. Checking this will tell you how many people you’re reaching through your Instagram Story.
- You can control who sees your Story, too! If you notice someone who you don’t want seeing your post, tap the “x” next to their name to block them from seeing your Story again.
Why should I use Instagram Stories for my business?
There are a few benefits for your business when utilizing this new feature on Instagram.
- Instagram has a larger audience than Snapchat – Compared to the 150 million daily users on Snapchat (Instagram Stories’ main competition), Instagram’s 300 million presents a much bigger overall reach. Plus, if your company already has an Instagram, (and not Snapchat) you don’t have to start over to build an audience!
- You can showcase your company culture – Give your followers a quick behind the scenes look into your business!
- Do mini interviews with your employees.
- Include humorous or interesting tidbits of office life, like an office pet!
- Show highlights of events you’re involved with.
- Give teasers for new and upcoming products, events or specials.
- You’re meeting your audience where they’re at – Many people’s attention spans are decreasing. So meet them where they’re at by providing short simple content for them to digest and enjoy. Instagram Stories allows you to create goofy ephemeral content that reaches an audience you might not be making an impression on otherwise.
Instagram Stories allows you to publish a casual and more personal version of your company experience. You can now share it with your followers in a temporary way without muddying up the polished Instagram feed you’ve curated. It’s content that reaches a different target audience without requiring a whole new following on another social media platform. Allow your followers to see behind the curtain and feel more involved in your company!
If you haven’t already, give this new feature a try and see if your audience responds. If you’re still new to the Instagram platform, check out our 6 Tips and Tricks for Your Business’s Instagram Marketing.