Hands up if you've heard of this newfangled thing called Instagram stories.
It's likely you've heard of Instagram, the social media platform featuring highly-curated grids of photos. Stories are simply a new feature of Instagram.
Instagram stories are separate from a user's regular Instagram feed and disappear after 24 hours. They tend to be used to show more raw, in-the-moment, or behind the scenes happenings - not the polished photos that tend to grace Instagram feeds.I know, I know - not another social media thing to worry about!
It begs the question, do we really need to care about Instagram stories? Can we get away with just posting to our Instagram feeds and blissfully ignoring the new stories feature?
The social media marketing mavens at Captivate Digital believe that it's worth jumping on the Instagram stories bandwagon, especially if you run a small business or brand.
Why You Should Use Instagram Stories
To Make Announcements
Instagram stories are the perfect place to announce something, promote something, or say something that would otherwise look out of place on your Instagram feed. And because stories only last for 24 hours, you won't have to worry about anything outdated still being live on your Instagram.
Tip: Try using Instagram stories to announce sales - and don't be afraid to repeat your announcement over the course of several days, as this will allow you to reach those who may have missed it the first time.
To Link To Your Website
There's a neat feature where, if you have a business account with at least 10,000 followers, you can add a link to your Instagram stories. This is ideal for linking to your website, e.g. straight to your sales page if there's a promotion you want to announce on your stories (see the point above), or to a new article you've just published. It makes it easier for your followers to visit your website if all they have to do is swipe up on your story, rather than open their browser and manually enter in the URL.
Over 2 Million People Look At Stories Each Day
That's a whole lot of people you could potentially be reaching with each Instagram story. if you're already using Instagram, then why not tap into that?
To Make Your Business/Brand More Personable and Relatable
Posting photos and videos to Instagram stories is a way to show your customers and audience who's behind the Instagram feed. Showing unpolished, unglamorous behind-the-scenes footage makes it easier for people to relate to you in a way that a curated image feed does not.
If you're a business owner, consider sharing scenes from the office, the making of your products, individual employees, and images of your product being used by customers. Above all: inject a little personality into your stories and show your audience who you are!
To Grow Your Community (or Tribe)
Use Instagram stories to connect deeper with your followers and build a community. Post videos of yourself speaking directly to them, add a poll to your stories (yep, that's a feature too!) to spike interaction and gain feedback, hold contests or giveaways, feature other Instagram accounts that you think your audience will also enjoy - it's all about connecting and building trust.