If you have tried Instagram, then you are most likely familiar with Instagram stories. It allows users to upload pictures and videos for a 24 hours period. After the 24 hours are complete, the story or video disappears. The social media platform SnapChat first introduced SnapChat stories in 2013. Instagram stories were introduced shortly after it and have been popular ever since. (Read, 2016)
Instagram stories are a fun way to interact with your followers. Most people use them to post funny pictures or videos, but did you know they can help increase your brand? Let’s learn how these simple stories can grow your brand, direct people to your website and help grow the relationship with your readers. Does your brand use Instagram Stories?
The first thing we need to do is understand a little more about where you find the stories and how you upload to them.
- You will need a profile that is set up and with your camera and microphone enabled. In the top left corner, you will see your profile photo in a circle with a blue plus sign on it. (Phillips, 2017) Click on the circle.
- Select the appropriate post type. The types are as follows;
- Type – Mainly text and graphics added to a colour background
- Live – live video where Instagrammers can watch and chat
- Normal – upload photos from your phone
- Boomerang – record quick video that is played on a loop
- Superzoom – creates a short video zooming in on a picture with different zoom options.
- Focus – It will center a face in the video. The background will move but the face will stay center.
- Rewind – Allow you to record a video and plays it backwards.
- Hands Free – Allow you to take video with different graphics over the video. (Phillips, 2017)
- Record or upload your photo or video. (Phillips, 2017)
- Edit your video or photo with the options provided. You can change the filter, text, pictures, stickers, and mention other Instagrams (links to them). Instagram is constantly adding new options to change and layer on your photo or video. (Phillips, 2017)
- Save the photo and post it. (Phillips, 2017)
What’s your favourite type of Instagram Story type? Let’s look at ways to use them.
Question and Answers
It’s very important for brands to interact with their followers to form a genuine relationship. People have questions and it’s important to answer their questions in a timely manner. Going live on Instagram Stories is a great way for your followers to be able to ask and receive a response in real time. This also makes your brand seem more approachable. This is especially helpful if someone like the company president answers the questions. People feel like the company is really listening to them and they like being able to talk to someone with some authority over the company.
Your followers may be following thousands of people and sometimes it’s hard to get them to see your post. Since the algorithm doesn’t show posts by date anymore, it’s very possible your follower could not see your post at all. When you post an Instagram Stories it appears at the top of their screen. It’s a way of taking your ad out of the crowd and put it right in front of your target market. The reader still has to click on the Instagram Story to see it, but you have increased your chances of them seeing and responding to your ad.
Linking to your blog
This ability is currently available to Instagrams with more than 10,000 followers. I love this function on Instagram stories and if you have a blog you should want this too. This gives the ability to post a photo and have a “swipe up” link to your website. For example, if you run a cooking website. You post an Instagram story saying you have a new recipe just posted on your site. You can enable the swipe up function, and if they follower swipes up on the screen with their finger, they will be brought to your website. Without this option, the follower would have to go to your Instagram profile, click the link, arrive on your main blog page, search for the new recipe, and click on it. Both will get your potential client to the same place but one is more convenient for the reader. Your followers want the easiest path from point A to point B.
Instagram stories are a great place to show your brand’s personality. Since the stories only last 24 hours, it’s a great way to post things your brand is doing and topical items you don’t want on your regular page. For example, a company carefully cultivates their Instagram feed, but it’s Mothers day and they want to wish all the Mothers a happy Mother’s day. They don’t want to disrupt their Instagram page image, so they can post it on their Instagram stories and it will be there for 24 hours. The audience will know the brand cares about them, and the brand doesn’t have to post something different than their regular posting strategy.
You can also run polls and directly ask questions to your audience. Getting direct and quick feedback can be incredibly helpful to a brand. Instagram Stories have the option to ask yes or not questions, ask open ended questions and have sliding polls. Your audience will love being heard and participating in them.
Instagram stories are a quick and easy way to engage with your followers, increase your brand awareness and help ensure your message is getting in front of the right people. Your brand needs to use this tool. Instagram is an incredibly popular social media and Instagram stories are a free tool available to you on it.
Do you think Instagram stories could help your brand? We would love to know in the comments.
Learn how Instagram Stories are a must use tool for any brand. https://bit.ly/2BQ41ko #brandigstories
4 reasons why Instagram Stories are helpful to brands. https://bit.ly/2BQ41ko #brandigstories
Phillips, K. W. (2017). Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business.Irvine: Entrepreneur Media, Inc.