For as fleeting as they may seem, Instagram Stories can be a much more personable way to interact with your followers, leading to increased engagement, awareness, and (hopefully) sales. Stories afford you a multitude of options that a regular post in your feed just doesn’t allow, including quizzes, filters, polls, outbound links, and a whole lot more. Consumers want an authentic connection, and a fun lighthearted story post is much more personable than a somewhat dull post in your feed.
But how does one go about using Instagram Stories successfully? Here are a few tips:
This is sort of a catch-all one, but with the sheer number of these that Instagram stories offer, we could be here for a while! Stickers are an inventive and eye-catching way to have your followers engage directly with your content outside of simply watching it. Just as stories tell you who watched them, stickers tell you who responded, giving a direct metric of how the content may be performing.
Some of the more popular stickers include polls, which presents two options for your followers to choose from. Pair this up with a photo showing two products-which outfit is better. Which stereo is nicer? Etc.,-and see a clear result of which way your followers are leaning.
Likewise, Question Stickers are also a popular option. Prompt your followers to ask you something about the content in the story or ask a question and let them provide their own answers, which you can there share in your story and use to foster your community.
Instagram also features a bevy of gifs and stickers to search through for further customization of your content. Met a successful sales goal? Throw on some pop culture sticker of someone everyone loves celebrating. Overcome with tears of joy? Toss in a weeping smiley face. Make it yours!
Product stickers are exactly what they sound like- stickers that, when touched, will provide a link/tag to the product being displayed. Got a great product shot that you’re sure your followers will want to grab? Throw in a product sticker directing them to where they can do just that.
If you have over 10K followers, you’ll be able to add direct links to your Instagram stories. These will appear as the embedded “swipe up” that you often see in the stories of brand accounts, musicians, influencers, or anyone trying to direct you somewhere. This can be further touched up on your end, adding a personalized “swipe up” sticker or gif that is a bit more enticing than the somewhat cold “Learn More.” If you’re not quite to 10K yet, you can always use your story to advertise that a link is in your bio.
As we’ve said, the more personal nature of Instagram stories can provide the viewer with a degree of familiarity that a standard post in the feed may not. Use your story to show something that you wouldn’t otherwise see on your account-what is the day to day at your workplace, what are your coworkers doing, give a tour, show what you’re doing outside of work in the evening, all of these are viable options that can help to present and solidify the idea of the person that is “behind” your company, and help to establish a rapport that may eventually pay off.
There seem to be about a million different filters in Instagram stories now, be that one that alters your face/background in some way, or helps you determine “Which X are you.” They’re fun and informal, and a good way to take part in a wider ‘moment’ that may be happening online. If you’re tech-savvy enough, why not generate and implement a branded one of your own. Selling plants? Do one of the filters that cycles through a plethora of options before showing the user which one they are. Selling eyeglasses? Generate a filter that puts virtual glasses on your community’s faces. The options here are, frankly, limitless!
And there you have it! Five great ideas and things to get started with for enhancing and improving your brand’s Instagram stories. Show everyone what you can do, and have fun with it. As always, we’re here to help!