It’s critical for brands to not only have an Instagram presence but to expand that presence to Instagram Stories, which are exploding in popularity (over 400 million users per day!). Read on for my tips on how entrepreneurs can utilize Instagram Stories for their business.
How Entrepreneurs Can Utilize Instagram Stories
Instagram Users Love Behind-The-Scenes, Real, Unpolished Glimpses into Someone Else’s Reality.
Behind-the-scenes is often hard to depict with a single photo, but with the introduction of Instagram Stories, brands can now give users a peek behind the curtain to show where all of the magic happens. People are naturally curious beings, so even if you think “showing how the sausage is made” is unappealing, you would be surprised. Not only is this another way to connect with your audience, but it also opens you up to a potential new audience who are curious about your brand, plus it gives your brand transparency and authenticity.
Try out Behind-The-Scenes for Your Brand:
Let a staff member do an Instagram Stories takeover, or follow someone on your team around as a mini-documentary to see what their day is really like. Stop by a company launch party and show the lay of the land and talk with a few attendees. If you’re doing an on-location shoot, be sure to post about it on Instagram Stories and tag the location.
Share User-Generated Content (UGC) for a Brand-Win, User-Win, Overall-Win.
Instagram Stories has made it super easy to repost UGC on Instagram Stories, as long as the users’ profile is public. You can repost videos (although these only appear as a still photo) and photos, which other users can then click through from your Instagram Stories to view the original content. Be sure to add your own branded hashtags, gifs, emojis, and captions as appropriate. It’s the mark of a great brand when others are using and promoting your brand in a positive way, so acknowledging them is super cool on your part.
Try out UGC for Your Brand:
Come up with a unique hashtag that you tag all of your UGC-reposted content with. Then create a special “Highlights” section of your Instagram page dedicated to fan shout-outs.
Let Your Followers Be Part of Your Journey in a Virtual Focus Group.
Curious to see how a new launch will fare? Give your followers a sneak peek via Instagram Stories. Or ask them to vote on their favorite color of a product to see what might perform better in sales. Use Instagram Stories as your instantaneous free market research.
Try out Virtual Focus Group for Your Brand:
Use a Yes/No poll, emoji slider poll, question, or be brave and open your direct messages (this may not be the best idea if you’re a bigger brand, just let your audience know you won’t be able to respond to every message if you do decide to go this route). Keep your fans posted on the outcome of your virtual focus group for maximum engagement and brand love.
How has your brand used Instagram Stories successfully? Tweet me @lorenridinger.