Like many How To Guides, this week’s topic came out of a discussion with a Simply member who felt a little challenged by Instagram stories and so this is the perfect opportunity to nail down what they are and how they can make a difference to your business.
First up, what are stories? They are pieces of content that only last for up to 24 hours on your profile instead of a normal post which is a piece of content that would last on your timeline forever, unless you deleted it. The purpose of a story to share some realtime, limited time content that feels exclusive, special or ‘behind the scenes’ to your audience.
For example: a post is a piece of beautiful or engaging content that stays on your Instagram grid to create an overall feel and impression of your business. This is permanent and valuable. A story will move on by and give your audience reasons to stop by more often to find out what you are up to.
Although your stories are temporary however, you can also ‘save’ them into a theme to permanently share on your profile. these archived stories can be categorised by you to add value and more detail to your bio. For example, Simply GB has saved some stories under the heading of ‘members, another is ‘Business Help” and another in ‘Life at Simply HQ’. As you can imagine this would help audience delve a little deeper into our business.
So….here are 4 great ways to use Insta stories to help your business.
- Create a strategy for your stories so that you know exactly why you are using them regularly. For example, is it to help your audience get to know you better or watch your progress as your make something?
- Add hashtags or add locations to your stories. This increases engagement, discoverability and encourages other Instagram users to share your stories (they would screen grab and add their own comment to share on their own story for example).
- Tag other businesses or users into your stories to build community and following. This not only let’s them know you like what they do but also helps your audience understand your networks and influences.
- Share video on your stories – either live or recorded (up to 15 seconds for each story). This might be you talking to camera about your day, your location or activities or perhaps a series of videos posted throughout an event or day to help people understand how something is progressing.
These are just 4 ways to improve your usage of stories on Instagram but we will return to this subject again to dig even deeper into the world of Insta stories.