Since they were introduced last August, Instagram’s Stories function has been a roaring success, with over 250 million users per day. This figure has surpassed Snapchat’s daily users, a big accomplishment considering Snapchat was the inspiration behind Stories in the first place. After Facebook launched an unpopular Stories function there is now news that Instagram Stories will be integrated with Facebook, giving people the option to share to their Facebook story when they post on Instagram. Further signs of growth for this form of social media.
This announcement will only help to further boost the success of this channel, presenting brands with opportunities to tell stories and connect with their customers. Here are our top tips for how your brand can successfully utilise Instagram Stories.
1. Take Followers Behind The Scenes
It is no secret that behind the scenes insights into a company make for popular social content, and this is definitely the case for Instagram stories. Given the immediacy of the channel, brands have the opportunity to show customers real-time snippets of what goes on behind the scenes in your business. This helps to build relationships with your customers and can even help to make them feel part of the process. Mercedes Benz capitalises on this really well, regularly posting about behind the scenes content from their latest promotional photoshoots and videos. Insights could be a simple as a product development sneak peak or in-house staff activities.
2. Post Regularly
One big advantage of Instagram stories is that they sit at the top of the Instagram feed so are quite often the first place people look when using the app. Stories only stick around for 24 hours so if you want people to see your brand you need to be posting regularly. Instagram’s algorithm for stories is based on user engagement data from Facebook and Instagram, so the more a user interacts with your brand, the higher up on their list you will be.
3. Make your Brand Human
Showing the people and personalities behind your product is one way to help you connect with customers. As we know all too well, people do not like being sold to and will automatically turn off from persistent sales driven posts. Give people an insight into the people that work at your company, humans are interested in humans and it will help to show a different side to your brand.
4. Be Creative
Stories is packed full of features to help inject flair and personality into your photos and videos. Creative use of these tools such as adding text, drawings, and stickers can bring a dull post to life. There’s an ever-growing sticker pack to play with, like the new poll feature which lets users vote on your stories.
5. Share User Generated Content
Due to the fact that stories are only live for 24 hours, many brands have viewed this as an opportunity to repost user-generated content without it having to sit on their page permanently. The advantages of this are two-fold – firstly, it encourages engagement with customers and secondly it lets brands show off their products whilst they are being used. American running apparel company Tracksmith made good use of Instagram stories to promote a range of running shorts. They asked customers to send in videos and photos of them ‘cannonballing’ into water wearing the shorts and these were all featured in their Story.
There’s no set rulebook for Instagram stories and every day brands are uncovering new ways to use the feature. How could it work for your business?