Instagram stories were launched in the beginning of August and have propelled the social media giant to another level: 600 million monthly active users, thanks mostly to its new Instagram Stories feature. Instagram is currently the second-most used social media site in the U.S. and Instagram Stories now have at least 100 million daily users.
Instagram users who never used Snapchat were probably immediately smitten with this new feature. (However, if you use Snapchat, you know that Instagram stole the Stories idea from it.) Either way, Instagram stories are awesome, engaging and it looks like they’re going to stick around.
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories are 10-second videos that are posted to a temporary timeline that disappears after 24 hours. If you’re not sure what they are, hop onto Instagram (on your phone) and check it out! (They’re the circles at the very top of the screen.)
If your business isn’t on Instagram, your competitors are taking full advantage of your target audience. Instagram’s been around for six years and its momentum is growing. Especially if your business is a B2C, join Instagram now!
How to Use Instagram Stories to Engage With Your Audience
Use Instagram Stories to further engage with your audience, get more clicks to your website and gain a larger social media following (which should lead to a larger brand following and ultimately, more customers.) Here are six ways that your business can use Instagram Stories to get more customers:
1. New product showcase
Tease your audience with subtle hints about a new product. You can make Instagram Stories and Instagram posts that reveal a little more detail about the new product every day until your official launch. Then you can have a whole day’s worth of Instagram Stories focus on “the big reveal” of your new product, then mesmerize your audience with brilliant photos and videos of the product. Make sure you end the Instagram Stories with a call-to-action and include the link to the new product in your Instagram bio.
2. Instagram takeover
This is a very popular trick and it’s especially a great idea if your business is new to Instagram or if you have a small following. Think of it like having a guest blogger, except this person will guest post on your Instagram all day. The key is to choose a prominent leader in your industry or your target audience’s industry that is very influential, to ensure that this Instagram Takeover gets your account a bunch of new followers.
3. Special offers
Spoil your Instagram followers with special offers. Be sure to make the offer time-sensitive to increase urgency (and the likelihood that people want to take advantage of the special offer) and only offer something valuable to increase interest. You can mention these special offers on your company’s other social media channels (use hashtags) and direct the traffic to your Instagram Stories.
Everyone knows that social media shows only half the story. Businesses on social media post only what they want their audience to see and know. Give your audience a sneak-peak of your business’s normal operations at the office, warehouse or manufacturing facility. Show your audience how your company makes its products or how your specialists perform the services they provide. Be unique, be transparent but make sure it’s compelling.
5. An adventure
Traveling somewhere? Going to a new manufacturing facility, a new office or a very famous, or exotic place? Take your audience with you! Capture photos and videos and share them on Instagram Stories to create a closeness with your audience. They will appreciate you taking them on a journey and will surely check back on your Instagram feed in the future.
Mention that your company is doing a giveaway on all of your online channels (email, social media, blog) but only post the giveaway’s rules on your blog and as Instagram Stories. Again, be sure to only giveaway something valuable to generate a ton of interest and buzz. Make Instagram Stories about the different rules and show pictures and videos of the prize(s). Then guide your social media followers to your Instagram account and watch your followers increase!
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