Instagram stories are a huge part of Instagram and could be a valuable asset to your business if you are able to use them effectively.
If you aren’t familiar with Instagram Stories, they are different from an Instagram Feed post, in that they only last for 24 hours and appear in a frozen panel at the top of the Instagram app.
Instagram Stories are longer in size than a regular post, which means they are useful if you want to include more text in your content or a longer image that wouldn’t fit as a normal feed post.
But this is not the main benefit of Instagram Stories – they have an array of features which make them much more interactively appealing than their feed post counterpart. Take a look at just a few of our favourite Instagram Stories features below:
Add a link to your Instagram Story
Instagram has now made it possible for select accounts to add links to their Stories (previously this was only available to accounts with over 10,000 followers – the Swipe Up link) in the form of a button, which means you can utilise the creativity of Instagram Stories, whilst also increasing the opportunity for conversions.
To do this, just tap the ‘Stickers’ icon in the top right when creating a Story and select the link option.
Are you experts in your industry? Why not host an Instagram Stories Q&A session where users can ask you questions? You could drive traffic to this with a Feed post and build up excitement using a ‘Countdown’ – see below.
Alternatively, if this wouldn’t suit your business, you can still generate engagement by turning the tables and asking the users the questions – for example, every Monday, you could ask what motivates people for the week ahead or on Friday, ask them what they have planned for the weekend. Then, share people’s responses on your Story to show you care about their response and to start a conversation with your potential customers!
Another great feature of Instagram Stories is the ‘Emoji Slider’. This is mostly used to collect users’ opinions of what you are asking them about, as well as just a fun general way of user engagement!
For example, a restaurant may post photos of their food with an ‘Emoji Slider’ and ask users for their opinion – the ‘Emoji Slider’ also displays the average response, meaning you are able to get a good idea of how much users like what you have posted or which option they prefer. In other words, a low-key market research tool!
See the image for the ‘Support Small Business’ feature to see how we used the Emoji Slider.
Similar to the ‘Emoji Slider’, a Poll is also a fun way to gather users’ opinions and to increase engagement – the more a user interacts with your account, the more likely Instagram is to show your posts to them. For example, you could ask your followers which social media platform they prefer, so that you can really focus on the platform that your followers like best.
Furthermore, regular fun and interactive Stories give the impression of a friendly company, which a user may be more inclined to buy from.
The ‘Quiz’ Sticker can be used in the same way as the ‘Emoji Slider’ or ‘Poll’ i.e. to gather user’s opinions, or it can be used as an actual Quiz. For example, you could generate interactivity and engagement by doing a Social Media Quiz or a ‘How Well Do You Know Our Business?’ Quiz, with a link to your website at the end so users can brush up on their knowledge!
Have a special event coming up that you want to promote? Using the ‘Countdown’ sticker is a perfect way to build up excitement around an event. When a user clicks on a ‘Countdown’ sticker, Instagram gives them the option to either set a reminder when the Countdown finishes or to reshare the Countdown to their Story (with credit to the original poster!).
This is ideal if you have a Business Anniversary, Giveaway or Networking Event coming up that you want to spread the word about!
This sticker allows you to share either your own posts or another account’s posts (as long as their account is Public) to your Story. This can be used to ‘share the love’ for a local business or to drive traffic to your own posts. Alternatively, you could also use it to share an important post from a highly-regarded account e.g. the NHS account, or even a funny video from a comedy account!
Support Small Business
And finally, the Support Small Business sticker. Tag a small/local business and the sticker will show that business’s 3 most recent posts.
You can still support local businesses without the sticker though! Simply type ‘@’ and then their username or use the ‘Mention’ sticker for a more bold shoutout.
This is a great way to interact with local businesses – and this is more important than ever!
So, if you have never posted an Instagram Story, why not try out a new feature every week for the next few weeks? Keep a record of your Insights too and you’ll hopefully see an improvement in engagement as the weeks go on! You can also see how easy and effective it is to combine more than one feature into one Story!
Need help with your Digital Marketing? Shelton Associates are a UK-Based Marketing Consultancy specialising in Marketing Training/Marketing Consultancy & helping Small to Medium-sized Businesses grow through digital platforms, such as Instagram. Get in touch here or give us a call on 0114 236 7727