Social media marketing is a great tool for enabling potential customers to connect with your business and brand. The platform that we’re going to be focusing on in this article is Instagram and in particular its ‘stories’ function. Instagram is a visual platform that has been around since 2010, whereby users post photographs and hashtags onto their feed. In mid-2016 Instagram enabled the ‘stories’ function. Stories are videos that are found at the top of your Instagram page when you log in. With growing popularity, they are becoming increasingly utilised for business.
Instagram recently announced changes for businesses, including the ability to upload their stories to the ads manager. This allows stories to be saved for use in a marketing campaign later. They have also recently enabled sharing of Instagram stories to Facebook and Messenger, which allows your customers to spread your message with their friends. These features are very new and are being rolled out over the coming weeks.
We’ve put together five ways you can use Instagram stories to grow your business.
What to put in an Instagram story for business
Behind the scenes/insider story
It’s human nature to be interested in other people and what’s happening in their lives. This principle is at the core of all social media. This intrigue also happens with business. Customers want to see what goes on behind the scenes. You could take some videos of the goings on of your office or do a mini-interview a member of staff.
Turn a blog or an article into a news story
This is relatively simple to do. In fact, re-purposing content is a great way to share your message across several different platforms. If you have created a great ‘How to’ blog post, you can copy and paste the key points of the blog into PowerPoint and add some pictures to make it more visual. You only need three to four slides to turn this into an Instagram story. PowerPoint gives you the option to save this in JPEG format. Now you have JPEG images that you can upload to create your story. If you wanted to re-purpose this content again you could take the PowerPoint presentation, do a voice over and screen-cast it for YouTube, and slide share (a LinkedIn service).
Sharing the celebrations of your company milestones online is an effective way of engaging your audience. Invite people in and make them feel a part of the celebrations. Some examples could be that you have sold your first 1000 products, or it’s the one-year birthday of your business.
Promotions, competitions and giveaways
This one is probably the most obvious and you may be doing this already, but creating a story around your offer provides a different way of showcasing it. You can plan these to be done on the lead up to a seasonal holiday, like Christmas or Mother’s Day.
* Tip: Add a link to your website at the end of your story to drive traffic and sales to your website or online store!
How to recycle content for Instagram stories
Your story will only be live for twenty-four hours, but don’t let this put you off. Social media is usually accessed more than once a day by users and in its nature older content is quickly moved out of the way for new. If you have a following on Instagram and want to branch out into Instagram stories, but don’t like the idea of losing your content after 24 hours we’ve included a recycling tip for you.
There are currently two other ways to do this. Rather than using the Instagram app, take pictures or videos on the camera of your device, and then upload them to Instagram stories. This way you always have the original photos on your device. To upload pictures from your phone, first, open the Instagram app. Click on the camera on the top left of the screen and then swipe down on the screen. You’ll be given the photos on your device from the last 24 hours.
Alternatively, you can create the story live within the Instagram app and then download it to your device after. Instagram is working on making this facility available for businesses but doesn’t offer the facility to everyone at the moment. There is a way around this by using a third-party app or a chrome extension.
If your audience is on Instagram and they already love your content, then you can extend that by offering them valuable content and promotions with Instagram story. Sharing behind the scenes action, information from your blog, company milestones and offering promotions are all ways of engaging your audience with your brand.
If you need any assistance with your social media marketing initiative, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
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