With Instagram constantly adapting to social media trends and killing the game with their new feature releases, it's no wonder the platform has had such success with integrating Instagram Stories. What started off as a “you'll never get away with copying Snapchat's idea” has quickly turned into “Snapchat who?,” and essentially overnight. We can't help but wonder, how?
It's become apparent that Instagram has began listening and catering to the needs of its user base: content creators and businesses – who in a sense are content creators, or at least should be. Or at the bare minimum hire people who are to rep your brand. What is a content creator? So happy you asked, basically anyone who uploads to social media on a daily basis via their smartphone. You can't have marketing without content, and content creators are a new breed of marketing
As the realms of social media continue to expand and take up much more of our time and attention, it's important that you, as a business or business owner, remain at the forefront of people's timelines (and timespans). Here are some tips you can utilize to stay at the top of your Instagram Stories game, further broadening both your online influencer and earning potential.
Begin building the trust factor
Let me ask you this – if someone you never knew, came up to you on the street and tried to sell you on a product using solely their personal testimonial, would you buy it? Would you feel so compelled by their personal experience with said product that you would not only invest your time but money into it? The answer is probably no, and that's ok. Be honest! You aren't emotionally invested with this person – you don't trust them.
The rules of social media are fairly similar. If I rarely see you on my timeline, if we barely interact with one another, then why would I trust what you're trying to pitch me via Instagram? If the first time you post an Instagram Story in ages is a story of you trying to sell me a product, I clearly know what your motive is going into that story – the less likely I am to even continue watching.
So how do you fix this? Easy! You begin updating your followers a little more often about what's going on behind the lens. Be genuine in the content you're posting, give your followers the story behind the business. Instagram Stories is the perfect place to do this as it isn't as formal as a curated Instagram feed. Show off your creative process!
Ask for advice in decision making
Social media has made vulnerability a tad less scarier (we may be speaking from personal experience on this one) but it seems as if asking for input in daily decision making, no matter how miniscule, has become an on trend thing to do. Ride this wave. Ask your followers and potential consumers for their input any chance you get. Instagram Stories and it's POLL'S feature is a great way to go about this.
Not only does POLL's beautifully integrate into the flow of creating an Instagram Stories, it tracks who responds with what, allowing for further feedback on why someone may have gone one way over the other.
POLLS is the quickest way to find out more about your follower base and what they enjoy, don't enjoy, and/or what they want to see more of. Don't know how to make a poll? No worries, check out this article here for a further breakdown.
Hashtags are still relevant – especially in your Instagram Stories
In fact, more so now than ever. With the release of Instagram's latest update, tracking a hashtag via an Instagram bio has now become a thing. What does this mean? It means that influencers and brands alike can create a custom hashtag that can be displayed (and clicked on) right in their bio's. Tapping on that specific hashtag will pull up all the content that's ever been tagged with that said hashtag – photos and Instagram Story videos alike.
When you use a hashtag in an Instagram Story, it will categorize in real time your video with any other videos using the exact same hashtag. The strategy here? Find out the trending hashtags for your niche and use those hashtags in the content you post. This will draw in people who are already interested in seeing similar content.
Create a sense of urgency
What's nice about Instagram Stories is that it gives you the ability to segway from one idea, topic, or page to the next without missing a beat. If you have a following of at least 10k, then your Instagram Stories are able to be linked with a URL. Encouraging people to “swipe up” is a great way to get a potential consumer from Instagram onto your site. Creating a sense of urgency by letting your followers know they can only receive “x” deal on “x” day and to “swipe up so they don't miss out” is a great way to segway between platforms.
Creating engaging content for your Instagram Stories plays a major role in someone's decision to swipe up or follow. Think of these mini advertisements as a way to discreetly show off your social media skills as you promote your product. There are a ton of apps that will help you quickly create fun & engaging videos. Instasize with it's awesome selection of filters and Text Styles tool will help you craft professional looking call to actions (swipe up, link in bio, etc..). The kirakira+ app will literally make your videos sparkle, and apps like Glitch Art will help you achieve a trendy video glitch that can't be found elsewhere. When used together or independently, each of these apps will take your content to the next level, leaving those who are watching with questions on HOW you did it.
Utilize the analytics on Instagram + Instagram Stories
This one is a little bit of a no brainer but just in case nobody told you: INSTAGRAM OFFERS YOU FREE ANALYTICS, as long as you're set up as a business account. And hello, if you're reading this article chances are you have a business of some sort or you're looking to start one, either way, make sure your instagram page is set up as a business account. In this way you're able to access the niftly little “insights” section of your Instagram feed (top right hand corner, looks like a bar graph), which will give you valuable information on your followers and when most of them are online and liking your photos! So pay attention to these things and plan accordingly!
Instagram Stories works in a similar way. When viewing your personal story (after you've posted it and allowed it to simmer for a couple of hours) you can swipe up on each individual slide to check out the slides insights. The insights on Instagram Stories will tell you EVERYTHING, from the amount of times someone engaged with a slide to the amount of times someone clicked forward, backward, or out of it. If you notice that people are continuously clicking away from specific slides or social media commercials you're running, it may be time to switch up the strategy.
Using Instagram Stories is a great way to begin building the relationship between business and audience. It's a fresh new way to engage with potential consumers and gather important feedback that will help your business flourish. Remember to be both engaging and genuine while also providing value to the people who are tuning in – or may be tuning in depending on your hashtag usage.
Good luck! And if you or anyone you know has any say at Instagram, please bring back GIF's.
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