When Instagram Stories first came out in 2016, it was perceived vastly as a thinly veiled attempt to steal Snapchat’s market share. While this is true to some extent, it’s also a fairly one-dimensional view of the feature. Instagram Stories isn’t a copycat of Snapchat, it’s a better version of Snapchat- especially for businesses. Like they did with photo and video sharing, Instagram has managed to turn transient messaging into an effective tool for businesses without ruining it for its users.
In fact, Instagram Stories now has over 300 million users, leaving Snapchat’s 173 million users in the dust. If that doesn’t convince you, then maybe Facebook’s integration of allowing Instagram Stories to be published directly to your Facebook page will.
1. Humanising factor
Instagram Stories has a humanising effect to your business and allow you to personally connect with your audience through showing them that you too, are human, rather than your audience only seeing the picture-perfect content you post in their feed. Stories create a connection with your audience that you wouldn’t have otherwise and unlike traditional social media marketing, Instagram Stories allow you to post as much as you want without cluttering your audiences feed. Although the story will be gone in 24 hours, clips can now be saved as ‘Highlights’ on a profile, where they can even be organised into certain themes.
2. Gives your brand personality
Instagram Stories can be used to show your companies light-hearted side, or they can just be used to show day-to-day procedures within your company. When most people receive a package on their front porch, they don’t think twice about the process of how it got there because we live in a generation where so many things are automated. But what if your company leveraged Instagram Stories to show the process of packaging & shipping a product in a unique, creative way? Something like shows them that you’re human and gives them an insight into the culture of your company.
3. Stay front of mind
Instagram’s new algorithm means that posts show up in the newsfeed based on what Instagram deems most interesting to you, rather than chronologically. This is a huge reason to leverage Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories appear in the top bar of the app and they appear in the order they were posted. Every time someone posts a new story, a coloured ring appears around their profile picture in the top bar of Instagram. Through drawing your audience in with your Instagram Stories, you can then direct them to new content you’ve posted that they may not have seen because of the algorithm used by Instagram.
4. Branding with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories can also be used heavily for branding. Stories allow you to add drawings, emoji’s, and text to your pictures or videos. Businesses can leverage this to make the content posted on their stories more eye-catching and engaging. Utilise this tool to add to your company’s core branding colours or an emoji related to your company’s name or mission. Adding drawings, emoji’s, or text is even furthering the idea of humanising your company. You can take this a step further by tagging a person or company in your story simply by using the @ symbol and that individuals username.
Instagram Stories are a great way to humanise your company, engage your audience, and maintain visibility in your follower’s feeds’ regardless of the ever-changing algorithms of social media today. Social Media Marketing is constantly evolving and it’s important to continuously adapt and leverage the new components on each platform – so why not start with Instagram Stories?