Is Your Business Taking Advantage of Instagram Stories?

With over 800 million monthly active users, Instagram is a social platform to be reckoned with. In the past year, Instagram has launched some pretty cool features for business accounts including access to user analytics, paid partnership tools and additional features on Instagram stories – such as the swipe up function – that personal accounts cannot currently access.

If your business isn’t utilising Instagram Stories. Why not?

The time to take action is now. Start implementing Instagram Stories in your social media strategy to see your business begin to reap the benefits of tapping into a new customer base. Today’s blog post will share how you can use Instagram Stories as an additional marketing dimension to increase your business’s website traffic and/or sales.

In my last blog post, we looked at why you should include micro-influencers in your marketing plan. But it isn’t just bloggers who are using Instagram Stories to further promote themselves, businesses are using it too! Below I have showcased five ways your business can benefit from using Instagram Stories, so let’s look at these points in more detail…

5 Instagram Stories Features Your Business Should Be Using

Since the Instagram algorithm no longer periodically displays posts in your feed, you may have noticed a drop in visibility and engagement across your Instagram posts. Which is one of the reasons Instagram Stories have increased in popularity, with 64% of businesses planning to create more Instagram Stories in 2018.

Instagram Stories is a great tool for your business to showcase your brand’s personality, latest products, BTS shots and events. Below I have picked out five main features on Instagram Stories that I would encourage your business to start using today…

Instagram Stories For Business TipsGEO STICKERS

By adding a geo-sticker to your Instagram story you can instantly reach people close to you. This function is particularly beneficial to local businesses including those without an e-commerce website, such as bars, cafes, and restaurants. If this is your business niche, try sharing your latest lunch offers or what your chefs are cooking on Instagram Stories. Include a geo-sticker tagging your location so hungry people nearby can find your business.

I know that Instagram is always my first point of call for searching a location before I go on holiday or out for a meal. Don’t underestimate your power to reach people close to your business through Instagram Stories. They may be looking for exactly what your business has to offer!

HASHTAGS

As they function within you feed posting schedule, hashtags can also be utilised on your Instagram Stories. Adding a hashtag to your Instagram Story gives your post the potential to trend on Instagram Stories highlights for that hashtag’s page. Just as your feed pictures have the chance to trend as ‘most popular’ hashtag images, Instagram Stories do too!

how to use Instagram Story hashtags

*Image source – theverge.com

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Instagram Stories Highlights Icons

Instagram Stories has recently added a feature that allows you to highlight stories on your profile page, making stories available for longer than 24 hours. You can organise these into categories of your choice, adding stories and deleting them as you wish. This is a great function for grouping together product launches, your latest blog posts, and BTS stories. You can even go one step further and have icons created for your Instagram Story categories for a more professional/branded approach.

POLLS

The new Instagram algorithm favours interaction. We know this because images that receive lots of likes, comments, shares and interactions when they are posted gain better reach and more impressions. They are also more likely to appear on the most popular page for any used hashtags. Knowing this, to gain more traction on Instagram you will want to be interacting with your audience on Instagram Stories too.

Instagram Story Polls

*Image Source – instagram-press.com

The easiest way to do this is by asking your audience a question! Click the poll sticker, ask your audience whatever you like (remembering you can only have two answers/options) and wait for the votes to come in. Think of this also as a free market research tool, where you can find out what your audience wants so that you can provide them with it!

SWIPE UP FUNCTION

Business profiles on Instagram have access to the ‘Swipe Up’ function. This is essentially the ability to link to a webpage from an Instagram Story. To visit the URL of your choice a viewer just has to ‘swipe up’ on the story to be taken directly to your chosen landing page. This function is a great way to increase your website traffic. Shout about your latest blog posts, link to your latest offers and share your favourite products and their landing pages with your audience. The creative options are endless for which web page you link to and how you promote this on your Instagram Stories.

My favourite editing app for Instagram Stories and creating imagery like the below is called Over.

how to edit Instagram Stories

*Image Source – blog.bufferapp.com

Are you using these Instagram Stories features?

If the answer is no, then get yourself familiar with the Instagram Stories platform. Start planning how you will add it to your marketing activity and begin to have fun testing out all of the functions mentioned above and more!

Got any Instagram Story tips not mentioned in today’s post? Leave them in the comments below…

Want to be seen on social media by the right people at the right time? Get in touch with the paid social team at Marketing Signals today.

 

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Charlotte Lewis

Charlotte Lewis

Charlotte graduated in 2009 from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Media, Culture and Society. Responsible for managing content and outreach projects for our clients. Charlotte also shares her digital passion through blogging and social media.