Oh snap! Earlier this week Instagram introduced their latest feature ‘Instagram Stories’ and the elephant in the room is that it’s pretty similar to SnapChat barring their array of filters and the ladies favourite flower crown. The new feature sits at the top of your newsfeed and lets you capture 10 second snapshots of video, photo or gifs to broadcast to your audience before it expires within 24 hours à la SnapChat. Here’s a quick guide on How To Use Instagram Stories For Your Business:
If you have an existing audience on Instagram or you hadn’t quite jumped on the snapchat bandwagon then it’s time to seize the moment with Instagram Stories. The introduction of post and delete content in the past few years changed the way people consume content, the more real time moments posted on SnapChat the less images posted on instagram and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by Instagram’s team. The official Instagram for Business blog promises that ‘with Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over posting’ so essentially the seamless integration with your existing audience saves you from using two different apps and having to build an audience from scratch on another platform.
As a relatively small or new business this is the perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and be amongst the first to try something new. Take advantage of your nimbleness and minimal approval channels to stay savvy, reactive and topical where your big brand competitors can’t.
Instagram stories is the perfect opportunity to create richer relationships with your community by taking them behind the scenes of your business. Whatever it is you do capturing the moments that make up your day to day activities provides consumers with that extra layer of insight that they crave for. Ask yourselves:
How do we get to our finished product?
What’s the creative process?
Can we take consumers on a journey for our next campaign?
Then begin to share snapshots from these moments. As a working example, if you bake cakes, show the steps you take to get to your finished product and throw in some baking tips while you’re at it. If you create products show consumers how you go from idea to reality by showing anything from the design to the manufacturing process.
This is about how you connect your Instagram story to your why. Think of it as having your own mini reality show, we’re not saying create a storyline but just ensure the content you put out is in line with your storytelling strategy. If you believe in only using natural products then show customers how you source them, if you’re a cool, fun startup how does your office or company culture reflect this and how can it be translated into quick video content. Go above and beyond to make things happen for your clients? let’s see your late nights and early mornings. Do you claim to take pride in your packaging showcase how potential customers can expect their products to arrive.
The key is to practise what you preach and then leverage this to build trust.
We’ve touched briefly on humanising your business before, Social Media has played a key role in the rise of the personal brand especially for small business owners, if you’re not a big brand it’s important to remember that people buy from people so outside of the ‘why’ they want to know: Who, What and Where. If the founder or CEO is camera shy introduce different members of the team instead, show consumers who they’re talking to when they tweet in questions, who they can expect to see when they pop into your shop or something as simple as how many people it takes to create the products or services they love. Keep it light and fun so the personalities shine through.
Try using Instagram Stories as an extra call to action for announcements, launches and events that have a sense of urgency to drive traffic to a link in your instagram bio. We are personally already seeing that we get more views on stories than we do likes on a static image similarly to what the platform has seen happen with the intro of video views however It’s only been 2 days so only time will tell.
It’s clear to see the potential this feature will have for Small Businesses however we have long been lovers of SnapChat so keen to see how their team responds to these changes.
Are you planning on integrating Instagram Stories into your Social Media strategy? Will you be using any points from our ‘How To Use Instagram Stories For Your Business’ guide? Have you seen any businesses using it in a brilliant way already? Let us know in the comments below.