How to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business

Instagram Stories are a candid and creative way to engage with your audience that can help you keep up with the competition and grow your business.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories allow users to post photos, videos, and more to their Instagram accounts that are only visible for 24 hours. Stories are not shown on a user’s feed, but instead are seen at the top of their profile, and also at the top of their followers’ homepages. In 2020, 75.3% of US businesses will use Instagram, and currently, one-third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses. Stories are indicated by a colorful ring around a profile photo, which creates a sense of urgency and alerts followers that there is new content to be viewed. Stories can drive engagement, put your business at the forefront of your followers’ Instagram experiences, and help your business keep up with the competition.

How are Stories different from Instagram posts?

The purpose of Instagram Stories is to give users a way to release fresh content daily that isn’t necessary to keep permanently on their feed. Stories are great for behind-the-scenes content, announcements, and in-the-moment updates. Posts are great for curated, evergreen content that represents your brand.

Why should my business use Instagram Stories?

Stories are successful marketing tools for businesses. Check out some stats on why:

What types of content should my business share on Stories?

Business Updates and Announcements

Since Stories “disappear” after 24 hours, they are a great space to share business updates and announcements with your followers. Due to COVID-19, consumers are especially unsure about the hours that businesses are open, and the ways that they can shop with individual businesses. Using Stories to call out this information each day will keep your customers in the loop, and make it easy for them to shop with your business.

We recommend focusing on the following:

  • Share your business hours for the day
  • Let your customers know if your store is open for in-store shopping
  • Share your website so that customers can place an order if you offer curbside or in-store pick up
  • Share your phone number so that customers can contact you if they have questions or take orders over the phone!

Product Highlights

Stories are the perfect space to highlight new or best-selling products. Stories are meant to be candid and creative, and can bring humanization to business Instagrams. Showcase products in your store in a way that is fun and entertaining for your customers to view. If you’re not sure where to start, try picking a theme for a day of the week, like “Treat Tuesday”. Turn it into a hashtag, and post Stories throughout the day highlighting your top treat products with #TreatTuesday. Your followers will catch on, and look forward to your theme day each week, and your stories will expose them to new products.

Instagram Posts

An engagement-driving feature on Instagram Stories allows you to share Instagram posts from your own feed, as well as posts from others. When you share a new Instagram post, promote it by sharing it to your Story. Your followers who view your Story will be able to click through to see your full post, which will boost the views and engagement of your post. Want to see how to share an Instagram post to your story? Check out this helpful guide.

There are so many Instagram Story features to take advantage of, like polls, questions, and more that can take your interaction to the next level. To learn more about these features, check out this blog post.

How can I learn more about best practices for Instagram Stories?

For a complete guide on how to use Instagram stories, check out this blog post.

Especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staying relevant on social media is increasingly important. There are many features on Instagram and Facebook that can help grow your business, and Stories is a great place to start.

By Kelly Thomas