Contact us

So we can help you, drop us a message here and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Utilising Instagram Stories for Business: Best Practices and Tips

Published on:

Thursday, June 15, 2023

It doesn’t matter what industry or sector your business operates in - social media is a must for modern day marketing, particularly when it comes to engaging consumers and establishing your place in the market as a reliable, reputable, and friendly company or business to buy from or work with.

But which platforms should you be using - and perhaps more importantly, what are the best ways to harness each platform to achieve your social media KPIs and goals? In this blog, we’re looking specifically at Instagram as the platform of choice for businesses looking to build engagement and create a loyal following of customers through the power of stories.

What are Instagram Stories and how do they work for businesses?

Instagram Stories are short snippets of content that have been deliberately shared via the fleeting outlet - with a shelf-life of 24 hours (unless you add specific stories to longer term Story highlights which we will look at later) and an ever-changing carousel which switches from one user to the next.

For businesses, the value of Instagram Stories lies in the fact that your Stories are integrated within a carousel of stories shared by a user’s own connections and friends, somewhat concealing your light and soft advertising within a reel of genuine life updates. With Instagram Stories proven to be addictive, with users more likely to keep scrolling through stories than exit them altogether if and when they come across an advert, the visibility of your branded content is much higher than in other advertising positions - and that’s before you start generating and sharing behind the scenes content that really resonates with your audience as part of a community.

Instagram story

In short, Instagram Stories offer two opportunities to business Instagram accounts. The first is organic and pits your stories alongside those of other friends that users choose to connect with - meaning that if a user follows you, they are just as likely to see and engage with your content as they are with a friends’ content. The other is through Instagram Story ads, which again integrate your advertising content alongside other Stories but with added CTA capability and behind the scenes analysis.

How to make Instagram Stories work for your business

Different ways to engage customers through Stories

One of the biggest benefits of Instagram Stories for businesses is the plethora of tools that are available through this very simple content channel. Via Stories, businesses (and normal user accounts) can create countdowns, share polls, and add questions boxes - all of which are invaluable in building momentum and encouraging active engagement from your followers.

If a client of ours is struggling with social engagement, Stories and question boxes are a great way to reach out directly to followers and ask what they want to see in terms of content shares and updates.

Story Highlights and their place on your profile

Earlier on we mentioned Story highlights as a way of extending the lifespan of your story posts and updates. Highlights sit at the top of your profile under your bio and act as a go-to point for users seeking specific information or images from your history on the platform.

Some great Highlight ideas for social media business accounts include behind the scenes updates, product launches, reviews and other user-generated content, and team / people updates.

Find new followers by using the location feature

The beauty of Instagram lies in the way that it not only provides users with content from accounts that they follow, but also with content which links with trends they frequently search and locations they often interact with. When businesses use the location feature in their stories, they make their content accessible to local users who might not have followed them otherwise but could come across their content and decide to engage.

This is the same for hashtags, which connect your stories to potential keywords that users might search on the Instagram Discovery page.

Adding captions makes video content more accessible

We are seeing more and more businesses sharing talking stories and videos as part of their user engagement - with captions a must if you want your page and your updates to be seen as accessible and easy to watch. Users want to be able to read along with your video shares when they are in a public space or unable to watch with the sound on - not to mention it makes your content more accessible for those with hearing and other challenges.

Using stories to boost conversion

Finally, adding links to your Instagram stories connects your shares with your overall goal of conversion - whether it be driving users towards a specific landing page, your website, or another resource on your website or across your online touch points.

The more you can link your Instagram Stories with your brand and your brand personality, the more that users will resonate with your posts and look out for them. Remember that Instagram Stories are an opportunity to exercise an authentic presentation of your brand behind the scenes in such a way that users will connect with directly - building reputation and establishing credibility and trust in your brand.

For more information on how to use this and other social media management strategies to build your online presence and connect with the right users, get in touch with Social Loop today.