5 Best Practices for Instagram Stories
5 Best Practices for Instagram Stories, especially as it relates to small business owners. Using Instagram Stories can help you get more likes, engagement, and followers on Instagram!
300 million people use Instagram Stories every day. It's an integral part of Instagram, and small business owners can't ignore it as a way to connect and build relationships with consumers. In a nutshell, Instagram Stories allows users to upload a series of photos or 15-second video clips. Stories disappear after 24 hours, which makes it an awesome way to share informal, un-filtered aspects of your brand.
Why Small Business Owners Need to Use Instagram Stories
In short, Instagram Stories can improve your algorithm ranking. Consistency and increased engagement on Instagram Stories will actually help boost visibility of regular Instagram posts!
In five minutes a day or less, you can share a series of Instagram Stories that will help grow your business by:
- Giving your customers value, in the form of education, tips, and how-tos
- Showing that you're relatable/highlighting your brand's personality
- Building trust through conversation and storytelling
Because sharing Instagram Stories takes just a little bit of time throughout the day, you'll feel less stressed and overwhelmed by social media. But maybe the more enticing benefit is that Instagram Stories can help bring in more money, build relationships, and establish more long-term customers for your business.
1 in 5 Instagram Stories Gets a Direct Message
I say this a lot on Instagram, but it's only because I think this statistic proves a powerful point. One in five Instagram Stories gets a direct message from customers! Since that's the case, what better way to start building a solid relationship in your community? If you're able to create Instagram Stories that get direct messages, you have a clear line of communication with your customer, one-on-one.
Strengthening relationships 1:1 with customers is THE way to get to know them, build trust, and ultimately increase your business.
5 Best Practices for Instagram Stories
When using Instagram Stories, there's a little bit of a learning curve. There are a ton of features you can use in your stories, and thinking of what to use, how, and when can be overwhelming. To set a solid foundation for your Instagram Stories strategy, follow these 5 Best Practices for Instagram Stories:
Post at Different Times Throughout the Day
The Instagram Stories feed is arranged in chronological order, with the most recent stories showing up at the beginning of a user's feed. By posting at different times throughout the day, you can make sure that you're reaching as many of your followers as possible. Posting at various times can also help break up the time you're spending on Instagram!
Add Text to Your Videos: Briefly Describe What You're Talking About
If you decide to share a video on Instagram Stories, there are a few ways you can do that. You can upload a video from your Camera Roll (remember, the max length for videos on Instagram Stories is 15-seconds) or record a video with front- and rear-facing cameras.
No matter what type of video you decide to share, adding written caption/text to the story can help increase reach and engagement. If users are watching Instagram Stories with the sound off, captivating text can get them to a) tap back to re-watch with the sound on, and b) respond to your video by sending a direct message.
Use Different Features on Instagram Stories
A large part of getting higher reach and engagement on Instagram Stories is grabbing your customers' attention as quickly as possible. Luckily, Instagram has tools for that! New features are added constantly, but my favorite ones so far are GIF's, Polls, and the ability to tag a location, use a hashtag, and tag another Instagram user.
Using the many features of Instagram Stories can make your stories more appealing. If you can catch your customers' attention, they're more likely to engage with you and build that relationship. Using the geo-tagging and hashtag features can help you get more exposure in your community or around your location.
Save time by setting aside time to plan out your Instagram Stories! You can plan a week, month, or quarter in advance -- whichever is the most realistic for your business. I like creating a general plan for the week, with brief notes of what types of content I want to share on Instagram Stories.
Planning ahead prevents us from the oh-crap moment: when we realize that it's 9 PM and we haven't shared anything on social media. Planning ahead can also create more flow from one story to the next, and you can be strategic about cross-promoting content from other channels on Instagram Stories (regular Instagram posts, blog posts, newsletters, events, etc.).
And Finally...Don't Stress!
Social media is an important aspect of small business marketing, but it shouldn't be a source of stress for you and your business. ESPECIALLY Instagram Stories!
By understanding how to use Instagram Stories and implementing these 5 Best Practices into your strategy, you'll be able to use your time effectively. Using your (valuable) time efficiently can help you reach more customers, connect with them on a qualitative level, and ultimately grow your business.
Download Your free guide to Instagram stories!
For more details about how to use Instagram Stories, all of its latest features, and exactly what you should be posting as a small business owner, download The Insider's Guide HERE.