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How to use Instagram Stories for your Business.

Showing what you do every day on Instagram Stories is the latest content trend. And if you think about it, it’s the easiest to create.

It all started with Snapchat’s Stories and now moving to Instagram and Facebook. The fact that is so easy to use them and post has made everyone, in a way or another, posting about their day, things they have discovered and so on.

The interesting part though is, as much as people (especially the younger generations) are using Instagram Stories, companies find it very hard to go around it and make it work for them.

Throughout the past months, we have tried to play around with the feature and, surprisingly, a big amount of our website traffic came from there.

First thing first.

Creating* Stories is not such a hard task to do. You can go the spontaneous way of snapping a photo now and here or you can prepare them in advance in Photoshop or Illustrator. The size you will want to use is 1080px by 1920px.

*As a side note, make sure that you leave some space between the writing in the post and the margins of it. With the Infinity & Edge Display phones, most Instagram Stories get zoomed in and people lose part of your content.

Besides your photo and caption, you can add stickers, weather, links, time, location, gifs, questions, polls, and tag users by typing in their Insta handle.

“Dау at the office” by your employees.

Firstly, identify the people in your office that would love to have fun with that. Secondly, give them access to the Instagram business account. Thirdly, let them have fun!

Now, some people might be a little worried about handing over the account, but this is a way to show your employee that you trust them in representing the company in the digital space.

You can instruct them on what would you like to see beforehand, but assure him/her that they can go as creative as they want too. For example, take the designer from your team and have them share his/her day.

Including going to the office, work (that can be legally safe to share), lunchtime and inputs that they might have for other designers as well. You could even have a q&a about design and have them answer from their own perspective.

For example, universities and colleges from the US are using Stories to give future students a little glimpse of the campus life.

Another example would be the Zoella brand. Zoe and her teammates take rounds into sharing a day at the office. They also answer people’s questions regarding their work responsibilities and professional background.

This can be a great tool to attract new CVs and a channel to share your employer brand.

Tease your audience.

It might sound weird, but Instagram Stories it’s a great way of giving your audience a glimpse of what you are going to share with them.

Share tiny snippets of your article in order to make people interested in your new blog post. Share a 15 seconds video trailer in order for people to swipe up and see your new video masterpiece. One thing that we do ourselves is to cut a tiny part of our podcast and give people a glimpse of what are we talking in the new episode.

Shopify has done this with some of their blog content, creating teaser posts which direct users to the full article.

Using Instagram Stories is a good excuse to exercise that creative muscle, for tiny pieces of content. One person in the office has an idea? Turn it into a visual or a video and there you go.

NOTE: To have the Swipe up feature on Stories you will need 10K followers.

Upcoming events.

If you are organizing an event, Instagram Stories is the perfect place to go. Besides posting on your Facebook Event page, you can easily share details with your audience with pieces of content that you can reuse until the day of the event. Share details like location, speakers, the main purpose of the event, sponsors, activities and so on.

You can share different tips, how-tos, facts, and activities for the holidays to come (Thanksgiving, Christmas). Or, if you have a Black Friday sale, let people know a few steps on how to purchase your products faster.

As I mentioned, Christmas is the perfect holiday to make the best out of Insta Stories. Share special holiday sales, limited edition products, baking videos with your products (if you have such things), decorating ideas, how your office celebrates the end of the year. The possibilities are endless. I would even go as further as saying “take advantage” of people’s good moods and create content for them in order to be consumed.

Your Product in Action.

Showing what your product can do is the easiest way to educate your audience. And if, 15 seconds are not enough, have your video cut into video snippets and share them in order of how the video flows. One thing to make sure though is to not share a 10 minutes video on stories, it can be a bit too much. For that, you can use Instagram TV.

You can also reshare posts and Stories created by your clients. Just make sure to tag you and you can easily “create” content. Plus having people using your products and sharing them holds a lot of credibility for others to try them.

Even for restaurants, you can showcase a new menu, share how it’s made, let your customers about discounts or poll them on your food and services. 

Some apps/platforms.

If you are looking at ways to create visually beautiful and simple Stories, here are a few app options that can be easily used:

A final thought.

No matter the business you are in, you can find a way of staying true to your company and engaging with the audience. Instagram Stories comes at the right time for this. People’s attention span tends to get smaller and smaller and the content you use for stories can help you keep them engaged.

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"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."

Guy Kawasaki