It is officially Spring and now is an incredible time to add some new life to your social media game. If you are on Instagram these days, we are sure you know that Instagram stories are all the rage! If you are like “insta-what?”, don’t sweat it. This post will walk you through everything you need to know about Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories are very similar to Snapchat’s video chat feature (find the nearest teenager to get the scoop on Snapchat). Stories allow you to share video, images and decorated text slides that stay live for 24 hours. If you haven’t started using stories, you are in for a treat. This is where you are are going to humanize your brand and make real connections with your fans. You already know they are going to love what you have to offer and Instagram stories is where you get to show it all off. No more worrying about spamming your fans with too many pictures on your main Instagram feed. Stories is the place to post as much as you like because it only stays live for 24 hours. But, it doesn’t end there. There is an added bonus of highlighted stories which remain at the top of your Instagram feed for as long as you like. Highlights are stories that you want people to access longer than the 24 hours and can feature any story you previously posted. Highlights can feature your story, your top products or your specials. The possibilities are endless.
If you are thinking, “but seriously…why should I be using stories?” Here are a few numbers that might interest you and might encourage you to go ahead and start using Instagram and Instagram stories in your social media strategy. To date there are 800 million active monthly users on the Instagram app and 300 million users of Instagram stories every single month. With those kinds of numbers that means there is more opportunity for someone who needs your product or service to actually find you on the app as long as you’re using Instagram stories on a consistent basis.
Now let’s recap why you should be using Instagram stories for your business.
- Builds trust with your audience
- Shows brand authenticity
- Build a deeper connection with your audience
- Drive traffic to your website
- Sell more stuff
If you’ve been using Instagram, you probably already realize that the Instagram algorithm has made it a little difficult for posts from your feed to be seen by your audience. This means that now more than ever it is important to be different than everyone else on Instagram. One of the ways that you can differentiate yourself from the others is by using video content and live streaming through Stories. The numbers don’t lie, video is more important than ever in marketing and the fact is that consumers love video. 72% say they would rather watch a video to learn about a product or service. It’s a great idea for you to use Instagram stories in your social media strategy so that you can show the behind-the-scenes, real-life and spur-of-the-moment moments behind your brand. This content will allow you to connect on a deeper level with your audience all while maintaining the branded aesthetic of your Instagram feed that you worked so hard on.
Tips for using Instagram Stories
- Aim for 6-8 slides per day if possible. Make your slides a combination of still photos, video-behind the scenes, front facing video (talking to your audience) boomerang and decorated text slides. Mix it up and share a variety of media when possible. You do not have to share your stories in the moment; you can film and share your stories later on in the day when it is convenient for you.
- Comment and engage with other users’ Stories. Engagement is what you should be spending 90% of your time on when using the Instagram app. We know it sounds counterintuitive but it is true. In order to be discovered and truly create and build new relationships, you must get out there and engage. Don’t be shy. Send a heart or a genuine comment on 2-4 users stories per day.
- Tag brands whenever possible. If you are at a particular store or wearing a certain brand, try to tag them. This will sometimes get the attention of the brand and they may ask to repost your image. This is called user-generated content. Who doesn’t love to be reposted by a brand and shown a little love? We all do! So make sure you tag away and you might just be on your favorites brands feed.
- We love using apps like Canva, Wordswag, Adobe Spark Post and Hype Type to create images and animated text graphics to share on stories. What apps do you love using?
How to create Instagram Stories
Your story is a way of sharing photos and videos with your followers. Stories disappear from your profile and Feed after 24 hours unless you add it as a highlight.
To share a photo or video to your story using the Instagram app:
- Tap in the top left of your screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
- Tap at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and hold to record a video. To choose a photo from your phone’s library or gallery, swipe up anywhere on the screen. If the photo or video you choose doesn’t fit on the screen at first, pinch to change the size.
- You can also tap Boomerang at the bottom of the screen, then tap the circle to take a burst of photos that loops forward and backward.
- To record a video that plays in reverse, first tap Rewind at the bottom of the screen. From there, tap and hold to take a video, or tap once to record hands-free.
- To record a video that automatically zooms in on an object and plays a dramatic sound, tap Superzoom at the bottom of the screen. Tap anywhere on the screen to select an area or object to zoom in on, then tap the circle to start recording.
- Swipe left then tap Stop-Motion to make a video using a series of individual photos. Tap the circle to take your first photo, then keep tapping to take additional photos. You can tap and hold the last photo you’ve taken to see an overlay preview and align your next photo. When you’re finished, tap Done to see your stop-motion video.
Don’t worry about having to think of what to post on stories. We gotcha covered. Use our monthly social media content challenge to spark ideas for your stories. Keep it fun, fresh and exciting. This is your place to show off your personality and your audience loves the real and authentic you, so don’t be afraid to show it. Remember to offer tips and value as much as you can and tag us #cinchedthis so we can find you!
We can’t wait to see your content. These are just a few ways to use Instagram stories and now the fun part is up to you!