Instagram’s move to make its Stories feature more like Snapchat’s has drawn in quite a lot of viewers. With an increase of 50 million users in the past three months, Instagram Stories is looking more promising as a way for brands to entice new followers to watch their content on this platform.
But simply using this feature doesn’t guarantee that your brand will improve your audience interactions and boost company sales. So to help you better understand how to use Stories effectively and boost your community engagement, here are some best practices you can implement when using the video-sharing platform:
#1 Feature Your Product in Use
Pictures can only give so much information about how a product will perform. Instead of relying on photos and product descriptions to sell a product, featuring clips of that item in action can go a long way towards selling it. Some prominent sports clothing companies will feature athletes going through a workout wearing their gear. By featuring your products being used, your audience members have a better idea of what they’re getting into when purchasing from you.
#2 Host Limited-Time Promotions
When a product or giveaway is only available for a limited time, it creates a sense of urgency for your audience to act on. Hosting limited-time promotions is an excellent way to get a small burst of activity and engagement with your company’s brand. If you have excess product or some swag like stickers or t-shirts, these are great products to use in a promotional giveaway. These promotions work well because your Instagram audience is already following you since they like what you do and they want to see more of your content.
#3 Tell a Story Which Will Resonate With Your Audience
Take Instagram Stories at face value and use it to tell a story your audience will appreciate. Barkbox shared some clips of a doggy interview with a jazzed-up pug and an employee. This type of content works well because it shares a narrative which Barkbox audiences will appreciate: comedy involving a dog. Find some stories that reflect your brand you know your audience will enjoy. This will help your viewers associate positive feelings with your company, which in turn prompts them to support your business.
#4 Tell the News
Your Instagram followers likely stick by you because they are interested in the industry you represent. Sharing industry-related news with your followers will help boost your company’s image as an expert in the field, and will show your audience that you care about the industry at large. Trying to promote your own company all the time can make followers feel like you don’t care about their interests. However, sharing relevant news makes your brand feel like part of the community.
#5 Play Games With Your Followers
People are naturally curious and will rise to the occasion when a challenge presents itself. Games provide stimulation and entertainment for your followers in a way that traditional posts don’t. You can play guessing games with your followers using your products, or feature treasure hunts and provide prizes to the first person to find the answer. Get creative, like Travel+Leisure did, and watch your audience engagement increase!
#6 Go Behind the Scenes
Content exclusivity is a great way to entice your audience to follow you on multiple social media channels. Instagram Stories makes it easy for you to show clips of behind-the-scenes moments during company events. Your followers will feel like they are getting access to something they can’t get anywhere else, and are more likely to follow you actively to make sure they are up-to-date with company happenings.
#7 Create Teaching Moments
Social media is a great platform to share educational resources and teaching moments. Travel blogs can use Instagram Stories to teach followers about cultural practices around the world, or host a quick geography lesson. Your brand can take this opportunity to teach your followers about manufacturing processes, or share some interesting facts about events and phenomenons related to your industry.
#8 Feature Calls to Action (CTAs)
Calls to action are a great way to prompt your audience to do something. KISSmetrics found that CTAs within videos generated 380% more leads than traditional CTAs on a sidebar or website. Use Instagram Stories to prompt your followers to check out your website, or look at a specific product, and your sales should increase accordingly.
With more than 250 million users on Instagram, your brand or company can tap into a huge new audience by creating Instagram Stories. Make sure whatever media you create works to promote or support your brand’s vision. Try out some of these Stories ideas today and see how your audience responds!