Over 500 million Instagrammers use Instagram Stories every day, making it a valuable tool for businesses to broadcast their content in real-time. They help companies connect with audiences, boost engagement, and share their brand’s story.
What are Instagram stories?
Instagram Stories allow users to share photos, boomerangs, and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are the first thing people see—above their newsfeeds—from accounts they follow. The Instagram community craves authenticity. And stories are a great way to include authentic in-the-moment content. It doesn’t have to be perfect or polished (that’s part of the allure). But it should be exciting and on-brand.
How-to share Instagram Stories:
To add photos or videos to your story, tap the camera icon in the top left corner of your Instagram app. Choose images and pinch them to zoom in or out, or add a filter. You can also add in-the-moment photos and live videos.
- Text can help give your image context. For instance, “half-priced appies tonight” written on a photo explains a promotion better than just a food shot. Words make your story more engaging. To add text, tap the “Aa” icon on the top of the photo or video you’re sharing. Or, hit “type” at the bottom of your live videos and photos.
- Add a #hashtag or two (but don’t overdo it). It can help you reach new audiences. Hashtags are searchable and work the same way in Instagram Stories as they do in regular posts. Anyone searching for the tag(s) you use can find your story. For example, adding #fitspiration on a story selling your fitness training could grab the attention of people already following the hashtag. #Hashtag stickers are great for directing viewers to a branded hashtag or one you are creating content toward.
- Tagging your customers, employees, and neighbors encourages others to interact with your stories. When you @mention someone, they will get a notification. From there, they might comment or add your story to theirs—getting you in front of a broader audience.
- Using a location tag can show an audience where your business is, or where you’re out promoting your business. You can add a specific address or place, a city, and even a particular neighborhood. Adding a location sticker can link directly to the location, as well.
Stay consistent with colors and fonts—you want your brand to be familiar and stand out to followers checking-out stories.
How-to create brand storytelling:
- Post about new products, specials, and events. Stories are an entertaining way to share what’s new and happening at your business. For instance, if you’re a restaurant, post stories of your new dish(es). If you’re a designer, share a hot new outfit or big sale. A microbrewery could share a story on a new beverage collaboration. And adding a story about an upcoming event is a great way to promote it. Post images that will get your followers excited about stopping by your business to check out your new offerings.
- Share behind the scenes content in real-time. Since Instagram stories are all about the present, they’re great for sharing content about something happening live at your business. For example, a restaurant could feature a story of a chef making a signature dish for the evening.
- Feature user-generated content about your brand. Include content that customers post when they are at your business. It’s a great way to socialize with customers and thank them for their visit. It’s also similar to sharing client testimonials—and it can attract more followers.
To find out how well your Instagram story is performing, swipe up while viewing it. You will see the number and names of people who’ve viewed each photo or video in your story.
Play around with the stories you are telling—incorporating vibrant images, authentic characters, and compelling text makes for dynamic storytelling.