Wonder what you can do to see more likes and comments on your Instagram posts? Instagram Stories is a great way to switch up your content with bite-sized posts and interactive features that make it easier (and more compelling) for your audience to engage with and digest what you share.
Stories do more than just engage followers and improve your social media presence. It has actionable and observable effects on your marketing. About 58% of users say they are more interested in a brand after seeing it in a Story. You can use Stories for anything you might not want to post on your main feed, from business updates to daily announcements.
The benefits of posting on Instagram Stories, like consistent engagement and higher feed engagement, are well worth the time. With a bit of work and consistency, your Stories can lead toward your main page seeing more engagement. Here are some of the easiest ways to use Instagram Stories to boost your business.
How to Use Instagram Stories for Business
Most business owners probably know the basics of Instagram Stories. If you need a refresher, Hootsuite has an exhaustive review and step-by-step guide to posting to Stories. However, use Stories as a supplement to your content, not a replacement. Only posting Stories reduces engagement on your main feed and makes it harder for your posts to gain traction. Instead, use Stories to provide knowledge or value for your audience, not to make up for what your main content lacks.
Engagement with Followers
Instagram Stories gives you a main-feed engagement advantage if you are consistently posting Stories and utilizing Instagram’s engagement functions. Stories are likely to rank higher in your follower’s Stories banners if they consistently watch your Story. When Instagram sees that consistent engagement from your followers, the algorithm will push your Story and main feed content. This results in more likes, comments, and shares than just main feed content alone.
Engagement tools Instagram Stories offers include polls, timers, quizzes, sticker links, geotags, and more. These are fun to incorporate into your Story and spark a conversation with your followers. These features will reach a larger audience than just a picture and text Story post alone. Not every Story has to be a serious business topic, either. Checking in with followers, asking their opinions with a poll, or conducting a Q&A is a great way to start a dialogue with your followers and gain engagement.
Instagram Stories is set apart from other limited posts because you can save past Stories to your profile via highlights. This can be past Q&As, poll results, or other important information. New followers or visitors can easily access information by tapping these saved Stories on your profile.
Market Research for Your Products
While Instagram Stories may not be as exhaustive as traditional marketing research, it’s a helpful tool that can aid your business decisions. You can use Instagram’s Story features to learn more about your audience. It’s also a great way to see who views your Story and what followers are more likely to engage with it.
Some Stories ideas for business include using polls to ask your audience what product they like better. You can use the slider bar function to gauge reactions or determine interest in a product. Quizzes can measure your follower’s knowledge of a specific topic. If you’re releasing a new blog or product release, use the countdown timer to excite your audience and build anticipation for the release. One of the most valuable tools is the swipe-up link. This link can redirect your followers to your website, which helps for boosting website views. Encouraging your followers to visit your website or engage with your content by informing them through Stories is a great way to build communication and consistent engagement over time.
Community Support Strengthens Presence
By community support, I mean that resharing other people’s content to your Story boosts your engagement, creates friendly industry contacts, and increases the chance your content is reposted. Reposting or cross-posting other people’s content to your Story builds community with others and gives your followers information about who to follow or introduce them to solutions they may need for their business.
You can build community through Stories in more ways than just reposting. Engage with others’ content by commenting and liking. If you’re close to another creator, do a Story Takeover for the day on each other’s accounts. Make a chain post mentioning other creators or recommend users. Building an Instagram community within your industry informs the algorithm that you enjoy the content you’re engaging with, which will suggest more content sharing the same hashtags or keywords. You can use this information to further build your community. If you’re unsure who to connect with, contact me today to start strategizing your content and discovering your social media niche.
Building Credibility and Trust: Go Live
Technically, we can count this as a Story feature because people have to tap on your Story Icon to join the Live! Building engagement with this function takes some time, but the payoff in viewers and brand credibility is worth it. When you go Live, it’s just you. There’s no editing or changes you can make, so it communicates sincerity to your audience and informs them that you are a real person.
Before you go Live, schedule it in advance and use the countdown timer on Stories to tease the event. Informing your viewers about the event beforehand makes it easier for them to plan their day and attend.
When you go Live, have a plan. This means doing something engaging, like a prepared Q&A, product review, or a how-to. You could also collaborate with another user for a conversation about a topic, or live stream an event you’re attending for your followers to experience it with you. No one enjoys watching a creator stare at the screen while reading a few comments. It’s unengaging, boring, and easy to click off. Use the function sparingly, though. Getting spammed with Live notifications will annoy your followers and lead to them unfollowing. Always remember that your Live should have some value for your viewers and that it contributes to your brand reputation and sincerity. Have a plan, announce it ahead to build excitement, and present value to your watchers.
Instagram Stories is an excellent way to improve your social media marketing, content reach, and engagement. The functionality and engagement tools Stories provides allow you to remind your follower’s about your presence while presenting valuable information. You can use Stories to communicate with your followers about their needs and how you can aid in solving pain points. Also, Stories are accessible to your followers and make it easier to gain positive engagement and reach. These tips are tried and true but take time and consistency. If you’re frustrated with social media, reach out to me today to collaborate and make your business as successful as possible on Instagram.
About Wildly Creative Studio
Get ready to stand out online and attract your ideal client with custom strategies that are built for you. With several years of experience in the advertising industry, I decided to put my skills and expertise into a business that helps online service providers and small business owners grow their online presence. From custom brand & website design to social media management + engagement & lead generation, you’ll have your clients knockin’ at your doors to work with you. Book a discovery call with me to get started.