If the last ten years have taught us anything, it’s to never underestimate the power of Instagram.
The second-ranked traditional social network (no surprise, Facebook comes in first), Instagram pulls in more than 1 billion users each month, with a total of 140 million U.S. users.
And while Instagram users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform, they’re spending even more time on Instagram Stories — a feature that allows users to post pictures and videos that “disappear” after 24 hours. (There are ways to save these stories for future viewing. More on that later!)
Let’s break it down, shall we?
- 500 million people use Stories every day.
- 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
- 50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service in Stories.
Those stats speak for themselves, but it’s important to note why Instagram Stories are effective. Here are the 3 big ones:
- Increased Brand Visibility
By getting on Stories consistently, you’re embracing the opportunity to engage more frequently and authentically with your followers. While you should continue to post regularly to your main feed, Stories is an easy way to stay top of mind with your audience — quite literally. (Instagram Stories are located at the very top of the page, so they’re the first thing people see when they open the app.)
- A Better Business Profile
Remember earlier when I said that photos and videos shared to Stories disappear after 24 hours? Well, Instagram has created ways around that. First, you can go to the photo or video, tap the three dots on the bottom right of your screen, and select “Share as Post.” You can then post that picture as you would a regular Instagram post, with a caption, filter, and location. And, if you want to curate a collection of Stories for your followers to revisit later, you can create categorized Highlights and add your individual Stories to those collections, so they live permanently on your Instagram page.
- Real Connection with Your Target Audience
Stories are not meant to be perfect but raw, real, and relevant to the particular moment. Although it might seem insignificant, this type of content is critical for your business because it humanizes you and your team. It provides your audience with a sort of look behind the scenes, creating a sense of transparency that allows people to connect with you on a deeper level. By continuing to post and build that connection, you’ll organically develop relationships between yourself and other businesses, potential clients, and collaborators.
- Increased Brand Visibility
So, how should you use Instagram Stories to grow your business?
First of all, if you’re not sure where Stories are located, they’re the small circles that run along the top of the page. Just click on a circle, and the Stories from all of your followed accounts will play through. (You can always swipe left to scroll more quickly.)
When creating a Story, remember it can be a photo or a video. If you record a video directly through Instagram, it will automatically cut it into 10-second clips. If you upload an existing video, the max length is 40 seconds. Just remember to always use captions with your videos — they don’t have to be word-for-word, but they should get your message across accurately.
And remember, Stories are meant to be fun. Share photos of your day-to-day activity, announcements, or countdowns to upcoming events. Use stickers, filters, music — whatever brings some personality to your page. You can also incorporate polls and ask questions to mix up your Story content and increase engagement.
Bottom line: Instagram Stories add more freedom and flexibility to your social media strategy. With so many reasons to use the tool, why not post a Story this week?
And, as always, if you need help with Instagram or any other social media platform, the Brand Social Marketing team is here to help. Contact us any time to get started.