5 Tips & Tricks for Instagram Stories

When it comes to posting on social media, we’re all promoting a business. Instagram Stories have recently made a boom in the social media world as they help humanize our brands. It’s easy to look at a company’s Instagram page and learn a thing or two, but it’s much more engaging to see what that company is doing on a day-to-day basis. As the audience, we all want the inside scoop – what is this company doing behind the scenes? What is their company culture like? How do they use their products or services?

Whether you are selling a service, promoting a product or sharing a lifestyle, there are a few points to keep in mind.

1. Post About Topics Your Audience is Actually Interested in

It can be tempting to swipe right on the Instagram App and want to post anything and everything. But we advise you, don’t fall into that trap.

Instagram Stories are short, sweet and should be pretty simple. After all, you don’t have much time to post. When brainstorming ideas for your next Instagram Story you should ask yourself some important questions. Who are you posting for? What is the goal of this post? What would you want to see if you were one of your own followers?

So what makes a post valuable and how do you keep your audience interested?

Before breaking into the Story world of Instagram, it’s a good idea to plan the type of content you’d like to publish – valuable vs. random. We all love the random informative articles or funny memes about a relatable trend in the world, but that’s probably not why your followers are following you. Your followers are following you to learn more about your business and/or product. So show them! Valuable content includes (but is not limited to) anything that your viewer can gain knowledge from – i.e. You’re a social media company sharing a blog post on how to better curate Instagram stories and you think your viewers will benefit from it. A good rule of thumb is aiming to post 70% valuable content & 30% random content Give your Stories value!

Is your content fun and engaging? Would you rather see a post with a picture of a new product and a written description or a video of someone using it in real life? Yeah, us too. You want to promote your business, so show them why you rock.

2. Curate Your Posts – You can even recycle them!

Branding is everything. When you started your company, you probably had a few specific ideas about the way it would look. Maybe you wanted your logo to be blue or you only wanted to use black and white photos. Whatever it may be, you created a brand for yourself. So stick to it.

It’s common for Insta-newbs to want to try and change things up. Maybe you saw another Instagram Story and you thought it was so awesome that you wanted to do the same thing. Whatever it may be, instead of taking someone else’s creative idea, use that inspiration to make it your own.

If your profile was a person, who would it be? How would it act? What colors would it wear? When you plan to use only certain color schemes, specific writing styles and a consistent voice, you’re more likely to build brand loyalty – viewers know what to expect.

When you stick to one style, your posts are more likely to be re-posted as your viewers tend to have the same taste as you. Also, did we mention that you can recycle content? We know a curated Instagram Story can take time, that’s why we encourage you to save it. Upon saving your full Story or single photos/videos separately, you can re-post your content onto your other social platforms.

3. Tag Your Location & Utilize Popular Hashtags

Instagram has taken the world by storm with its innovation in geo-tagging locations and finding similar content through hashtags. Which is why, you should utilize it.

Say your business goes on a field trip or you take your team to work in a well-liked remote location, say your local (and most-likely, artsy) coffee shop. You probably want to post a curated photo on your Instagram Story promoting the fact that you and your team are at this said, well-liked coffee shop. May we interject and recommend a picture taken from above (including but not limited to) of your coffee, your workbook and something with your company logo on it (perhaps your company website)? Once you’re done snapping the photo, make sure and tag your location. [Note: You can do this by clicking on the sticker icon on the top of the screen and hitting “location” then selecting your location]. This means that the place you tag is now alerted that they were tagged in your Story and your viewers have instant directions to that coffee shop at the click of a button. The coffee shop may then ask to re-post your photo onto their profile for all of their viewers to see.

Hashtags are your friend. When you use a hashtag, anyone searching for that hashtag can find you. Say you’re at that same coffee shop and you also insert the hashtag “coffee” with the sticker icon on your next Story. When users search the hashtag “coffee” on Instagram there is a chance that your Story will now be a part of the #coffee Instagram Story (a combined Story from any user on Instagram using that hashtag). If viewers like your content from the Story, they are likely to visit your profile and check out your products and services. #Hashtags are your friend.

4. Stick to a Schedule

Unfortunately it is just as easy to lose followers as it is to gain them. People are predictable, they want to know what to expect. If your business is known for posting a “Monday Morning Mantra,” you better make sure and post that mantra. If you login every Friday at 3 pm to tell a funny joke, your viewers will be on standby waiting to laugh while wrapping up their work week.

Our point is, don’t let your viewers down. If you’re known for something great, keep it up! People don’t remember products or information, but they do remember experiences. Sticking to a schedule and producing something engaging for your audience is an experience that humanizes your brand. The viewers on the other side of the screen will start to feel personally connected with your brand.

5. Call to Action

Are you a viewer or a do-er? Turn your viewers into do-er’s with promotions encouraging them to take action! How can you get your audience involved?

People pay attention when a task involves doing something, especially when there’s a reward in the foreseeable future. Say you offer a giveaway. You would then want to post curated images as teasers on your story. Perhaps you photograph only part of the product or post portions of a video showing how this product would be ideal in a certain situation. Entice your customers and then guide them to a post on your profile with the description of your giveaway. Or better yet, take the long commentary from a post on your profile and shorten it with photos and tags on to your Story so viewers have no excuse not to engage.

Did we mention there is a “poll” capability available? Say you’re a tech company but you don’t know what color you want your new product to be, that is where you can give your viewers the floor! The same sticker icon allows you to insert a question with a “poll” type response. This can be a simple “yes” or “no” or you can write full descriptions – “the black cord” v. “the white cord.” Not only are you engaging your viewers but you’re letting them (future customers) customize a product they will now be more interested in purchasing because they contributed to it.

At the end of the day, we all want to promote our businesses better. You want your followers to have fun and connect with your brand along the way. Whether you have decided to change up your topics, curate your feed, dedicate more time to a schedule, or utilize more of the additional features – we want to know, how are your Instagram Stories working to humanize your brand? Let us know in the comments!

To take your brand to the next level on social media, contact us today at: hello@samisocial.com

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