Instagram, for those who do not know, is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion active monthly users, it's safe to say that Instagram is here to stay. It has so many features and ways to leverage your business that I will most likely be covering a wide series just on this topic. Today however, I will be speaking on the specific topic of Instagram stories.
Even though Instagram stories have been around since August of 2016 and we are on our third year of having this feature, a lot of businesses are still unaware or don't know how to use this application to benefit their business. I won't be going over how to add a story or where to find it, so if you have no clue what an Instagram story is, you may want to look up a basic walk-through. Instead, I will be going over how to use this feature strategically for your personal brand or business.
Now, there are almost unlimited ways to use this feature to create unique content, so I will be going over the two most important ways you can use this feature if you're new to them. So, without further adieu, let's get into it!
1. Contests, Giveaways, and Polls
It would be easy to give advice and specific content to post, but like I said before, I am only going over the benefits of these strategies in this article. Besides, that's what The HOTspot's for ;)
One of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your company over social media is through a contest, giveaway, or by getting their opinion through a poll. It's a simple formula: People will give you something in exchange for something else. Sure, you could do a simple lead generator that asks them to enter their email if they're interested, but by adding "A Chance to Win!" to the title, I can almost guarantee your numbers will triple.
Think about it. Let's say you saw to different companies who sell coffee put two different stories up. The first one said, "Use Promo Code COFFEE19 for 10% off your next purchase!" The second one said, "Enter your information for a chance to win One YEARS worth of Coffee!" Which one are you likely to take action on?
The first one was offering a discount but it wasn't easily accessible. They wanted you to go to their site, pick out some coffee, and then use the promo code. The second one only required that you enter your basic contact information. It all comes down to two things:
1. Make it EASY to participate
2. Make it worthwhile and fun
The beauty of Instagram stories is that it easy to post and the content doesn't have to be as high quality of regular posts. You might be thinking, "Well I can't afford to give away a years worth of product". Even if you can't afford to give anything away at all, there are other ways to increase engagement (enter Polls). Polls are a fun way to get your audience to engage in general.
Keep in mind that social media is supposed to be FUN! Even if you have a law firm or a dental practice, you can post fun polls. Remember, social media is the "digital personality" of your business. Keep all of the professional and serious content on your website. A good poll can be as simple as "Which is your favorite? Puppies or Kittens?"
I may sound like a broken record but this is one of the BIGGEST pieces of advice I give to all of our clients. It's the same with regular posts, when using your stories, keep the posting schedule consistent! You will be rewarded for several reasons. The first is by posting consistently, you look more professional. The second is that you are actually rewarded for posting consistently! By staying consistent, you have a better chance of showing up on one of your follower's feeds!
For example, with regular posts, a large number of your followers may not see your posts if they get buried under other posts. By uploading regularly and with quality stories, you increase your reach tenfold!
As with anything, consistency and quality will ensure your success. This doesn't mean that you can just upload and upload and expect results. At The HOTspot, we analyze the data from the stories and figure out which ones perform best and have the most traction. By keeping up with this piece, you will be able to grow faster and obtain more engagement. Listen to what your customers are saying. Don't be afraid to get feedback from some of the users who viewed your story!