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A relatively new feature has taken Instagram by storm: Instagram Stories. Taking the lead from the success of Snapchat, Instagram Stories are small snippets of photos or videos that show up on your followers’ feed for 24 hours, before vanishing from the platform. You might think that, because of such a short lifespan, that it isn’t worth investing time into Instagram Stories. This is not the case. In fact, Instagram Stories have the potential to engage followers on a much more personal level than your regular Instagram updates. Here are a few ways you can make the most of Instagram Stories to promote you and your brand.
Promote Time Limited OffersThere is nothing more persuading than a time limit. Whether it is a sale you want to promote, a limited edition product, or even a free giveaway, you can utilise the 24 hour limit on your stories to your advantage. Make a chain of posts on your story promoting the offer, highlighting that your followers only have 24 hours to get involved. By doing this, you will not only gain more traffic towards the particular thing you are promoting, but you are also giving your followers an edge over those who don’t follow you. Incorporating Instagram Story exclusive offers to your account will help generate a loyal following, one who will feel rewarded for being part of your community. It may also add a healthy bit of profit to your pocket as well.
Behind the Scenes AdventuresBehind every great Instagram picture is a hard working Instagrammer. And now, with Instagram Stories, your followers have the chance to see the you behind the camera. Whilst you are setting up an Instagram photoshoot, or planning your social media calendar, or just having a personal adventure out in the world, use Instagram Stories to let your followers know what you’re up to. If you’re extra savvy, you’ll know ahead of time what you will be doing, and can therefore plan an episodic adventure on your Instagram feed. You know you’re going to a fancy dinner with other Instagrammers? Show us painting your nails, deciding what to wear, snippets of everyone at the table; let your followers feel like they’re with you every step of the way. Not only does this regular posting allow you to build more content, and therefore more traffic, to your account, but it also gives followers a glimpse behind the beautiful Instagram photos. The more brands utilise Instagram, the more they risk presenting themselves as less human and less personal. Break away from that and show your followers a glimpse of your true, hard-working self.
A Platform For Guest HostsA little bit of collaboration can go a long way. Reaching out to other Instagrammers and asking them to be a host on your Instagram story is a fantastic way to utilise the platform. By allowing someone else to take the reins 24 hours, you not only open up time to plan for other Instagram projects, but it also open up a whole heap of advantages. For one, the host can promote you and your product on their own Instagram, helping you to reach out to a wider audience. Secondly, it shows that you are not only using Instagram, but engaging with the influencers on it, bringing credibility to your account. Third and most importantly, it encourages creativity from both you and your guest host - you can both have lots of fun! If you’re having fun, then chances are your followers are having fun too.
Reach Out to FollowersThe best way to build a following is to listen to the following you have. Using Instagram Stories as a tool to reach out to your followers is the easiest, and one of the most advantageous, things you can do. You can set up a poll to let your followers decide what posts to put up. You can ask followers to share their own, similar stories with you. You can even invent your own hashtag with your audience, to help promote yourself on social media. Similar to Snapchat, the number one thing you can use this type of format for is to communicate with others. By having a follower base that talks to you, you can gain feedback on what you are doing, as well as present yourself as someone who cares about their fans. With Instagram stories, you can not only increase your follower numbers, but show your current followers that you are on the ball, communicative, and interested in what they think.