9 Tips for Using Instagram Stories for Your Business

Instagram Stories have exploded since it launched. At the end of summer, Instagram stories will celebrate its two year anniversary. With now at over 300 million users watching Instagram stories daily, it’s no wonder that businesses from all industries and sizes have started using this short-story feature on one of the top three fastest growing social media networks.

Since it’s launch, 50% business accounts on Instagram have posted at least one story. Even though it’s early on in its inceptions, there are a number of tips and trends that business owners can use to create impactful stories of their own that reach and engage their audiences. Check out these nine tips on how you can use Instagram Stories in your business.

  1. Decide the type of story you want to tell. 

There are various types of story categories, if you will, that you can choose from when you go to create a story. You can choose from one of these.

  • Informational/Educational – These stories are meant to inform or educate your audience.
  • Inspiration – This type of story deepens your brand’s relationship with your customer. The aim is to bring joy with your content for these types of stories.
  • Community – The people who love your brand must be recognized. Make them feel as if they are an important part of your brand story, because they are. Include them in the conversation. Feature and honor them in creative ways.
  • Behind-The-Scenes – Instagram stories gives businesses and brands the unique opportunity to let their audience get an inside scoop. This brings humanity or personality into the business. People want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. When you show this, it leads to building trust.
  • Selling or Marketing – This shouldn’t be 95% of your content, and if it is, consider pulling back. Before choosing this story type, ask yourself, “How have I been adding value?
Your story needs to move people's spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you've given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse. - Gary Vaynerchuck Click To Tweet

2. Use Instagram Stories to answer your customer’s frequently asked questions. In addition to stories, you can make these “Story Highlights” on your profile as well, to answer some commonly asked questions. Instagram story highlights are permanent stories that live on your profile. You can learn more about them here.

3. Bring your stories to life using animated GIFs. This recent integration with Giphy allows you to search specific gifs to add to your stories after you create one as a way to enhance and bring them to life like the one below.

Gif Use in Instagram Stories for Business

gif via @later.com

4. Engage with your audience in real-time by going live on Instagram Stories. Use the LIVE feature on Instagram Stories to have an important conversation with your audience, share tips or, if you’re feeling camera shy, invite a guest to join you! It’s important to note that in order to invite a guest to join you, they must first be watching your LIVE story.

5. Tell unique stories by utilizing different story capturing formats like Boomerang, Rewind, Focus, Superzoom, Stop-Motion or even a 15-second hands-free capturing option. These various formats will create contrast as you create multiple stories during the day.

6. Have brand consistency in your stories by using the eyedropper tool to use your brand colors or select colors from the images in your stories. Instagram makes it easy to use custom colors to keep stories on brand.

7. Use Instagram Stories to cross-promote posts. When you publish a new photo to Instagram, you can use stories to give people a reminder or behind-the-scenes look on what your new post is about and encourage them to give it a look and prompt them with a question to encourage them to comment.

8. Collaborate with other businesses that are complementary to take-over your Instagram story. This can be a mutually beneficial way to exchange value and get your brand or business in front of new audiences.

Are you currently using Instagram Stories for your business? Tell us some of the ways you are using it in the comments.