Instagram Stories have been a staple feature of the app since August 2016, and if you’re not already utilizing them in your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to connect with clients.
Instagram Stories are temporary posts that show up under your profile picture on the app and at the top of the feed. Lasting 24 hours, these posts can be photos, Boomerangs (gif like repeating images), video, or live video. “Instagram stories are more applicable for marketing since it offers brand analytics and a more comprehensive marketing platform than any other app offering temporary posts,” according to our Answer 1 reports.
“As of June 2017, 250 million people use Instagram stories every day, and that user base will only increase.” There are a lot of guides out there that explain the technical side of Instagram stories, so here are 4 ways you can use this feature to wow your social media followers and grow your brand.
Test new content
Instagram stories are the perfect way to test out new styles of content for your online marketing efforts. For instance, it can feel a bit risky to write a blog post focused on a new concept. But if you share a snippet on Instagram Stories your followers can give you a good idea of how that type of content will be received.
According to Later.com, “Ask for feedback on future products through your Instagram DMs. This helps your followers feel involved, and can give you some much-needed insight.” You can also use the Poll feature in Instagram Stories to get instant and direct feedback on anything.
There are tons of Instagram analytic tools like Owlmetrics, Socialbakers, Iconosquare and Keyhole – to name a few. Try a few out and see what kind of posts get the most engagement.
As Alan Weiss said, “Ask your customers to be part of the solution and don’t view them as part of the problem.”
Introduce your team
Now more than ever, your audience craves authenticity on social media. “If your social media presence comes across as insincere, [customers] will be much less inclined to engage with your company.”
Use Stories to introduce your team! Your audience will love knowing who is behind the scenes at your company. Being able to put a face to a brand will humanize your business, encourage your customers to engage with you on social media, and help your team feel appreciated. Seeing the daily action that makes your business run will encourage customers and humanize your brand.
Share your company culture
Speaking of humanizing your brand, you can use Instagram Stories to highlight your company culture. ”Showing that you nurture close relationships and a family-like environment will attract clients who share the same values,” according to Flight Media. “It will reassure current customers that they’re in the hands of a team that loves what they do.”
If you aren’t actively building your company culture, then you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with clients. Company culture is the environment you create for your employees in the office and throughout your entire business. You can share team outings, company lunches, or notable meetings on Instagram Stories. (Make sure sensitive information isn’t shared, obviously!)
Give followers a sneak peek
A smart way to build brand loyalty is to offer perks to followers. In a world that is inundated with media and advertising messages, it’s difficult for any kind of social media engagement to feel genuine or surprising.
Disappearing content on social media is the perfect way to do just that. When you offer followers a quick view of a new product, not only can you get the aforementioned benefit of early feedback, you also make customers feel important and in the know.
Build a stronger brand with Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories offers an excellent platform to diversify your content, revamp your marketing, and show off your company culture and team. Give them a try and see what using Stories can do for your marketing.
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology-enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 will achieve record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Connect with @answer1 on Twitter.
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