What are Instagram Stories and How Can I Use Them For Business?

Instagram joined the (Almost) Live space by adding stories to it's list of new features. Instagram stories are not that different from Snapchat stories. And if you aren't sure what Snapchat stories are either - take a look at the snapchat 101 right here. Instagram stories is a way for users to share media - images and videos in a slideshow format giving businesses the opportunity to share moments from their day without constantly updating and overloading their business profile. Stories also disappear after 24 hours so it's much easier to create fun throwaway content that you wouldn't usually share on your Instagram page.

How it works.

If you already use Instagram, its going to be obvious how it works and where stories are as you'll see them on your home-feed instantly. For those of you just getting started, here's how they work: When you press on your home screen you'll see a little plus with a circle around it in the top left corner and you'll also see the profile images of the people you follow. These are their stories. Press each image to see the stories of the brands and people you are following. When the people you follow add new content, you'll see a multi coloured ring around their circle.

To make an update to your story, simply press the plus sign in the corner and take a snap or video.

One you have done this you will get the opportunity to add text or to write on the image. (see inserted screen shot images below)

For a how to guide on how to use Instagram stories check out the Instagram business blog here

Instagram stories

instagram stories IMG_3535

The great benefit of stories is that you are able to create content that goes behind the scenes of your life and business. Adding a more human element to your Instagram account. It's the perfect way to be a little more cheeky and show what happens in between the perfection of Instagram images.

So how can you use Instagram stories for business apart from behind the scenes at work and so on?

Do a Q&A

If you are an expert in a niche topic you can take a video of yourself asking your audience if they have any questions for you. Ask them to Direct Message the questions and then you will respond to them with another story post.

Share your blog post or video content before it's live

A great way to give additional value to your native Instagram audience would be to share a screen shot or a sneak peek of your latest video or blog before you push the publish button. This also acts as a way to increase visits to your post.

Create Stories in Realtime

This may seem obvious as they are called stories after all! But try to build up a snapshot of your day by turning it into a story. Try to be as creative as possible with your updates. Try taking shots or videos on the way to meetings, during them and afterwards. You can show how you create a project from start to finish and so on. Remember people love to interact with brands that are genuine.

What will your next Instagram story be? 

Find out more about Instagram marketing in socialdaytraining.com - free access to all readers with this link.