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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:35

6 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Get More Customers for Your Small Business

Instagram stories were launched in the beginning of August and have propelled the social media giant to another level: 600 million monthly active users, thanks mostly to its new Instagram Stories feature. Instagram is currently the second-most used social media site in the U.S. and Instagram Stories now have at least 100 million daily users.

Instagram users who never used Snapchat were probably immediately smitten with this new feature. (However, if you use Snapchat, you know that Instagram stole the Stories idea from it.) Either way, Instagram stories are awesome, engaging and it looks like they’re going to stick around.

What are Instagram Stories?

Mobile View of Instagram App

Instagram stories are 10-second videos that are posted to a temporary timeline that disappears after 24 hours. If you’re not sure what they are, hop onto Instagram (on your phone) and check it out! (They’re the circles at the very top of the screen.)

If your business isn’t on Instagram, your competitors are taking full advantage of your target audience. Instagram’s been around for six years and its momentum is growing. Especially if your business is a B2C, join Instagram now!

How to Use Instagram Stories to Engage With Your Audience

Use Instagram Stories to further engage with your audience, get more clicks to your website and gain a larger social media following (which should lead to a larger brand following and ultimately, more customers.) Here are six ways that your business can use Instagram Stories to get more customers:


1. New product showcase

Tease your audience with subtle hints about a new product. You can make Instagram Stories and Instagram posts that reveal a little more detail about the new product every day until your official launch. Then you can have a whole day’s worth of Instagram Stories focus on “the big reveal” of your new product, then mesmerize your audience with brilliant photos and videos of the product. Make sure you end the Instagram Stories with a call-to-action and include the link to the new product in your Instagram bio.

2. Instagram takeover

This is a very popular trick and it’s especially a great idea if your business is new to Instagram or if you have a small following. Think of it like having a guest blogger, except this person will guest post on your Instagram all day. The key is to choose a prominent leader in your industry or your target audience’s industry that is very influential, to ensure that this Instagram Takeover gets your account a bunch of new followers.

3. Special offers

Spoil your Instagram followers with special offers. Be sure to make the offer time-sensitive to increase urgency (and the likelihood that people want to take advantage of the special offer) and only offer something valuable to increase interest. You can mention these special offers on your company’s other social media channels (use hashtags) and direct the traffic to your Instagram Stories.

4.Behind-the-scenes

Everyone knows that social media shows only half the story. Businesses on social media post only what they want their audience to see and know. Give your audience a sneak-peak of your business’s normal operations at the office, warehouse or manufacturing facility. Show your audience how your company makes its products or how your specialists perform the services they provide. Be unique, be transparent but make sure it’s compelling.

5. An adventure

Traveling somewhere? Going to a new manufacturing facility, a new office or a very famous, or exotic place? Take your audience with you! Capture photos and videos and share them on Instagram Stories to create a closeness with your audience. They will appreciate you taking them on a journey and will surely check back on your Instagram feed in the future.

6. Giveaways

Mention that your company is doing a giveaway on all of your online channels (email, social media, blog) but only post the giveaway’s rules on your blog and as Instagram Stories. Again, be sure to only giveaway something valuable to generate a ton of interest and buzz. Make Instagram Stories about the different rules and show pictures and videos of the prize(s). Then guide your social media followers to your Instagram account and watch your followers increase!

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Learn More:

•    Want to learn more about Instagram stories? Read Instagram’s blog post about their newest feature by clicking here.
•    Have questions about how to create Instagram stories or how to use Instagram? click here for the Instagram Help Center.
•    If you’d like your business to take advantage of Instagram but need assistance with doing so, click here.
•    If you’re interested in tips for best Instagram practices, read some excellent tips here.
•    Need help with your overall social media and marketing strategy, contact our marketing experts.

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Amanda Strouse

Amanda breathes and bleeds writing and social media. While in college at San Diego State University, she decided to turn her leisurely love affair into a multi-faceted career and, ever since, has been helping business owners increase leads by using a variety of inbound and outbound marketing. She has used several social media platforms since their conception and has ten years of professional writing experience, including three years of experience as an editor.

She is proud to be one of Bloominari’s social media marketing associates and enjoys helping the clients build brand awareness, engaging with the client’s target audience and enhancing the client’s image as an industry expert. Her recipe for effective social media is one part fun, two parts hard work and one part persistence.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys creative writing, volunteering, going to the beach, visiting new places, watching movies and relaxing with her dogs.

Find Amanda on LinkedIn

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