How to Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Business

Social Media Marketing
  • Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most down-to-earth and real ways to interest your customers and engage them naturally, without too much effort on designing and boosting parts.
  • With the constant updates and new features that the platform keeps releasing such as the stories, your business is bound to succeed more and more and attract newer audiences.
  • Why should you use Instagram stories and how to put good content in them - keep on reading to find out the answers.

how to use instagram stories

Why should businesses use Instagram stories?

Instagram stories are the latest trend, with the Facebook owned platform now reporting 250 million viewers daily worldwide, they’re a fresh way for you to promote your business products & services in a fun, relaxed and creative way without disturbing the aesthetic appearance of your permanent feed.

As for why you should use stories to promote your business, giving your community an insight into the behind the scenes happenings of your day-to-day working life (or personal life, for the bloggers out there!) gives your instagram followers an addictive way to interact with you. The casual and relaxed feel of stories are more personalised than your feed images and give an authentic touch to your brand.

What types of Instagram posts should you do for stories?

It really depends on what you offer as a business. Using stories to give your followers, customers and community a behind-the-scenes look into what’s going on in your headquarters, makes them feel involved and naturally engages them. Your brand on Instagram becomes more personal in a unique way that the static photos and videos on your feed doesn't.

Keeping those who view your stories engaged is vital if your aim is to build more of a sense of community, and stories is your way to do that. You are also able to use stories as a testing ground for ideas. With new features such as polls, you can quickly and easily gain metrics on any ideas you may have in the works (new colours, styles, products, anything). Of course there’s also the fun side with filters, stickers, drawing tools and more being added constantly - it’s a great opportunity to show your personality.

How to craft posts to promote your business

Planning a strategy is an important step for story success.

When watching stories yourself, many will seem spur of the moment, impulsive, and casual, but a brand will have given at least a little thought into how their stories will pan out over the course of the day, week or month. Strategic planning can see your engagement rate rise quickly with those viewing becoming an active user base.

Thinking about them and planning in advance will help you to create more consistency and an addictive element for your followers and story viewers. Giving them a taste of what’s to come in your stories is also a great way to have them visit again later in the day or week and begin coming to your account directly rather than just scrolling and coming across you organically.

As for visual creation, the size of stories is important to note, if creating an image or video in advance, you will need to size accordingly, 1080 x 1920 pixels is the size needed to fill the screen on an Instagram story. Most digital programs are also on the front foot and offering pre-fabricated sizes specifically for stories. The Adobe suite now offers ‘Adobe Spark’ an online program (an app is also available) dedicated to creating social media marketing content. It’s an easy and quick way to create professional stories for you to share with your followers.

How to measure if it is effective

Having metrics of how many people will have viewed your story, you will see it shows you viewers, how many people tapped through your stories and if anyone swiped away from your account all together. How you measure effectiveness will also depend on what your aim is when you first decide to do stories;

  • Are you on a mission to drive conversions and direct sales?
  • Perhaps you are just using them as a way to build a community and brand voice?
  • Or even as a productivity tool, gaining insights from your current or potential customers to help mould your next product or service.

Success will be a unique attribute for each business, some even just see it as a fun way to interact with their followers and aren’t looking to gain anything more than some enjoyment in their day-to-day hustle.

Other tips

  1. If you’re talking in a story, look at the camera, don’t look at yourself in the screen, this adds an even more personal touch (which is how stories are unique!)
  2. Plan, plan, plan to keep viewers engaged in your day / what you have to say, try not to say everything about your day in one go, keep it interesting and spread it out to have them coming back.  
  3. If you have something exciting happening behind the scenes, but it’s not a high traffic day for your Instagram account, film in advance and post on a high engaging day to get a larger reach.

Remember that stories are only viewable for 24 hours unless you add them as a highlight, now able to be saved to the top of your feed (something that has only been released recently, so its influence on stories is yet to be determined).

Katie Aquilina

Director at The Social Seed

I am the owner of a flourishing Social Media Management & Marketing Agency specialising in providing strategic social media management, auditing, content creation and marketing. I aim to build up any of my clients brands to be SOCIAL in the social media space, which has quickly become flooded with disingenuous content, copy and images. I care about each clients brand like they are my own and work tirelessly to ensure I develop a unique strategy that smashes your marketing goals.