Since Instagram Stories were launched in August 2016, this amazing feature has spread like fire. Statistics released by Instagram revealed that as of June 2018, Instagram Stories reached 400 million daily users.
Brands started using Instagram Stories for business because it gives them a great opportunity to connect with their audience on a personal level. With its rapid adoption, Instagram Stories are quickly becoming the hottest feature on social media.
Why is Instagram Stories feature so important for businesses?
There are many reasons why businesses are switching to Instagram Stories. First, this form of marketing helps increase brand awareness and it gives room for partnership opportunities.
By using Instagram Stories, businesses can interact with their customers and develop authentic relationships. As a result, businesses are able to gather feedback from their esteem customers, a factor that enables them to improve the quality of services or products.
Instagram Stories is also an excellent avenue to launch new products. Businesses can create pre-launch campaigns in Stories which is an opportunity to tell their customers what their new products or services is all about and how it will benefit the customer. It helps to drive traffic to their website or to collect leads.
There is no doubt that Instagram Stories play a considerable role in promoting a business as well as in establishing a good relationship with customers. Unfortunately, not all businesses are benefiting from this feature.
So the big question is, what should you do to get the maximum benefit from Instagram Stories? In this article, we are going to show you the essential Instagram Stories features you can use to enhance brand awareness and boost conversations.
10 Instagram Stories features to create conversations with your audience
#1. Share the Stories where you are mentioned
The concept behind Instagram’s mention share feature is pretty simple. However, its impact on business is groundbreaking. This incredible feature allows you to share the Instagram Stories where you are mentioned. This means that if you are mentioned in someone’s story, you’ll get a notification with the option to share that content as your own story.
If someone re-share your post in their story, it means that your username will be shown on top image panel, a factor that will enable you to generate exposure from that particular profile.
You can use this feature to promote your webinars or events and mention the guests, roundup influencers, then tag them in Instagram Stories for a chance to re-share.
#2. Create AMA Stories with the questions sticker
This latest Instagram feature is a brief photo sharing component which allows businesses to create AMA (Ask Me Anything) Stories with theme days. Questions asked can be answered publicly in the subsequent post.
In order to request questions, you need to choose the questions sticker that is located on the stickers library.
Take @asos for example. They are using the questions sticker to promote the upcoming season editions or ask for feedback.
#3. Add to your Stories every UGC
User-generated content is available in different forms, from product reviews to users photos. Many businesses usually look out for the best content available on the internet, then use them to market their products on Instagram Stories, and give credit to the original creator of the content.
Most user-generated content has great potential to capture the heart and mind of the target audience. This Instagram Story feature is used by businesses to create an engaged and vibrant community by giving them the content they love.
#4. Share your followers’ posts in your story
For a long period of time, Instagram had been lagging behind other social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter that allowed users to re-share their followers’ posts.
However, when this new feature was finally launched, it gave users an opportunity to react to followers’ posts and re-purposing them as their own.
In order to share the followers’ posts in your story, the story needs to be public and your business has to be tagged that Story. It is a great feature that helps boost brand awareness.
#5. Improve the Stories interactions using emoji stickers and poll
Choosing an emoji for your question allows you to add an emotional context, a factor that helps those who are answering to understand your tone and give the right answer. It is an important feature that can help you get closer to your target audience.
#6. Add a link to your Instagram Stories
The main goal of Instagram Stories is to convince your target audience to take a specific action. These actions include things like signing up for your newsletter or buying your products or services. Adding links to your Instagram Stories will allow your audience to go directly to your website and take action.
To add a link to your Instagram Story, first you need to have a verified account (blue check mark) or 10,000 followers, and a business account.
#7. Use hashtag and location feature stickers to boost (local) reach and impressions
Once you have invested your time and resources to create an outstanding Instagram Story, the next challenge is to get viewers to your Story.
Hashtags and the location sticker might be a great help. Sue Zimmerman recommends to include three hashtags per Story.
When you place hashtags in your Instagram images caption, those particular images will appear on a public aggregation of those hashtags. This means that if your Instagram Story is more engaging more than others posted at the same time, then your story will appear on top.
This will make it easy for people to see and view your Stories. Many people nowadays use Instagram to search for local businesses. As a result, Instagram algorithm favors business that corresponds to location-based business.
#8. Share you IGTV videos in your Instagram Stories
IGTV gives businesses an opportunity to grow their audience base. Once you have an IGTV channel and adding videos, you can link those videos in your Stories.
Adding IGTV to your Instagram Stories is simple. All that you need to do is open your Instagram story, upload a video or photo. Click on the link icon then choose the IGTV video that you would like to share. You can add extra things such as emoji or GIF to personalize your Instagram Story.
#9. Highlight top Stories on your Instagram profile
You can take advantage of this new feature to improve your brand visibility and also to establish a good relationship with your audience. This new feature allows businesses to highlight top content that is related to their brand story and values.
Have you started using Instagram Stories for business? What’s your favorite Story feature? Share your thoughts in comments.