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How to Utilize Instagram Stories to Promote Your Business
September 27, 2018
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How to Utilize Instagram Stories to Promote Your Business

With more than 25 million active businesses on Instagram and one billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Instagram allows you to engage with your current customers while also showcasing your brand to a new audience.

One of the best features your business can utilize is Instagram Stories. This feature allows you to post photos or a short video (no longer than 15 seconds) that disappears after 24 hours. In a recent survey of Instagrammers by Facebook, one in three active users said they become more interested brands after viewing their Instagram Stories. It’s a unique way of promoting your brand in real-time through exclusive content.

In this post, we’ll explain how to use Instagram stories to advertise your business and gain new followers.

6 Ways Your Business Can Use Instagram Stories

1. Share Business Announcements

While your Instagram feed and profile are great ways to create lasting content, Instagram Stories are beneficial for business announcements, such as detailing new products or introducing flash sales. Since the post is only up for 24 hours, you can create buzz around your new products and offer exclusive discounts. Your customers who want to stay up-to-date on your business will watch out for your stories because they’ll want to know about the latest information and get access to sales.

2. Publish Content That Relates to Your Goals

As a small business owner, your time is valuable, and you can’t afford to waste it on tasks that don’t produce results. Sprout Social recommends listing out your goals and making sure each post correlates with a specific goal. For example, if your goal is building brand awareness, your posts should be educational or give a glimpse into your company culture. On the other hand, if you’re more focused on social selling, you can post dynamite product photos.

3. Allow Customers to Shop

Instagram recently released a new feature where consumers can shop directly from your Instagram Story. If you have products to sell, you can place a shopping bag sticker on your Story and followers can tap on the icon to find out more information about the product. According to Small Business Trends, this feature is only available to select retailers for now, but Instagram is planning to roll it out to more businesses in the future.

4. Tag Your Business Location

It’s important to add a location to your stories, so your followers can see where your business is located. If you sell goods or services online, there’s a high chance you’ll have customers from all over the United States or even the world. Adding a location creates an emotional connection with your users because they’ll know more about your business.

5. Use Gifs to Show off your Brand and Company Culture

Gifs are moving stickers that can be used to create attention-grabbing and engaging content. When you tap on the icon to add a sticker to a photo or video in your Instagram Story, you’ll see an option to add a gif. There are thousands of graphics to choose from and they can be used to show off your brand attributes or direct your followers to a specific action. For example, you can use arrows to direct your followers to “swipe left” to see the next picture, or add a gif that says, “link in bio” so they know how to get to your website.

6. Create Stories “On the Go”

Creating live stories in the moment is a fun way to show your followers what happens when you’re out of the office. This might include a customer giving a testimonial while you’re visiting him off site, or your employees having fun at the company holiday party. You could also give a tour of your building, surrounding area, or city, if it’s relevant to your business.

Conclusion

Instagram has a complicated algorithm that only shows your regular posts to followers that they think will be interested in seeing your content. With Instagram Stories, all your followers will know you recently published a story because there will be a colorful ring around your Instagram profile picture, and there’s a list at the top of the Instagram news feed indicating who has a new Story published. If you want to reach more people, Instagram Stories are an essential parting of your social media strategy.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].
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