Using social media for business is a fun way to engage with customers, check out your competition and develop your brand voice. You may have covered all the social media platforms for your business, but if you’re not using Instagram Stories, you’re missing out on some major opportunities.

Instagram is the most personal way to engage with customers via social media. The visual-centric platform has now reached over 2.3 billion monthly active users. That’s great news for businesses looking to get in on the action considering 90% of accounts follow at least one business on Instagram.

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Instagram users spend an average of 53 minutes per day on the platform.

Boost Engagement

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to increase engagement with your followers, you’ll want to tap into the many features Instagram Stories offers. Create everything from quizzes to polls. If you’re not the creative type, Instagram offers a Create mode to get the ball rolling for you.

By consistently posting you have a greater chance of reaching your audience while they tap, tap, tap through Stories all day. By posting regularly, you’re also opening the business up for more interactions and that alone will raise your ranking with Instagram’s algorithm.

Must-try Instagram Stories Features:

  • Poll
  • Emoji slider
  • Questions
  • Quiz
  • Chat
  • Live
  • Countdown

Grow Your Brand

Want to get your name out there? Use Instagram Stories to create highly shareable content like Q+A templates, recipe cards and how-to visuals. Of course, make sure it’s visibly branded so your business builds buzz with each share.

Take advantage of the Giphy library on Instagram Stories by creating your own branded GIF that will populate with key searches. If you’re running a dog boutique, add your logo under the category dog. Now when people search for a Stories GIF related to dogs, your logo will pop up.

Even if the GIF isn’t used, the business has still reached a new audience, which could lead to a future Google search about your business. Make sure you’re able to be located in Google Business Profiles when that time comes.

Speaking of being located, the location tag is a great way to land among aggregated Instagram Stories and get local exposure. When your target audience posts and view the location stories, they’ll see your posts authentically. What better way to let them know you’re one of them.

Generate Leads and Sales

If you’re looking for a great way to get your content, products and services some attention, it’s time to make Instagram stories work for you. Drag new prospects, current leads and loyal customers back to your website by sharing a photo or video to your Stories with a link.

In a single month, over 120 million Instagram users visited sites, got directions or contacted businesses to learn more — all from Instagram. That’s some major interaction in only a month. Who wouldn’t want to get in on numbers like that? It’s an effective strategy to get people engaging with your site and start making conversions.

By simply including a link in your Story, you can take the viewer directly to the item they saw to make the purchase. The ease of navigation is sure to encourage a little impulse buying.

Engaging link uses:

  • See More button
  • Product sticker
  • Book Now button

Get Brand Ambassadors

If you haven’t considered using Instagram influencers as brand ambassadors, it’s time to get on it. By building a relationship with influencers as a form of marketing you can increase your brand awareness, grow your following and drive up sales.

Doing this is simple. Start off the relationship by offering free or discounted products or services. Think of it as an investment because they’ll use Instagram Stories as a space to promote your brand. Posting about a product they love with a link to the item and coupon code takes influencers less than 5 minutes to post.

Because their faithful following trusts their opinions, you should see a rise in sales. Enlisting Instagram influencers is common regardless of the industry and most influencers are always looking for businesses to do work with.

Bring your already loyal customers in on the fun. Encourage your customers to upload photos of them engaging with your product in their own unique way. Make sure they tag you in the posts, that way you can share their content on your Instagram stories! This not only builds upon the commitment your customer has with your brand, it’s also helpful for other potential customers when they’re wanting to make the right purchase decisions.

Unlike regular Instagram posts, you are actually able to share Instagram Stories when your followers, influencers and customers tag you, so be sure to reciprocate the love!

Get Ads on Stories

You’ve tried the organic route while trying to drive sales, but you may want more. It’s time to start playing around with Instagram Stories Ads. Consider the fact that 75% of Instagram users visit a website or make a purchase after watching Instagram Ads, so it’s worth investing in a strategy.

Tips for getting started with Instagram Stories Ads:

  • Split test photos against videos
  • Keep messaging short and to the point
  • Include your brand logo
  • Make it feel authentic
  • Create a strong call-to-action
  • Use carousel for longer messages
  • Add music

Instagram Ads are created using Facebook’s Ads Manager. There you can select your target audience and campaign objective before selecting Instagram Stories as your ad placement. If you’re not too sure and want to get your feet wet before diving into the world of Instagram ads financially, promote an organic Instagram Stories post.

Using Instagram Stories is not only an incredible tool to help grow your business and develop your brand voice. It’s also one of the best ways to generate customer engagement and have a blast in the process. There’s no limit to what you can create and discover.

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