There’s no doubt about it; gaining exposure for your content on Instagram is getting harder. In fact, estimates show that just 10 per cent of your posts get through to your followers. The Instagram algorithm has changed many times in the last two years, impacting user engagement and lessening the impact of your content.
To combat this problem, the most successful brands out there are cashing in on a feature that is rapidly growing in popularity. Instagram Stories – the Facebook-owned platform’s answer to Snapchat – now has over 300 million active daily users, which means more than half of all Instagram users are interacting with the feature.
For businesses with a desire to up their social engagement, Instagram Stories provides a unique way of promoting your brand. So how does it work?
What Is Instagram Stories?
In a nutshell, this feature offers a way for users to share photos and videos in a slideshow which disappears after 24 hours. Whereas your regular feed is great for creating beautiful, lasting posts, Stories is the place for real-time, ultra-authentic sharing.
Users love Stories because of the intimacy it provides. It works best when you have a business announcement, a teaser for an upcoming product or a special event going on, and can be great for taking your followers behind the scenes of your brand. By showing sneak-peeks of what you’re working on, your audience feels a sense of exclusivity and gets to see the real personalities within your business.
Why Should I Use Instagram Stories For My Business?
The nature of social media means that, in order to stay relevant and engaged with your users, your strategy needs to flex in line with platform changes and trends. There’s no question that Stories is here to stay. Here are a few reasons why you should start utilising the feature now.
Stay front of mind.
The great thing about Instagram Stories is that they appear at the top of your audience’s feed for 24 hours, rather than disappearing into the ether if the algorithm deems it necessary. It also gives you the opportunity to post more often with little updates, boosting your brand awareness.
Protect your quality feed.
One of the key engagement factors with Instagram is the quality of your feed, and each post can take hours to get right. But with Stories, the photos and videos don’t get saved to your profile, meaning you can cash in on the benefits of real-time marketing without cluttering your profile with less-than-perfect images.
Become more discoverable.
Just as users will come across new accounts via posts, Stories are discoverable, meaning they provide a great opportunity to expand your follower base.
Include a link without changing your profile.
If you’ve ever tried to point your audience to a particular webpage via Instagram, you will know that this is only possible by directing them to your profile and changing the website. Not so with Stories – as long as you have more than 10,000 followers, you can add links to your content.
Have some fun with your audience.
It can be hard to show the fun side of your brand on Instagram. With the pressure to create perfect content, posts tend to be more inspirational than jovial. But with Stories, you have more freedom to let loose and experiment with different types of content, giving you the perfect platform to try new things.
The Instagram Stories feature offers a fantastic opportunity to engage with your audience more flexibly and outsmart the ongoing changes to their algorithm. There are so many benefits to giving it a go – why not try it out for your business?