Did you know that over 450 million people use Instagram Stories every day?
Instagram is a great place to grow (or even start) a business. It has many tools and functions that enable businesses, no matter their size, to reach their target audiences faster and convert clicks to customers.
One such function is that of Instagram stories. If you’re curious about how to use Instagram stories to build your business, keep reading for some helpful information!
Addressing the Importance of Using Instagram
So just from the fact that you’re here on this page reading this right now, it probably means that you have a solid understanding of what Instagram is and why it’s important. We can go on and on about the benefits of using Instagram, especially as a business owner.
For now, we’ll keep this part brief so as to not derail from the topic, while simultaneously keeping in mind the importance of knowing what you’re getting yourself into.
Social media has become one of, if not the, best ways to grow a business online. It’s fun, engaging, lighthearted, widely accessible, and mostly free. Within the top five most used social media platforms, Instagram is fighting for the #1 spot with the name everybody knows all too well: Facebook.
What separates Instagram from Facebook is the diversity— not only in the audiences that use it but also in content. You’ll find people from all backgrounds and walks of life engaging in content from simple vacation photos, to short videos on how to build a gaming computer.
With that being said, Instagram has become a necessary tool for reaching target audiences as a business owners. What makes Instagram even better is the ability to set up a ‘business’ account which grants you the ability to look at analytics and boost your content.
There is even a dedicated tab on the app which displays small shops with prices and more info!
Dozens of methods exist that enable businesses to reach their audience and grow their customer base. One of which is using a built-in function, Instagram stories, to help promote content!
What Exactly Are Instagram Stories/Highlights?
Instagram stories are a fundamental character trait of this popular social media app’s personality! They allow users to share content (from others or themselves) to their public ‘story’ which is viewable for up to 24 hours.
If you open up the Instagram app or webpage right now, displayed at the top will be some of the accounts you are following. Once you click on their icon(s), their story will show!
Stories can be personal or impersonal. A casual user might post a cute photo they took of a butterfly on their story, whereas an influencer can announce a random giveaway to their followers.
Now you might be wondering what highlights are and how they relate to Instagram stories. Simply put, highlights are a way for you to save stories to your page after they expire. You can group them into categories and even customize them post-expiration!
How To Use Instagram Stories To Grow a Business
The benefit of using stories as a business owner is that you can both, directly and indirectly, promote your content. Doing so is quite simple to figure out. But there are also some other ways to utilize stories and highlights aside from simply sharing.
Let’s take a look at a few ways to do so.
Share New Posts to Your Story
Whenever you make a post, you run the slight risk of it not reaching your audience due to how Instagram’s algorithm works. Maneuvering the algorithm is tricky because it can be difficult to figure out how it works. Just a side note, you can avoid some of these issues by posting at the right time and using the right hashtags.
Another way to avoid that, and possibly reach an even larger audience, is to share your newest post to your story. When you make a post, hit the paper airplane button under it and select ‘share to story.’
Use Instagram Story Advertisements
Aside from showing your story to your pre-existing followers, you can actually make your story public to all audiences.
Instagram does this by allowing content creators and businesses to advertise publically. These ads are similar to Google PPC ads, yet the charges can vary. Instagram judges pricing based on cost per click (CPC), per engagement (CPE), and per thousand impressions (CPM).
To set up Instagram ads, head into your profile center and select the ADs button.
Engage With Your Audience
One of the biggest benefits of using Instagram stories to grow a business is getting personal with your clients and/or customers. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Make a poll and ask questions in your story
- Use templates and Instagram story stickers to make quirky and engaging stories
- Run competitions, giveaways, and announce deals in your stories
- Apply story filters to customize the user experience
You can get even more personal by uploading a video of yourself or your employees! You can share news about upcoming events, deals, and much else.
Mention Other Users and Use Hashtags
If you make a brand new story, you can mention other users’ accounts by tagging them in the story. They’ll get a notification and if you’re lucky, they’ll share it to their own story!
Hashtags can also be used which will direct users to your page. From there they can view your story and the rest of your page, which can help you indirectly grow on Instagram.
Save Your Stories as Highlights
The downside of Instagram stories is that they expire after 24 hours. But here is where highlights come into play.
Whenever you upload a story, you can create a “Highlights” folder on your Instagram profile, which stores previous stories for as long as you want. You can give these highlights a name, cover photo, and select previously expired stories to add to the collection!
Using highlights is a great way to increase visibility on Instagram. You can really be creative with them, even using other ideas to customize the user experience!
While not exactly a feature of Instagram stories, going live is another great tool to boost user engagement and visibility. Whenever you go live, your live stream appears right next to the stories section.
Go as live as often as you can for the best results.
Other Means of Growing A Business
Social media, specifically Instagram, is a great way to grow a business in 2022. We hope this short guide on how to use Instagram stories helped out, and truth be told, there are more ways you can use stories to drive traffic to your page.
If you’re looking for more business-related tips, please visit the blog/blogger lifestyle section of our page