Instagram for business: Part Four

Welcome back for another instalment of our Instagram for Business masterclass series!

This week, we’re looking at how you can use the increasingly popular ‘Stories’ feature to boost the visibility of your profile, better engage with your customers and show off your personality whilst beating Instagram’s sometimes tricky algorithm…

For those feeling out of the loop, Instagram’s algorithm is the way the app sifts through all of the content available and selects what will appear on a user’s feed, which means that on average, users often only see 30% of the posts from the accounts they follow. 

But what can you do to make sure your posts are visible? It’s simple – Instagram’s new Stories feature!

Ever since being added to Instagram back in 2016, statistics have shown that not only are users staying on the app longer and visiting it more frequently throughout the day, but that more than 300 million people are using Stories daily. Stories appear on the top of the Instagram feed and regularly reappear as users scroll down with an “in case you missed it” headline, which is why they should definitely become a part of your regular Instagram activity.

One use of Stories is sharing pictures/videos that you might not want to put on your Instagram grid, because they don’t fit in with your chosen theme, etc. For example, you can re-share pictures that customers have shared of your business to your story which shows you appreciate your customers, without messing up your pretty grid that you’ve worked so hard on.

Stories are also excellent for going behind the scenes of the business and showing a more personal side of both the company and staff and can also be used for important announcements and reminders of events if you don’t want to keep posting about them on your regular feed.

There’s more to Stories than just posting a picture or a video…

Polls

Polls are a sticker which can be added to a story that ask the viewer a simple question. It’s an excellent tool that can be used for market research purposes as the results are instantaneous. For example, you can post a pictures of potential colour schemes for a new range of products and ask your followers which ones they prefer.

Ask Me Anything

‘Ask Me Anything’ allows your followers to, well… ask you anything! It’s great for allowing your followers to ask you questions about your products or services or about the business in general. Answers to the questions can then be shared on to your Stories so that the rest of your followers can see them too.

If you have anew product being launched, you can encourage your followers to ask you questions about it, like how it works, when it’ll be released, how much it will cost, etc. Not only are you directly engaging with your customers, you’re also advertising your new product at the same time – it’s a win-win!

Swipe Up

Once you have over 10,000 followers, Instagram adds a swipe up feature to your Stories which allows you to add external links. A good use of this, for example, is when you’re sharing a new product on your Stories, you can add a direct link to it on your website. 

Story Highlights

Unlike regular posts, stories only remain on your profile for 24 hours and once that time is up, they’re gone – unless you save them as Story Highlights. We first discussed Story Highlights in a previous blog post when we explained how to set up a compelling Business profile. You can have an unlimited number of story highlights on your profile, and each time you add to one, it will appear first in the Story Highlights.

To add Stories to your highlights, you just need to select the ‘Add to highlights’ option after clicking ‘share’. If you ever want to delete an image from your highlights, you click onto the one in question, select ‘edit highlight’ and untick the images you no longer want to appear.

Story insights

Instagram has a number of built in analytical features for Stories that allow you to see what’s getting the best engagement from your followers. You can see how many people viewed, how many swiped off before viewing all of your Story, how many visited your profile and any answers to poll questions, to name a few. By analysing the statistics, you can see any areas that need improvement and try to get better engagement for your next Stories campaign.

Next week, we’ll be looking at how to plan your Instagram campaign to achieve maximum success, and discussing how to choose campaign targets, time management and determining the role Instagram will have within your overall marketing campaign. If you have any questions about Instagram for business or want to know more about the services Pink Media can offer to assist you with social media, get in touch with us on 0151 909 2231. See you next week!