How Small Businesses Can Use Instagram Stories

Slowly but surely, more and more small businesses today are recognizing the power of Instagram in marketing their business. Instagram is always creating new versions, tools, and even apps to assist you in optimizing your posts. The latest feature, Instagram Stories, allows you to compile multiple pictures and short stories into one place for your followers to see. There are many reasons to use Instagram Stories for business, but they can be a bit confusing at first. In this post, you’ll learn how Instagram Stories work and how you can harness them to build engagement with your audience.

How Small Businesses Can Use Instagram Stories

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is a feature on Instagram where you can share pictures and videos onto your Story for users to view and engage with. It looks like Instagram took Snapchat Stories and added their own spin to it. You can post pictures and videos (up to 10 seconds long) to your Story, and they will disappear after 24 hours. This might seem pointless, but there are in fact many uses for Stories in small business marketing.

How Do I View Instagram Stories?

how do i view instagram stories

Check out what other businesses and users are posting to get some ideas for your Story. You can view someone’s Instagram Story by checking your Feed (if you follow them) or by clicking on their profile. If you’re trying to view a Story on a private account, you need to follow them to view their Story. However, if you have a public account on Instagram, anyone who checks out your profile can view your Story.

How Do I Find Instagram Stories?

To see your own Instagram Story, simply click on your profile and tap your profile picture in the top left area of your screen. Likewise, you can find someone else’s Instagram Story by clicking on their profile and tapping their profile picture in the top left of your screen. If you haven’t yet viewed a Story, there will be a colorful ring around the profile picture to indicate that a new Story has been posted.

Where Are Instagram Stories?

what are instagram stories

Instagram Stories of the people you follow are located in a bar at the top of your screen, right above your Feed. Instagram Stories are sorted in reverse chronological order for now, with the newest posts from the people you follow in the front of the Story bar. You can navigate between Stories by tapping and swiping your screen while viewing Stories.      

Why Use Instagram Stories?

Instagram’s recent updates that include business profiles and now Stories shows that Instagram is constantly looking for ways to improve its platform. Instagram is trying to make itself more attractive and get more businesses to start using Instagram for marketing.

Instagram Stories are Instagram’s solution to getting users to post more original content. Many people only post their best pictures from important events on Instagram or post sparingly due to Instagram’s new algorithm changes. By adding Stories, Instagram is seeking to increase user engagement by providing a way for people to post more frequently on Instagram without saturating their profile. Businesses can now post pictures and videos on their Stories without feeling like every Story needs to be a highlight on their business.  

How Do I Post an Instagram Story?

Posting to your Instagram Story is simple. Go to the home page on Instagram and click on the plus icon in the top left corner of your screen. Here, you can take a picture or video for your Story. If you swipe down on your screen, you can upload a photo or video that you took in the past 24 hours to your Story. Once you’re done capturing your moment, hit the checkmark icon on the bottom of your screen to share your Story to your followers.

How to post an Instagram Story to your profile

Related: Instagram for Small Business Marketing

Advantages of Instagram Stories

Although Stories might seem like a useless feature to some, there are many benefits to Instagram Stories.

Leverage Existing Audience on Instagram

With many small businesses already on Instagram, the Stories feature provides small businesses with a new quick and easy way of posting original content to an audience that’s already active and established.  Stories provide another way to engage users on Instagram. For more information on taking advantage of Instagram’s active audience, check out our Instagram small business marketing guide.

Convenience

Instagram’s Stories feature is a part of the Instagram app, which means that you don’t need to create another account and build your audience on another platform. Similar to Facebook Live, Instagram Stories gives businesses owners an easy way to share their businesses with their followers. People are already using Instagram, and posting a Story to your account only takes a few clicks, so there’s little reason for you to not try Instagram Stories out for your business.  

Share Your Business’s Voice

Some Instagram posts can seem a bit staged or formal. Instagram Stories combats that by giving businesses a way to add a more personal touch to their posts or use emojis, text, and drawings. Instagram is a visual platform, so add these extra effects in your Stories help tell genuine stories about your business. Showing that there are people, not robots, running your Instagram account can help you build stronger relationships with your audience and attract more customers to your business.  

Related: Getting Started on Instagram for Small Business Marketing

Instagram Stories are the newest tool you can add to your marketing plan on Instagram. How do you plan on using Instagram Stories to help your business? Let us know in the comments below.

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