Your Instagram account is something you should never discount from your social media marketing efforts. In fact, it is now regarded as the top social media channel for engagement. It’s so important to keep in mind where your ideal customer spends their time…
‘Instagram’s user base has grown rapidly since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014, growing from 30 million registered users to over 400 million registered users today. From big name brands such as Sephora and Old Navy, to self-made momtrepreneurs, lifestyle bloggers, and photographers, Instagram offers its users a simple, straightforward, image-driven way to follow their favourite brands, organisations, and individuals.’ Rival LIQ
On 2nd August 2016, Instagram launched Stories, a feature where you share short accounts of your day. You can post as many stories as you like throughout the day, be it a sequence of photos or Videos, which will appear together in a slideshow format. Stories is fun and creative, you can embellish your clips with text and doodles. These will then disappear after 24 hours, and won’t be seen in your profile or feed.
You’ll see stories from people you follow in the top bar of your feed. You know when there’s something new to see when a colourful ring around their circular profile image. There are no public likes or comments, but if you want to communicate with that person you’re able to tap and send a private message to them. You can swipe to jump over to the next person’s story or tap to go back if you’ve missed something.
You can even choose how much you’d like to public to see of your video. You can swipe up to see who’s seen each photo and video.
In November 2016, Instagram Stories launched Stories Live, users can select live video by swiping right from their feeds. This is great for those who like to share Make Up Tutorials, or live music events, videos can last for an hour! The Video’s will then disappear the moment they finish. I know that if you are wanting to increase your audience and brand awareness – Instagram Stories is evident at helping you grow rapidly. You can also see who’s watching as their handle pops up as you work your magic.
Now, to ensure you’re now up to speed with the very latest updates, let me talk you through two new tools for Stories – released in Dec 2017, they have now introduced stories highlights and stories archive. This means you can hold onto your favourite moments and share them in ways that suit you and your brand.Stories Highlights
So now you can group the stories you’ve previously shared and piece together as your highlights to feature in your profile. They appear under your bio in your profile. This helps your audience have a better understanding of your identity, and the many sides of how you like to express yourself. To create a new highlight, tap the ‘New’ Circle at the far left. You can select a cover for your highlights and give it a name.
You could have your latest work trip saved, or perhaps your last event, or collaboration, shoot, for people to refer too. Once created your highlight will now be a stand-alone story, and they stay put until you remove it (to remove you just tap and hold it on your profile). You can show as many highlights as you like in your profile.Stories Archive
So, to access your Stories, they will now automatically save to your archive when they expire. There is an Archive icon in your profile that (you guessed it) you can tap on. Only you can see them and from there you can add it to your story, share as a post or add it to a highlight in your profile, you can also easily alternate between new posts and stories archive. You can choose to turn off auto archiving at any time if you wish.
I’m always delighted by how with each new tool released by Instagram (or Facebook) the next introduction seems to always solve a previous limitation. We have seen first-hand that working with Instagram stories really benefits your companies profile and audience engagement, leading to an acceleration in sales and brand awareness, along with of course connecting with your audience, almost like developing a friendship.
Let us know who you feel offers the most creative use of Instagram stories for your business marketing.