What is an Instagram Story?
An Instagram Story isn't just a strategy, it's a real feature that Instagram implemented in August 2016, and it has been improving ever since. In fact, it's a whole new way to use Instagram that's very unlike post permanent photos for your followers to look at.
It works like this: Take photos and short videos, and post them in the Story tool. Add text or drawing tools if you want (this is a leftover from when Stories was trying to compete more directly with the Snapchat version). After posting, Stories will automatically create a slideshow based on these posts. The slideshow will more or less stay the same length, so you can post as many photos as you want throughout the day. Anyone with the right permissions can stop by and review the slideshow to see what's going on. They can control the speed of the slideshow themselves to get caught up as needed.
The posts you make to stories do not get posted to your traditional Instagram feed, and they do not stick around. After 24 hours they vanish, (unless you intervene) allowing you to create another story for a new day...or resume your regular posting, depending on your strategy.
How Do People Access Stories?
Viewers and followers can directly access stories by selecting the Instagram profile photo, which will take people to the current Story. You can also link to your Story directly if you want to share it across social media.
Is It More Complicated Than Normal Instagram?
No. Because most of the Story features are automatic, it's not complicated at all. The big difference is that the workload is larger. Because you have to post multiple photos/videos throughout the day to create an impressive Story, you'll be uploading to Instagram frequently. Fortunately, this isn't much a problem due to the way Stories are used.
How Can I Use Stories?
Stories are especially B2B friendly! Just a few potential ways to use Stories for business include:
- Covering projects: Have a site or building project? Document an active day with a story!
- Events: From parties to special openings, Stories are perfect for capturing your unique business events.
- Limited deals: Create a story that shows people benefiting from your deals! This works great for limited-time and busy holiday deals.
- Create human connection: Is most of your work hidden from your clients? Take a day and show people how it all works!
- Explain: Do you have a complicated process or instruction manual for a product/service? Use a Story to explain it in pictures.
Just remember to save a few favorite photos from a Story to upload to your permanent feed so they don't get lost!
What Features Can a Story Use?
Instagram has been tweaking the way that Stories work, which has yielded several interesting benefits. Currently they include:
- Links: You can attach links to Stories, which is excellent for conversions!
- Mentions: With the @ button you can mention other Instagram users. This is perfect for partnerships or shout outs to other brands, especially if you are working with them or using their products for a project. This can encourage more traffic.
- Boomerang: Boomerangs are basically just looping videos that can be used within Stories. This is nice if you want to save a group of Story photos for later use.