Here’s a statistic that’s bound to make you wide-eyed: A whopping 300 million people use Instagram Stories every single day. That means the platform is now almost double the size of its most direct competitor, Snapchat, which has 158 million daily users. So, what does all of this mean for you? If you’ve previously ignored all of the advice and chatter about how you absolutely should be using Instagram Stories to market your business, it’s time to start listening.
I get it—tackling an unfamiliar social media feature always seems a little intimidating. But, creating awesome and engaging Instagram stories isn’t nearly as complicated as you’re making it out to be. And, in fact, doing so can be a lot of fun for both you and your followers.
Ready to roll up your sleeves and get started? Let’s dive into everything you need to know to make the most of Instagram Stories (including video and photo) and how to develop creative Instagram Story ideas.
Instagram Stories are an Instagram feature that enables users to post content (either an image or a video) that disappears after 24 hours (unless it’s saved to your highlights).
These stories don’t show up on your profile grid and they aren’t displayed within the normal feed. Instead, they show up as little bubbles at the top of your Instagram screen. You can click on a story to view it and then click or swipe through stories from other users to your right in succession.
We have some suggestions to help you out! Here are 5 different Instagram Story ideas you can use to get your own creative juices flowing.
Are you frequently on the receiving end of a lot of questions from customers and followers? Perhaps people are always asking about the best way to use your product or how you achieve something specific.Instagram Stories is a great place to answer those questions—whether you want to talk on video or just create text images for people to read.
You can step up engagement even more by asking your followers to leave their questions as a comment on one of your photos so that you can answer those in an Instagram story. It’s a great way to get your followers involved and to strike up a conversation.
You might be fresh out of clever ideas for Instagram stories. But, your employees? They probably have all sorts of exciting stuff to share. So, why not start an employee takeover? It’s exactly what it sounds like—you let an employee take control of your Instagram stories for a day. They can give a peek into their average workday, give a tour of your office or their own workspaces, and generally offer followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what your business or their lives are really like.
People love feeling like they’re being given exclusive access to something, so this is an effective way to engage your followers—whether they’re just fans or prospective candidates to work for you.
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Hosting a contest using Instagram Stories can definitely involve some logistical headaches—particularly since the content disappears so fast. However, it’s proven to be highly engaging in terms of participation and in increasing your followers. Here’s the gist of how hosting a contest using Instagram Stories works:
Ask your followers to post a story about something specific in order to enter your contest—whether it’s them holding your product, them making a funny face, or really anything you’d like. Within that same Instagram story, they should tag your account. They’ll only be able to tag you if they follow you, hence why this is a great way to increase your follower count. You’ll need to stay on top of your notifications (you’ll get a notification every time someone tags you in an Instagram story) and keep a log of everyone who has entered so that you can choose a winner. Remember, their stories will disappear after 24 hours, so you should be taking screenshots in order to have a record.
Similar to an employee takeover, you can also have a happy customer take control of your Instagram stories for a day. Not only will you engage with the customer who’s actually taking over for you, but you’ll also catch the attention of your other followers as well—they’re bound to trust a customer more than they trust you. It’s the perfect balance of promoting their own brand while creating highly engaging content.
Again, people love feeling like they’re getting exclusive content—and, given its somewhat urgent nature, Instagram Stories is the perfect place to do that. Why not give users a glimpse at how something is created? Whether it’s how your own product is made, a fun craft project, or even your team’s favorite guacamole recipe, create a series of videos that show how you create something from scratch.