Instagram Stories – What’s the Deal?

Back in August 2016 Instagram stories were introduced and the internet exploded. Most of the initial discussions surrounding Instagram stories were negative because people were already so set in their Snapchat ways, but that has certainly changed over the last three and a half years.

Instagram has become a staple in PR and marketing plans, but often times the story function is pushed to the wayside because some deem it unnecessary, however Instagram stories are actually a great tool that can help improve social engagement, visibility, and overall content. According to Hootsuite, 500 million people use Instagram stories daily! Here are some reasons why Instagram stories should become a staple in your social media plan:

Offer Real-Time Engagement

Instagram stories offer something unique as they’re the perfect way to attain real-time engagement from followers. Instagram stories offer the option for polls, open-ended questions, countdowns, locations, music and more. These features are exciting to followers and encourage them to interact with the brand’s story. If your company is at an event or tradeshow, quickly posting an Instagram story from the company’s account and using a location tag can encourage press or prospective clientele to stop by the booth. At Caster, we use Instagram stories when fun things are happening around the office, or when our team is traveling . They offer a great way for our clients and media friendlies to see the “real” us in our day-to-day lives and feel more connected to the Caster Crew!

Diversify Your Content

Instagram stories are available for 24 hours so you really can’t go wrong with posting one or two Instagram stories a day, unless of course you’re at a tradeshow, then the more the merrier. On a regular day, you wouldn’t want to post too frequently on your company’s feed, but you can bulk up the amount that you post to your company’s story in order to direct more people to your page. Instagram stories are also a great outlet to let out some creativity, with different fonts, gifs, and the pen tool.  They can also work to maintain visibility in your follower’s minds, without bombarding them with regular posts. With the new Instagram algorithm, it’s super easy for followers to miss posts, which can result in less engagement. With the story function you can post your company’s most recent post to your story and direct followers to it, leading to higher visibility and more unique content.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Any verified business account with 10,000 followers or more can use the “swipe-up” option on stories which allows the ability to drive traffic directly to the company’s website. There are also Instagram story ads which are a great feature if you or your client has the budget for it. These are tools that can drive traffic straight to your website and encourage followers and potential followers to check out your product or website.

Overall, Instagram stories offer a unique and fun experience that allow for more freedom, flexibility, and creativity! How do you use Instagram stories? Let me know on Twitter at @ShannonHunterPR.

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