8 Ways to Maximize Instagram Stories
Are you making the most out of your Instagram Stories? Stories have exceeded over 500 million active users and one-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses. With countless success stories driving boastful results, it’s no wonder why Instagram continually releases impressive new updates on a monthly basis.
Now let’s be real, when you tap that top left camera button and start weighing this Giphy or that Sticker, your “quick” post turns into 5 minutes… 10 minutes, then 25 minutes and so forth. So how do you curate custom food Stories specific to your brand while also trimming down your post flow?
Answer: Know your food brand’s strengths and Stories potential.
Determining which features, approach or capabilities that work best for your brand requires a ton of exploration and time. That’s where we happily step in. ChuckJoe is here to save you the time and research by bringing forth 8 of the best ways to maximize your Stories and the reasons why they’ll make a difference!
#1 GO BEHIND THE SCENES
There are a few places within the app where you can really show off your photos and videos–IGTV, Stories, Live, and Feed. It seems as though Feed has become the place where brands publish their highest quality and polished content. Some profiles follow color patterns, themes, and schedules all while maintaining beautifully constructed professional grids.
However, a perfect-looking profile can only show so much and may lack a personable connection. Stories are the perfect place to let your digital guard down by adding some flavor to your brand’s personality through capturing unscripted moments. Pair the content in your Feed with ‘behind the scenes’ Stories, including daily routines and shareable moments, but be sure to keep it real by being yourself throughout the process. Being personable in your Stories will help you achieve the Branded Content 1,2,3’s: being transparent, relevant and authentic.
#2 SHARE THE INSIDE SCOOP
Tease your audiences with exclusive insights on upcoming announcements, events, time-sensitive promotions, and sneak peeks! This will give your following a feeling of exclusivity and will make them want to check back for more revealing posts.
For example, a restaurant could share the dish of the day, conversations with the chefs while cooking with fresh ingredients or capture the atmosphere on a busy afternoon. On the other hand, D2C brands like Imperfect Produce who manage their business solely online can make the most of their Stories by sharing tips and tricks for cooking, deals on their products, or by giving a glimpse into their company culture.
#3 CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Posting consistently on your Stories will keep your followers interested and engaged with your brand. Consistency is the key to maintaining the followers that you’ve worked so hard to gain and will continuously contribute to your growth potential.
Some of the best scheduling tools such as Later and Sprout Social recommend posting on Stories 1-10 times per day, yet other schedulers suggest 1-3 times per week. So with all of these conflicting suggestions, how do you know what frequency is going to work best for you?
Here’s our two cents: post at a frequency that’s realistic for you and stick to that pace! If you get busy and are unable to post for a week or two, you risk the chance of losing your followers and their business. Posting regularly signals to the Instagram algorithm that you have a quality account which can increase your exposure and brand awareness.
#4 REPOST USER GENERATED CONTENT
Having trouble generating enough creative content for your Stories? We’ve got an easy solution for that. Have your customers do the work for you! Not only will you shine light on your followers, but you’ll also build trust through genuine content.
Adweek reports, 93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchase decision. When potential consumers experience ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth), they browse the Internet and social media to research and find social proof through testimonials before buying products and services.
By creating clever branded hashtags for your business, you’ll be able to create a bank of content from your customers. Ask your followers to tag your profile, use a branded hashtag, and tag your location to be able to find UGC associated with your brand. It’s easy for customers to tune out overly branded content so having authentic and voluntary content can really support your branding and sales efforts.
#5 USE FEATURES FOR BRAND AWARENESS
Instagram Stories offers an arenol of tools to create custom content in a way that can emphasize your brand’s personality. Below are some essential tools and necessities that will boost your brand awareness.
- Use a Filter – With over 70 face filters to choose from, have some fun and don’t be afraid to be a little quirky. Use camera modes such as Super Zoom, Rewind and Boomerang to help keep your content fresh and up to speed.
- Add a Giphy – Grab your follower’s attention with a GIF or two. Whichever GIFs you choose to use, make sure that they align with your branding’s aesthetic goals.
- Play Music with Lyrics – It’s no secret that music can set a mood or tone. Select a song to play over your Stories and keep your followers’ eyes on your post by adding Lyrics too!
- Mentions – Tag other accounts when appropriate. This notifies those accounts that you’ve mentioned them allowing them the opportunity to repost to their audiences.
- Hashtag – As a general rule of thumb, use a relatable and trending Hashtag to increase your reach (unique accounts that have seen your post) and gain potential followers.
- Swipe Up – If you have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, congratulations because it’s a pretty big deal! For those who reach the count, they have the option to directly link a website, online store or blog to their Stories. Leverage the “Swipe Up” feature to drive traffic to your website or make your blogs more easily accessible.
- Location – When you can, use the Location Sticker! Posts with locations result in 79% higher engagement than posts without a location. When you tag your location, not only do you put your account on Instagram’s map, but your post will also show up in that location’s Feed. Users who browse locations are likely to stumble across your post giving you the opportunity to capture a new follow, like, or comment.
#6 USE STICKERS FOR ENGAGEMENT
One of the coolest advantages that Stories has to offer is that it allows businesses to interact with their audience in a unique way that traditional businesses have never been able to do before! What’s especially ingenious is having the option to build a new food brand by leaning on business advice from your audience and vice versa!
- Poll – Debating on serving Crispy Potato and Cabbage Tacos or a Spicy Baba Ganoush Veggie Burger for your restaurant’s lunch special? You don’t have to wonder anymore, take a Poll and count your votes in real-time.
- Questions – Whether you’re thinking about making a business move like discontinuing a flavor or just simply want to see how your audience feels about a topic, post a question. You can also tap a response and share the results for more topical engagement.
- Quiz – What’s a safe temperature to cook and serve fish? Teach your audience something new by using the Quiz Sticker. (If you’re curious about the answer, the temperature is between 130–135 degrees).
- Chat – Build a community for your brand by starting a conversation. The ‘Join Chat’ sticker allows up to 32 users to come together in a group thread. Bring your selected users together where they can meet, converse and collectively provide feedback on product releases, upcoming events, promotions, and more!
According to Instagram, 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend. If you have the budget, Stories Ads could be an efficient way to increase brand awareness, brand recall, drive purchase lift and sales.
#8 PARTNER UP WITH AN INFLUENCER
Generate some momentum and spice up your Stories with occasional influencers. By collaborating with other people, you can tap into their audiences which can give a surge of exposure to your brand!
Influencers can promote your brand by running exclusive offers with influencer discount codes, hosting contests, giveaways or Stories takeovers. They can also help announce a new product, record an unboxing video, etc. When looking for influencers, try searching for ones in relatable industries like in the food, health, or fitness space. That way you can reach followers most similar to your target audience.
Now that you’re more familiar with ways to maximize your Stories, get out there, start recording, and post with confidence! For Stories that had great results or Stories that you simply just love, use the ‘Highlight’ tool on your profile to showcase and categorize your favorite memories to make them last for more than 24 hours.
@imperfectproduce. “Ever wonder what it’s like working at Imperfect?” Instagram Stories. (July 11, 2019). Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/imperfectproduce/
@bentgo “No wrong way to eat a lunch” Instagram Stories. (July 23, 2019). Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/stories/bentgo/
@eatpastry “Treat Yourself” Instagram Stories. (July 23, 2019). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/eatpastry/
Culbertson, Kelsey. (2019, July 11). 8 Tips to Create Share-Worthy Instagram Stories. Retrieved July 11, 2019, from https://www.kimptonhotels.com/blog/8-tips-create-share-worthy-instagram-stories/
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