How to Use Instagram Stories + Ideas That Don’t Suck

 

We live in an age where everything we do is connected to our phones. We shop, bank work and socialise – all at the palm of our hand. But one in every five minutes spent on a mobile phone is done so on Facebook or Instagram. Even more pertinent for brands is research that shows that , so it’s crucial to tap into what makes your audience tick. One of the best tools to do this is stories.

Initially stories were only available on Instagram, but the function has since spread to Facebook where it is displayed in prime location across the top of users’ newsfeeds. Stories allow users, pages and groups to share photos or videos temporarily, with options to edit and customise the content, tag other users and film live. Stories is a worthwhile tool for rewarding followers with extra content, sharing what goes on behind the scenes of a business and breathing life into an account without interrupting carefully curated feeds.

Here are three techniques to get you started with social media stories, along with examples from brands already nailing it.

THEMES

From ‘product of the week’ to motivational Monday quotes, consistency is key when engaging audiences. Airbnb achieves this with its Travel Tuesday strategy. The content shared on Instagram Stories shows a partly censored land- or cityscape and uses Instagram’s poll feature to ask viewers to guess where the photograph was taken. This technique kills three birds with one stone: Airbnb engages users be reposting their content; it entices followers to interact with the brand via the poll feature; and it encourages Instagram users to share their own, Airbnb-branded content.

Source: Influencer DB

INFLUENCER TAKEOVERS

This is a simple idea where a third-party temporarily takes charge of your account and shares their experiences, simultaneously introducing your brand to their followers. This helps build brand awareness and the reward for the influencer is generally in the form of mutual promotion, a contra deal or payment. Takeovers are extremely effective at lending credibility to your brand through high profile people with large fan bases – the trick is to pick someone who aligns with your brand. A perfect example was when actress and supermodel Jaime King, who has over one million Instagram followers, took over the Harper’s Bazaar account and shared what went on behind the scenes as she prepared for the Dior Cruise show. The takeover led to a massive bump in followers for both King and Harper’s Bazaar, and increased the buzz around the event.

Source: Peg Fitzpatrick

NEW PRODUCT TEASERS

Product teasers are all about rewarding your existing community, and encouraging others to join your community as a result. Treat your followers to a first glimpse of your latest product using stories. Stories that are incorporated into larger marketing and sales strategies are the most successful. For example, when J.Crew released limited edition rose-tinted sunglasses, the first 50 pairs were exclusively available through Instagram stories, which led to higher demand for the product.

Source: Falcon

For more useful, fortnightly updates, make sure you subscribe to the Word Salad blog roll. Just enter your email on the bottom left-hand corner of the homepage.