The one Instagram trick every business should be using | The Giles Agency

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Social content is a unique tool for business. It’s a wonderful way to add a bit of personality to your brand, engage directly with your target market, and stay abreast of the latest updates in your sector – but it should be just as curated as the rest of your comms.

Credit: Flickr user jasonahowie.

 

One recent feature that offers a valuable method of engagement is Instagram stories. This feature is a little like the stories of Snapchat, a video messaging app on which users exchange short-lived clips, and a similar functionality has recently been rolled out on Facebook.

However, Instagram as a platform is well-suited to the fleeting, fast-browsing, highly visual, low-commitment nature of stories, making it a great way to dip your toes into the world of multimedia social content.

Below are a handful of our favourite ways in which stories could benefit your brand. Could it work for you?

Special offers

The stories feature is a good way to hammer home the time-sensitive, exclusive nature of any special deals or discounts you’re offering. Users also need to engage with you in order to claim their offer – never a bad thing! It’s possible to add a ‘swipe up’ functionality that allows viewers to go directly from your story to a given landing page, streamlining the entire process and making it far more likely that you’ll see success in your sales and engagement figures.

Tutorials

Treat stories as another way to add value to your instagram page. One way to do this is via little snippets of added content that aren’t shared elsewhere – a kind of extra channel of interesting, engaging, more casual content that complements your feed. This plays directly into our natural desire for instant gratification, say Hootsuite; “brands that create tutorial Stories are capitalising on their audience’s innate desire to create the things they want quickly and seamlessly”.

Instant feedback

Stories can also include polls that allow users to answer binary questions. This is very quick and easy for users to participate in, and anyone answering the poll can instantly see the responses that have been gathered so far. This low-commitment immediacy is key in driving engagement, especially on a social site known for its fast-paced activity and changeability.

Behind-the-scenes

While social content shouldn’t be seen as something that requires less thought or effort, it does offer a way to get more casual with your audience and offer them a laid-back glimpse into the inner workings of your business or brand. This can be done in any way that best suits you; people enjoy transparency, being able to put a face to a name, and making a more personal, emotional connection. This can be seen in the rise of social media ‘influencers’.

Takeovers and collaborations

An excellent way to tie into the wider appeal of Instagram is to engage directly with other successful (and relevant!) users. For example, if an Instagram personality or account is especially popular and influential in your industry or to your target market, inviting them to ‘take over’ your stories for a certain period of time is an excellent way to draw more eyes to your page. This kind of collaborative crossover is commonplace on instagram, and often proves to be highly effective.

Do you use Instagram stories? Let us know! If you’re considering branching out in your social activity, feel free to get in touch and see how we can help. Crafting a consistent, engaging, effective ‘voice’ on social media that’s backed up by regular, high-quality, creative content is tough, but in today’s increasingly digital world, it couldn’t be more worth it – and today’s the best time start building that social presence.