9 Tips for Using Instagram Stories for Your Business
The Instagram Stories feature may be the place for more whimsical, fleeting content than you might post on your Instagram feed. But with a reported 500 million daily Instagram Stories users, it’s serious business, especially if you learn how to create Instagram Stories that promote e-commerce and customer engagement.
The good news is that everything you need for Instagram Story success is easily accessible and free (Instagram Story ads aside), provided you know what avenues to explore.
So, are you ready to transform your Instagram Stories efforts into a powerhouse marketing strategy of social media posts?
We’re ready to show you how! So, if you haven’t already, quickly learn how to post an Instagram Story to your Instagram account, then use the following nine tips for using Instagram Stories for Your Business.
1. Promote Timely News on Instagram Stories
Sales, discounts, new products, giveaways, late hours, new blog post—these are calls for celebration in the form of Facebook Stories promotion!
The 15 seconds that it takes for your entire story to play out is more than enough time to generate excitement through a vibrant photo or video with an overlaid text announcement, emojis, and perhaps even an eye-catching GIF.
After you create or upload your visual content from your camera roll, add call-to-action text that tells customers what to do with your exciting news (Get 50% Off Today! Shop Now! See New Fall Styles!) and provide a link that takes them where you want them to go.
Speaking of links, if you have 10,000 or more Instagram followers, you can add a direct link to your Instagram Story and direct readers to swipe up to access the link.
Draw attention to your swipe-up link with a text caption or Giphy GIFs (click the square sticky note in the top right corner when editing your Story slide).
If you have less than 10K followers, include text telling users to click the link in your bio. Be sure to add the correct bio link first.
It’s also critical that you include hashtags via hashtag stickers (accessible in the same step as above — the “#HASHTAG” button in the top right on step 2) or text. This ensures your story will show up in more people’s feeds.
Bonus: Whether you want to post a photo, graphic design, or video, stunning Instagram Story design is nearly effortless if you use Adobe Spark’s free Instagram Stories Template.
2. Use Poll Stickers To Conduct Instagram Story Polls
Who doesn’t love a poll? It takes only a second to participate, it’s fun, and there are tangible results. For these reasons, poll stickers are popular with Instagram influencers and users alike.
Ask a simple yes-no question (“Should we offer this tote bag for spring?” “Would you want this belt in black?”). Users need only tap their response to engage with your brand, and you get to see the results in real time. To access all types of Instagram Stories stickers, from your story, tap.
3. Use Product Stickers To Promote Specific Products on Instagram Stories
Have a certain product to promote? That’s the point of product stickers. Product stickers are one of the many dynamic stickers available on Instagram.
They’re an easy way to tag a product and include a link to learn more or buy that product right from your Instagram Story. Even more exciting for small e-commerce brands, there’s no 10K-follower barrier of entry; you can have one or 100,000 followers to use product stickers!
There are a few caveats: You need to have a business account, the feature isn’t available worldwide (it’s in 46 countries, including the U.S.), and you need to be working from the latest version of the Instagram app, whether you’re on iOS or Android. Also, you must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s (aka Facebook’s) Commerce Policies and Commerce Product Merchant Agreement. Your Instagram business profile must also be connected to a Facebook catalog.
4. Use Question Stickers To Hear From Your Audience
When you want unique answers to a brand-related question, it’s time to turn to question stickers. They allow you to ask a question and get custom answers, not to mention respond via DM to continue user engagement.
Not sure what kind of image to include? It can be a selfie, a product, or any visual that makes sense for your brand identity.
5. Offer Quizzes on Instagram Stories Through Quiz Stickers
Everyone loves to show their knowledge, especially when it’s easy to do. Enter Instagram Stories “quiz” stickers. They allow you to post a multiple-choice question on Instagram Stories and users to answer by tapping their option of choice. They can immediately see whether they got it right.
Use quiz stickers to encourage users to engage with your brand, then track the results (swipe up to see how many votes each option received). “Which do you think is our best-selling handbag?” “What year did we debut our famous popcorn cake?” “Which color leggings would you be most likely to order?” If you have a question, Instagram Stories quiz stickers can help you get answers!
6. Host Chats on Instagram Stories With Chat Stickers
](https://twitter.com/instagram/status/1146104886339096577)Wait, what? You can chat through Instagram stickers? You betcha. This feature leverages Instagram direct messages functionality and lends some Snapchat-like engagement to your Instagram posts or videos.
Add a chat sticker to your Instagram Story and you can hand-select up to 32 participants for a live chat then and there (users request access, you approve). The topic? Whatever your business needs dictate! Get user feedback on products, new product ideas, or your brand in general. Hello, instant focus group!
7. Go Live on Instagram Stories
Engagement is the name of the game when you go “Live” with a live video on Instagram stories. You’ll immediately grab Instagram users’ attention, especially because active users that follow you will get a notification every time you go live. For that reason, it’s a good idea to plan your live streams during heavy traffic times.
Also, remember, live means live — so make sure you’re ready before you tap the camera icon, select “Live,” and tap the record button! Learn how to go live on Instagram Stories.
8. Use Instagram Stories Highlights
Got a story that’s too good for a 24-hour lifespan? Save your best Instagram Story slides to Instagram Stories Highlights (it’s the row of bubbles in the middle)! Stories saved to Instagram Story Highlights stay there as long as you like and can be a valuable way to continually share stories that bolster your brand values, drive business, or are just plain epic. Learn how to add a story to your own story highlights.
9. Employ Instagram Stories Ads
You don’t have to be Louis Vuitton to get your Instagram Story in front of a huge new targeted audience and benefit from the results. You just have to create an ad and throw down a little money to have Instagram promote your branded story through Facebook’s Ads Manager. You can add up to 10 hashtags to your story, too, including one clickable hashtag sticker, and you can even hide your hashtags under a sticker for a cleaner design. (Plan B is to make your hashtags invisible by turning them the same color as the background of your Instagram Story.)
Don’t Forget the Most Important Thing: Stay On Brand!
Now that you know some of the best tricks for leveraging Instagram Stories for business, it’s time to get to work. As you implement these new features, remember that to be successful, you need to stay on-brand with every Instagram Story.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a master in Photoshop to craft professional-looking profile photos, images, graphics, or videos. Brush up on how to design your visual identity, then leverage easy-to-use, free, customizable design tools for sleek profile pictures, Instagram posts, and Instagram Stories.