If your business wants to harness the power of Instagram, then you’ve come to the right place. With over 500 million daily active users, it’s a great platform for you to build brand awareness.

Instagram is particularly useful for:

  • Interior design
  • Food
  • Beauty
  • Health & fitness
  • Travel
  • Fashion

This is because it revolves around images and videos.

The average demographic of Instagram is much younger (people between 12 and 30) than most other social platforms. So, if this isn’t your business’s target customer, then perhaps your time could be spent better on another social media platform.

If you’re unsure whether Instagram is for you, then read our article about this topic here.

But if you do decide to use Instagram, it’s critical that you interact with your followers regularly. Posting is one way of doing this – and making use of your Instagram ‘Story’ is another!

Your Instagram story allows you to post pictures and videos that vanish after 24 hours. This content shows up at the top of an Instagram users’ screen, when they log into the app. What’s more, Instagram stories have lots of original features (that you can’t use in normal posts) to interact with your followers.

But what’s the point of sharing content, if it won’t be remembered after 24 hours?

Well, nowadays you can add something onto your main profile called ‘highlights’. This allows you to select any story you’ve ever posted and feature it permanently on your profile. That way, when people visit your Instagram profile, there’ll be even more ways for them to learn about what you do.

Also, when people know that your story is going to delete soon, they’re more likely to interact with you now. They don’t want to miss anything – and they’ll therefore be more likely to engage with your immediately.

So, if you want to learn five new ways you can use your Instagram story to interact with followers… read on!

 

Instagram keeps an ‘archive’ of all your stories – so you can add them permanently onto your profile 

Instagram TV (aka IGTV)

Instagram TV is a relatively new feature on Instagram – and it’s also a really useful one.

This feature allows you to record live videos on your story, up to 1 hour in length. Your followers can watch these videos live – as well as up to 24 hours after the event.

By recording live videos on Instagram TV, your followers…

  • Can ask questions, for you to answer live & interact with your audience directly
  • Get a notification on their phone when you go live, ensuring that they tune in
  • Meet the human faces behind your company logo, building your brand image
  • Have your story show up first, ahead of all other stories, when they enter the app
  • Understand more about who you are, where you are & what you do

Instagram wants its users to try out Instagram TV. So, when you go live on there, your profile is pushed to the front of the queue on your followers’ home page.

This is another effective way to keep your business top-of-mind.

 

 

 

By recording live videos on IGTV, your followers can meet the human faces behind your company, thereby building your brand image

Answering questions

Your Instagram story also allows you to answer questions from your followers. By selecting the ‘Question’ sticker after taking a photo or video, your followers can type questions for you to answer.

This is particularly useful if you:

  • Have industry expertise that you want to share
  • Want to share lots of excellent tips (e.g. how to use company products most effectively)
  • Frequently receive lots of questions from customers
  • Don’t have a PR team, & want to connect with customers

You can answer these questions by either talking on video, or writing text for people to read. Obviously, answering through video provides a more personal touch – but there’s no harm in switching it up!

If you’re repeatedly being asked the same questions, then you can create a ‘highlight’ category (as mentioned earlier) dedicated to FAQs on your Instagram profile.

It’s worth initially testing how many responses you’re going to get. That way, if you’ve only got a small team but receive loads of questions, you’ll know that you won’t be able to answer everyone – which is harmful for your marketing! In which case, you might want to bring in someone external to do this work for you.

 

 

 

Selecting the ‘Questions’ sticker allows your followers to ask you questions

‘Behind the scenes’ footage

This is a useful content idea for all businesses – but particularly if you offer a service. By sharing ‘behind the scenes’ of your day at work, you:

  • Demonstrate how you do what you do
  • Provide a friendly face to your business
  • Remind followers of the products/services you provide
  • Show what locations you work in (by ‘tagging’ the location in your post)

Tagging your location is an effective way of increasing the traction of these types of posts.

Remember – you can tag your location in any Instagram story! 

To do this, you:

  1. Take a picture or video on your story
  2. Click the happy face icon in the top right-hand corner
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Location’ sticker
  4. Search for locations near to where you are

By doing this, your post will receive a boost in follower engagement. Stories that have a location tagged get 79% higher engagement than those without a location.

Additionally, including your location gives you a chance at being featured on Instagram’s location page. So, people who are interested in that specific location can find your content.

Engaging quizzes

Everyone loves a quiz – and your followers are no different! By tapping the ‘Quiz’ sticker on your story, you invite your followers to answer quiz questions written by you.

You could write these questions on anything, including:

  • Quirky facts about your products / services (e.g. ‘where does X ingredient come from…’)
  • Interesting industry news
  • Helpful ways of harnessing the power of your products/services effectively

You can also use this feature to learn what your followers like and/or dislike. This helps you to learn more about your target customers!

Alternatively, instead of doing lots of quiz questions at once, you could post one question on your story each day. That way, you’ll keep your content relevant and fresh. Also, your followers will check back every day for the new quiz question!

 

 

Fun facts about your business, products or services are a great thing to include in your Instagram story quiz

Informative polls

As mentioned above, you can use your Instagram story to learn more about your followers. That way, you’ll be able to collect data on your target customers’ likes and dislikes.

An extremely effective way of doing this is by having polls on your story. In this feature, respondents click on one of two options to submit their answers.

You can ask them about:

  • Types of content they’d like to see
  • Overall opinions on your products/services
  • Ways your company can improve
  • The best qualities about your business
  • Fun, original stuff (e.g. potential names for a new company product)

You could ask followers what new products they would like to see, or tips they would find useful. This will make your customers feel more valued – making them more likely to shop from you.

You can view your followers’ answers to your poll – showing you what the common consensus is

Harnessing the power of Instagram stories

Just because your stories delete after 24 hours, that doesn’t mean that Instagram stories aren’t a useful tool! Remember, you can save your stories onto your profile permanently as ‘highlights’ – so that new followers can watch them, too.

To save a story, you need to view your Instagram Story and tap the “Highlight” button in the bottom right corner of the screen. You can either save that story as a new category, or add it to an existing one.

That way, your stories will be placed at the top of your profile – so anybody can access them when needed.

At Brolly Marketing, we have extensive experience using Instagram to:

  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Make your customers feel valued
  • Improve your public image
  • Grow your following
  • Harness the power of your Stories

With our help, you’ll increase the likelihood of people choosing you over competitors.

Often, companies don’t have the time, or expertise, to run their Instagram account themselves. If you need someone to run your business’s Instagram page (including stories) for you, then Brolly Marketing can help.