instagram stories

Five Ways To Successfully Instagram Story For Your Business

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During one of my latest speed marketing sessions, we were chatting about Instagram Story Highlights and how some stuff is better left off of them. If you’ve met with me or heard me talk you already know that your Instagram Highlight buttons should be where you put work that you would want on a portfolio or that you want to live permanently in your feed.  

You’ve also heard me say that your Instagram Stories should also showcase a more personal version of your business, highlighting the person and people involved in doing the business. The stories should give a behind the scenes of the person that is engaged in the business for 24 hours.  

Stories could include slides of your dog, cat, kiddos, camping trip, etc. However, these slides should not necessarily make a permanent home on your highlight reel if they do not have anything to do with what your actual business is. The more candid stories that relate to your business should live in your highlight reel if you love them and fit into the themes of one of your bubbles.

I’ve flipped my way of storying and started thinking of Instagram stories as “trailers” to grab the attention of the viewers to click your name and check out your entire feed. Since I started experimenting with this method on my feed, and a few clients, feed their stories, views, and profile visits have skyrocketed. It’s insane, stories that used to get 20 pictures or so have quadrupled! I’ve been testing this on my feed for 30 days, and while my likes and engagement are down, my website, clicks have quadrupled as well.  

A few simple ways to create a “trailer” for your feed:

  1. Make use of the quiz, survey, and question stickers.

  • Erase the “Ask Me A Question” statement on the question sticker and ask your audience a question you want their answer to. 

  • The survey sticker is a great way to do a market research of your target. A few times, I did a survey asking if people would prefer speed marketing during happy hour and the response was overwhelming that they did. Therefore, I’m going to try a few sessions during the happy hour. 

  • The quiz sticker is a cool interactive sticker to see who in your audience is paying attention to what you are putting out there and an excellent way for your audience to get to know you better and for you to be more personable. 

2. Don’t always be trying to sell and talk about your business. Show what your life looks like, messy desk, no makeup and all. You also want to show who people are going to get in real life when they sign up to meet with you.

3. Make sure that your highlight bubbles are categorized including services that you offer, reviews, and any other page that is also on your website. 

4. If you are selling products and have them in your feed, shoot those posts also to your stories. 

5. Try to keep up to 4- 6 slides on your story in a 24-hour time frame. Any more than that and people are going to swipe away from your account. This is extremely important if you are doing a video story. Please be conscious that you are saying everything you want and getting to the point in ONE story slide. If your video goes for multiple slides, you’re going to get swept next. Longer video can most definitely live on your IGTV channel. 

The story neighborhood seems to be the hip place to hang out these days. If you are not storying, consider giving it a try, and if you need help with ideas sign up for one of the Speed Marketing Sessions. 

What Is Your Instagram Neighborhood?

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The best piece of advice that I got recently was to step back and look at Instagram as an entire city but with three neighborhoods.  This resonates with me because in case you don't already know I moved to Portland via Chicago.  Chicago is a very neighborhood centered city, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Pilsen to name a favorite few. The beautiful thing about big cities is the many different neighborhoods inside of them, each with their character, their feeling, their vibe. 

If you happen to live in a big city, think for a moment about the places that you tend to spend a majority of your time.  How many different neighborhoods do you frequent? Obviously, the area that you live in but are there others that you travel to for a particular coffee shop or a one of a kind gift store that you find that unique item for someone? 

Keep this in mind as we step back to look at Instagram the same way as we are looking at a big city. There are three diverse neighborhoods within Instagram, the feed, the stories and the lives. However, the one similarity amongst all of them is that they each require a neighborly manner to thrive.  You know where you reach out and chat with a person and aren't just lurking neighborhood watching them.  

The Feed

This is obviously the epicenter of the city of the Instagram city. The feed is where the perfectly curated posts and thoughtful words live.  The space that gets the majority of the friendly neighbor to neighbor chatting.  

The Stories

Stories are north of the city center and are a welcoming community that shows a more personal and attainable side. Stories is a place to show more of what your every day looks like and who you are as a person.  The problem here is like any neighborhood place you tend to frequent if you get annoyed with the oversharing that someone is doing you turn your head and avoid contact with them.  This neighborhood is an excellent place to people watch because everyone is doing their own then but conversations are hardly ever started. 

The Live

The Neighborhood that everyone says is up and coming. Realistically this feature should have taken off like gangbusters but over a year later it's still that up and coming place. Some of the neighbors here are still just not sure what to do with it yet.   

By now you have undoubtedly figured out which two neighborhoods are your favorites. The two favorites you should be posting to frequently the other it's ok to make a weekly or monthly commute to, but you shouldn't forget about it all together.  

 

State of Instagram: Recent Updates

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There are two updates which happened on Instagram that I am excited to share with you.

1. The ability to have active hashtags in your profile. Seriously go to your phone, edit your profile and add your business specific hashtag to your profile. Having your personalized hashtag in your profile is a  way for people that are in your profile to click on your hashtag and see an entire representation of your work in just one click.

 

2. Reposting in stories. While this feature hasn't rolled out to everyone yet, it slowly will. This isn't going to be one of those 10K to play updates.  When your account gets the feature, you will be able to share new feed content directly to your stories. This will eliminate the taking a screenshot of your feed, blocking out the photo or video as a preview to get them to click over. Followers will now be able to click the story slide and be directly taken to the content in your feed.

To see if you already have this feature on your post click the paper airplane and in the “Send To” your story feed should be listed below the Facebook Story button.  Click your story name button and send. It will prompt you to a new story slide and you can write whatever information you want on the slide and press the story send to button.