7 Essential Instagram Stories Tips

Instagram Stories allows you to give your audience an inside look into your brand without making sure everything is picture perfect. The 24-hour landscape view picture & video platform shows the makings of a brand also known as the not-so-glamorous perks of the gig. You can think of Instagram Stories as your own version of a reality show.

Don't be afraid to showcase the multiple pictures taken in the same outfit that you don't want to keep posting on your actual feed, any sales or new product stocks, new menu items added, demonstrations, conducting in polls or questionnaires with your audience, fun videos or pictures, etc. The possibilities for content are literally endless.

Here are 7 best practices when using Instagram Story:

1. Be Authentic

How many times has it been said that when you are truly your authentic self, you will attract your tribe. It doesn't matter how different you might feel you are or how difficult you might feel it is for people to understand you, someone will always relate to your story. We may all be different but we have certainly gone through some of the same life experiences, no matter where you are located on earth. Also, it would be kind of hard to keep a facade going.

2. Tell a Story

The focus of your Instagram Stories should tell a clear and concise story. The videos can only last 15 seconds unless you've streamed together a multiple of 15 second videos to ensure your video shows in its entirety. Map out your monthly social media content, make templates for categorized content while also streaming along candid pictures and video for a mixture of a polished and raw Instagram Story vibe. Always remember to stay on brand!

3. Get Creative

This is the fun part. Do a little research on some fun apps to help make some really memorable Instagram Story content. A few apps that I have used in the past are Adobe Spark Post and Over. Make sure your brand colors are always being used while using eye catching visuals. Make sure your brand is always leaving something to be desired. Being creative will help your brand increase overall brand engagement and awareness.

4. Plan Ahead

It can be very easy to feel flustered and stop posting on Instagram altogether. The best possible practice to ensure you stay consistent in providing your audience with content is by planning your content. Currently, you can not schedule content to be posted in Instagram Stories, but you can save alerts to your phone to let you know when you should share your Instagram Story planned content to the Instagram platform.

5. Provide Value

No matter what business you are in, your audience wants to make sure before purchasing with you that you are an expert in your field. Remember, you don't have to be the only expert you just have to know your stuff! You followers/potential customers want to make sure their money is going to be well spent and the best way to keep providing re-assurance is by constantly posting content that tells your audience a problem they didn't know they were having, how it can be solved and how you are the person they should help assist. Be educational even when it feels and looks like fun!

6. Promote Your Stories

Making social media ads should be a top priority of your business. Using Instagram Stories to promote your social media ads is a great strategy because 1 in 5 companies that advertise on Instagram Stories receives a direct message. This message could eventually lead to a purchase or who knows, they might spread the knowledge to their friends and before you know it, your ad paid for itself.

7. Use Call-to-Actions

Using call-to-actions in your Instagram Stories is very smart. The only part that sucks about this action is that only accounts with 10,000 followers or more are allowed to have a direct link to each Instagram Story posted. Don't worry, if you don't have the numbers yet, you'll get there before you know it by staying consistent!

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