Especially if you don’t have a physical storefront, it’s important to realize that your website and social presence is your digital storefront. Potential customers looking to learn about what your business sells will explore what you share with the world and make a decision on purchasing long before they ever send you an email or leave a comment.
For this reason, we, as business people, need to constantly be putting our best foot forward in creating a connection with the people we don’t know are following us.
Instagram, and more specifically Instagram Stories, are by far my favourite way of marketing that resonates with my audience.
When the new Stories features launched on the Instagram app, I was frustrated that the app was becoming cluttered with another distracting element. My anger quickly died away when I realized Instagram Stories offer a number of features a traditional Instagram post do not.
The Pros of Instagram Stories:
- The ability to track who has seen your story
- Appearing at the top of the app when you post, not just randomly in a feed
- The ability to interact with your audience via polls, questions, and more
- The 24-hour limit means more candid and less polished material is shown
- The strongest content-reward system in social media right now, in my opinion
To specifically explain that last point, let me illustrate with Facebook.
Why Facebook (Generally) Sucks
Back in the day, on Facebook, if you liked a page, their content would appear in your feed just like that of a friend. Slowly, over the course of time as Facebook Ads become a growing revenue stream for the company, they gradually reduced the amount of content people saw from pages in their feed.
This means that even if you liked a page of your own freewill, you would see less than 10% of their content, on average.
That’s a huge deal. Facebook page owners want to know that the effort they’re putting into their social presence is not only going to be seen <10% of the time.
Why Instagram Stories are Growing–Fast
Instagram, despite being owned by Facebook, don’t seem to have subscribed to the pay-to-play structure that their big brother has. the biggest benefit that Instagram Stories have is:
Instagram Stories will appear at the top of a user’s feed every time they log into an app if they frequently watch your stories in the first place.
It stands to reason that:
Make good, specific content on Instagram Stores = More people watching those stories
A photographer friend of mine talked to me recently about how much success he found in building a relationship with people that would eventually hire him. He’s a guy that took to Instagram Stories immediately: not purely out of the dream to grow his business, but because he genuinely loved sharing his life with anyone willing to listen.
When meeting clients for the first time at consultations, they knew the name of his dog and asked how his kids were doing.
How did they know his dog’s name and what his kids’ favourite TV show was? He provided value to his audience on Instagram for a while before they needed his services. Then, when they did, he was their first choice based on the personal connection they had to him; despite it only being one-way.
Putting it to Use
If you don’t already use Instagram Stories very well but frequently use the app, I’d challenge you: For 1 week, try to make 3 instagram stories a day. Video, in my experience, is far more engaging than photos with text are.
Get your face in front of the camera. People want to know who you are!
If your number of followers hasn’t been bought from China, I guarantee that you’ll find more people watch your stories than like your posts. Then tell me which one might be a more valuable tool for your business.
Foundation for Insta Stories
Despite how important Instagram Stories are, it’s important to understand that your Instagram account is the foundation upon which your Insta Stories home is built.
Read my article about what makes a strong Instagram Account to step up your game on all fronts.