How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

With the release of Instagram Stories, users can now get a glimpse of what their Instagram idols look like IRL, without excessive photo re-touching and filters. Appropriating the idea from Snapchat, the new Instagram Stories allow you to post a series of ephemeral photos or videos that disappear after 24 hours.

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According to Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, Instagram Stories creates a space for Instagram users to share the content that doesn’t make the cut for their highly curated feed. Instagram Stories also provides more opportunities for your business to engage with your community without having to build a following or Snapchat or leave the Instagram app.  

If you’re already committed to using Snapchat for business, you may want to consider skimming your Instagram Stories to see how the newest controversial feature can benefit your business. Read on to learn the pros and cons of using Snapchat or Instagram Stories, and how to start creating Instagram stories for your business!

Instagram Stories

Create your Instagram Story, see insights, post to your Instagram feed

Pros to Using Instagram Stories for Business:

The Instagram Stories functionality is similar to Snapchat, with a few hidden perks:

  • Your story is featured on the home feed tab on the Instagram app, and on the profile page of a user when you tap their profile photo.
  • New stories in the home feed are organized by who you interact with most, and not by the time the story’s been updated (like Snapchat), which means your stories are prioritized by who you would like to see first. Theoretically, at least.
  • Unlike Snapchat, you don’t have to be following someone in order to see their Instagram story, unless they are a private account. This means you can browse stories before you commit to following someone.
  • You can hide your story from certain users, like your boss if you’re getting rowdy on a Tuesday night before work.
  • You can seamlessly integrate more behind-the-scenes content and video into your Instagram content strategy and focus on building one audience, rather than splitting your reach between Instagram and Snapchat.  

Cons to Using Instagram Stories for Business

Instagram Stories didn’t copy all of Snapchat’s features, here’s how the apps differ:

  • You can only upload photos and videos that you’ve previously taken within the last 24 hours, whereas Snapchat Memories lets you upload any content from your camera roll (a white border is placed around snaps that aren’t created “live”)
  • The editing features for Instagram Stories aren’t as in-depth as Snapchat, and Instagram Stories lacks many of the fun features like location filters, selfie filters, stickers, stickers, and other effects….so far.
  • Instagram Stories doesn’t let you see who’s taken a screenshot of your story, which may make it difficult to gauge interest/engagement for your content.
  • You can’t save your Instagram Story to your feed or phone, but you can post a specific story (photo or video clip) directly to your Instagram feed.
  • When you tap to view someone’s story, it starts from the beginning of the story rather than where you left off.

How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

To upload your first Instagram Story, tap the small icon in the top left corner of the app.

Instagram Stories

Tap the + icon to create your first Instagram Story for your business

You can take photos or create a series of 10 second video clips for your story and use Instagram Story editing features to spice up your content.

Instagram Stories’ editing features include unique brush types to choose from, like g the standard pen, a marker, and a translucent highlighter with custom colors for drawing with pre-made palettes in earth-tones and grayscale.

Instagram Stories

Flexible text and color editing options in Instagram Story

You can create a new 10-second video or photo to share to your Instagram story, or post a photo or video that you’ve taken within the last 24 hours by pulling the screen down where you would take the photo or record your story.

Your story is accessible in the home feed tab or from your Instagram profile page when a user tabs on your profile photo and you can check out your custom insights to see who’s viewed your story.

Tap the arrow at the bottom of your story for insights on your content

To see you custom insights, simply tap on your Instagram profile photo to view your Instagram story. At the bottom of your photo, you will see a small arrow icon with the number of people who have viewed your story. If you tap on the icon, you can see all of the users who’ve watched your story, and flip through multiple clips in your story to see how many people kept watching. 

See how many people and what users have seen your Instagram Story

In this section, you can also save your story, post your story to your feed, or delete your story. Each Instagram story that you create is saved separately, so you can get specific insights on each unique Instagram story in your feed.

By selecting the settings wheel icon in the top left corner of this page, you have the option to hide your story from specific users that you may not want to share your content with. You can also choose to accept message replies from Everyone, People You Follow, or turn your messages Off.

Instagram Stories

Take a photo or video, add text and emojis, select a filter, then tap the checkmark to post to your Instagram Story

How to Create Your First Instagram Story for Business

  1. Sign into your Instagram account and click on the + sign in the top left corner
  2. Tap the circle button to take a photo or hold the button down to take a >10-second video
  3. Add text by selecting one of the three pens or using the keyboard
  4. Add color by selecting the pen and choose from the color palettes
  5. Add emojis by using the keyboard
  6. Select a filter by swiping right or left
  7. Tap the checkmark at the bottom to post your content to your Instagram story

Are you planning on using Instagram Stories for your business? Let us know in the comments!

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