Instagram this week launched Instagram Stories, which means users can post photos and videos that only last for 24 hours and don’t sit on your main feed. It is aimed to encourage more everyday, raw content on the channel.
They have come under fire for a straight copy of Snapchat, but we think Instagram Stories offers a much more user friendly solution. For a start, you don’t need to exit Instagram to use Stories. They are displayed at the top of your home screen, as you can see below. You can always see your own story first:
As with Snapchat, you can customise your creations with text, emojis, and draw straight on top of them. It’s thought that filters will be coming to Instagram too.
Every user (including business profiles) has an Instagram Story which can be viewed in the Instagram homepage, and you see the stories of everyone you follow.
Click their profile picture at the top of Instagram and see a slideshow of everything the user has posted to their story in the past 24 hours.
Techcrunch called Instagram Stories ‘Snapchat for adults’.
“It’s a way for brands to post more without overwhelming people’s feeds, an alternative to Instagram’s Like-driven success theater or a blatant ripoff,” wrote Josh Constine in Techcrunch.
When confronted about Instagram Stories being a clone of Snapchat Stories, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom surprisingly admitted “They deserve all the credit,” but insisted “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.” Read more of the Techcrunch interview with Kevin Systrom here.
So how can your business use Instagram Stories?
The beauty of the quick clips and bespoke image allow brands to maximise on countdowns, flash promotions and event based content.
Another popular piece of content used by brands so far is behind the scenes footage, telling a story or introducing the people behind the brand. Stories allows you to view who’s seen your Instagram likes story and in what order.
Our 5 top tips:
- Use bright images to stand out
- Customise your Stories with text and emojis to make them unique and personal to your business
- Share something interesting – not just for the sake of it! There seems to be quite a lot of mundane content being shared so far…
- Try to share a Story a day to make sure you appear in the top bar of Instagram. This is such a great opportunity to stand out to your target customers, rather than replying on them coming to your feed.
- Stay consistent, using a tone of voice that’s right for your brand. Remember to keep it professional at the end of the day!
These two examples below are from small businesses that we are big fans of. First, organic chocolate brand Doisy & Dam have been sharing stories behind the scenes at their production house, showing you their gorgeous chocolate in the creation process. As well as this we get to see founders Richard and Ed showing off their sense of humour with some silly faces!
Another great use was by personalised gifting and stationery business Love Give Ink. They shared a Story about their new honeymoon memories book being featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine. A great piece of PR for them, and a nice way of displaying the news without interrupting their beautiful Instagram feed.
We’re hosting a free evening event, ‘Small Business Success with Social Media’ on Tuesday 13th September in London, featuring Doisy & Dam and Love Give Ink.