Instagram Stories – another ‘thing’ you have to do? Well, if you want to fully embrace the functionality of Instagram, then yes. You kind of do. You might feel that your social media commitment is already bursting at the seams and you can not take on ANYTHING else. And I hear you and I understand. But in this blog, I’m going to share a few ways to help you with how to use Instagram Stories without them taking over your life. Well, more than social media does already!
Now, before, I venture down this path, just one point to note. If you do not want to Instagram Stories at this moment – don’t. I encourage clients to have a go and to try it because I know how well it can work. But if your plate is overflowing at this second, it’ll wait. I wouldn’t wait too long, but if you feel like it’s another job to do and you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t stress.
But if you do want to know how to use Instagram Stories, I have some ideas below that are really easy to implement. Especially if you don’t want it to completely take over your life…
How to use Instagram Stories
- Document. I’m sure this is a Gary Vee-ism… document, don’t create. I use Instagram Stories to share what I’m up to. Unlike a ‘proper’ video, I don’t get the tripod set up, storyboard, etc etc… I just press go and crack on.
- Mix your media. You might not fancy video today – that’s fine, take a pic. Don’t have a pic? Mess around with Boomerang or Rewind or Stop Motion. There’s lots of functionality built into Instagram Stories… and with GIFs recently introduced and lots of other things, it’s set to get better.
- Volume. You don’t HAVE to add to your Story every hour. Or even every day. Personally, I try and have something on Stories all the time, because I’m a bit of a geek like that and I’ve been seeing Stories get more and more visible on the app.
- Use your Camera Roll. You don’t have to include pics you’ve just taken… you can use older pics or even screenshots from your website! If you have an amazing special offer on an item, you can screenshot it, do a bit of editing inside the app and get it out there.
- Special events. If you’re attending an event, or exhibiting at a show, Stories is a great way to share lots of exclusive content about what you’re up to. I think you should use your feed for your best work, but you can add fun content on Stories that might not fit the aesthetic of your feed, but is bang on for your brand.
- Personality. Video content, candid snaps… even a bit of crazy dancing if it suits, is a great way to show the personality of the people behind the brand, which then helps to give the brand those personality attributes too.
- Behind the scenes. If you’re setting up for a show or an event, if you’re a photographer doing a shoot, if you’re opening a special delivery or parcel… why not share what’s going on behind the scenes of your business? It allows people to connect to you and your business on a deeper level… and people really do buy from people.
- Stay on brand, but don’t take yourself too seriously. It takes a lot time to build a brand, so make sure your content feeds into this… but don’t overthink. A nice contradiction… but let me explain. You might be a fun, young brand who likes to enjoy some bubbles and country shows. You can capture that fun on Instagram Stories – brilliant. However, fun and being drunk and ill, and feeling rough as hell the next day is not on brand. So I wouldn’t advise that… do you see what I mean?
Enjoy it. The best way to use Instagram Stories and to see what works for your audience is by just having a go. If you record a video clip or take a pic and you hate it, don’t publish it, just delete it… no one will know and you can just go again. Instagram Stories is a great tool, and finding out how to use Instagram Stories for your business could be a really big deal for you too.
If you’d like to see how I use Instagram Stories (and maybe even follow me on Instagram!), my Instagram handle is @rheafreemanpr. I’d love to see you there.