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7 Practical Ways for Your Business to Use Instagram Stories

Monday February 19, 2018

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Reading Time: 9 minutes

For a lot of businesses, Instagram is one of the least-used social platforms, but with more than 500 million daily active users, it’s a well of untapped potential. According to Instagram, users 25 and up spend more than 24 minutes a day scrolling the app.

Instagram isn’t just for sharing pics of food and sunsets. It’s a practical way for businesses to engage with existing members of their audience and reach out to new ones because users engage with brands on Instagram more than any other social platform. And now that Instagram Stories have surpassed Snapchat in popularity, you’re missing out if they aren’t a part of your social strategy.

Webconsuls is a digital marketing agency that specializes in strategy for the addiction treatment and legal fields. Yes, it’s possible and practical for these businesses to incorporate Instagram Stories into your social strategy. Here are seven ways to do it:

1. Show a Day in the Life

Your Instagram Story is a great way to show your audience a different perspective of your business. Videos and still photos, captioned with less formal language, make your content more accessible and relatable.

For an addiction treatment center, Stories are particularly useful. Often people associate treatment centers with an impersonal, sterile, hospital-like environment, but your Instagram Story is an opportunity to show that your center is anything but. Take your audience on a tour of your facilities and show them the private bedrooms, the cozy common areas, the gourmet kitchen, the outdoor living space–the creature comforts that feel like home.

Day in the life, behind the scenes Stories add a lot of value, and best of all, you can put them together on a whim.

2. Humanize Your Brand

Your Story doesn’t need to be a work of art, but something polished that offers a glimpse of the people behind your business helps humanize your brand. Spotlight some of the people who work for your business with quick, engaging interview snippets.

If you work in the addiction treatment or legal field, you and your colleagues have a wealth of knowledge to share. Up the engagement factor with an “Ask Me Anything”-style Q&A. Open up your DMs, ask viewers to submit their questions and have a member of your team answer them.

3. Promote Blog Content

Instagram Stories are a fantastic way to drive traffic to your editorial content. With Stories, you can share condensed versions of your blog content in an engaging and easy to understand format.

You don’t have to create anything new. Take inventory of existing blog content for topics that can be easily distilled. Blogs with titles like “7 Things to…” or “5 Ideas for…” break down into a few slides nicely.

Structure your Story with a great cover image that entices viewers to tap through, followed by informational images and a conclusion image with a call to action and a URL so viewers can swipe up to be directed to your site.

Remember: getting your audience’s attention is great, but it’s only part of the goal. You need your audience to do something once you have their attention, so give them a clear direction to take.

4. Make Company Announcements

Whenever you have business-related news you want to share, post it to your story. Think about awards you’ve won, new hires, new services you’re offering, renovations and upgrades that you’ve made–these are all great Story subjects. For newsier company announcements, you could even tease the story with a link to leads straight to the press release on your website.

5. Promote a Live Stream

Going live on Facebook or another streaming platform? Cross-promoting content using Stories is a great way to create excitement, build up your audience on a platform where you might not have as large a following, and link viewers right to the main event.

6. Incorporate Hashtags

What are 3-4 keywords that relate to the image or video you’re sharing and your business? Use Instagram’s hashtag sticker to broaden your reach.

Hashtagify is a free tool to use for hashtag research. Type in a keyword, and you’ll immediately see stats on its popularity, as well as related keywords. For addiction recovery centers, #12steps, #recovery, #soberliving, #addiction and #mentalhealth are all fair game. For those in the legal field, #lawyer, #attorney and #lawyerlife show promise.

You can even create personal or branded hashtags to engage with your community.

7. Use Story Highlights

Instagram recently introduced Highlights, which are Stories attached to your profile. Any Story or Stories can be turned into a Highlights album by navigating to “Story Highlights” on your profile.

Highlights preserve your Stories content for posterity. It’s the first thing any user will notice upon visiting your profile, so use it to keep content that humanizes your business, builds credibility or shares important updates. Ideally, these Highlights also include built-in links to your website.

If there were ever a perfect time for businesses to fine-tune their Instagram strategy, now would be it. Webconsuls’ can help you create a strategy for Instagram and other social platforms. Our social media services are structured to increase brand recognition and generate qualified leads using a combination of paid and organic tools. Contact a managing partner directly at 949.701.4714 to learn more.


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