Did you know that Instagram Stories are one of the most effective ways to engage with customers on the internet? According to an analysis of over 15,000 brands that use them, Stories have an average completion rate of 55 percent or greater.
This shows that even if you’re struggling to engage with your posts, Stories are a great way to capture the attention of followers and potentially convert them to new customers. However, it can be a struggle to decide what to post on an Instagram story as well as the right tactics to use.
We’re here to help you get started. Read on to learn effective Instagram story ideas for businesses to engage with followers and drive traffic to your website!
Get Started With Instagram Story Ideas for Businesses
The best way to get started with Instagram Stories is to brainstorm ideas before you begin posting. This is because if you already have Instagram story ideas for a small business, you can schedule them effectively and provide consistent content.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
One of the easiest ideas that you can implement right away is through behind-the-scenes content. This content shows the operation of your business or brand from your perspective. You can show followers how you get ready for your day, routines that help you stay productive, or how you package products.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, people may be curious about what goes on behind the scenes before the business opens for the day. If you’re an artist, people may be curious about your creative process and how you inspire yourself each day. They may even be fascinated by where you purchase your art supplies.
If you’re not sure what kind of behind-the-scenes content sparks interest, ask your friends and family what makes them curious about your business or brand.
2. Celebrate Successes
People love celebrating successes on social media; oftentimes, we’re burnt out from dark and dismal news from around the world. Your positive news can be as simple as a testimonial from a recent customer that makes you smile.
This could also be certifications you recently received, courses you’ve completed, or even books that you finished that you found especially helpful for your personal or professional life.
Make sure that these successes tie into your brand and show the benefits of working with you or purchasing your products. For instance, testimonials give you social proof so that potential customers feel more comfortable working with you.
3. Conduct Polls
Polls are one feature that business owners seem to forget about often, but they make the most impact when it comes to regularly engaging with your followers. Make your polls related to your business in some way.
For instance, you can ask people about ideas for the next contest, whether they’re excited about a new product launch, or if they’ve signed up for your email list or not.
You can even add fun polls just for the sake to keep people engaged. Influencers do this often by showing two different photos and asking followers which one they liked better.
4. Questions and Answers
You need to keep in mind that customers may have questions about your business or brand, but they may feel uncomfortable or shy about broaching the subject. Offering question and answer days is a great way to interact with your customers, answer their questions, and create content.
Once you answer a question that you feel other people could benefit from the answer, you can also take a screenshot of your answer and add it to your Stories as well. You can also add these frequently asked questions and answers to your website.
5. Feature Other Accounts
It’s important to keep in mind that your Instagram Stories don’t have to be all about you. You can reserve a day to feature local businesses or loyal customers. For instance, if you have a service-based business, your followers may appreciate your recommendations for local areas.
Similarly, customers with public accounts that post about your business may appreciate a shout-out every once in a while.
6. Create Screenshot-Worthy Stories
Remember that your Stories can continue to exist on the phones of your followers by making them screenshot-worthy. This can be a list of great local eateries that you like the best, inspiring quotes, or a fun “fill in the blank” template that they can share with their own followers.
For more exposure, make sure to ask your followers to tag your account if they use your template!
7. Promote Your Posts and Blogs
If you’re a prolific blogger or you post on your Instagram frequently, Stories is the best method to promote them. Every time you create new content, make sure to create a Story that announces the post as well.
You’ll be surprised how many followers only know about your new posts through your Stories alone.
8. Use the Reaction Slider
Along with polls, the reaction slider is another way to promote engagement with your Stories. The reaction slider allows followers to slide an emoticon across to document their reaction to an image or caption you’ve posted.
Consider adding this when you’re promoting a new product or service, posting behind-the-scenes content, and more.
9. Go Live
Last but not least, remember that you can go live through Instagram. You can announce your live date and time through a countdown on Instagram stories and then plan to spend twenty minutes to an hour live with your followers.
Going live allows you to interact with your followers in a personable way, building rapport and trust. You can also answer any of their questions, present a new product or service, and more.
Even better, your live is available on your Story 24 hours after it’s over.
Ideas for Instagram Stories for Businesses: Tactics
Increased engagement isn’t just about trendy Instagram story ideas. There are also tips to improve engagement with posts based on when to post, how often, and more. Here are a few tactics to keep in mind:
Use Instagram Filters
If you struggle with your body image or you want your Stories to look more attractive, keep in mind that there are many instagram filters that you can use.
Not only are some of them creative and interesting, but they can also make your Stories look more attractive and capture your followers’ attention.
Post the Right Amount
While posting Stories as consistently as possible is important, there’s a limit to how many you should post a day. Buffer found that posting more than seven Stories at a time cuts down on followers’ engagement–people are more likely to skip to another account.
Stick to less than seven Stories a day, and you’ll find that engagement is at its peak.
Use Location Stickers and Hashtags
Adding location stickers to your Stories when appropriate can increase the number of viewers. This is because your Story automatically gets added to that location’s stream of Stories.
Similarly, adding a few hashtags places your Story within that pool. Although you may not notice a huge difference, it’s still a worthwhile practice since it takes only a matter of seconds.
Mention Other Accounts
If your Story features another business or person with a public Instagram account, remember to mention them within your Stories. This is because it enables another person to quickly add your Story to their own Stories.
This means that all of their followers will also be viewing the Story and engaging with it. If they have a large following that’s similar to your own, this could also mean gaining new followers through a simple mention.
Use Apps to Plan Stories
There are plenty of free and paid apps that allow you to plan out your Stories and post them on a schedule. Businesses both large and small use these apps in order to save time during the week with their marketing activities.
It also ensures that they always have a consistent stream of content.
Start Creating Your Instagram Stories Today
One issue that business owners frequently face is analysis paralysis. You come up with a great idea that seems effective for the success of your business. However, it quickly dies on the vine because you don’t execute that idea right away.
Instead of getting caught in this trap, try to get started as soon as possible. Once you come up with a few Instagram story ideas, plan them as soon as you can and then post them! You’ll be rewarded by seeing instant engagement with more of your followers than ever before.
As you start posting more Stories, you’ll become more experienced with honing the right tactics and strategies. The main takeaway is to get started before you get caught in the trap of over-analyzing. You have nothing to lose!
Ready for more tactical tips on how to make tech work for your business? Keep reading our blog for more informative and strategic articles!