3 Ways to Use Instagram Stories

Over a month ago Instagram gave us the wonderful surprise of Instagram stories. For a long time it seemed like Instagram had been staying relatively the same month to month, but this year they’ve been rolling out features and changes like nobody’s business. From their new logo, to the arrangement of the posts in our Instagram feed, to being able to setup business profiles, Instagram has been doing it all. Which leads us back to…Instagram stories! Actually, let’s talk about Snapchat first. After all, that’s why Instagram stories now exists right?!

Whether or not you’re a Snapchat user, you know what it is and have an idea how it works. Basically it’s a social media platform that allows you to post photos and short videos (with a ton of fun animated filters I might add), which disappear from your feed within 24 hours. I myself just started using Snapchat in July when my cousin came to stay with me for the month.  I’ve had the app for almost a year before that, but because I couldn’t figure it out after a few seconds, I gave up on it and never looked back until now. Now I post a bunch of goofy things on the daily. Why not? It’s fun!

For a few weeks I was back and forth between whether or not I wanted to use Snapchat for business, but I was leaning towards no. Lucky for me, while I was still on the fence, Instagram released their stories feature and that was that for me. Instagram in my core social media platform, and it’s the platform I help most of my clients with. To truly be successfully with your social media marketing, it’s smart to build one platform at a time. Not to say you can’t have a presence on other platforms as well, I just mean that it’s easier for you to focus your growth in one direction at a time, which is what I’m doing with Instagram. I still have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest that I update regularly, so I really didn’t want to add in yet another platform I have to keep up with. Enter, Instagram stories!

Sure, Instagram stories doesn’t have all the fun filters that Snapchat has (yet). But because I’m using it for business, I don’t really need all those filters anyway.

One of the things I like about the way the Instagram stories feature is setup, is that your stories aren’t part of your feed. Most of us entrepreneurs have a way we want our Instagram to look and feel, and I’m happy that I can use Instagram stories without disrupting my aesthetic.

If you haven’t hopped on the Instagram stories train yet, and you’re wondering what kinds of things to incorporate, here are 3 ideas for ya!

1.     Behind the Scenes. If you’re packing up your gear for a photo shoot, or you’re creating a new online course, give your audience a peek at your preparation process.

2.     Education. Teach your audience something through a series of 10-second video clips and images. Just last week I used Instagram stories to show my audience my process for creating 30 days worth of social media content!

3.     Lifestyle. Your lifestyle is more interesting to us than you think! Show us what you’re making for dinner, a silly dance routine your kids came up with, or your puppies going for a walk. Your audience wants to feel like they know you on a personal level, so step out of your comfort zone and share a bit of your life with them.