What happens next?
With over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram gives companies access to a sizable potential market. Instagram is primarily a visually driven social media platform, making it perfect for companies with an aesthetic edge to their products or services. Businesses can display captivating and appealing branding by exhibiting their products in either images and videos.
Instagram has an exceptionally high amount of user interaction, with users frequently utilizing the app for extended periods of time. Businesses who aim to forge deep connections with their customers and promote brand loyalty may find this to be helpful.
Instagram is one of the best mediums for direct customer marketing, and one where businesses can collaborate extensively with other brands and influencers to increase their reach. Instagram also offers companies a variety of analytics tools that can be used to measure the success of their content, find the most active users among their followers, and understand their audience better.
One way businesses can interact with their followers is through Instagram stories. Stories enable users to post pictures and brief videos that vanish after 24 hours. Stories are visible to everyone who follows the user and are shown in a separate bar at the top of the main Instagram feed.
Users frequently use Instagram Stories to share content from daily life or behind-the-scenes moments with their followers. Compared to the more permanent and carefully chosen posts that show up in an brand’s Instagram feed, they provide a more informal and transient means of sharing material.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Instagram Stories' main features:
Photo courtesy of cottonbro studio
Tips to engage with followers using Stories
Be sure to answer any messages or comments that are left on any of your Stories. This fosters a sense of community and shows your followers that you appreciate their participation.
Utilize Instagram Stories to poll your followers' thoughts on a topic. Simply asking them what their favorite product is or soliciting ideas for future material can do this.
Instagram Stories is a terrific venue for showcasing an up-close and intimate side of your company. Your followers may feel more a part of your community as a result.
Instagram Stories has a wide range of interactive elements and stickers available. For instance, you can encourage your followers to engage with you by using the "ask me a question" sticker.
Photo courtesy of cottonbro studios
Some examples of successful Instagram Stories
The tips we shared above can help you craft a successful Instagram Story. However, many companies use their branding flair to create a distinct Story to connect with their customers. Here are a few examples of just that.
McDonald’s New Zealand ran a campaign with a call to action for customers to post pictures of a trip to their local McDonald’s for pancake day (or hotcakes as the New Zealanders call them!). The result of the CTA would be a reposting of their image to the main McDonald’s New Zealand Story, giving customers recognition and emphasizing customer loyalty. This kind of post generates excitement around a campaign and fosters a sense of community.
Playa Bowls ran a giveaway campaign on their Instagram Story. Giveaways are a wonderful way to generate activity and engagement as they often involve cross-posting, comments tagging others or reposting the giveaway advert to enter, and result in a winner that can activate more interest and loyalty for your brand.
Playa Bowls primarily sells different variations of fruit bowls and generally promotes wellness and healthy lifestyles as a part of their branding alignment. In this particular giveaway they partnered with Black Girl Sunscreen to cross promote products that ultimately extend their reach into new markets. Playa Bowls and Black Girl Sunscreen have roughly between 130k-180k followers, so this is a great opportunity to get in front of followers who may otherwise not make the connection between brands.
This account, while not directly affiliated with Trader Joe’s, acts as Trader Joe’s fan account that promotes products specially made by Trader Joe’s. Here you can see them using the polling sticker to engage followers by asking them which Trader Joe’s product they prefer. Many companies across industries use this feature to generate Story engagement and it is known to increase viewership of Stories, not to mention it can guarantee that there are eyes on new products or services you may be promoting.
Target utilized an ‘add to cart’ link on their Story by having a “shopper” go around one of their locations and post specialty items pertaining to the Easter season. This is a lo-fi way to give an almost behind-the-scenes look at Target’s marketing team in-store.
This Story also emphasizes some of the primary reasons for Target’s success: its in-store shopping experience is well-known and highly regarded as extremely enjoyable, as well as Target’s ability to provide a wide variety of seasonally festive home goods products at relatively reasonable prices. By reinforcing this in their social media marketing, they are giving followers and shoppers a consistent branding story.
Macy’s reposted a Reel to their Story highlighting how to style a shelf using their products. Videos displaying how to utilize a product, or in this case, style them, are incredibly smart as they show a viewer how the product is exactly intended for use, pushing customers further into the purchasing decision making process. By doing this, Macy’s has taken away the mystery of whether or not a product would work for the viewer by showing them exactly the best way to use them. This also employs an expert approach to designing a space, and leans into the DIY trend that is very popular on all social media platforms.
As we’ve seen, Instagram Stories are a great and entertaining method for users to engage with their followers and share important products, services, gauge interest, and develop relationships with viewers. Ultimately, Stories provide a more relaxed and transient means of sharing material, and they may be a helpful tool for businesses to advertise their goods and interact with their customers.
Ready to start an Instagram Story campaign? Synup is offering a free trial today to help your company reach more customers by uniting your social profiles on one platform. Start a conversation with us to find out how we’re making this process stress-free with maximized results.