June 21, 2017
Hey, peeps. It’s Summer Solstice today, so let’s keep this one short & sweet, shall we? Plus, you gotta get right to it and start IG Story-ing (totally a verb now, obviously)!
If you’re in any way active on Instagram, which… I really hope you are… then you should be pretty familiar with Instagram Stories by now. The almost 100% copycat of Snapchat (absolutely no one is complaining of this blatant copy except Snapchat themselves) launched back in August (2016), and very quickly became a go-to for most Instagram users, whether they were the ones broadcasting on Stories or the ones watching. Either way, it’s been a game changer for every user of the app and it’s something all businesses should be taking advantage of.
Below are three quick & super duper stinkin easy ways you can use Instagram Stories as a small business owner to both connect with your audience AND drive sales. Read ’em, implement ’em, and shine on!
1.) Day in the life – Alright, this one may be the most consistent and easiest way to show up on Instagram Stories. And it’s a hit, because everyone is nosy. Most people are intrigued by the behind the scenes of a business. If that looks like walking your dog in the morning, that’s awesome. People genuinely get a kick out of that. One reason is that it shows you’re a real life human, and not just a product slingin’ biz. I dare you to try to post five stories, whether they’re photos or videos is up to you, throughout the day, where you walk viewers through your entire day. Easy peasy. No reason not to do this one, y’all!
2.) An Insta Only Promotion – There are two things we know all individuals love in this life: that’s love itself, and a good ole discount. Run a 24 hour Instagram Stories only promotion or discount for your most loyal and loving customers. Whether you sell a service or a product, offer a small discount or even a freebie to any viewer who purchases or books with you THAT day and THAT DAY ONLY. Viewers will feel like they’re being let in on a special little secret, and they are. Lucky, lucky, them.
3.) Effectively tell ’em to go elsewhere – Instagram Stories are the perfect way to showcase a recent blog post, newsletter, or special announcement that are all hosted off of Instagram. Urge viewers to sign up for your newsletter list by teasing a soon-to-be-delivered newsletter. Post a snippet of your most recent blog post or newest product or service offer. Use a strong call to action and tell viewers to visit the website (or wherever it may be you’re directing them to) by either swiping up or clicking the link in your bio. Users with a business profile and more than 10k followers all have the “swipe up” feature on Instagram Stories and are able to direct users directly within the app to an off Instagram destination. It’s an extremely powerful tool that all businesses who have this feature should be taking advantage of. If you aren’t over 10k followers or interested in a business account on Instagram, don’t worry, this is still a great tactic for you to roll out within your Stories strategy. Simply direct users to the website directly or by clicking the link in your profile. The goal is to get your content in front of as many viewers as possible. Those who are interested, and most likely to stick around, will click through to your content whether you have the swipe up feature or not.
4.) Call for UGC – Oops, I said 3 quick & easy ideas, but who’s gonna complain about a fourth, eh? One reason user-generated content is so popular with small brands, big brands, tiny brands, the people, Instagram users, and everyone else, is because it makes things seem that much more real. I really love when Anthropologie reposts a photo of a REAL LIFE WOMAN in their clothing and not those models they use. It helps me to envision myself actually buying and living in their clothing. Because I’m a real life woman like that one in that picture, not like the models in those other pictures. When you repost photos of your customers, you’re doing a few things: you’re showing ALL of your customers, not just the one whose photo you repost, that you care and value them and their opinions, you’re making that one customer feel so dang special and loved that they’ll most likely continue to post photos of your products or business in hopes of another repost, and you’re also making your job much easier. Reposting is gold, and it should not be overlooked in your social media strategy. But now it’s time to bring it to your Stories! Post a few great photos of user generated content that your customers have tagged you in and be sure to tag the customers in Stories. Credit is ALWAYS important. End the entire Story with a great graphic and a call for more user generated content. Simply say something along the lines of “We love seeing how you use your products! Send us a DM or tag us in your photos for a chance to be featured!” Bam. Sit back and watch the content roll in.
Alright, there ya have it. I told you they would be quick and easy to implement, didn’t I? Go out there and get to it now! And remember to HAVE FUN!
* beautiful, beautiful stock photo by the insanely talented and ridiculously hilarious jasmine star.