What are “Instagram Stories” and what exactly are these stories for?

Instagram Stories

The main attraction of Instagram stories is sharing with your community all those experiences that you consider most relevant to your daily life, both personal and professional.

Furthermore, from a business point of view, it is a powerful functionality that further accentuates the main characteristic of this social network: the visual aspect.

Nowadays it has become an essential marketing tool, belonging to Instagram and a true passport to success, which you should take advantage of with your own business.

But, in case you are still one of the few who still do not know what these “stories” are, I will begin by providing you with a definition of this concept:

What are Instagram stories?

“Stories” or Instagram stories are audiovisual content on this platform that, unlike normal publications, are volatile, that is, they have a certain duration and, after that period, they disappear.

In this case, these can be seen for 24 hours from their publication.

Its ease of use and its importance make this tool an immense source of options for all those users and brands that have an Instagram account.

Its origin is due to Mark Zuckerberg himself, owner of Facebook likes, comments (and therefore, also for a few years now, of Instagram), who upon purchasing this company wanted to compete with Snapchat.

The way it worked was very similar, hence the appearance of these stories or “Stories”.

What are “Instagram Stories” for?

Being able to share audiovisual content with a certain expiration date is a handicap that, at least at the beginning, sparked some controversy in its beginnings.

However, it has many advantages and uses, which I will tell you below:

Boost engagement with your community

In case you are preparing for some new event or happening, you can give a “snack” to your community of followers, so that you make them stay attentive.

This way, the moment you reveal more details about it, they will be the first to see your “Story” and participate in it.

Furthermore, the simple fact of telling them a part of that surprise makes them participate and shows them that they are important to your company.

In the particular case of independent professionals who are known as ” Influencers “, it is widely used to gain more followers and approach the public potentially interested in the activities they carry out.

Generates a feeling of need

When you decide to advertise or show a promotion for one of your business’s products, whether giving it away or leaving it for 24 hours at a ridiculous price, you are giving your users a feeling of need. This will create a feeling of attachment towards the brand, especially if this product or service adapts to both their personal and professional needs.

 Humanize your Brand

The main purpose of Instagram Stories is to show in a volatile way some notable moments of the daily life of users or brands with a presence on the platform, which will humanize to a large extent.

This is because, unlike conventional publications on this social network, stories allow you to share content in a much more informal and fun way.

Precisely, it is designed for that, since as time has passed, they have been incorporating images in GIF format, funny phrases, and other accessories such as costumes and party accessories.

In this way, although with your company you dedicate yourself, for example, to managing a law firm (to cite a somewhat more classic and “serious” example), you can also show your friendliest side.

Taking into account that you already know what “stories” are in the scope of this social platform, and the use that a company can give it, you should know its greatest advantages.

These are:

You will be able to impact your followers

The image of your stories is displayed in vertical orientation and occupies the entire screen, so if chosen well, the impact on the user who views them will be quite large.

Add direct links

This is very interesting, especially if you have a website or lead magnet in the case of a blog, with which you will have direct access at the click of a button.

Furthermore, if you have an online store and you show your most relevant products, being able to link them directly to their respective product sheet is an advantage that the platform gives you.

Ability to promote Storytelling

As you well know, Storytelling is a more than effective technique for marketing your business, through which you can tell stories that make users “fall in love” with your Brand and its values.

Thus, these Instagram stories allow you, as I mentioned before, to tell about everyday life in the office or workplace, as well as give prominence to your employees and invite them to tell funny anecdotes that happened recently.

This will keep the user attentive to these updates, so you will create that necessary link between the company/potential client.

Creation of surveys that provide you with feedback

The possibility that the platform has given you a few months to do surveys and, therefore, receive feedback from your community to the questions you ask, is a point in favour of these Stories.

This functionality gives you the possibility of asking your potential clients what they miss about your Brand or what you can do to improve your service or products.

Here, the “negative” ratings or opinions will give you ideas so that your company can carry out continuous improvement, which is necessary in every business, both online and offline.

It is a platform that is “in fashion”

It is true that, not because something is fashionable, it has to be effective and, above all, profitable for a company or business.

However, if around 500 million users view Instagram Stories with commercial intentions every day, this data is illuminating to consider using them within your social media strategy.

Once we know everything basic to understand the importance of this functionality of the visual social network par excellence, we have to see how to create a story in our account.

Enter your account or login

To begin, you must open your personal or corporate Instagram profile, logging in normally with your username and password.

Access the Stories area

Once in your account, go to your profile and, right at the bottom edge of your cover image, you will see a “+” sign, which you must click to access this section. If this is the first time you enter this section of the platform, your smartphone may ask you to accept the possible use of the audio and video systems. At this point, the camera will turn on automatically, so if you take a photo right now, you will need to adjust the flash options and other features such as zoom.

Choose the functionality to use

 Some of them are:

  • Normal photo and video: as the name suggests, you can upload a conventional image or video.
  • Boomerang: you can upload a “boomerang” type image, which once processed, turns out to be a GIF type, which is usually very funny.
  • Superzoom: gives your story quite professional, as well as fun, nuances from a graphic point of view, since thanks to its multiple filters, you can upload your photo or video with dramatic and cinematographic backgrounds.
  • Rewind: Adds a video, but played backwards.
  • Live: As with Facebook Live, you can also broadcast a live video of a special event related to your business or your employees.
  • Text: If you prefer, you can also upload a textual message, with an important message or that announces something relevant to your brand.

Illustrate your stories

Later, whether you have decided to share videos or images, you can accompany them with tags with your location, Instagram hashtags related to what you are doing and other GIFs and animated images.

Additionally, if you need to explain something about the meaning of your Story, you can also add surveys or questions, so that your audience interacts, as I explained previously.

If you prefer, you can also not “decorate” them too much (or at all). Here your creativity and objectives come into play.

Send it to your community

In the last step, once you have added all the elements that you consider relevant to your “Instagram Story”, you must move on to sharing it. If you look, in the lower right corner, you have a button with a white background, with the text ” Send to… “. From here you must choose the ” Your story ” option and click on the blue ” Share ” button.

It is important to note that, in this last step, if you finally decide not to share your story on Instagram with your entire community, but with only one or several users, you can also do that.

Just below the last sharing option, you can choose the users you want to share with. That’s easy.

In case you have an eCommerce store and want to show how your product is packaged before shipping it, you can share a video doing it only to the customer in question. This way, only he/she will see it, providing a greater user experience to your business, as well as great reliability, since he/she can verify that, indeed, his/her order is already in process.

Conclusion

Being aware of the enormous competition that exists in the field of Social Media when it comes to getting social, especially Instagram fellows or  likes for companies, it is essential to be different (and show yourself as such). Empathizing with the user is vital to gaining their trust while allowing them to identify their values ​​with yours. All of this can be achieved by using “Instagram Stories” as a channel within this social network to interact with them and have them do so with our business account.

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