Just figured out how to effectively use Instagram Stories for your business? Oh wait no, you probably just figured out Snapchat. That’s right, Snapchat is slowly on the verge of becoming sooo 2016…
Instagram v. Snapchat
So what is the big difference? Both platforms offer essentially the same product.
While there are different filters, tools, and features, Instagram Stories is simply attached to what Instagram already presents its users. Since its launch in August, Instagram stories has reached 150 million daily users. This is greatly attributed to the fact that Instagram has quickly become the hub platform for many companies, brands, and campaign’s biggest influencers.
Snapchat does not allow growth for a business within its platform. Some argue that the app is making mistakes similar to those of Vine. Much of this is dues to the fact that Snapchat is simply private messaging. In contrast, Instagram promotes social media stars and helps to grow their accounts through the platform’s Explore page, which has naturally adopted stories along with photos and videos.
However, for many the direct messaging is not a complete deal breaker. As a millennial myself, I still use Snapchat daily specifically for the direct message aspect with my friends and family. I also view the daily subscriptions that are displayed by a variety of media sources. Some of these include: BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, The Dodo, and select featured ones. I will say that I have naturally made the transition to Instagram for many of the other companies, celebrities, and campaigns that interest me.
How to Use Instagram Stories
- Keep it short and simple
For Instagram Stories specifically, keep it short sweet and to the point but also engaging. It is also important to make sure there is a point to the content you are putting out there. This can be done by adding a simple location or hashtag to your post. Additionally, Instagram took over Boomerang and it was genius. Users go crazy over the animated looping clips. It a fun way to present content but also keep things interesting.
- Try not to treat it as a live video
Unless you are a certified celebrity, a stream of you talking to your phone in selfie mode walking around whereever is probably not the greatest idea. Most of the time, many viewers will lose interest and exit your story. If that is what you are trying to do, use live stream. This is not to say that this is not always acceptable. There are appropriate times to do this. Generally, stick to this method when your company or brand is at an event. Give your audience something to work with.
- Use the filters and features in a unique way
Can Instagram make you look like a puppy dog, Bambi, or a flower crown princess? No. If that is what you are looking for, Snapchat is still your go-to. However, think of the available filters and features as your bread and butter when posting to your Instagram Story. You have only a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention to make it something that will resonate with your target audience. There are tons on content creation websites like Canva for social media that do the same thing for a traditional post. The Instagram tools allow you to express yourself in a creative way. Another great feature to help grow you profile as well as your influencers and followers is the fact that you can add linkable handles, locations, and hashtags.
- Link your story to whatever you want
A beneficial feature included in Instagram’s Stories is the ability to link your content to the image. This will be indicated to users by a “swipe up” arrow featured at the bottom of the screen. This can be used to link to products, blogs, or whatever other content that you wish to display. Your followers will also appreciate the easy access to quickly jump over to what you are talking about.
- Always remember your target audience
One of the most important things to remember is to always stick to the values that your profile demonstrates. If your followers see content that does not align with your overall message they can be confused and annoyed. Users follow you because they agree with the message you send and content your display.
Do you use either Instagram Stories or Snapchat for your business? Which do you prefer?