What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories are ridiculously fun (and an easy way to lose an hour, cripes!), and by now you’ve probably had a good chance to play with the Snapchat-esque filters that can turn you into puppies, cute-widdle-bunnies or even a cool ice queen!
Although the filters and effects can like feel more of a novelty than anything else, there are great benefits to using them strategically, so to help you get your mind around why you need them we’re explaining our top 13 reasons why Instagram Stories need to be a part of your Instagram Strategy.
1. 200M Daily Active Users
Everyday, over 200 million people use Instagram Stories. That’s now more than SnapChat – making it one of the fastest growing platforms, ever!
(Snapchat’s user experience was clunky and hard to learn, a downfall that led users to completely abandon the app in favour of using a platform they were already comfortable using.)
What does this mean for you? There are a HUGEMONGUS amount of eyeballs already on the platform.
2. Instagram Stories are Discoverable.
‘Discoverable’ means that people who don’t follow you can see your posts too!
Your stories last for 24hrs, however it’s not only those who follow you who will see them, in-fact, they’re discoverable so in the same way you might see accounts you’re not used to in your stories feed, other users will see yours!
A great opportunity to create new raving fans!
3. Adding hashtags to Instagram Stories (it’s kinda new!)
If you haven’t noticed it yet, you can now add hashtags to your IG stories!
When someone is searching through a hashtag, your Instagram stories with that hashtag appear at the top of the feed, making you even more discoverable!
Haven’t seen it yet? Here’s what it looks like!
Check it out when you’re trawling through your favourite hashtags.
4. Include an outbound Link.
If you have more that 10,000+* followers, there’s a ‘swipe up’ option inside your Instagram Stories to include an outbound link (for example, sending someone directly to your website, shop item or blog article!)
* This link feature was only for those with 10,000+ followers and above at the time of writing this post.
However, if you’re below that, don’t feel disheartened because when they first released this feature it was only for those with over 1M users and has been quickly dropping.
To see if you have this feature, there’ll be a little ‘link/paperclip’ icon at the top screen that allows you to add a URL off to another source, for example, the recipe for those delicious cupcakes you just baked!
If you’re tempted to splash out on a few followers to push you over the mark, please have a read of this first before you make any decisions: should you buy followers to give your account a boost?
5. Grow your community
Tagging other users in your Instagram Stories makes them feel valued, strengthens your relationships – and even starts new ones!
For example, when we quietly soft-launched our Analytics feature last week to our existing users to see what they thought, we were tagged in hundreds of Instagram Stories!
It was great because it introduced us to amazing new users and we’ve since reached out to interview a whole bunch of inspirational people for our blog and has definitely grown our community.
6. Promote Exclusivity
By showing people ‘what you’re working on’, and giving them ‘sneak peaks’ of what’s happening behind the scenes shots gives a sense of exclusivity. Everyone loves to feel like they’re special – and you’re also creating a bit of hype behind what you’re working on.
7. Add a personalised approach to engagement.
Showing your beautiful face, the loves of your lives (I’m talking favourite mugs, cats, faces and places!) helps people relate to you much faster. People love buying from people and knowing they’re part of something bigger, here’s where your Instagram Stories helps everyone understand more about you.
Explaining the passion behind your brand and why you love it so much can help create raving fans for your business!
@JennaKutcher is someone we’ve been in love with forever and does a superb
job at growing her loyal fanbase using Instagram Stories.
8. Keeps You Top of Mind (Brand Awareness)
With Instagrams algorithms regularly changing, and regular tweaks to who appears in your newsfeed, some users have noticed their engagement rates have dropped.
The best part of Instagram Stories is that if you’re continually engaging with your audience, you now have the opportunity to be seen more often – keeping you front of mind.
9. There’s no ‘Best Time To Post’ because they’re visible for 24hrs!
We’d recommending using Instagram Stories at least twice a day, at a good 10-12 hours apart (which also gives you a break from Social Media), so that you’ve always got something in the stories newsfeed within any 24hr timeframe.
10. You can download/save them.
Once you’ve created and posted you Instagram Stories, you can download individual posts, or even WHOLE stories if you want to use them again for another piece of content (for example, another social media platform like Facebook).
11. Turn off stories of certain users.
Keep seeing the same feed and over it? (But know they’ll care if you’ve unfollowed them? Eep!)
No problem, hold down their name in your feed and choose to mute them for a little while.
(We didn’t really mute Melyssa Griffin, she’s a flipp’n superstar!)
12. Hide your own Instagram Stories
For some reason you might have a bunch of peers and competitors following you, and like heck you’re going to give up your secrets! You might not want some users in particular to see what you’re working on, or what’s going in your latest sale etc, so while you’re setting up your Instagram Stories, you can choose to hide them from particular users.
13. Fun Factor
Yes, I was always going to go here, Instagram Stories are fun!
In a world where Social Media can sometimes feel like a chore – this is your chance to rock out your personality and show the world what makes you unique.
You can even create your face into a custom Instagram Sticker to use in your posts!
We’d love to know your favourite people to follow on Instagram Stories, or let us know what’s holding you back from getting started!
Christy Laurence is the multi award-winning founder of Plann, an app she created after watching hugely talented people around the world give up on making an income from their passion due to lack of marketing help.
Plann was designed to help give more freedom and a stronger understanding of Social Media to anyone wanting to create their own business.
Connect with Christy on Instagram @Plannthat