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Jessie Donlon
Posted by Jessie DonlonOctober 9, 2018 9:00 AM

I’m sure you’re familiar with Instagram stories—if not, it may be time to come out from that rock you’ve been living under! All kidding aside, Instagram stories are one of the most lighthearted and personal ways to capture the attention of your audience. If your company isn’t utilizing them, you could be missing out on valuable content to connect to your following.  

 

Tips for Effective Instagram Stories

The act of creating Instagram stories themselves is pretty simple, but when first getting started it can be a challenge to see the benefits they can bring beyond the shiny, playful surface. The truth is, when posted strategically, stories are a great way to boost engagement, gain brand awareness and even establish or strengthen brand trust. Below are some tips and tricks to get you started on Instagram stories, but more importantly, highlight some ways to be fun and playful while still posting strategically and keeping the tone of your brand consistent.

 

Timing

A big question for brands (and the average Instagram user for that matter) is, "How do I figure out Instagram’s algorithm?" We get it—it’s hard to know the best time to post in order to maximize views and engagements. For a regular Instagram post, this question is hugely important and can be a little bit tricky. Lucky for us, for Instagram stories the answer is a lot simpler. Stories are visible for 24 hours, so as long as your audience is viewing stories, yours will pop up at the top of the feed, no matter the time the story itself was posted.

 

Use your brand’s colors

This is the easiest way keep your look and feel consistent AND on-brand. By sticking to your brand's color pallet, you’re able to create a consistent voice while still optimizing on the creativity and casualness of Instagram stories. What we mean by this is that when posting to your story and adding text, make sure your text is in a color that matches your brand. Since Instagram stories are a way to possibly go outside of your comfort zone, maintaining consistency in small ways like this is key.

 

Have fun with it!

This platform leaves plenty of room for creativity, so do get creative and have fun with it! Don’t be afraid to throw in a sticker or a fun .gif when it makes sense, but also be sure you’re not overloading your audience with irrelevant messaging. This can be sort of a fine line, but keep in mind that your audience does value lighthearted content that humanizes and shows the personality behind your brand!

 

Utilize unique features

Instagram stories have features that can help you boost engagement and drive people back to your website. Two of our favorite features include Instagram polls and the swipe-up feature. Both are non-invasive ways to get your audience to engage directly with your business—there’s no guesswork here! With polls, you can make things fun and a little silly, and/or ask questions about what viewers would like to see more of (such as with this/that questions). With the swipe-up feature, you can link your website’s homepage to anywhere you’re looking to drive traffic! Take advantage of these featuresand make sure you take what you learn and apply them to your business plan.

 

Give a behind-the-scenes look

Customers love getting a “sneak-peek.” We highly recommend utilizing Instagram stories to showcase any content from tradeshows, the fields, growers, or maybe even a little “get to know our CEO.” People like to know where their food is coming from and who the people behind the product or service are, and they often enjoy making meaningful personal connections to brands. This is something that takes very little time to implement, but is huge to your audience!

 

Capitalize on Instagram takeovers

This is a really fun way to grow your Instagram following. Especially if you have an influencer who you really enjoy working with—or even if you come across a blogger that would be a good fit for your brand—take advantage! Having an influencer do a story takeover is a win-win, because the influencer is getting in front of a new audience and you are gaining access to their following as well. The content they provide to your story can be super simple, such as showing a recipe, but the possibilities here are endless.

 

Now that you have Instagram stories down, utilizing Instagram highlights should be your next task…but more on that later!

 

We’d love to hear how these tips worked for you and helped elevate your social media strategy. Tweet us @TheCoreBlog and let us know!

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