If you’ve been following along with me onÂ Instagram, you’re likely familiar with my use of the Stories feature as a means to connect with my audience. Whether it’sÂ short video clips of the pups or a look at the late night hustle that keeps my businessÂ moving forwardâ€”offering a glimpse of the daily life of an entrepreneur has proven to connect me with my clients + customers in a new way.
With video content on the rise as a tool for effective communication in marketing, itâ€™s important that youÂ carefully consider whether or not youÂ canÂ afford to miss out on the potential packed inside of Instagram Stories. If you are using the Stories feature, be sure to avoid these five key mistakes thatÂ could limit your impact.
Use stories on a consistent basis to teach yourÂ audience to expect this platform as a communication channel. Posting at different times throughout the day also strategicallyÂ lifts your stories feed to the top of your followersâ€™ timelines. Post consistently in several segments throughout the day.
Make sharing to Instagram StoriesÂ a standard part of your daily marketing strategy. Share often and spread out your uploads.Â
ThereÂ isÂ a small link in the upper lefthand corner of your direct messages screen that saysÂ â€œRequestsâ€. When someone replies to your Instagram Story who you are notÂ following, their message will be held in a separate folder until it is approved. If you fail to clear out yourÂ requests folder on a semi-regular basis, itâ€™s likely that messages will go unseen and opportunities for connection will be lost.Â
Pop into your requests folder from time to time and accept invitations from your audience. Remember that if someone is taking the time to reach out to youâ€”they are likely a member of your tribe and responding is an important way to show them that you care.
Make it a habit of responding to direct messages that arise from your Instagram Stories and use it as an avenue to deepen the relationship between you and your audience.
Did you know that tagging your location on Instagram Stories and using relevant hashtags allows your story to populate publicly on explore pages within Instagram?
For example: When sharing on Instagram Stories, I tagged both a geolocation tag and one to three hashtags in my Instagram Story. It is common for me to get an additional 100-200 views from people who aren’t following my account when my story is accepted onto one or more of those explore pages.
Tips to Optimize Your Stories:
If you are going to take the time to share on Instagram stories, ensure that you’re getting the most out of every post. Tag, geotag, and hashtag your way into expanding your audience and building relationships with collaborators.
Unlike itâ€™s big sister, the Instagram feedâ€”Stories only last for 24 hours. This feature is valuableÂ because they allow your audience to connect with you on a more authentic level. Being able to see into your world, see your brandâ€™s human elementâ€”is one of the keys to success on this platform.
Don’t rehearse something a dozen times until it begins to feelÂ stale. Allowing your personality and quirks to shine through Instagram Stories will yield deeper connections with your community andÂ attract more of your ideal client.
Remember that in business:Â your time is money. There are moments when getting something perfects and due to the time limit on Instagram Storiesâ€”it’s better to to create content quickly than spend a significant amount of time rehearsing until it is perfect.
Also, be sure to avoid becoming a monologue master. One of the most entertaining parts of video is the ability to see what is happening behind the scenes.Â Strike a balance between talking to the camera and showing your audience the real life moments that are unfolding around you.
If you have the choice between seeing someone photographing a wedding day vs. hearing a recap the next day about the experienceâ€”which would you choose? Storytelling is more captivating when you have a visual to accompany it.
The biggest mistake you could make at this moment is to avoid using Instagram Stories. This tool is already proving to be a huge asset to small business owners looking toÂ build their tribe and increase sales. I’ve increased my email list by nearlyÂ one thousand subscribers in the first week that the “Swipe Up” capability was rolled out for business accounts. Leveraging stories to showcase my freebies, downloadables, and other offerings has driven a significant amount of traffic (in a highly effectiveÂ way) off of the platform and onto my website or email list.
By using the platform often, you educate your audience to know that they can find you on Stories and begin building deeper relationships with your audience.
If you need help getting started, I’ve created this set of Instagram Story templates to help you market your business. It includes templates for creatives, content marketers, and photographers to showcase their work and connect with their audience. Everything is created as a Photoshop (.PSD) file and is easy to edit so that you can make it match your brand! Enjoy!
© 2023 Natalie Franke