How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

 You know that you should be using Instagram for your business, and Instagram stories are the latest rage- but how do you use them for your business?

Stories are the newest Instagram feature, which automatically makes them the most intimidating. However, I’d argue that they are actually the easiest to use when it comes to business strategy.

Below are 5 ways that you can use Stories to promote your business, engage your audience, and have a little fun at the same time!

1- Showcase content that don’t fit with the aesthetic of your profile

A popular Instagram strategy is to go with a very consistent brand look for all of your images. This is very attractive for people who are looking at your profile and can be the dealbreaker when it comes to whether someone follows your account or not.

However, this strategy can be incredibly restrictive when it comes to being authentic and in the moment - which is a bit ironic for a social media network whose original purpose was all about spontaneity.

Stories allow you to highlight the things about your business and clients that don’t have the right “look” but that are just as valuable to your audience.

2- Do live video

The regular posting mechanism for Instagram allows you to post videos - *after* they’ve been recorded

 If live video is your best way to engage your audience, then short of using another social media platform, Stories are where you need to be.

Live video on Instagram is mobile-only, so you won’t be using it for webinars or presentations, but you can certainly get yourself a $20 tripod and do a quick tip of the day, film yourself doing or making something, make business announcements, or hold a Q&A.

You can even combine forces with another Instagrammer and go live together with 2 person video!

3- Worry less about quality and just have fun!

As smartphone cameras improve, and as free graphic design tools become more popular, the bar for visual quality on Instagram has gotten higher and higher.

This can sometimes scare off businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t have the budget or the savvy for high quality photos and graphics.

Because Stories are designed more for engaging content than regular posts, you don’t need to worry so much about layout and lighting and colour scheme - much less intimidating for DIY-ers. Play around with the text and brush tools, add some fun stickers.

If your audience can see that you are having fun, they will too.

4- Send traffic to your website

Besides your bio, Stories are the *only* place where you can add a clickable link, which is a huge advantage when you’re trying to drive people to your website, online store, or landing page. The easier you make it for people to go where you need, the more likely they are to go.

5- Live event coverage

Instagram has been used in the past for live event promotion with mixed results (depending on your follower size and the event type).

Too many similar posts in a row, especially if you find yourself copy/pasting the caption, can be really annoying for your followers.

With Stories, you can literally tell the story of your event a few seconds at a time, allowing you the freedom to post as much as you want or need to in order to entertain your audience.

And with Stories now allowing geotagging, user tagging, and hashtags, there are no disadvantages when it comes to being found in search results.