Adding new story on instagram app close-up view of smartphone screen

You’ve probably seen the bubbles at the top of your Instagram feed. These clickable circles take you to Instagram stories.

So what is an Instagram Story? When they were announced in August of 2016, Instagram explained them as a way for users to share every moment of their day, without fear of over-posting. They appear in a slideshow format, so you or your Instagram account manager can bring as much creativity to them as possible. Just note that they go away after 24 hours, so don’t post anything on your story that you want to show up on your page permanently. Instagram stories are an amazing way to engage with your customer or client base without spending money on an Instagram marketing company.

FIVE INSTAGRAM STORY FEATURES YOU SHOULD BE USING

1 – Polls: One of the features that every business should take advantage of is polls. To post a poll, set up an Instagram story. Through the Instagram sticker icon, choose the poll sticker. This will allow you to give two options and present them to your followers. Your followers are now able to engage and communicate directly with your business! Their feedback will help you gain powerful insight into what users actually want, all while creating a dynamic social media presence!

2 – GIFS: Gifs are the fastest way to take a dull Instagram story and make it a little more entertaining. Remember — stories are meant to be fun! So spice up your photos, custom graphics, or videos by adding a fitting GIF!

3 – HASHTAGS: Yes, even your Instagram story needs a good #hashtag. Stories are now linked with the Discover page, so it’s important to use a relevant hashtag to help your post reach more people. As long as your Instagram account is linked to your website (which it should be), this can also help with your funnel marketing, SEO services, and more.

4 – CHAT: Open the door to conversation with the Chat sticker, which invites users to chat with you directly. If (and only if!) you have the ability to respond and communicate with you followers, this is a wonderful tool that will allow you to define yourself as a hands-on and engaged brand with great customer service and social media presence.

5 – Story Advertising: Yes, you can promote your business or product right through your Instagram story by utilizing social media advertising.

The bottom line: the more fun consumers have with your business or brand, the more likely they are to engage with it and purchase your product or service. While Instagram ads cost money. Instagram stories are free, and they are a great way to get people to associate your brand with fun.

–Haley Harckham, Noble House Media Group