With businesses posting one-third of the most viewed Stories on Instagram, you’re probably wondering how to leverage the powerful medium to bring in more customers and boost revenue. But if crafting a content calendar or taking tons of pictures or videos feels overwhelming, look no further than Instagram’s suite of Story features, which make storytelling and engaging with followers easier and faster than ever for businesses of all sizes.
Below are our top four Instagram Stories features that you probably aren’t using but should add to your arsenal ASAP:
4 Awesome Instagram Stories Features:
1. Create Mode
With the addition of Create mode—which is more of a collection of new and existing features than single feature per se—Instagram has made storying a breeze for businesses. With Create mode, businesses can easily share with the world without having to start with the perfect photo or video. This new mode is great for businesses that are cautiously testing the social media waters or just don’t know what to share. Here are the four features in Create mode that we’re most excited about:
- GIF: Unlike when you add a GIF in a standard Instagram Story, starting with a GIF in Create mode tiles the GIF three times vertically. Then, you can add even more GIFs or stickers and text to the frame for something truly unique.
- On This Day: Celebrate #ThrowbackThursday everyday with this native feature that shows you what you posted in the past—whether a year ago or five years ago. Launched a bestseller three years ago? Share the throwback with your fans!
- Countdown: If you’ve got a product launch coming up or just want to remind your followers that Black Friday is looming, the countdown feature is an easy way to build excitement.
- Templates: If you’re really lacking in inspiration, the Story templates feature lets you choose from a handful of pre-designed layouts, including “Top Three Accounts To Follow” and “Quote of the Day.” Just fill in the blanks and go—and a few of them encourage fan participation, such as the “Quick Draw Challenge.”
- Instagram Stories have more than 500 million daily users, and those users crave one thing from businesses: transparency. With Instagram’s quiz sticker for Stories, you can quiz your customers and fans about your business, products, and services. Quizzes not only let you engage with your followers in a pretty seamless way, but it also lets you give your fans a peek inside your business.
- Set up a quiz about your company’s history or ask questions about your products to gauge how well your followers know who you are and what you do. After they choose an answer, they’ll immediately see whether they got it right or wrong The more users engage with your stories and posts, the more Instagram’s algorithm will throw your content into your followers’ feeds, so quiz your followers often to boost engagement.
- The Instagram Stories chat sticker lets you invite your followers to join a group chat within Instagram’s direct messages inbox.
- You can name the chat whatever you want and pick and choose who is actually in the chat as well. Businesses can leverage the Chat feature to create exclusive chats for preorder customers, influencers, and VIPs—or create a chat to share exclusive deals, discount codes, or early-bird deals.
- More and more, Instagram users are using the platform like they use Yelp: to search for local businesses and to see what people have to say about them. As a business, if you post Stories of your store, products, or services, tag your business location—and encourage your customers to do the same.
- Why? When someone searches for your location or a similar topic (think: “Italian bistro”) on Instagram, they’ll see all of the public posts in which others have also tagged your business’s location. Basically, the location sticker helps boost the discoverability of your Stories and your brick-and-mortar, which can boost online and in-person engagement.
- If you don’t have a physical location but are hosting a location-based event like a conference or pop-up shop, you can let customers know where to find you leading up to the event.
Instagram is making it easier and easier for brands and fans to engage with each other – take advantage and get more results with your Stories!
- Check out Instagram’s new Create Mode and familiarize yourself with its features. Get to know the other Story features mentioned above as well.
- Create & share Story content using these features! Add this to your to-do list for the week.