Social media is a leading platform for businesses in the digital era. Since most people are online, it is the best place to introduce and display what your venture can do and provide for them. One of the virtual spheres giving boons to a lot of online businesses today is Instagram

With a jaw-dropping number of active users each month, Instagram is definitely an ideal avenue to reach target audiences and to let them know what your business is up to. For a long time, this channel was used only and mainly for personal purposes and art showcasing. As time passed by, an opportunity for businesses opened in every part of social media because more and more people are coming online. Innovations have been made, and Instagram has been enhanced in terrific ways.

In 2010, Instagram Story was launched. Through it, people are able to share snippets of their day-to-day happenings and important events; these are only viewable when clicked and available only for 24 hours. Everyone can agree that this Story feature suits Instagram most among other social media applications because Instagram’s main content is visual content.

No doubt, businesses are gaining advantages from Instagram’s impressive elements that are continually advancing. If your own venture is on Instagram, you have an edge! You can use the power of images and videos to attract people and retain customers. It’s easy to handle too. And that vantage you got there will be boosted if you know how to use Instagram wisely! 

This list is here to lend a helping hand! Check out these 6 easy ways on how to maximize the power of Instagram Story for your business. There’s absolutely more to these 15-second bits than you know!    

1 –  ASK QUESTIONS & POST POLLS THAT WILL INVITE PARTICIPATION.

Some people are hesitant to inquire or to interact with an online store, especially if they are not sure whether or not they can trust you. Taking the first step might be quite hard for them if they are first-time Instagram shoppers or are simply not used to online shopping. Try to initiate a conversation through Instagram Story!

You can post questions that will invite participation from the audience. They can be related to your services. They may be yes-or-no questions or multiple choice questions that Instagram Story makes easier to ask since it has specific buttons for them. Polls are also great instruments as you can post the results afterwards. You can consider these questions and polls as surveys that will help you on your next product launch or on improving your current performances. 

Well, the questions you post on your Instagram Story don’t always have to be directly about your business. It could be casual friendly topics that aim to make your audience feel closer and comfortable to your brand. Doing this makes your Instagram account not just a mere account but a human. 

2 – POST SALES, DISCOUNTS AND GIVEAWAYS.

Instagram Story is a nice area to post your sale offers, markdown specials and giveaway announcements! 

Content you can put there can be a horizontally long poster that fits the full Story page. That makes it suitable for lists about your items on sale or on discounted prices. Most people are more willing to read long texts in Stories than in captions of actual posts. Consider that.

As for giveaways, Instagram Story is convenient in terms of notifying people about mechanics. Again, a lot of people prefer reading words in it rather than under posts because they appear quite longer in the latter and because clicking “See more” seems difficult for some users. 

Instagram Story is also ideal when announcing giveaway winners because the announcement post does not really have to be in your feed, right? Even if you post it on your feed, soon, you might just find the need to archive or delete it.  

3 – UPDATE COUNTDOWNS. 

Countdowns give that feeling of anticipation. At the same time, they are a good reminder. 

Instagram Story has a countdown sticker which you can efficiently use to show audiences the duration of the giveaway or the sale dates that your business is hosting. 

What’s more, you can use these stickers for universal holiday countdowns, like for Christmas and New Year! You can be active and relevant. Let your business be there on important occasions! 

4 – ENCOURAGE AUDIENCE TO ASK QUESTIONS.

Besides asking questions to your audience through Instagram Story, you can also encourage them to ask you questions. 

You can simply tell them to drop any curiosities and inquiries they have for your store or even for yourself as an owner, if the category or field of your business allows or requires it. 

This technique will lessen their reluctance to send a message because they will see that your business account is active and waiting for responses; that means they can also expect that their questions will be immediately attended to. 

5 – USE GIFS AND TEXTS CREATIVELY.

Your brand’s personality can be exhibited through the creativity of your business account’s Instagram Story. Use gifs and text formats artistically and interestingly. Just type the keywords to look for gifs that match your intention and your content, of course. Texts can be in various fonts and motions too. They make reading and looking around entertaining. 

Utilize these to better grab attention and to clothe your brand with a young and pleasant character. Furthermore, they give more life to your Stories, so there’d be no boring content in that Instagram business account of yours.   

6 – COMPILE STORIES IN HIGHLIGHTS.

Use Highlights to compile your Stories. Through these, you can efficiently bring to the front of your feed your most important details that answer people’s basic questions. 

With Highlights, you can reduce the hassle for potential customers, for regulars and for yourself. It’s like a mini gallery of other relevant business information that you don’t want to directly expose through your main feed.  

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INSTAGRAM STORY FOR BUSINESSES

Keep in mind that because your business is online, it can become a victim of cyber attacks. Yes, online stores often suffer from posers and hacking that lead to scams. This is why it is important to keep passwords strong and to safeguard crucial information that may lead assaulters to access your business account. Owning a business insurance called cyber security insurance will also help your Instagram business fight against issues of cyber attacks and recover from any damage and loss caused by them. Hope that it will never happen, but just in case it does, know that such business insurance will be a great weapon. 

Instagram offers buckets of benefits to entrepreneurs, and they can be achieved only if this social media platform is smartly used. Maximize its prowess through one of its major features, Instagram Story, where you can do a lot of fruit-bearing awesome stuff!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Insurance Advisernet, a quality business insurance provider and adviser in Australia. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.