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5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Instagram Stories

One of the benefits of social media is that it levels the playing field for small businesses. Whether you’re a team of 2 or a team of 100, every social media account is equal, at least at the beginning.

Out of all of the social media channels, Instagram is one of the fastest growing channels. Approximately 500 million people use Instagram every day and 60% of them use the channel to find new products, which is great news for small businesses. If you haven’t started using Instagram for your business yet, now’s a good time to try it out. Just be sure to keep your customers in mind – most of Instagram’s users are under the age of 35 so if your customers are mostly seniors, it might not be the place for you. If it is, keep reading.

There are two ways to post content on Instagram: posts and Stories. In this blog post we’re going to cover 5 ways to use Stories to get your followers engaged and interested in your business.

#1: Use the highlights feature Instagram Highlights are a great way to create a good first impression of your brand. The highlights section is just below the description of your profile. You can create highlights that show your space, products, employees, customer success stories, reviews, behind the scenes images and more. As an example of what highlights look like in action, check out Saje Wellness’ Instagram page. They’ve created informational highlights, wallpapers for people to download, product tips and even city guides. To learn how to create your own highlights and download 40 free customizable highlight covers, check out this blog post from Hootsuite.
Image source: Saje Wellness Instagram

#2: Use GIFs to capture people’s attention GIFs aren’t just reserved for influencers and personalities, they can be a fun way for small businesses to communicate with customers too! GIFs convey messages easily, are relatable and entertaining. The next time you’re sharing a story on Instagram try out the GIF stickers by swiping up and searching for any keyword.
Image source: Instagram.com

#3: Run a contest or giveaway Running a contest or giveaway is one of the most popular tactics to boost your following and engagement. You don’t necessarily need to be giving away your own products or services either, you can partner with another organization to do a bundle giveaway or even give away a $20 gift card. Once you post the photo to your Instagram profile, use Instagram stories to promote the giveaway. These giveaway stories below were created using the free tool Canva, one of our favourite graphic design tools at Camp Tech.

#4: Try out new tools and apps Instagram Story apps and graphic design apps are really helpful for creating beautiful Stories because they can help you develop a brand aesthetic with specific colours, templates and fonts that aren’t available within Instagram. Some tools we love for creating stories are UnfoldStoryluxe and Adobe Spark. They have beautiful templates, images and fonts that aren’t available in the Instagram app.
Image source: Unfold

#5: Share customer content Another great tactic to boost engagement is asking customers to submit photos or tag you on Instagram so that you can share their images. Once people post a photo on Instagram, if their settings allow it, you can tap on the share icon and tap “add post to your story”. You can also screenshot the image and upload it into one of the Instagram Story apps we’ve mentioned above – just make sure to check in with the person to see if it’s okay to share their images and tag them when you share it!

Image source: Mini Mioche Instagram

Tara Wilkins, Director of Marketing and Sales at Camp Tech.

Camp Tech offers hands-on digital marketing training for small businesses, non-profits, and those curious to learn more about technology. Attend one of their relaxed and informative in-person public workshops in Toronto or bring Camp Tech to you by scheduling Group Training for your organization or community – anywhere in Canada.

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