3 Reasons Why You Need To Be Using Instagram Stories

With nearly 1 billion (Yes, BILLION!)  monthly active users, Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media networks, and is not going anywhere anytime soon. What started as a place to share filtered photos of you and your friends on a night out or a cute snap of your goldendoodle, has turned into an incredible marketing tool for businesses in industries of all kinds. It’s a fun way to share some background about your brand through images that tell your story. 
Instagram has had some major changes over the past few years, and it seems like there is a new feature popping up every few months. It can be a challenge to decide which features are worth focusing time and money on and which are a waste of time. One feature, however, that has become a very useful tool is Instagram Stories. Launched in 2016, stories are a Snapchat-esque feature that allows you to post images or short videos to your instagram page that disappear after 24 hours. They show up at the top of users screen, and are the first thing seen when opening the app. With over 500 million Instagram users that use stories daily, it is clear this feature is here to stay. If you haven’t started using Instagram Stories yet, you could be missing out on a fantastic opportunity to improve your social media presence. Keep reading to find out 3 reasons why you need to be using Instagram Stories. 

Show Your Brand Identity 

Showing the personality of your brand or company is a great way to connect with consumers, and social media is the perfect place to let that  bright personality shine. Showing your fun and relatable side boosts engagement while building relationships with customers and clients along the way. If consumers or clients trust you and find you interesting, they are more likely to stay loyal.
Instagram Stories can be used to show what is happening behind the scenes at your office, or the process of making your product. Does someone have their new pup at the office or are you heading out to lunch to celebrate a team members birthday? Post it to your story! What  this does is give viewers a glimpse at what your company is like in a real and transparent way. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to see a picture of a puppy? 
Here at 898 we love to showcase what it is like to work here and be part of our team. After moving into a new office a few months ago, we use the stories feature more than ever to give people a glimpse into the culture here at 898 Marketing. We take pride in creating a fun, laid back atmosphere where we work hard to provide our clients with the results they expect. We also really love to show off our arcade machine – Head to www.instagram.com/898marketing and give us a follow!

Interact With Your Audience 

Instagram Stories offer a variety of ways to interact with the people that follow you and view your story. Features like polls, mentions, location tags, music, Q&A, and more offer a way to connect to your audience, get their opinion on things, and give them a chance to ask you a question. 
Two of our favorite ways to interact with your followers is by using the poll and question feature on instagram stories. Asking your audience to vote on something using the polling feature shows them that you value their opinion, and allows them to provide feedback on the subject at hand. It can be a poll asking them if they like a new product, what type of content they would like to see on your blog, or something as simple a who they think is going to win the superbowl. The options are endless! Another favorite feature is the question sticker. By adding this to a story, viewers are able to type in their question, which you can then answer by messaging them back, or filming yourself on your story for everyone to see. It’s an awesome way to interact with your followers and give them the chance to get to know you a little bit better.

Connect in Real Time

As marketers, we love to have everything planned out and scheduled, especially when it comes to social media. However, it is also important to be ready and able to adapt your content plan when necessary. Everyone wants to be part of what is happening when it is happening, and your brand or company can stay relevant through stories. 
If everyone on your social feed is talking about the premiere of a new show or something else taking place in that moment – you should be too! If you can connect your brand to something relevant, even better. Instagram stories offer a great way to tie your marketing into what is taking place in the world at the time, and to do it in an organic, appealing way.
This year has already been a huge year for Instagram stories, and we can only imagine they will continue to get more popular as they continue to add more features and uses. Stories can be used for any business in any industry and provide unique benefits for everyone, so don’t be afraid if you think it isn’t for you. We have said it once and we will probably say it a million times more – if you aren’t using Instagram stories yet, what are you waiting for?!