With over one billion monthly users Instagram is a powerful social media platform for Las Vegas businesses. If you’re on Instagram, you may have recently used its Stories feature. In an average day over 500 million Instagrammers use Stories to view and share relevant content.
Even more surprising, roughly 25% of all millennials and Gen Z-ers on Instagram base their product and service purchasing decisions on information contained in Stories- usually from total strangers.
As a business owner one way to expand your Instagram reach is by sharing relevant Story content from your followers. But it can certainly be a difficult process when you’re not the most social media-savvy Instagrammer out there.
What Are Instagram Stories?
Much like Snapchat Stories, an Instagram Story allows you to share all the important moments throughout your day- not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. Using Stories, you can post multiple videos and photos in a slideshow that then disappears after 24 hours.
How to Create an Instagram Story
If you haven’t done it before here’s how to create your very own Instagram Story:
Swipe right from anywhere in your Instagram feed or tap the Camera icon in the top left corner of your screen. Then tap the Record button at the bottom to take a photo or long press the button to take a video. Instagram has now enhanced Stories with capabilities for Stop-motion, Superzoom and Music.
Once your Story’s photo or video is ready you can add cool effects like stickers, text or doodles. When you’re finished editing simply save your post or tap the +Circle icon to immediately share your new Story with followers.
Once you post an image or video to your Story it appears on your profile. Interested followers will see the colorful ring around your profile picture and tap on it. In addition, if you’ve added a location, location-based sticker or hashtag your Story could also appear on those respective hashtag or location pages.
BestFoodLasVegas (@BestFoodFeed) is a prime example of a local Instagram account that uses Stories effectively to engage loyal followers and attract new ones.
In addition to writing a message, you can even reply to Stories with your own photo or video.
While viewing a Story from one of your customers, for example about a new menu selection at your restaurant, simply tap the Camera button at the bottom of the screen.
Then, snap a picture of yourself or record a video response. You can even move and resize the Story image that you’re responding to and insert that into your photo. Next, apply any desired filters or stickers and then share your creation with followers. Your reply will appear in their Direct Message (DM) inbox, along with a thumbnail of the original Story.
Developing an Effective Instagram Stories Strategy
Unlike regular posts, Stories don’t include any public comments or likes. Instagram Stories do appear at the top of your feed, which means any interested Instagrammer will be able to view and share your Stories- from your most loyal customers to users that are viewing your profile for the first time.
To reach a broader Instagram audience your Stories strategy should include these points:
Post throughout the day
Posting one to seven Stories every day should improve your completion rate. A completion rate describes the number of times that your Stories were watched from the first Story frame all the way to the last frame within a 24-hour period. Shoot for a completion rate of 50% or higher.
Timing is everything
Given that Stories only last for 24 hours, timing is everything when your goal is increasing your Instagram following. Based on your target audience, your optimal time of day will vary. That’s why it’s so important to know what your post frequency/completion rate ratio is.
In general, consistency is the key to Instagram success. Because your Stories are short lived, you’ll need to post new, relevant content daily to keep your audience engaged. To save time, you may even want to schedule your Stories in advance so that you’re always sharing fresh content that resonates with audience members.
To attract more followers another effective strategy is simply reposting Stories from loyal customers in your Stories.
Energize Your Story with Customer-Generated Content
One of the easiest, most effective ways to gain the trust and support of consumers- especially younger, more skeptical ones- is by including customer Stories about your business in your Stories. Here’s how it works:
If any user mentions your business in their Story, that Story will appear in your Direct Messages (DMs).
In your DMs, click the “Add this to Your Story” prompt.
In the Story creation screen, resize the original Story and then add text, stickers, graphics, etc. in the background.
Share the enhanced, user-generated content with your followers.
Do Your Instagram Stories Resonate with Users?
Creating engaging Instagram Stories that resonate with users isn’t easy, but it is vital to your continued success. At Simple Social we are social media marketing experts who can help you cultivate a more loyal Instagram following that will ultimately increase your visibility within the Las Vegas business community.
To learn more now about our Web design, social media advertising and digital marketing services contact Simple Social today.