Did you know: Instagram’s per-following engagement rate is 58 times higher than Facebook?!

Instagram are back with a brand new feature that most small businesses need to start utilising to increase engagement online. Ever since Instagram was bought by Facebook back in 2012, it has become one of the most used social networks on a day to day basis. Whilst you, as a small business may feel overwhelmed with all of the social networks you can use to promote your business, Instagram should be at the top of your list, especially with the release of Instagram Stories.

What is Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories allows you to share moments throughout your day whether it be photos or videos that appear in a slideshow format for all of your followers to see, and experience for up to 24 hours. Whilst some may say that Instagram Stories is just a mirror of the already existing, and successful Snapchat, I would have to disagree. This feature may allow you to do exactly the same thing as Snapchat but do not forget the importance of Instagram as an engagement network as a whole.

Instagram had the following to say in an email that was sent to me on the 5th August.

“With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over-posting. Instead, you can share as much as you want and bring your story to life with text and drawing tools. These photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed. Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too. “

Click here to see a video of how Instagram Stories works.

Why Instagram Stories is different from Snapchat

As I mentioned above, there may be some similarities to Snapchat but what Instagram has built, is more robust and offers a better, overall experience.

Snapchat is considered somewhat difficult to use. Instagram has taken the same premise and made is useful to small businesses, and large businesses alike without removing the simplicity of the feature itself. 

Instagram shares with you hints and tips on how to use Instagram Stories, and although it does have the same drawing features, it is a lot easily to actually share your moments on Instagram than it is on Snapchat. With Instagram you have labeled buttons to help you along the way (unlike the swipes on Snapchat) making the overall experience of using Instagram Stories a lot less time consuming.

 How to use Instagram Stories

It’s not as difficult as you may think, and I created a story just a few days ago, whilst at Moda, delivering a keynote seminar. 

Once inside your Instagram app, you will be able to see, at the top of your newsfeed profile pictures inside a circle of those who have created an Instagram Story. See visual below.

Instagram Stories

Here is the step by step process to creating your own story.

  1. Click on the plus button which is found at the top left-hand side of your home screen.
  2. Tap on the circle button at the bottom of your screen to take a photo, or hold to take a video.
  3. Once you are happy you can edit the photo or video by adding text, drawings or by using the pen feature.
  4. Click done to save your story.
  5. Click the check mark once you are happy, and ready to share on Instagram!

Instagram Stories

It really is as simple as that. I couldn’t be happier that Instagram have introduced this feature as it now allows me to share moments throughout my day with my audience, and it is also great for small businesses to give their community and insight into their business, on a more personal level. 

If you haven’t already, please follow me on Instagram here, or by my username @WVRKnight.

What do you think about Instagram Stories, and how are you going to use them to promote your business?

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