Expose yourself with Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories offers you the opportunity to show the face behind the website or webshop. So your face! What are the benefits of this feature? And how can you use it for your company?

Let’s go back to basics

Instagram is the social media platform that is all about sharing photos and getting inspiration. From vacation photos to perfectly made pizzas, almost everything is shareable on Instagram. There are about 4.8 million Instagram users in the Netherlands and the app is especially popular among young people and people between 20 and 39 years old.

This social media platform has now also plunged into the world of short stories. It works like this: in the timeline there is a bar at the top with profile photos of people you follow. The profile photos will have a red border when one of them has added a new photo or video to his or her story. You can click on that by viewing the new post and also respond. The old Instagram Stories intro video:

But you could already share photos on Instagram, right?

That’s right. Instagram is known for sharing ‘the perfect photo’, which would set the bar too high to quickly share ‘a moment’ with your Instagram followers. The number of posts on this medium is declining and Instagram Stories is a good way to make the medium more accessible.

An advantage over the regular Instagram timeline is that instead of sharing one photo, you can post multiple images and videos of up to 60 seconds. That means you can tell a story.

The Instagram Stories you create will disappear after 24 hours unless you add them to your Instagram Stories Highlights. These highlights are directly below your bio. It is therefore an ideal way to not clutter your beautiful gallery with photos that you just wanted to share with your followers but are not beautiful enough for your regular timeline.

Wasn’t that idea stolen from Snapchat?

Yes. Snapchat is a social medium where people can share photos (including emojis and text) with their network. Those photos are only available for a short time. With the introduction of the Stories, Instagram hopes that people will spend more time in the app. Where you can scroll through your timeline on Instagram and read content from half a week ago three days later, the Stories can disappear. This forces you as a user to check updates regularly.

What’s the difference between Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories?

Both functionalities offer the option to place (formatted) photos that disappear automatically. An advantage that Instagram has over Snapchat is that Instagram Stories is generally experienced as more user-friendly and your stories are more likely to be viewed because the medium has a greater reach. In addition, the feature is in an app that users already know, which makes them more likely to use it than if they had to download a whole new app. Also, useful for you, because you can easily ‘try out’ this function if you already have an Instagram account.

Which companies is Instagram Stories suitable for? And how do you use it?

Instagram and Instagram Stories can be ideal for a wide variety of businesses. Where Snapchat is mainly aimed at the younger target group and is suitable for hip and adventurous companies, Instagram (Stories) offers possibilities for:

  • Companies where photos are of added value;
  • Companies with a young target group: about 75% of young people use Instagram and almost 50% of 20 to 39-year-olds use Instagram.
  • Informal companies that, in addition to the business-related information on their feed, also want to offer the reader a look behind the scenes in order to increase the involvement (and of which the followers can of course also appreciate this);
  • Companies that want to enjoy local fame. You can geotag updates (add a GPS coordinate) and users can check in where they are.

Consider, for example, a photo of the new collection that has arrived or show images where you are busy choosing the winner of a giveaway. You and your employees ‘come to life’, making the bond between your followers and your company (even) more personal. You can share the beautiful photos that are company-related via your Instagram timeline, and the other ‘backstage’ photos via Stories. A great way to keep the fun behind-the-scenes photos and the business aspects of your business separate, but still create a personal connection with your followers. Moreover, they can choose for themselves whether they want those Stories, so you don’t overload them with all kinds of unwanted snapshots.

What are the benefits of Instagram Stories?

  • You can see how many people and who have seen your Story, so that you can adjust your future Stories accordingly;
  • You can try things out without immediately losing your current group of followers if it turns out not to be successful;
  • Your profile with a red border at the top of the account of users who follow you attracts attention;
  • You can set yourself apart from your competitors by publishing truly unique photos and unleashing your creativity with the help of the emojis, text, brushes and filters;
  • You can choose photos from your phone’s gallery that were taken up to 24 hours ago, so you don’t have to share them right away if that’s not convenient for you;
  • Is your creation a success in Stories? Then save it as an Instagram Story Highlight;
  • With the introduction of Instagram Shopping, you no longer only have to focus on branding and engagement, but you can also convert via Instagram, also in Stories;
  • Thanks to the Instagram Business account you have a better insight into the statistics.

What should you pay attention to?

Instagram can be very valuable for your online business and it is nice to keep posting new and (if possible) creative updates. However, also take into account the fact that setting up such an account and posting updates takes a lot of time. In addition, you should be careful not to just post haphazardly, but you should know how to publish useful posts.

Are you already using Instagram for your business? Then the switch to Stories is not a big one. Of course, it is equally important to know where you are starting. For example, it is important not to share the same posts on Snapchat or other media, every medium is different.