5 Golden Rules to Get Instagram Stories Right Every Time
Today’s businesses cannot shy away from using social media. In particular Instagram – and Instagram Story – have become pivotal in enabling companies to communicate with their fans and followers. As a fresh and vibrant way to engage, this tool (when used correctly) can help businesses feel more human and approachable. After years of handling Instagram and researching for their clients, the team at Myth-to-Measure want to dispense a little guidance to companies eager to make the leap. They have collated their experience into five simple rules:
Post regularly (and relevantly). It’s important to interact with followers on a regular basis, and Instagram Stories lend themselves to frequency. However, it’s also important to only post when you truly have something to say or show. You can post throughout the day about events which are happening, exciting things which will soon be unveiled – but double check that what you’re about to share is relevant.
Always use hashtags and tagging. Tag people in your Instagram story, and remember to use hashtags. As with so many things on Instagram, it’s important your tags and hashtags are relevant – this way they can help you grow your online community, giving you more exposure to other users in their search pages. You can already draw inspiration from the hashtags used by your competitors or colleagues, but also from the influencers with similar points of interest. Please note, it’s easier to grow your exposure when using hashtags that are less used than others.
Don’t Instagram everything. There’s no need to Instagram your whole life. It is also crucial to take breaks, both for your own mental health and to ensure that you achieve all you want to achieve. Instagramming too much can be just as damaging as failing to do so at all. Before publishing a story ask yourself these questions: What is the purpose of your story: to convey an emotion, an expression, an idea, an inspiration, a motivation, a feeling, a vision? Is it interesting, fun, informative? If you can’t answer it, then rethink your story, but don’t publish it if it doesn’t bring any value.
Engage with the community. Communication on Instagram should never be one-sided. Talk to your followers, and if you’re selling products, engage with them on a personal level. Ask them questions, and show interest in the answers. What are they really looking for? Not only is this a great way to stay in touch, but it also helps reinforce your community and provides valuable (free) customer research.
Follow your instincts. Your followers will be willing to forgive a lot of mistakes in your Instagram stories. We recommend you be yourself, always – and trust your instincts on what to share. This will all help to make you more relatable. Here are a few Instagram accounts of small businesses we love to follow, and - we think - handle Instagram beautifully, whether it makes great sense for their business visually, or they just got the hang of it naturally!
Last summer we met a company we particularly admire - @irishhorsesales is selling horses from Ireland to anywhere in Europe. The way they handle Insta Stories is a complement to beautiful, posed pictures of the horses they sell, providing consistency.
We also love the boundless creativity of the @Frenchwink account. A pretty French company based in New York, which develops its business thanks to Instagram. Every day @Frenchwinks puts on pretty stories that can be very inspiring for your future stories.
We had the pleasure of interviewing @Marinetanguyart for #CGTN a while back, who is a true inspiration on and off Instagram. CEO of art agency @mtartagency, entrepreneur, TED speaker, Marine uses Instagram brilliantly. With more than 71.1K followers, the way she handles Insta Stories is simply brilliant, and has allowed her to create a solid community for the artists she represents.