Are you using Instagram stories as part of your social media strategy? If not, you definitely should be. Different from all of Instagram’s other features, stories are less about reaching new followers and more about building relationships with your current followers. Here we are covering Instagram stories best practices to build relationships and drive traffic for your business.
Instagram Stories Strategy
Because stories are all about building relationships, consistency is key. Just like any other relationship you are fostering, you have to show up regularly. Stories are all about sharing real-time updates. It’s the best way for your customers to get a real idea of your business’s personality, and also for you to really understand who your customers are. Stories these days are casual, conversational, and interactive, and the goal should always be to start a conversation.
While there are endless strategies on Instagram stories best practices, here’s a few that we have found that work for us in the craft alcohol industry:
1. Post consistently – every day if you can
It’s recommended that your first story of the day be of your face, whether you are talking to your followers, or sharing a photo of what you’re up to. People are more likely to continue watching if they feel they are getting a look into someone’s day.
2. Post 5-10 stories throughout the day, and then let them expire completely before you post a new story the next day
While we don’t have any statistical data to back this one up, many think this will help your story appear towards the front of your followers’ storylines. Don’t over think this one. If it makes sense to post sooner, do it.
While 5-10 story posts may feel overwhelming, remember…your posting a story! So that means it can be multiple photos or videos related to the same topic. A picture of you and your morning coffee with the still behind you, then a casual video of you getting the still ready, followed by a few photos of the different steps in your distillation for the day. You can post them in real-time or all together later in the day or even the next day.
3. Use engagement tools as much as possible
Polls, questions, quizzes, gifs, music, location, mentions, slider, countdowns, links to drive valuable action for your brand…whew that’s quite the list!
Instagram works hard to create fun features for us to use, so it will always give preference in the algorithm to accounts that are using those features. It’s also a great way to get your followers to interact with you. Use these tools to engage with your followers or let them have a say in your business!
4. Mention accounts whenever you can by tagging them
People love a shoutout. Think about how much you enjoy it when someone tags you in their content! Give shoutouts to your customers, collaborators, vendors, partners, neighbors, and anyone else you might come in contact with in your stories. This helps them get more followers and helps you reach more people if/when they share it to their story. Win, win!
Remember though, this is not a one way street. This is social media after all, so you have to actually be social to benefit! Instagram stories best practices indicate anytime another account tags you in a story that is relevant and interesting for your audience, you should ALWAYS re-share that story with a thank you note onto your own story. It’s free, easy content for you and good karma to boot. Make sure to thank them in a direct message while you’re at it!
5. Use calls to action
Even if you don’t have the coveted link tool, you can still use stories to drive traffic to your website or profile. Always use a call to action to direct your followers to do exactly what you want. “Link in bio”, “Reply”, “DM us”. Some of those engagement tools we mentioned earlier work as great calls to action as well.
Make sure you’re staying up to date on the latest social media and marketing trends, including Instagram stories best practices as they evolve and change. Our private, free Craft Alcohol Marketing Facebook Group keeps you updated with industry trends and marketing tips to make your strategy easier. And you can get real-time advice on your own marketing efforts from us and the other craft makers in the group.
At the end of the day, when it comes to your instagram strategy always keep your audience and ideal customers in mind while staying focused on driving engagement and value. Now, go post to your story and start building those relationships!
Are you still trying to nail down your social media strategy?
Or, do you not even know where to start when it comes to social media?
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