Getting your business social with Instagram stories

Instagram is a key digital platform which connects brands with their audience and customers. The platform allows SMEs to not only reach potential new audiences but also create a meaningful engagement and interaction with existing customers.

For the average Australian user, Instagram is more than just following friends, family and celebrities – it’s a destination to discover new brands and products. With one million Instagram stories created by Australians every day, and by 500 million people globally each day, it’s the perfect tool for SMEs to increase engagement and awareness among their target audience. Here are my tops tips for SMEs looking to elevate their Instagram stories:

1. Get shopping!

Have you noticed shopping tags on your Instagram stories and feed posts? Last year Instagram launched its shopping feature, enabling local brands to connect directly with consumers by tagging products for purchase directly within their stories and feed posts.

How it works:

  1. Ensure that your profile is converted into a business profile.
  2. Become an admin on a page or set-up business manager account.
  3. Have a shop on Facebook or a product catalogue within business manager.
  4. You are now ready to try it out!

Using shopping tags enables SMEs to offer a more seamless shopping experience reaching consumers where it’s most convenient. Remember, your Instagram account is a visual storefront, taking the customer from inspiration right through to purchase.

2. Swipe up

A call to action is important when communicating with your audience. Instagram’s swipe up tool ensures businesses can do just that – by adding a link to the bottom of their story, users can swipe up or click “see more” to access further information or product details, directing customers to content without leaving Instagram.

Trying to encourage registrations to your event? Swipe up! Want to drive your audience to your website to see your latest clothing range? Swipe up! Want to generate awareness around a recent news article on the business? Swipe up! It’s that simple.

3. Work your creative muscle

Don’t be afraid to have fun and showcase your brand’s personality! To cut through the clutter and get your audience’s attention, make the most of Instagram’s creative tools such as Hyperlapse and Boomerang. Don’t be afraid to test out the different interactive tools for stories using features like the polling or questions stickers, that allow you to ask your audience a question.

Consider how you can go beyond stories content to engage your audience in a unique way. For example, go “live” and provide your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your clothing warehouse and some of your brand’s new product range. IGTV is an easy way to produce and share a weekly content series that offers followers tips on styling, creativity or answers customer queries. Instagram’s tools are a great way to take a simple product and make it pop.

It’s clear Instagram is playing a key role in converting inspiration into action. With 63 per cent of SMEs saying Instagram has helped increase sales for their business, we want to support more Australian businesses on the platform in order to make the most of engaging with customers and new audiences for their brands.

Kaylie Smith, Director for SMB Facebook and Instagram ANZ, Facebook

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