Back in August, Instagram released a new tool called Stories, which enables users to post a sequence of photos or photos which are then presented in a sequential format and disappear after 24 hours (just like Snapchat's Stories).
Instagram is the second most popular social networking platform among Australian users, but is only the sixth most-popular among businesses.
That presents a big opportunity, and with Instagram recently reporting that more than 150 million people are now using Instagram Stories every day – six months after the option was released – the popularity of the Stories format is clear.
Here’s why you should consider Instagram Stories for your business.
1. Stories are in line with audience trends
Users are gravitating towards this new, narrative-driven form of content.
In times past, posting an image and caption was the best way to go, and then video rose as a key medium. Now, the Stories format is gaining ground, it’s a way to create a more complete social media update that adds more context and meaning to your posts.
Of particular note here is the popularity of both Instagram and Snapchat among younger users – when compiling the 2016 Sensis Social Media Report, we found that Snapchat and Instagram came in at second and third respectively in terms of popularity among users aged 18-29 – and by a big margin (Instagram was third at 58%, while Twitter was fourth on 33%).
Even if this is not your target market now, it will be soon. It may be worth aligning yourself with the trends in this younger category.
2. Stories are easy to use
You can create an Instagram Story direct from the front page of the app – you click on the Story icon with your profile photo and it opens the camera interface for you to capture and/or add in your content.
Instagram Stories also has live-streaming elements, emoji, stickers, filters – all the latest social tools. If you’re able to familiarise yourself with Instagram Stories, you’ll have a fair understanding of wider social trends – it encompasses various tools and features which are in wide use across other platforms.
3. Make use of business analytics
What’s more, Instagram has just recently added new business tools to Instagram Stories to make it a more appealing business option.
Instagram says that more than a third of the most watched Stories on the platform have come from business accounts, while 70% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
Given the popularity of the tool for marketing, Instagram’s new business analytics will help businesses better understand what’s working and what’s not with their Stories content, in order to help refine your strategy and generate more interest.
This is not to say you need to jump onto every shiny new toy – not every company needs to be on Instagram, not every audience will respond to the option.
But the numbers show that many people do, and given the low take up among businesses in Australia, it may be a good opportunity to get ahead of the game and make your business stand out.