I’ll admit, when IG Stories first rolled out I was still an avid Snapchat user and laughed whenever someone asked me what I thought about the new option. ‘Sure, it’s cool but another IG copycat move…’ was my usual response. Let’s fast forward to now, I still roll my eyes for every IG copycat move but IG Stories is a big part of social for some of our clients and yes, even for me. RIP Snap.
At first it was fine to just helter skelter post on IG Stories but now the game is serious – you can’t just put up anything and expect it to be successful. Here are 5 ways to make IG Stories work for you:
- BTS: Behind the scenes are a great intro to your team, to your products or services, and an easy way to humanize your brand and give some extra personality to your brand voice. You don’t have to have a min or max number of posts, just share something that you think your followers would be interested in. Better yet ask them…
- Hold a Q+A Session: First IG Polls were a great tool to find out what your followers want to know but now the question option really gives people the power to ask for anything (literally anything, I’ve seen some W E I R D responses). You can respond at a later time once that story has expired and it can be great content to continue to share even a week after depending on the context. If this seems to be a great tactic for your brand, consider holding a bi-weekly or even weekly questions session. But make sure you’re prepared to sift through them!
- Repost UGC: This is especially great for CPG brands, you can share a variety of products without setting up the photo shoots that normally go with that production process. Screenshot your DMs and add to your story with tags, comments, and gifs or when people tag you in their stories there are literally two clicks required for you to add it to your story. It not only provides content for your story but lets your followers know you are actively listening and value their content as well. Bonus points if you are able to save the photos and repurpose later for campaign collateral (ask for permission though!). In addition to reposting UGC, you can share IG Posts to a story so consider sharing a partnership post, event update, or anything from your feed that you want to test. Reposting content and asking questions have so many benefits to your brand success.
- Highlights: You know that feeling when you’ve seen a particular story that was informational, thought provoking, or just hilarious and then once it expires it has left a void in your life that just won’t go away? No, just me? Well, Highlights is the place for content that just oozes a little bit of extra flair that shouldn’t disappear. You can add product descriptions, coupon codes, team intros, FAQs, major updates, really funny videos, amazing collaboration news, special causes you believe in – anything that is worth highlighting for your followers. Consider making branded graphics for each new highlight, you know, to keep a concise look, and then highlight away! You can go back through archived content as well, so just be conscious of the timeframe that content was posted.
- Takeover: You don’t need to rely on celebs or influencers for quality takeover content. If you aren’t ready for that consider having internal takeovers, give different employees the chance to share their perspective for the day. It can provide a different type of bts as well as add layers to your Story content. Make a schedule and add to your content cal to make sure everyone knows when it’s their turn.
Not every strategy will be amazing, I’ll be the first to say the first idea you’ve had for a social strategy doesn’t always mean it’s the best – but you have to start somewhere! Find some posting methods that you want to try, test them out, and find out what works for you and your brand.
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Image via (UNSPLASH)