This week, Solomon McCown was honored to present on a PRNews webinar titled “How to Use Instagram Stories to Get Closer to Your Audience.”
When Instagram rolled out its Stories feature in August, everyone from teenagers to Instagram itself acknowledged the similarities between stories and Snapchat, the ever-growing messaging app that is popular with a younger audience. It marked an important departure for Instagram, which evolved to serve as a platform on which brands and individuals share the most beautiful moments, meals and memories in a quest for likes and comments. Stories allows for less polished content that showcases individual moments without blowing up users’ Instagram feeds.
All brands have a visual story to tell. No matter how niche your organization’s services, it’s likely you can use Instagram to tell your story, even if you don’t manufacture a physical item or don’t think your products appeal to a large audience. General Electric, which has long done an amazing job on its Instagram, has embraced Stories to highlight research and cross-promote to other channels.
Here are a few tips for B2B organizations on Instagram Stories.
Snapchat or Instagram, or both? It’s a difficult choice to make, especially for nonprofits or B2B organizations with limited resources. There are a few important things to consider, including: Your target audience (Snapchat skews younger, but Instagram has almost double the daily active users of Snapchat); on what channel you’ve already built an audience; and the features of each network (Snapchat allows users to buy on-demand Geofilters for events—Instagram does not yet offer this).
Resist the temptation to be too polished. The Instagram feed is the place to highlight your most beautiful photography. Instagram Stories is the place to highlight more “in-the-moment” content that may not be the most beautifully staged. While it’s not a B2B example, this example from a Boston-area food blogger shows the difference between the two. With Stories, a poorly-lit image is part of the narrative. But only the best of the best should be shared to your organization’s feed.
Engage your audience: Instagram Stories have a prominent “send message” button on each post, which makes it easy for your followers and those who find your organization’s content in the “Explore” function to reach out to you. So be sure to ask questions or think of creative ways to open up the lines of communication. Instagram stories also shows exactly which users viewed each Story in your feed—so that’s a great opportunity for a shout-out to your frequent viewers or to develop content geared toward their interests.
Thanks to PRNews for inviting us to join an engaging conversation around Instagram Stories!