What are Instagram Stories and What Exactly are these Stories For?

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In just over a couple of years, Instagram Stories have become part of the lives of all types of users and brands, given the characteristics that this functionality of this platform has.

And it is that Instagram stories have as their main attraction being able to share with your community all those experiences that you consider most relevant to your day to day, both personal and professional.

In addition, from a business point of view, it is a powerful functionality that further accentuates the main feature of this social network: the visual aspect .

Today it has already become an essential marketing tool, belonging to Instagram and a true passport to success, which you should take advantage of with your own business.

But, in case you are still one of the few who still do not know what these “stories” are, I will begin by giving you a definition of this concept:

What are Instagram Stories?

The “Stories” or Instagram stories are audiovisual content of this platform that, unlike normal publications, are volatile, that is, they have a specific duration and, after that period, they disappear.

In this case, they can be viewed for 24 hours from their publication.

Its ease of use and its importance make this tool an immense source of options for all those users and brands that have an Instagram account.

Its origin is due to Mark Zuckerberg himself, owner of Facebook (and therefore, also for a few years of Instagram), who, by buying this company, wanted to compete with Snapchat .

The operation of this was very similar, hence the appearance of these stories or “Stories”.

What are Instagram Stories for?

Being able to share audiovisual content with a certain expiration date is a handicap that, at least at first, aroused some controversy at the beginning.

However, it has many advantages and utilities, which I will tell you about below:

» Boost engagement with your community

In case you are preparing an event or novelty, you can give an “appetizer” to your community of followers, so that they stay tuned.

In this way, when you reveal more details about it, they will be the first to see your “Story” and participate in it.

In addition, the simple fact of advancing part of that surprise makes them participate and shows them that they are important to your company.

In the particular case of independent professionals such as those known as “Influencers”, it is widely used to get more followers and get closer to the public potentially interested in the activities they carry out.

» Generates a sense of need

When you decide to advertise or display a promotion of one of your business’s products, either by giving it away or leaving it for 24 hours at a ridiculous price, you are giving your users a sense of need.

This, obviously, will create a feeling of attachment to the brand, especially if this product or service is adapted to both their personal and professional needs.

» Humanize your Brand

The main purpose of Instagram Stories, being the fact of showing in a volatile way some remarkable moment of the day to day of the users or brands with a presence on the platform, will humanize to a great extent.

This is because, unlike conventional publications on this social network, stories allow you to share content in a much more informal and fun way .

Precisely, it is designed for that, since as time has gone by, they have been incorporating images in GIF format, funny phrases, and other accessories such as costumes and party accessories.

In this way, although with your company you dedicate yourself, for example, to managing a law firm (to cite a somewhat more classic and “serious” example), you can also show your most sympathetic side .

What are the Advantages of Using Instagram Stories in a Social Media Strategy?

Taking into account that you already know what “stories” are in the field of this social platform, and the use that a company can give it, you should know its greatest advantages.

These are:

1. You will be able to impact your followers

The image of your stories is displayed in vertical orientation and occupies the entire screen, so if it is chosen well, the impact on the user who views them will be quite large.

2. Add direct links

This is very interesting, especially if you have a website or lead magnet in the case of a blog, with which you will have direct access at the click of a button.

Also, if you have an online store and show your most relevant products, being able to link them directly to their respective product file is an advantage that the platform gives you.

3. Ability to promote Storytelling

As you well know, Storytelling is a more than effective technique for marketing your business, through which you can tell stories that make users “fall in love” with your Brand and its values.

Thus, these Instagram stories allow you, as I mentioned before, to tell the day-to-day in the office or in the workplace, as well as give prominence to your employees and invite them to tell funny anecdotes that have recently occurred.

This will keep the user attentive to these updates, so you will create that necessary link between the company/potential client.

4. Creation of surveys that provide you with feedback

The possibility that the platform has given you a few months to carry out surveys and, therefore, receive feedback from your community to the questions you ask , is a point in favor of these Stories.

This functionality gives you the possibility to ask your potential customers what they are missing from your Brand or what you can do to improve your service or products.

Here, the “negative” ratings or opinions will provide you with ideas so that with your company you can carry out continuous improvement, which is necessary in any business, both online and offline.

5. It is a platform that is “in fashion”

It is true that, not because something is fashionable, it has to be effective and, above all, profitable for a company or business.

However, if around 500 million users view Instagram Stories with commercial intentions every day, this data is enlightening to consider using them within your social media strategy.

How to Publish a Story on Instagram step by step?

Once we know all the basics to understand the importance of this functionality of the visual social network par excellence, we have to see how to create a story in our account.

To do this, we must follow these steps:

1. Enter your account or log in

To start, you must open your personal or corporate Instagram profile, entering normally with your username and password.

2. Access the Stories area

Once in your account, go to your profile and, just at the bottom edge of your cover image, you will see a “+” sign, which you must click to access this section.

If this is the first time you enter this section of the platform, your smartphone may ask you to accept the possible use of the audio and video systems.

At this point, the camera will turn on automatically, so if you choose to take a photo right now, you’ll need to adjust the flash options and other features like zoom.

3. Choose the functionality to use

Among all the features that allow you to use Instagram Stories, you must choose the one that best suits the content you want to share at all times.

” Some of them are:

  • Normal photo and video : As the name suggests, you can upload a conventional image or video.
  • Boomerang – You can upload a boomerang-like image, which once processed, turns out to be a GIF-like image, which is often a lot of fun.
  • Superzoom : Gives your story quite professional tints, as well as fun, from a graphic point of view, since thanks to its multiple filters, you can upload your photo or video with dramatic and cinematographic backgrounds.
  • Rewind : adds a video, but played in reverse. It can be quite funny once you play it.
  • Direct : as with Facebook Live, you can also broadcast live a video of a special event related to your business or your employees.
  • Text : if you prefer, you can also upload a text message, with an important message or announcing something relevant to your brand.

4. Illustrate your stories

Later, whether you’ve decided to share videos or images, you can accompany them with tags with your location, Instagram hashtags related to what you’re doing, and other GIFs and animated images.

Also, if you need to explain something about the meaning of your Story, you can also add polls or questions , so that your audience can interact, as I explained before.

Obviously, if you prefer, you can also not “adorn” them too much (or not at all). Here your creativity and goals come into play.

5. Send it to your community

The last step, once you have added all the elements that you consider relevant to your “Instagram Story”, you must go on to share it.

If you look, in the lower right corner, you have a button with a white background, with the text ” Send to… “. From here you must choose the ” Your story ” option and click on the blue ” Share ” button.

It is important to note that, in this last step, if you finally decide not to share your story on Instagram with your entire community, but only with one or more users, you can also do so.

Just below the last option to share, you can choose the users with whom you want to do it. That easy.

In case you have an eCommerce store and you want to show how your product is packaged before sending it, you can share a video doing it only to the customer in question.

Conclusion

Being aware of the enormous competition that exists in the field of Social Media in terms of companies, it is essential to be different (and show yourself as such).

Empathizing with the user is vital to earning their trust, while allowing them to identify their values ​​with yours.

All this can be achieved using the “Instagram Stories” as a channel within this social network to interact with them and have them do it with our business account.