Well, I’m so glad you asked.
Yes, yes they are.
Instagram stories have been on the scene for a few years now and their popularity has only grown since their big debut in August of 2016. According to Statistica, there are 500 million daily active Stories (January 2019) users worldwide. So … ya know … that’s a lot.
What does this mean for you? The feature is really a tool for digital storytelling, which has always been the heart of sales. While feeds are appearing more and more curated and polished, the stories kind of level the playing field and gives a behind the scenes look to the brand … to YOU. This allows you to become more relatable, approachable and inviting. This can lead to more brand loyalty and up your referrals. #yesplease
One of the MAIN things people say to me when we run into each other, but haven’t met in person before is, “I just feel like I know you.” And you know what, they probably do. Because I’m sharing those seemingly small, unimportant details of my day, but that is what creates familiarity. And that majorly ups my know/like/trust factor when deciding if I’m someone they want to do business with. It’s not that I’m the smartest, most creative, or most fantastic person ever … clearly … but I’m familiar and they feel like they can trust me. Which is what I want! Because I love and trust my company and the products I offer, so my goal is to be that connector that allows them to see that through me.
Examples of digital storytelling could be showing before and afters or telling a customer’s success story. It could also be mixing up one of your shakes, applying your skincare or even showing some at-home fitness moves.
Pro Tip: Remember to add a text overlay to video because almost 80% of users are consuming your video content with the sound off. Giving them captions to understand what you’re talking about will allow them to stay engaged even without actually hearing what you have to say.
Here’s Seven Reasons You Should be Using IG Stories:
1. Allows you to connect with your audience: I get way more messages on my stories from people who never comment on my posts. I think they like the anonymity of a private message versus being seen in the comments of my posts. FINE BY ME! This creates a great place to ask questions, connect and see if you have an opportunity to serve them.
2. Creates Authenticity: The fact that these images/videos are usually more raw and uncut shows a transparency to those watching. Have you ever noticed when someone is telling a story and the details of the story are what create that familiarity and genuineness to the story? That’s what the Instagram stories allow space for as well! Social Media Today ran a survey several months ago that revealed people are 39% more likely to interact with a brand on Instagram than they are on Facebook. I think a lot of this is due to the Instagram Stories giving us that peek behind the scenes and making us feel like we get to have a small part in their success.
3. People are paying more attention to stories than the feed: "one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers." - according to Instagram internal data. These direct messages are where it all goes down in converting the WATCHERS to CUSTOMERS. If you’re wondering if you’re missing out by not posting there, you are.
4. It boosts your overall Instagram engagement: Instagram prioritizes accounts that are taking advantage of all the features on the platform. By posting more on Instagram stories, it can boost your posts as well. So you should probably do that.
5. It’s fun: You heard me … it’s fun! The stories are such a fun way to add a lightness to your brand. It doesn’t have to be all serious and “business-y.” Let people see this side of you!
6. They’re discoverable: The same way that you sometimes see accounts that you aren’t following, the same is true for seeing your stories. It’s a great way to get new eyeballs seeing your content! Using geotags, hashtags, and tagging other accounts is a great way to get more attention there!
7. The stickers: Utilizing stickers like the polls, quizzes and question boxes are huge for getting in touch with the RIGHT people. When people ask me if I’m reaching out to all my story viewers or people that like my posts- the answer is no. BUT, I absolutely reach out to the people who are responding to those stickers. This is the number one way conversations are started about my products and business.
Wanting more help with Instagram Stories? That’s our whole focus in Social Made Simple this month. Click here to join today to get live training, access to Q + A and an Instagram Story Challenge happening all next week!