Growing Your Business Through Instagram Stories

Is it Snapchat? Is it Instagram? If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are well acquainted (maybe not by choice) with one of the newer features that Instagram rolled out to its faithful users: the ability to create “Instagram Stories” *cough cough Snapchat for Instagram.* In an effort to get users to share more content and compete with Snapchat’s ever growing popularity (158 million daily users to be exact), Instagram launched Instagram Stories this past August. The feature lets users create a string of images and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar? But after everyone’s instashock passed, celebrities, Instamodels, Instadogs and even businesses embraced the new feature and made it work. Instagram Stories lets businesses engage with their customers and prospects with a more complete message compared to a single, filtered image. But how can the average Esty seller or small business owner make a splash with the new Instagram Stories feature? Here are a few ways to leverage the new feature to help grow your business:

Limited Sales

Who doesn’t love a special offer? Create a sense of urgency for your audience and entice your most loyal followers to closely monitor your Instagram Story by sharing exclusive discounts and offers. Post a photo, video, and other related content and highlight the message that, as soon as the story expires, so does the one-of-a-kind deal.
Rewarding your followers gives them a little extra incentive to keep watching your brand’s content, but also makes them feel like a savvy shopper. J. Crew used the ‘Gram to solicit advance sales of their Jane in Pink sunglasses. Not only did they announce the new sunnies on their Stories feed, they also gave followers who watched the Story first dibs.

Behind-The-Scenes

Everyone knows that social media shows only half the story. But through Instagram Stories, brands can give their audience a sneak-peek of their business’s normal operations and use the new feature to post behind-the-scenes content. Show your audience how your company makes its products or how your specialists perform the services they provide. Give your audience a peek at how your brand does what it does — from the people to the product. Customers enjoy seeing the people and personalities behind the business, and the transparency you show will help build trust with your target audience.

Takeovers

Story takeovers are a great way to increase your reach while bringing in a fresh perspective to your brand. Just like on Snapchat, you can also do takeovers on your Instagram Story. A takeover involves taking over another Instagram account, typically for a 24-hour period, where you provide tips, news or exclusive content. In return, you also take over their story and reach their audience driving them back to you. Takeovers are unique because they act as a partnership to provide a mutually beneficial exchange of value. You get a chance to connect with an entirely new audience and the person who takes over your account gets to do the same!
Clothing company Eddie Bauer frequently hands over its Instagram account (which has over 60K active users) to influencers. These influencers are regular users who have built a large following by sharing picturesque, outdoorsy photos that align with the Eddie Bauer clothing brand.

Event Promotion

Just like a trailer builds excitement for an upcoming blockbuster (I’m looking at you, Smurfs 3), your Instagram efforts should do the same and be an insight into what is to come. Take a look at your company’s event calendar and see if there are any upcoming events that your target audience can follow along with. Inviting customers to a networking event? Or holding an upcoming webinar? Then your audience needs to know about it. Instagram Stories gives brands a platform for getting these messages across loud and clear. With 400 million active users on a daily basis, Instagram Stories offer an amazing opportunity to further engage with your followers and ultimately promote your brand. If you make your stories entertaining and valuable, your audience will grow to love them and read them with a sense of urgency. So, what are you doing? Get your Story out there!

Snapchat Geofilters for Your Small Business


Although deemed a trend (think Pokemon Go), Snapchat has stayed the course and now is a prominent platform in advertising and marketing. The Snapchat sponsored Geofilters have become a staple feature within the app, providing an inexpensive platform to reach your audience.

Why Snapchat?

Based on Snapchat’s Internal Data, Snapchat says in the US:

A sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40% to 60% of daily Snapchatters.

Snapchatters now watch over 10 billion videos per day, up 350% from last year.

Snapchat has now surpassed Twitter in daily users and Snapchat continues to develop features that are being replicated in other social outlets (Instagram Stories).  Even my Mom uses Snapchat nowadays… Leveraging Snapchat for your business gives you the opportunity for your customers to be your brand ambassadors. Hosting a happy hour?  Product launch?  Promotional event? For as little as $5, your Geofilter can span 20,000 square feet for a few hours.
 

Snapchat for Small Business

While at Petco Park in San Diego, we found this city checklist. Now, we recommend a Geofilter that covers only a portion of the screen, but there’s an opportunity to feature your brand that relates to the demographic in your area and sends them to your location.
  “Come to Freddy’s Taco Shop and stuff your face with a California Burrito” or “Rent a Surftastic board and catch a wave this weekend!” Maybe incorporate a scavenger hunt around in your city and include your business as one of the stops. In the San Diego area, Estrella Jalisco utilized this Geofilter to celebrate the Mexican Independence Day on September 16.  
  Try setting two different Geofilters in your area and have customers promote you and your products. Let your followers advertise your brand. Build awareness, impressions and bring people to your business.

Geofilters and Snapchat SEM

  Snapchat acquired mobile search startup, Vurb, last year and just recently added a search function within the app. Users can now search for publishers, content and fellow users. Capitalize on the search engine marketing potential for your business within Snapchat. Creating Geofilters will help your business engage with your target demographic. Reach out to BrightHaus and we’d be happy to develop a Geofilter strategy to further engage with your target audience.      

Instagram For Business

Recently Instagram has released its new business tools.     Instagram is exponentially growing and these statistics regarding Instagram usage are quite extraordinary.  There are 500m+ monthly active users, 300m+ daily active users, 4.2bn likes daily, and 95m+ photos/videos per day.  The significance of these statistics is that by creating an Instagram business profile you have the potential to reach hundreds of millions of users.  Since Instagram’s user base is constantly growing, so is your potential customer base.  No longer are people just posting selfies to share with their friends, but they are also part of a bigger marketplace where businesses now have the opportunity to connect with new customers.   In order to gain access to these tools, business profiles will only be available for Instagram accounts that have their Facebook business profile setup.  This helps with maintaining same payment accounts, and pre-populating one’s business information already set up in Facebook.   One of the new tools are the business ads that include photo, video, and carousel ads (can swipe to see more images and gives an option to be directed to a website).   Ad staging allows you to preview, save, and collaborate on the ad campaigns.  It allows the flexibility of not being forced to post a campaign in order to see what the campaign looks like on the Instagram account. Once the advertisement is live, Instagram has provided us with the new Ad Insights capability.  Ad Insights allows the user to track the performance of paid campaigns with analytics and it shows the amount of target impressions, current impressions, average frequency, and target demographics.   Not only are there Ad Insights, but there are Account Insights.  These Account Insights help increase brand awareness by tracking engagement, reach, and impressions.  The Ad Insights will help businesses create more relevant content and will allow them to select the best time to post based on where the majority of the users are from.  Business users not only will know the country or state their followers are from, but they will be able to hone into the specific city or town! Before the business tools were released the only option that Instagram users could engage with a business was by clicking their website usually found in the profile description.  However, now a business profile has a contact button which gives the follower to option to call, email, and find the business on maps.  This further unlocks the possibility of businesses to reach more of the Instagram user base.  Instagram’s goals for these advertisements are to help the business with clicks to website, mobile app installs, website conversions, mobile app engagement, video views, reach and frequency, page post engagement, and mass awareness.   For more information on how to get the most out of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter don’t hesitate to get in touch with our professionals!