How SMEs can use Instagram Stories

26 October 2017

How SMEs can use Instagram Stories

Video and the internet were pretty much meant for each other, but not everyone wants to go to the effort and expense of producing professional-quality YouTube videos. Fortunately, there are now plenty of other ways you can make use of the benefits of video in a less resource-demanding format.

Over recent years, there has been a significant increase in interest in platforms that allow users to share content that automatically disappears after a certain length of time, usually 24 hours. Arguably the most famous example of this is Snapchat, but for SMEs, Instagram Stories is probably a better option since it captures a wider age demographic.

Using video in this way emphasises immediacy rather than professionality, in fact it can even be preferable to take a more casual approach. However, making the most of any platform does require a certain degree of strategy so here are three tips to help you out.

1.People love faces

Social media is the place to put a human face to your business (actually animal faces can be good too).

Look on Instagram in general and Instagram Stories in particular and you’ll see a high percentage of pictures and video that feature humans and plenty more that feature animals or birds of some description. Of course, you can feature other content as well but, as a basic rule of thumb, if you can include a human (or animal or bird) somewhere in your content, try to do so.

2.Humanise your content

These days, it’s not just customer service that matters (although it certainly does). Instead, people want to see how you treat other people in general, particularly your employees and your suppliers.

You may have heard of companies being put under heavy pressure to provide those who depend on them in one way or another with better conditions. Instagram Stories gives you a great way to showcase your integrity as an employer and/or customer with genuine credibility and minimal hassle.

You don’t have to go through the sort of rigmarole associated with producing YouTube videos, people don’t have to be made up and lit up and miked up. The videos are only going to be up for 24 hours so they key is emotional engagement rather than superb production standards.

3.You can recycle your content

Officially, Instagram Stories only accepts uploads of content that is less than 24 hours old. Unofficially, there are plenty of ways to get around this.

For SMEs, possibly the simplest way to do this is via an app called Later. Use this as a content library and then, when you are ready to post to Instagram Stories, choose the “save to camera roll” option. This will save the content to your phone as new content and hence will get around the upload restriction.

We’d like to hope that at some point in time, Instagram Stories will drop this restriction (and ideally make Instagram Stories available on the desktop too) because we see nothing wrong with judiciously and appropriately reposting content, which happens on standard Instagram all the time.