One of the fastest growing social media trends is Stories. Stories are short posts – they can be video or static images – that disappear after 24 hours. While stories are available on both Facebook and Instagram with very similar features, Instagram Stories are currently more popular.
According to recent research, Instagram Stories has 500 million active users daily. Of these users:
- About 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one business, and 200 million users visit brand profiles at least once a day.
- 70% of users now look up a brand on Instagram.
- 60% of users discover new products [and services] through the platform, according to 99firms.
So what makes stories different than posting to your feed? Instagram describes Stories as something that lets you "share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile". These stories are generally more informal, spur-of-the-moment postings. Think behind-the-scenes, fun events happening in the office, etc. Whereas, your feed is more structured and comprises planned content to fit your brand and aesthetic.
If you’re thinking that this sounds a lot like Snapchat Stories, you would be correct. Instagram Stories are essentially the same, but all housed in the Instagram app.
Get Started with Stories
Stories are really easy to create. They are not intended to be perfect, so you can let your creativity flow a bit. Let’s get started.
NOTE: **These screenshots were taken on an iPhone X IOS 13. The Instagram app can vary between operating system and Apple and Android apps. The general process is the same, although some menu items may look a bit different or be in a different place.**
When you’re on your Instagram home page, you’ll see a camera in the top left corner. Go ahead and click it.
This will bring up the camera. You can use the scroll menu below the capture button to choose different types of image or video styles. Once you’ve chosen your subject, click the capture button.
For this example I’ve chosen a simple photo of some of our office artwork. Once you’ve taken a picture or video you’ll see options at the top of the screen. From left to right we have discard, download, add photo effects, link, add stickers, draw, and type. Click on the post it looking icon for stickers.
Once you’ve clicked this you can see all of the different options you can add to your story. These can be something funny (such as using a GIF), letting people know your location or you can even boost engagement by creating a poll or quiz.
I quickly chose a sticker to see how it would look. I thought it was pretty boring, so I deleted it and decided to draw on it instead to make the signs pop.
To do this, click the drawing tool.
Once in you can choose drawing tools at the top of the screen, colors at the bottom and line width by the slider to the left. When you’re finished with the creation, click done in the upper right hand corner.
On the next screen you’ll see your sharing options. You can immediately click share, and it will be added to your story. If you only want certain people to see it, you can send it to them directly.
If you want to see your story, go to your profile and click on your User image.
And just like that you’re posting to stories!
Are Instagram Stories Right for Me?
As you can imagine, the possibilities for this platform are virtually endless. A few key tips to remember when posting for business: pick a font and stick to that font. The same goes for filters.
Though you can add these fun things, you still want to showcase your brand identity. If you’re looking for even more of a cohesive, put-together look to your stories, there are multiple tools and options to help you create branded templates. While you cannot currently schedule stories to post, the option of having pre-created content allows you to have a backlog of branded content to post whenever you see fit.
Start building your social media marketing strategy today! Click the link that best fits your practice for information about our services:
- Social media marketing for plastic surgeons, med spas, and cosmetic medical practices
- Social media marketing for attorneys and law firms
- Social media marketing for dentists
- Social media marketing for ophthalmologists and LASIK surgeons
Now that you have an understanding of how Stories works, I would take some time to write out how you want to portray your practice. Do you want this to be mostly behind-the-scenes? Feature new services? Show before-and-afters? Do you want to make people laugh or bring more serious information to them? The best thing about stories is you can make it a mixture of these things, but having a game plan takes the guesswork out of creating and posting.
Would your practice benefit from a team creating content and managing your social platforms? Give us a call at 303-233-3886.