If you’ve been contemplating using Instagram Stories for business, now is the time! Not only are Instagram Stories an exciting and creative way to engage with your followers, but they can also help you grow your customer engagement, build brand awareness, drive traffic, and even make e-commerce sales!

In the Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories, we cover everything from the strategy behind how to use Instagram Stories for business, to the entertaining tools and hacks you can use to create your own Instagram Stories:

Why Use Instagram Stories for Business?

When Instagram Stories first came out in August last year, all anyone could talk about was how Instagram had copied Snapchat. That’s how it was perceived: as a thinly veiled attempt to steal Snapchat’s market share.

While this is true to an extent, it’s also a one-dimensional view of the feature. Instagram Stories isn’t a copy of Snapchat, it’s an improved version of Snapchat. Not just for everyday users who want to share ephemeral photos and videos of themselves with their followers, but for businesses too! Like they did with photo and video sharing, Instagram has managed to turn ephemeral messaging into an effective tool for businesses without ruining it for consumers.

Undeniably, Instagram Stories is one of those special channels that’s equally attractive to both regular people and businesses. It offers features for both! Whether you want to share fun and lighthearted content, promote a marketing campaign or even drive e-commerce sales, you can do it all with Instagram Stories for business.

When to Post on Instagram Stories

When it comes to everyday Instagram posts, it’s very important to post when your followers are most active. This isn’t the case with Instagram Stories for business. Due to its ephemeral nature, Instagram Stories can only exist for a maximum of 24 hours. That’s 24 hours of being at the top of your followers’ feeds! Even if you post a story at a time when most your followers are asleep, they’ll still be able to see your story at the top of their feeds when they wake up. In other words, don’t stress out too much about posting your Instagram Stories at optimal times. The whole point of Stories is for the content to be current! If you’re looking for instant engagement on your Instagram Stories, posting when your followers are most active will help.

What to Post on Instagram Stories

If you’re using Instagram Stories for business, it’s good to post a mix of amusing, lighthearted content and promotional content. Instagram Stories is a relaxed place in general, and the quality standards are a lot lower than they are for regular posts. So, don’t be afraid of posting something goofy: a short video of your office cat or a picture of your team out for post-work beverages. The wonderful thing about Instagram Stories is that because they’ve created so many awesome tools, the world is really your oyster. You can get as creative as you like with your Stories — and there are a ton of impressive examples out there!

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