Nowadays, people don’t simply choose to buy from or engage with a company that has great products or services. Consumers are savvy- they now base buying decisions on much more than the surface level of value you and your business offer. They look at things like culture and company ethos to inform their decision making and will often look for businesses that possess values that align with their own. Yes, posting on your feed is a way to communicate these values, however because of the pressure to create a feed based on beautiful aesthetics, this purpose may get lost in the process. By using stories, there is more of a lenience in posting meaningful pictures, rather than pretty pictures, and off-the-cuff video content, rather than a clip that’s been carefully curated. The beauty of stories is that your “ugly” content disappears after 24 hours!
Audiences are getting more in-tune with accounts that are fake or trying to look a certain way, rather than those who are genuinely authentic. Using stories is a way to increase transparency and show your audience the depth of your business. A common way to do this is to go behind-the-scenes. This may be during a campaign shoot, doing casual interviews, or even just showing the team having fun in the office. Every business is different, how they communicate authenticity will differ too. You’ve got lots of options when creating story content. You could create small, 15 second videos, or start an Instagram live video which can last up to 60 minutes! The choice is yours.
Social media has opened up a new way of communicating with your audience that previously wasn’t in existence. You can interact with your audience in real time, and get a better understanding of how they are feeling and what they want from your product or service. Instagram Stories has added a question stickers function which can work in two ways: 1) Asking a question – which followers can then reply to, and 2) Ask for questions – which businesses will then reply to themselves. This encourages feedback and allows you to provide another level of customer service. Another way that many business accounts interact with their audience is running hashtag and tagging (in the image) campaigns. For instance, Asos has #AsSeenOnMe which has encouraged their shoppers to upload photos of their purchases and share them. It’s been wildly successful and also opens up another avenue for users to actually interact with eachother, not just your brand. Remember the point of this is to create a community and let your audience into it. People want to feel like they’re a part of something and that they’re really involved with your business.