The latest buzz around the social media sphere this week is Instagram’s blatant adoption of Snapchat’s integral MyStory feature.
By bringing in the ephemeral, steady stream of user’s day to day activities, Instagram has officially integrated its high-end picture posting platform with the casual, frequent picture posting of Snapchat. Learning how to leverage Instagram Stories for business just may be your most valuable opportunity to gain a competitive advantage over the competition.
The integration, Instagram hopes, will make their platform less intimidating and pretentious when it comes to picture posting frequency. With almost 100% of users posting less frequently on Instagram between 2013 and 2015, the Facebook-owned social media entity wanted to do something to change the popularity of their worldwide picture-sharing arena. The solution? Obviously copying Snapchat’s exact app structure.
Stories That Sell Your Product or Service
Stories, Instagram’s MyStory version, allows users to upload as many pictures or videos as they want. They have a maximum of a ten-second timer, and their content disappears within 24-hours, exactly how it works on Snapchat. Users can also add emojis, texts, and neon colored text to their pictures and videos to give it a casual feeling.
Instagram braced for criticism from all sorts of social media gurus when they unveiled Stories, but have been met with nothing but positivity and appreciation for the high-scale development of their picture-sharing feature. Every news publication in the last week has unanimously praised the development as a “direct copy of Snapchat, only better.”
What Instagram has managed to do is take Snapchat’s idea, and make it easier to understand, access, and peruse. When users sign into Instagram now, at the very top of their scrolling feed are user’s Stories, represented by pretty bubbles. Users can swipe through them, just like Snapchat, and dip out of them to continue looking through their feed. The easy-to-use design just might make Stories a more popular ephemeral sharing platform than Snapchat.
How Can You Leverage Instagram Stories For Your Business?
The live video feed is the most intimate electronic way to connect with your tribe on a human level. You are no longer a logo or website- you are a company representative speaking directly to the buyer.
Smaller tribes of uniquely loyal, often younger, engaged users have been spending more time on Instagram and Snapchat than on Facebook or Twitter. Instagram now has over 500 million monthly active users with a projected 90 million being in the U.S. by the end of 2016. If your competition is not already dominating these channels, this is the first opportunity to build awareness to your brand before the competition gets there.
A marketing message that disappears in 24 hours gives your company the ability to create time-sensitive sales, draw attention to an in-store event, or hosting a 24-hour Takeover that has been popular for brands on Snapchat. This may include an online code to receive discounts on an eCommerce website, or directing users to exclusive web content only available for 24 hours.
Now is the time to leverage Instagram Stories and other social media channels to engage with your audience and gain an advantage over your competition. (They will catch up next year.) Give your audience a different perspective, the inside scoop, or simply great content and they may just find themselves invested in your business.