Instagram Stories – Can Your Small Business Use Them?

Should your business use Instagram Stories?

Of course!

But will creating Instagram Stories help your business grow?

Should you use this new feature?

Probably not.

It helps to understand the motivation behind the launch of the new Instagram Stories.

It’s due to demand from big brands and publishers, who want a method of stitching together short snappy clips of video into longer strands of content.

These big brands, publishers and celebrities, all of whom are likely to become the power users of Instagram Stories, have the reach required to make the most of the new feature.

The same applies to Snapchat – without large reach in (at least) the tens of thousands – you won’t be able to make a significant impact with your content and with a shelf life of just 24 hours it won’t drive whatever results you’re aiming for.

You’ll end up in constant ‘trying to grow followers’ mode and this will lead to frustration and time wasted.

Keep in mind too the difficulty in linking outside Instagram and Snapchat to your own website and other platforms. You are heavily restricted.

The majority of business I work with┬ádon’t have ‘fans’. Neither do they have content so interesting that it merits regular video clips. Instead, they have regular customers who deal with them directly and then have a very large, untapped audience they hope will stumble across them one day via searches or recommendations.

Instagram Stories and Snapchat COULD help with this, in theory, and for some sectors might make sense. But for most businesses that I deal with their time would be far better spent on an activity such as blogging.

It might lack the excitement of Instagram Stories and Snapchat but it provides regular, ‘sticky’ content with a long term shelf life and hyperlinks back to your website. Blogs don’t need to be long or complicated. Try and include a picture and if you want you could even film a short video of you summarising what you’ve just written and post it to YouTube.

If you’re not sure what to write about in your blog, jot down a dozen questions a potential customer might have about your business and set about answering them, one at a time. If you publish one a week, you now have blog posts for the next 3 months.

And if writing isn’t your strong point, you should consider my Writing For Digital workshop. Get in touch for details.


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