7 reasons to use Instagram Stories So, I must confess that on the day Instagram Stories rolled out, I felt I had just woken up to a scene from the movie Mean Girls. I (and the rest of the online world) saw Insta Stories as an exact copy of Snapchat minus Snapchat’s cool filters. Come on… video or photo clips up for 24 hours, and you can doodle? Sound familiar? Well, Snapchat pissed Facebook off by introducing Memories, and then Instagram (owned by Facebook) fired back. At first I was a bit ticked that it was an exact copy, and I got scared that Snapchat would die fast, and I even thought I wouldn’t like Insta Story. But girl, was I wrong. I am a little obsessed with it, and think you should be too. Here are 7  reasons to use Instagram Stories for your business.

P.S. Don’t worry, Millennials are not going to stop using Snapchat, and you can keep using it too.

Are you a creative entrepreneur or solopreneur who wants to use know how to use Instagram Stories to promote your business. Check out this blog post or save for later. Plus free mini workbook.

#1. Your people are there! And you are already using it! Okay, technically, that’s two reasons right there. So first off, Instagram has hit 500 million users, and it’s a social media platform that both women and men use. There are older users and younger users, giving you an array of audiences, and most likely your ideal audience is using this app on a daily basis. Write in the comments who your ideal audience is so we can test this theory of mine, but stats show that:

51% of users are male – Expanded Ramblings
49% of users are female Expanded Ramblings
There are about 77.6 million US users, which is almost 27% of the US population Expanded Ramblings
By 2017, 51.8% of social network users will use Instagram—surpassing the 50% mark for the first time. Emarketer

So, not only is your ideal audience most likely using Instagram regularly, so are you! If Instagram has been in your “big 3” (your top 3 social media platforms), then using the story features is a no brainer.

# 2. It’s fast. What we tend to love about social media is the fast-food factor. We can consume it on the go .  It is fast, and it is stackable. It takes me only a few minutes to post between 5-8 posts a day on Instagram Stories because it is quite simple. You can add photos or video from your camera roll, which would take seconds.

To use photos from your camera roll, just touch the screen and slide downward, and your camera roll will appear on the top. Some Snapchat users are repurposing their snaps to Insta Stories, but I say use with caution. Remember, I am a big fan of being true to the culture of the platform, so yes it’s okay to reuse for a few of your posts. Just not all of them.

#3 It’s easy. You can create new photos or videos using your phone, which is quite fast also. Go to your Instagram profile and check the plus sign on the top left. Tap the plus sign, and then you can start adding photos and videos to “your story”. You can add text or emojis to your photo as IG filters by swiping right. Once you’re happy with your photo or video, press the checkmark button. You can do this!

You can also save your story as a video to your phone, or even push it from your Story to your Instagram post. Since it only records a limited number of seconds, it will post your content without making you wait.

Instagram stories brings fun back to Instagram which has become so curated and stuffy, are you using IG stories for your businesS?

#4 It is fun! Instagram stories brings the FUN back to Instagram, and it brings your audience closer. Why? Because people can relate to fun and candid content, and they may be tired of rehearsed performances. IG has become a very curated place, and with Instagram Stories, you can create bite-size pieces of content, live and right now. People love raw, authentic brands and people, and when you show more of yourself, whether it’s behind the scenes, home, kids, pets, or whatever personal thing you want to share, it humanizes your brand. But planning out some biz content to mix with personal content is important as well. Check out my mini workbook which has 50 Instagram Story post ideas.

#5  You can teach and show your expertise. Instagram Stories is a great way for you to teach, share and be a resource to your audience. I feel way more comfortable showing more biz-related content on Insta Stories than I do on Snapchat. Why? Because the platform calls for that. It’s been like that on the posts we post, remember curated posts, so when it comes to sharing videos on my IG Stories, I know it’s a safe place to teach and showcase my expertise.

Yes, I am mixing it up with fun day-to-day posts too. But on Snapchat for example, I typically do more fun and personal posts, as I know it’s not the ideal platform to be all biz all day (or mostly biz). Some biz-related content you can post: Answer reader questions. Feature a vendor pr place. Show an app you are using.  Give a pep talk. Offer advice. Show your personality.

Think of your Instagram Story as your mini video channel.

#6 It affects your reach and engagement. MY FAVORITE REASON! So I had done a Facebook Live saying I had seen a correlation between using Instagram Stories and better reach and engagement overall. Then news came out that Instagram is going to be pushing Instagram Stories on their Explore channel, which confirmed my hunch.  Instagram has been pushing videos more and more, as earlier this year they launched a video channel section or “videos you may like”.  It seems using Instagram Stories is affecting the algorithm and reach, and since the algorithm game is one that leaves us in the dark all the time, we need to have our ears and eyes open to anything that can help our organic reach.

If you compare how many people watch your snaps vs your IG stories, you will see perhaps a big difference.

Update 2021: Instagram Reels has way more visibility My views on my IG stories are double what they are on Snapchat.

To see who watched your IG stories, just press “play your story” and you’ll see a number in the middle of the screen at the bottom. This number is how many people have watched your story so far, and if you click on it, you will see exactly who has viewed your story. One tip is to engage/comment on those who are committed followers of your IG Stories.

#7 It can help you grow your email list. You can plug a pretty link or a bonus, PDF or freebie, or point to your link in your bio. As it states, it’s a place where mixing business and personal is expected, so plug away your awesome content upgrades, classes, bonuses and more! 

So, how are you using Instagram Stories for your business? And have you stopped using Snapchat now?ake sure you’re following me on IG http://www.instagram.com/feuza

If you need help planning your Instagram Stories Content download my FREE mini-workbook!

P.S Don’t forget FREE KEYWORD STRATEGY COURSE starts September 12, 2016.