Utilizing Instagram Stories for your Business
Keith Minick

Why should you be utilizing Instagram stories for your business? Instagram has made significant changes to its platform, including the removal of likes on posts. Due to this change and future changes rolling out on Instagram, visibility may become limited, which presents the perfect opportunity to start utilizing Instagram stories feature. We understand that Instagram stories may be unfamiliar, but they can’t be managed with the same social media strategy as regular Instagram posts. 

To understand the best ways to utilize Instagram stories for your small business, continue reading this article!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Hashtags and Location Tags Increase Visibility

Comparable to usual Instagram posts, Instagram stories should also include hashtags and location tags that allow users to find your business through the search feature on the platform. In essence, this means that a user does not have to follow you to see your Instagram story content if your profile is public. 

While we encourage the use of relevant hashtags, a proper hashtag strategy is essential to your social media strategy. There is an approach to utilizing the hashtags carved out in your plan for your business’ Instagram stories. Using hashtags in Instagram stories is limited to only one hashtag, and it must be noticeable to the person viewing your content. We recommend using a broad hashtag that is industry-specific for increased views to your Story. Using a broad hashtag allows your reach to be more extensive to current and even potential customers. 

Unlike the rules for hashtags, location tags require a specific strategic approach. In fact, the location tag strategy requires a more tight-knit approach for Instagram stories. The Instagram location function is most valuable for your local business when you use a narrow tag location that is specific to your location. 

For example, if your business is located in Holly Springs, GA – tag Holly Springs, GA versus Atlanta, GA. Doing this allows Instagram to pick up this location but larger locations that surround this particular area. Ultimately, this makes the reach for your local small business more significant. A specific location tag begins small and leads to larger segments that reach more people than a broad location tag will. 


Using the Instagram Highlights Feature

Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, so your followers may not see your Story before it disappears from your profile. You may ask the question, “what’s the point of posting an Instagram story if it deletes after 24 hours. Is there a way for viewers to see my Story for longer than 24 hours?” Simply put, yes, someone can view your Story longer than 24 hours by using the Instagram highlights feature!  

Instagram has done a great job setting up these story highlights and make it easy to use. If a user wants to see past stories that you have posted, they can click on the highlight with the specific title to see previous relevant stories which will display the stories that you choose to include. Your Instagram highlights should contain the most informative, high-quality, and engaging stories that you have previously posted on Instagram. The Instagram highlights feature can be used as a resource for your current and new followers to understand your brand better, what you offer, and how you can help! 


Posting Strategy

When your business is choosing posts for social media, consider how previous posts are engaging and adjust accordingly. Be sure to track the analytics of your posts to determine which are the ideal times to post based on your audience. The easiest way to implement this is by keeping a close watch on when the majority of your users tend to engage with and view your Instagram Stories. This helps with the approach to future posting and creates an in-depth understanding of when to post to allow the highest volume of interaction. 

In addition, there are general times during the day to consider when posting to Instagram Stories. Think about your behavior on social media – you tend to check social media when you first wake up, near dinnertime, and before you go to sleep. Considering this pattern, your followers probably have a similar social media routine. 


Closing Thoughts

Your business’ social media strategy should vary based on platforms, but it should also vary based on a specific feature within the platform. Utilizing Instagram Stories is an important feature for small businesses, especially with the everchanging updates projected for future releases. 


For more information on how we at Serv Marketing can help your local small business with your specific social media strategy, view our social media services, and then set up a time to chat!


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