What Are Instagram Stories and Should Financial Institutions Use Them?
Back in August of 2016, Instagram released a new functionality called "stories." Similar to Snapchat, Instagram stories are only available to your followers for 24 hours. Then they are deleted from Instagram. These stories include fun filters, stickers, text overlay and much more!To view the stories of accounts you follow, look at the top of your Instagram feed for "circles," then select one you would like to view. Instagram then scrolls through stories automatically (one after the other) for the accounts you follow until it reaches the end of the stories for that moment in time.
Should Financial Institutions Use Instagram Stories?
Absolutely, we LOVE Instagram stories and we think they are a fun way to interact with your followers, without affecting the aesthetic and branding on your main profile layout.
Stories give you the ability to post silly, random and in the moment photos, without the stress you normally endure to make a perfect Instagram post. If you haven't implemented Instagram stories into your account we think you should. Here's 4 reasons why:
Reason #1: Share Behind the Scenes Footage -
Instagram stories allow you access to share what is going on in your office behind the scenes, anytime. This is the perfect way to share your everyday photos without overflowing everyone's newsfeed with posts. Behind the scenes footage allows your members to feel a part of your institution and see all that goes into keeping it up and running!
One of our favorite ways of doing this is through Instagram Takeovers. You may have seen this done before. Just select one of your employees who is active on IG to share footage of what she/he does throughout the day on both the company's profile and the individual's Instagram account.
It's the perfect way to share new faces, benefit your brand, and engage both existing customers and new people following the takeover from the host's account. Be sure to promote the takeover day before hand so your followers are aware of what's to come!
Reason #2: Boost Your Engagement -
Instagram stories offer some new and exciting gadgets to not only boost your engagement but also allowing you interact with followers directly! Here are some of our favorites:
Instagram Polls: polls are a win-win. Not only to boost your engagement from followers but also to get data while you're at it. Polls are a new and fun way to spice up your Instagram and allow followers get familiar with your name and brand. You're getting direct engagement to your page and the best part- there's no rules! Make them serious or fun!
Series Posts: These are essentially a storyline that followers have to continue clicking through on your story to find out what comes next. You can tell a story, share your top favorite list, or anything you can think of to keep your followers clicking!
Just be sure to upload each image as an individual story in order to get the best click through results. It's a great way to share information and keep followers engaged through visuals instead of long text paragraphs. Here's how we did it:
Reason #3: Drive Traffic to Your Page -
Believe it or not, Instagram Stories are the perfect way to drive traffic to your website or profile without the overwhelming 'sales-y' feel that can come when you're posting directly to your account. Here's how to implement this into your Instagram Story strategy...
Upload a story of a screenshot of a new post to your blog, website or preferred service, and make a subtle caption such as "New Post" "New Update" or "New Deals." Then guide them to your page or the link in your Instagram profile link. By doing this you're not forcing the information onto your followers, but those who have an interest will continue to your profile and then onto the website.
You can also direct traffic to your page by sharing a screenshot of your feed, blocking out the photo and a text along the lines of "New Post" or "New Content" so your followers have go to your page to see the new post!
Check it out:
Reason #4: Reach a Younger Demographic -
Facebook Newsfeed ads tend to skew more to an older demographic. But we have found that IG story feed placement has a MUCH younger audience and is a great way to reach new people! Facebook is still widely popular but if you're not advertising on both, you could be missing out on reaching a lot of your community!
Here is an example of FB Newsfeed:
And Instagram Story:
The difference is clear!! This is with absolutely NO age targeting. They are both targeted 18+. You have to be a little more creative with IG Story ads.. we love to use Wave to make custom ads for our clients!
Instagram is a very powerful platform that allows you to connect with a key target audience to grow your member base.
Email us today for help with your Institution's strategy plans for Instagram!