An Overview on Instagram Stories for Business

Instagram Stories
What is Instagram Stories? How to get started with Instagram Stories for businesses?

By the end of this article on 'An Overview on Instagram Stories for Business', you would have an insight into what is Instagram Stories, and how you can get started with Instagram Stories for businesses.

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Tariq Digital Marketing Consultant
Tariq SP
Blogger & Digital Marketing Consultant

This series on social media stories will be broken into separate articles.

Starting off with ‘What are Social Media Stories?’, I will then cover Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Snapchat Stories, How to create stories, Advanced Techniques, and Benefits of Stories, to give you a clear understanding of social media stories.

I hope you did read the first part of this series ‘What are Social Media Stories? An Overview’. In this article, I will talk about Instagram Stories and how Instagram Stories work for businesses.

As in my previous article ‘What are Social Media Stories? An Overview’, I will like to start off with some industry facts, as far as Instagram is concerned.

Instagram Stories
Source: Hootsuite
  • 1 billion people use Instagram every month
  • 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
  • 89% of users are outside the U.S. India has 88 million users (as of April 2020)
  • The gender mix on Instagram is pretty even: 52% female and 48% male
  • 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily
  • 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories
  • 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month
  • Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3 million users
  • Instagram advertisers can reach a youth audience of 52.9 million
  • Brands pay Instagram influencers between $100 and $2,085 per post
  • 75.3% of U.S. businesses will use Instagram in 2020
  • Brands post an average of 2.5 Stories per week
  • One-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses
  • 60% of businesses on Instagram Stories use an interactive element every month
  • Brand Stories have an 85% completion rate
  • Instagram represents 10.7% of social referral share to eCommerce sites
READ  How to Create Better Social Media Stories

(Source: Hootsuite)

The facts above are a good indication of the popularity of Instagram and how businesses are making use of the platform to engage with their audience.

Instagram is the second-largest social media platform in the world, second only to Facebook. And while in that case, it may only be natural to think that Facebook would be the ideal choice, the fact of the matter is Instagram is designed to be a visual platform and that makes a huge difference. People use Instagram because of this very visual element, they want to see images and videos. And that makes Instagram the perfect place to share stories and to promote your business in a visual manner.

And what better way to leverage on than using Stories at this point in time, when social media stories are trending. As mentioned in the previous article, stories are a great way to increase your engagement and to raise trust with your audience.

Get Started With Instagram Stories for Business

Instagram has a relatively straightforward interface on mobile (which is the only option for sharing stories). That said, it does tend to hide a few options in plain sight, which can make it difficult to figure out the very first time.

To find your Stories, you might be looking for a button that says “Stories” for instance. Instead, though, you’ll get there by swiping right from the home screen, or by tapping the icon in the top left that looks like a camera.

Instagram Stories
Source: Hootsuite

You can now take a photo from the following screen by tapping the shutter button or make a video by holding it down. Videos can be up to ten seconds in duration.

There are other options too: you can stream live, you can create a boomerang, you can superzoom, you can rewind, and you can hands-free video.

If you prefer, you can pick an image from your camera roll in order to use a previously created video or picture. If the photo is over 24 hours old, then a sticker will appear on it with the day, month, and year. You can opt to simply remove that if you so wish – just drag it onto the trash icon.

READ  What are Social Media Stories? An Overview

Likewise, you can also add face filters to your Stories. This works like the now-famous filters on Snapchat in order to apply amusing accessories or to warp your face in a number of different ways.

Swiping left and right will similarly apply extra filters to the entire image that can change the colors and look of your photos and videos.

Tap anywhere on the screen to bring up a text tool and start typing. You can also change the size, color, and shape. Use the @ symbol to tag other accounts.

Tagging other users is a good way to get noticed by them, which in turn can result in some free publicity should they decide to give you a shoutout in return.

You can also add a sticker that will provide your location. This can help you to stand out in search, and is also a great way to show off where you are if you’re posting while traveling – something that a lot of brands and influencers will do in order to let their viewers live vicariously through their travels! This is also a fun way to shout out a business that you’re visiting (perhaps as part of sponsorship).

What’s even more useful is the hashtag. Simply write with the hashtag symbol on your Story, and it will work just like hashtags across the rest of Instagram. Now your Story will be shown in collections of other Stories using those hashtags, creating the opportunity for new users who share that interest to discover your content. Instagram now also lets users search for Stories this way, so it’s important that you know how to use them well.

A Quick Primer on Smarter Hashtags

Hashtags are extremely powerful tools for bringing more people to your main page, your photos, or your sponsored post. A hashtag simply tells Instagram what a photo is about, which in turn means that it can then categorize it and let people search for it.

Instagram Stories Hashtag
Source: Hootsuite

The fact that you can now add hashtags to stories, therefore, is somewhat game-changing. And it means that you can help your Stories to stand out and promote themselves in their own right.

READ  An Overview on Facebook Stories for Business

The key though is understanding how to use hashtags to your advantage. A mistake is to presume that the best hashtag is the most popular one (fun fact, the most popular Instagram tag is “love”). In fact, though, this strategy will simply mean that your post gets buried before it has any chance to shine. By the time anyone has searched for your post with the hashtag “selfie,” a thousand other people have already posted the exact same thing and as such, your post is now nowhere to be seen.

That said, you, of course, don’t want to choose a hashtag that no one is looking for either! This is why the best strategy is most often to go somewhere in the middle and to aim for a hashtag that has around 30,000 posts a day.


The question sticker that you can add to Stories on Instagram is a brilliant feature as it denotes that you are open to questions. This “ask me anything” Story is a great place for you to clear up any misunderstandings around your products or services, as well as to help encourage people to make that final decision to buy.

The sticker provides a small chat box where users can type up their questions, and even if an answer doesn’t lead to a sale, it can be excellent for market research purposes. What aren’t you communicating about your business as clearly as you could be? What are people interested in learning more about?

The next article in this series will be on Facebook Stories.

I hope you found value in this article.

Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below. It will only help me improve and in turn, help me in bringing out quality content for you.

Thank you!

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