Thursday, March 30 2017

If you haven't heard, Instagram introduced Stories, a “Snapchat-like” feature that enables the social platform’s 500 million monthly users to curate daily moments that disappear after 24 hours. Retailers have been flocking to the new feature, which offers better visibility for brands than Snapchat.  The platform offers a new format to reach customers, and a special opportunity to provide an unedited, real-time look at your brand. And with the recent launch of sponsored Instagram Stories, taking advantage of this new feature has never been more crucial*. 

Read on for a list of best practices, tips, and great content ideas, and start sharing your Story.

Starting with the basics? This great article by HubSpot breaks down how to use Instagram Stories, step by step

1. Behind the Scenes

This is what Instagram stories is really about.  Give your customers an inside look into something they would never otherwise see.  This is an opportunity to share the every day- and give your brand integrity in the process. Leverage the moment with un-produced content.  Instagram stories is all about integrity, so don't fear the shaky camera.

2. Staff Interviews

Don't wait for exciting opportunities, create them! Ask your staff to present their favorite piece in the store, and video their remarks.  The result will be a personable piece that tells your customer about your products and gives them a sense of who you are.  Don't fear the shaky camera- Instagram Stories never need to be perfect. 

3. Snap Your Customers Reactions

Who doesn't love the feeling of coming out of a dressing room with something new on.  Capture this moment (with your customers consent) and give your followers an inside look at the process while demonstrating your excellent customer service.  Tag your customer's Instagram handle to build a strong digital community that will translate to real sales and interaction.

4. Share Style Tips

Instagram Stories present a great opportunity to provide a service to your followers. Create short videos that feature style tips or trends.  Present them on a mannequin or on your staff and customers.  Show your followers how to replicate runway or red carpet trends in real life and excite them about your product. 

5. Tell a Story

It's all in the name.  Put together an Instagram story that actually tells a story.  Leverage the skills and creativity of your employees.  Go beyond "a day in the life" videos and photos to make a real impact without coming across as salesy or forced. 

6. Spread the Love

Add URL links to shop styles you show in your stories, tag the brands represented, tag your customers and tag your team.  The more people involved, the more visibility your Stories will receive.

7. Consistency Is Key

As with social media in general, be persistent.  Give your followers something to look forward to by providing compelling content on a regular basis.  Your Stories will receive more visibility the more you post.  

*Source: My Total Retail