Utilizing Instagram Stories Features For Your Brand

Leveraging all of the features that instagram stories have to offer will ensure you’re engaging with your fans in the best possible way.

Instagram Stories have been around for a while now, and with the platform’s constant algorithm changes, they may be one of your best bets for reaching your followers!  Whether you’re covering live events, offering a behind-the-scenes look, utilizing polls or telling a story, this feature gives your brand an authentic way to engage with your fans. We’ve found that Instagram Stories have been essential for our clients, especially UMG Nashville! Users are spending more time browsing stories than scrolling through their feed, so let’s make sure you’re utilizing this to effectively engage with your fans in 15-second increments.

Hello, Highlights

Highlights for Instagram stories may be one of the best features that Instagram has released. While Stories used to disappear after 24 hours, Highlights allow your stories to live on your profile in a place that is easily accessible by your followers indefinitely. You can also organize your Instagram story archives into different categories.

For UMG Nashville, we utilize this feature to spotlight new album and single releases from their artists. Each new song has its own story with an option to swipe up and download. This way, fans can easily find new singles and albums rather than searching for a link or having to depend on the ever-changing “link in bio”. From new merchandise to a behind-the-scene look at your company, the possibilities are endless! If something is important to your brand and your followers, it should have a place in your Instagram Story Highlights.

Geotags and Hashtags Galore

Like any Instagram post, you can leverage hashtags and geotags through Instagram Stories to reach a larger audience! By tagging your location or using hashtags you already utilize on your feed, your story has the chance to appear in Instagram’s curated stories for that tag or location. Using this feature is such an easy way to expand the reach of your Stories while providing additional context!

At CMA Fest, one of the biggest events in country music, you can be sure that UMG Nashville will be tagging our Instagram Stories with #CMAFest and ‘Nashville, TN’ to connect with the 88,000+ attendees who will be in town for the festival this year.

Keep Content Consistent

While many businesses use Instagram Stories to show a more “authentic” and less “curated” side to their brand, it’s still important to plan your Stories ahead of time the same way you would for your feed! Think beyond using only real-time footage and opt for planned or “themed” stories to keep content consistent.

For UMG Nashville, we knew that using music video clips for #MusicVideoMonday and #ThrowbackThursday would provide us with content each week, so we add these into our monthly Content Calendar. Followers can expect to see these themes each week, and even had our graphic designer, Whitney, design “branded” stickers to make sure our content stood in a sea of Stories. In additional to these weekly themes, we supplement this content with featured articles, new singles & album releases, merch sales, live events, and more!

Screenshot of ‘Music Video Monday’ Instagram Story featuring Lauren AlainaBye to [link in bio]!

In the old days, the only way you could direct followers to your website to purchase a product or read a blog post would be through the link in your bio. Sending fans from the post on your feed to your profile where they could then click a link to your website was definitely not the most user-friendly transition, especially if that link was changing frequently. The ‘Swipe Up’ feature allows business profiles with more than 10,000 followers to attach links to their Instagram Stories so all you have to do to access a featured product, article, etc. is swipe up! It’s also a great way to encourage your Instagram followers to engage with you on other platforms.

On #ThrowbackThursday and #MusicVideoMonday, UMG Nashville links to their Spotify and Youtube profiles. If you’re able to, don’t miss the opportunity to make accessing your website, blog, shop easy for your followers! Through Instagram analytics, you also have access to see how many users swiped up. While reach and impressions are still important metrics, looking at how many people choose to interact with your story helps you measure how engaging that content was. When it comes to Instagram Stories, we think this might be the most important metric of all.

It’s clear to see that Instagram is putting a focus on Stories by constantly adding new features and favoring accounts that utilize it. Keeping up with these changes will make sure that you’re making use of all of the tools available to you to engage with your followers (and reach new ones) in different ways. Need help creating engaging content for Instagram Stories and beyond? Let us know!