Instagram stories: how the “new snapchat” can help your business

Instagram? Or Snapchat? Or both? Wait, what?

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In case you haven’t heard, Instagram now offers disappearing messages and photos, as well as expiring video and image stories. If that sounds an awful lot like another social media platform you know and love … you’re not wrong. Instagram has been incorporating many of the popular features of Snapchat into their app platform and Instagram stories marketing could do big things for your business, too. 

Tuesday, Instagram took one step closer to the snapchat platform:

These changes have boosted Instagram’s daily use by hundreds of thousands and taps into users’ desire to share aspects of their day-to-day lives even if those events aren’t “worthy” of a permanent spot on their timelines.

Unlike Snapchat, however, Instagram already has a solid business advertising structure and reputation for highly engaged users and shoppers. Well … Snapchat has somewhat of a reputation too, but their early emphasis on disappearing photos did no favors for business advertising.

Because businesses are already flocking to Instagram (read more about their new, improved business advertising options in our blog post here), the next logical question is: how can this help increase marketing and sales?

To answer this question, we’re going to tell you a story about a South Florida hair salon called True Hair Miami.

A story of insta-success:

Picture yourself in Miami, Florida’s hot sun. You’re feeling fresh and fabulous after a new haircut, and can’t wait to hit the town to debut your new style. As your hair stylist has been working magic on your ‘do, she has been taking photos and posting them on the salon’s Instagram story. She’s also sent you several Snaps – oops, we mean Instagram disappearing photos – to your direct account showing the before and after transformation.

Suddenly, you’re Insta-famous. You’re on the salon’s page for all the world to see, being tagged, and shared, and talked about. The results make customers feel like they are part of the organization and extremely valuable members of the business ecosystem. At the end of the day: everyone just wants to feel special.

Because Instagram has a more business-ready audience, these tags and posts may subconsciously carry more weight than if the same posts had occurred on SnapChat. And because these messages and stories disappear, your business doesn’t need to be so judicious about curating content. Everyone can be included.

Instagram Stories marketing builds an emotional connection between the user and the organization through the experience of being tagged or messaged by a business. This can mean a more easy, meaningful rapport, stronger customer service reaction, and willingness to engage with and share that business’s other content via social media. And let’s be honest, shares are the first step to referrals and positive reviews. This emotional connection also boosts customer loyalty and increases the likelihood of repeat sales and services.

Getting started with Instagram stories marketing:

Use Instagram’s new features to share announcements (think: flash sales and buzz around upcoming events), in-store previews, and service testimonials. The disappearing content’s raw and unedited quality rings with authenticity and truth, setting it apart from highly edited marketing ads. Instagram’s new features give your business one more tool to help you step away from your marketing budget and lean into third-party, user-generated content.

For content calendars, posting ideas, and techniques to increase your reach, click here to learn more about BIGEYE’s digital services. Who knows, maybe you’ll be our next Instagram video testimonial.

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