A Small Business Guide to Instagram Stories [Infographic] 100

A Small Business Guide to Instagram Stories [Infographic]

This article was written by G. John Cole, who writes on behalf of NeoMam Studios. He’s a digital nomad specializing in leadership, digital media, and personal growth topics.

When Instagram launched its Stories format in August 2016, commentators – and Snapchat loyalists in particular – were quick to point out its similarities to Snapchat’s core service: disposable photo stories.

In the months that followed, though, Instagram cruised out into waters of its own, through the app’s combination of usability and versatility. If Stories apparently began as an effort to lure away Snapchat users in bulk, it quickly became a key part of traditional Instagrammer’s daily lives and a powerful marketing tool to boot. And small businesses are perfectly placed to capitalize on the combination of intimacy and ephemerality that Stories promises.

Using Instagram’s Photo Story Feature

Instagram Stories boasts 250 million daily users (to Snapchat’s paltry 166m!). And one in five small businesses can expect to receive direct messages off the back of their output, making it an excellent way to tell a whole bunch of people that your company is waiting to hear from them.

Creating those stories is famously straightforward – it’s a consumer app after all – so there’s really no excuse not to get started.

The key thing to remember is that all the media you use must have been generated over the past 24 hours. Tap the camera icon to get started, use the record button to create photos or video, and slide up to add images from your library. Swiping left or right will alternate your filter options.

Just because your story has to be fresh, it doesn’t mean you needn’t plan ahead.

Your Instagram story should match the tone and image of your brand, even if the story has an added element of spontaneity. A story is closer to a video than a photo in the sense that it is time-based. You need to use the first four seconds to make an impact and keep the user hooked right through to your call to action (CTA).

There are plenty more techniques you can use to ensure you get maximum response from your story. Instagram has become the home of the hashtag, and a location tag can really boost your viewership. It’s simple to add a link allowing those viewers to swipe straight through to your website in response to your CTA. Don’t forget to add an arrow motif to remind them which way to swipe!

It’s a great idea to try a couple of simple stories out while you figure out how to do it. And indeed the occasional random story shows that you’re human and you just want to share.

Once you start to get hot at Stories, though, taking it to the next level is a no-brainer.

Maybe you’ll create a series of stories so that casual users feel compelled to follow you and check back for what comes next. Or perhaps you’ll invite a customer, supplier, or another influencer to ‘guest’ for you for a day. As a small business, you’re perfectly positioned to keep your approach to Instagram light, playful, and imaginative.

Ready to get stuck in? Have a run through this new visual guide from Headway Capital – it’s packed with all the tips you need to maximize the Storytelling potential on your smartphone!

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

best ways to become a millionaire

While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.