All Instagram users can now add links to their Instagram Stories, an ability that only verified users or those with 10,000 followers could do until now.
This update opens a new world to small businesses and small creators, offering them the same opportunity to share links with their followers and drive traffic to announcements, events, product launches or news.
Previously, users could only share a link in their bio and post web addresses without hyperlinks, forcing readers to copy and paste a URL into their browser. Since users interact with Instagram almost exclusively on their phones, the likelihood of driving direct traffic this way was incredibly low.
Time to Tell Your Story
The ability to embed links now empowers users of all sizes to rethink how they use the platform for marketing themselves or their business. Increasing brand awareness and visibility are priorities for small businesses and creators to grow their presence and incorporate social media in their marketing strategy.
Stories were introduced in 2016 and have steadily grown in popularity, with 500 million people using them every day. This feature allows users to share images and videos that last 24 hours before disappearing, compared to traditional posts that indefinitely remain on a person’s timeline.
This impermanence creates an immediacy that helps these posts stand out. Brands like Bombas, Chameleon Cold Brew and Doritos (mmm, nacho cheese) have already used Instagram Stories to power brand growth.
Tips to Use Instagram Stories
As Instagram continues to increase its support of user information sharing, we encourage all companies to utilize IG Stories link sharing to engage their community and reach new followers.
While we don’t expect you to become Kylie Jenner overnight, here are some best practices you can start today to promote your business:
- Plan your first projects. Think of an upcoming event, holiday, sale or news event and outline the components of a story beforehand. You do not need every aspect planned, but think about what you take pictures of or create a video to support and help gain attention.
- Did you mention video? Yes! Instagram Stories allows users to post 15-second videos or host streaming video events. Take some video of your event, interview team members or promote a live chat with followers.
- Get sticky. Stickers have become a calling card of Instagram Stories. These are fun graphics and gifs that appear on your post, and use them often. You can create your own or select from existing libraries.
- Stick with it. Social media accounts require love and attention to grow, and Instagram Stories is no different. Once you’ve got the hang of it, start posting more regularly and actively commenting in groups or on other popular accounts in your niche to gain exposure.
- Save your stories. While Instagram Stories disappear in 24 hours, users can save them with Highlights, although not all do. Highlights keep the content from Stories and allow you to organize your previous posts in designated categories, which ensures a potentially longer lifespan for your content.
Are you a small business looking to jumpstart your social media program? Check out our blog on Getting Started in Small Business Social Media.