When you are using social media for your business or side hustle, one of the quickest ways to success is to establish trust and credibility with your audience.
Back in the day the only way to really do this was through old fashioned face-to-face conversation.
Luckily in 2018, we have plenty of tools at our finger tips that allow us to bypass the face to face part and scale our trust building- Instagram stories being one of them.
Why You Should Be Using Instagram Stories for Your Business
We've all learned by now to take someone's Instagram feed with a grain of salt, because anyone can post a pretty picture and attach pretty words to it, portraying any kind of reality they wish. Which is why trying to sell a product or service via an Instagram feed alone is difficult (unless you're already an established brand).
However, Instagram stories is another... story?
It's a lot harder to fake it via live(ish) videos- and that's something to celebrate if you're a good, trustworthy person- otherwise, maybe hold off on the stories.
Instagram stories are the perfect opportunity to drop the perfectionist tendencies so many of us can't put down when it comes to our feeds.
As a matter of fact, the more raw and real- the better- because not only are you showing up for your audience no matter the circumstance, but you're also humanizing yourself, which fosters likability and eventually a trusting relationship to those who tune in.
"But wait, what if people don't like the "real raw" version of me?"
It's gonna happen- not everyone will love you and you probably will lose some followers when you start getting real via stories. And that's okay!! Instagram engagement is quality over quantity- so get comfortable saying goodbye to those who leave so you can focus on better serving those who stay.
Now I'm not saying get crazy on stories and risk hurting your reputation- when I suggest getting "real" or "raw" I simply mean be yourself. Speak from your heart- don't try and sound like someone else and definitely don't try and be perfect- that defeats the point, remember?
How to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business
If you're feeling nervous or unsure about how to add stories into your marketing mix, a simple strategy goes a long way.
First, clarify what your goals and intentions are by utilizing stories: - showcasing business culture
- product demonstrations / how-tos / tutorials
- behind the scenes sneak peaks
- get to know potential clients/customers (via polls/question stickers)
- drive traffic to blog/site
- exclusive offers
Next, with your goals in mind, write down your upcoming events/promotions/launches/ etc. and implement a weekly strategy to help you stay focused. It's even a good idea to schedule some stories out if you have the material #timesaver. Instagram planning apps like Planoly allow you to do this.
To help you with this, I've created a weekly Instagram Stories Strategy Guide freebie that you can print off and use to get the most out of your stories for your business!
Just remember, the ultimate goal here is to build trust and credibility with your audience. A strategy will keep you ahead of the game and consistent with your content- but at the end of the day, it's the candor in your approach and delivery that will eventually bring the most return in your business.