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Elise Ives

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5 reasons why Instagram stories are your business bestie

By | Social Media | No Comments

There’s nothing quite like getting together with friends and reminiscing on high school stories, bad fashion days and, best of all… that night during Schoolies Week (you know the one). Then there’s those family barbeques, where your crazy uncle has one too many beers and reveals embarrassing stories about your parents—much to their terror and everyone else’s delight.

Storytelling is the essence of creativity. It’s Sunday gossip, a schoolyard rumour, or a wonderful fantasy novel that takes readers to a completely different world. Naturally, the social media sphere has capitalised on this, and now allows users to tell their day-to-day stories within their profiles.

Reading GifImage sourced from Giphy.com

Brunch updates with friends, and a #gymselfie is all well and good, but what does this mean for your business?

It’s pretty obvious that Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most influential social media platforms for both business and personal use. According to an article by TechCrunch released December 2017, Instagram announced that it now has 25 million active business profiles. 80 percent of Instagram accounts follow a business, and 200 million users visit a business profile each day.

So is this good news for your business? Playing the social media ‘game’ means staying ahead of your competitors and keeping your supporters interested (and there’s a lot of them: 500 million users on Instagram daily!). You’ve got to learn to break through the noise by engaging with your audience. How do you do this? Develop aesthetically pleasing content, interesting copy and engaging stories. Creating engaging Instagram stories is a sure-fire way to increase exposure, followers and popularity.

Here are our five tips to up your Instagram story game, whilst maximising your business presence:

1. It’s about being seen

Business, meet explore page. Explore page, meet business. This is the start of a beautiful relationship. The explore page on Instagram will be your best friend. Forget the Maldives, this is where you want to be.

According to Later, only 10 percent of your audiences are actually seeing your posts in their feeds. The Instagram algorithm has changed a lot and, as we all know, it changes frequently. Instagram is currently rewarding posts with higher engagement. This means by racking up those likes, comments, views, saves, shares, DMs and any other type of interactions your post gets, the higher the chance your post will reach extended audiences. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Because, we are.

You can now make Instagram stories part of your digital marketing strategy. When implemented effectively, the chances of audiences seeing your Instagram stories compared to your feed is much higher. This also means the more your Instagram stories are viewed by users, the better the chance your business will show up in their feeds.

You can maximise your reach and visibility by using features such as location, hashtags and mentions. These features mean you appear in stories that correlate with the location that you’ve noted or the hashtag you have mentioned, therefore meaning you can reach users that do not follow you.

 


Image sourced from Giphy.com

2. But it’s also all in the timing

Another one of Instagram’s algorithm updates means that the best time for engagement is in those lull periods of the day. You know the ones… the 3pm mental check-out, when the “what shall I snack on?” thoughts start to creep in. We’ve all been there.

As a business, you’ll do well to post in these times. More reach means more engagement. More engagement means more followers. More followers means more chance of selling your products or services. Voilà, happy business owners all round.

Although, don’t feel too magnetised to this time structure. It’s a personalisation tool after all, so have fun with it.

Timing GifImage sourced from Giphy.com

3. Teach, don’t preach

Instagram stories last for 24 hours. You may wonder what the point of sharing a story is, especially when it’s just going to disappear that day. There’s a few reasons.

Firstly, your feed is a reflection of your brand. If you keep it sharp and fresh, you’re more likely to appeal to new and existing viewers.

By using stories, you can increase your content sharing, without clogging up your profile. It’s likely that a user may grow tired of the same marketing image you’ve posted five times today on feed, and therefore may be more inclined to unfollow your page.

Secondly, because of the fleeting nature of stories, it gives visitors a reason to continue coming back to your profile so they don’t miss anything. Use stories to educate your audience, share business updates and highlight the best things about your brand. If you can engage your audience, you can engage new users and hopefully land yourself on the ‘golden’ explore page.

Teacher GifImage sourced from Giphy.com

4. Feature this

Instagram stories have introduced some really effective features that business managers can use to increase their page engagement.

Polls: Polls allow businesses to get responses around marketing questions. You can use this feature as a focus group, or you can just keep it fun and casual.

Poll Image

Highlighted Stories: While stories only last for 24 hours, Instagram users can now highlight their best stories on their Instagram profile page. This means new users can still see that same post, and enjoy it over and over again.

LEP Instagram page

Insights: Instagram Insights allow businesses to understand the analytics of their stories. This feature works on reach, impressions, tap backs, tap forwards and exits. With these analytics and insights, a business can really understand which stories are performing, what sort of people they’re reaching, and therefore can maximise their Instagram story potential.
If this jargon is confusing you, not to worry, it does take a while to get your head around everything. Check out Social Media Examiner here, as they explain all these insight features in plain English.

Insights Image

Image sourced from Issue89.com

Live videos: Imagine holding a press conference or a live FAQ session for your business? Imagine being able to actually speak with your customers and answer their questions. Instagram stories have now made this possible – you can use the ‘Live’ feature to do this. Many well-known Instagram users, for example beauty blogger, Desi Perkins, use this ‘Live’ feature to show new products in real time, answer questions and respond to comments that relate to the brand.

Live Video ImageImage sourced from Mashable.com

Encourage DM: Encouraging users to reply to your stories means you can connect with your audiences on a direct level, and personalise your brand further with followers.

DM Encourage Image

Utilising these features as a business will generate higher engagement and therefore means a much higher chance of the Instagram algorithm working in your favour.

5. Get creative

Finally, I encourage you to get creative with the many design features that stories offer. Get funky with fonts, stickers, type features and GIFs to make your posts more appealing. I particularly love the Boomerang feature, which brings an element of fun to your posts.

Apps and design programs such as Canva, Typorama and Photoshop all can be used to enhance your Instagram design*, personalise a style for content, and increase your chances for high engagement and appeal.

*Keep in mind that stories dimensions work by 1080px wide by 1920px tall to allow your image to fit to screen perfectly.

 

LEP Image

Get Story-ing

Remember, Instagram is always changing. Layouts, algorithms and trends will update and I guarantee there will be a new feature next week.

Do you have any Instagram story hacks you’d like to share? Let us know, we’d love to hear them.

If you’re still confused with all the ins and outs of the Instagram world, you can get in contact with us. We create tailored social media feeds for our clients, including personalised stories. Up your Insta game with LEP Digital.

Kate Hudson on stage

Business Chicks that lunch… with Kate Hudson!

By | Careers | No Comments
(Photo courtesy of Business Chicks)

 

“Now more than even it’s about the community of women supporting other women.” – Kate Hudson, Business Chicks Sydney Lunch

At LEP Digital, we’re a bunch of kickass, goal driven and all round awesome #businesschicks. So naturally, we had to attend a recent Business Chicks event on Tuesday 20 Feb. Sponsored by Forever New, we were treated to a beautiful lunch with… wait for it… Kate Hudson. Kate. Hudson. Yep, you read it right. A room full of empowering women, wining and dining, all whilst hearing from the legendary Kate about her life, her business and her new book Pretty Fun. Jealous?

If you’ve been living under a rock, or you aren’t a fan of classic Hollywood romcoms, (yes, we are and we aren’t ashamed), you wouldn’t know that Kate Hudson is a successful US actor, having performed in such movies as, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Almost Famous and Bride Wars. Aside from starring in award winning films, having some seriously famous parents (we see you Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell), being a mum of two boys, she’s also a successful businesswoman and founder of, Fabletics. Phew!

We sent along a couple of our team members to join the #girlboss fun. We’d thought it would be awesome to share with you a little bit of what they got up to.

LEP Team at Business Chicks Lunch with Kate Hudson

“More champagne?” Cheers!

The afternoon began with over 1,700 business chicks (and a handful of dudes) travelling from all over Sydney to get together, network and sip on pink champagne. Seated at a table with some seriously successful women, the LEP team connected with like minded professionals over a beautiful three course lunch. (We may have told our boss we were at a meeting discussing “strategic synergistic business solutions.” Sorry not sorry.)

LEP Team waiting at lunch

Waiting in anticipation…

When Kate was introduced by Emma Isaacs, the CEO of Business Chicks Global, she was just as bright, engaging and funny as she is in her films. She glowed and you could truly feel her energy throughout the room. She was extraordinarily adorable, and it made us love her even more than before.

Kate Hudson and Emma Isaacs

Picture perfect! Kate Hudson and Emma Isaacs (Photo courtesy of Business Chicks)

Kate revealed to Emma and all of us, her future plans for movies (We’ve got intel!), discussed her family, what it was like growing up with famous parents and revealed to the room, what success really means to her. She explained that she was driven by a goal, “but never the idea of success” and noted that “nothing ever threw [her] off [her] goals.”

Kate Hudson on stage

Looking lovely, Kate! (Photo courtesy of Business Chicks)

For us women, we work across a range of competitive industries, and are still feeling gender pressures across the board. We’re all aware of the gender pay gap, inequality in the workplace, and the struggle of raising families whilst maintaining successful careers. So naturally, it can be tough to remain driven, especially when faced with setbacks and unexpected failures. Kate confessed that she’d also felt this pressure too.

“Growing up with four brothers, I had to prove myself. With all the testosterone in the house, it gave me a competitive edge.”

It was also around this time that Kate shared her thoughts around the topical ‘Time’s Up’ and ‘#MeToo’ movements.

“It’s an overall presence of women being stronger and saying ‘I’ve had enough of being put in this corner’ whether it be domestic abuse or in the workplace. We’ve had enough; let’s learn from our history and move forward to create an opportunity for men to raise their consciousness and now meet us on a different level.”

It was really inspiring to see Kate backing the movement and highlighting the importance of women supporting other women.

Kate Hudson on stage at Business Chicks lunch

Kate on a different type of big screen.

Kate also shared the succession of her ‘athleisure’ clothing brand, Fabletics, which she started with her business partners in 2013. She explained that whilst it did begin as a startup, impressively, within four years of operation, they had opened 22 stand alone stores, hired over 600 employees, gained 4.4 million Facebook followers, and attracted over 750 thousand Instagram followers. She revealed that Fabletics turns over a whopping 250 million dollars annually. #majorbusinessgoals

As humble as can be, Kate admitted that she wasn’t prepared for the rapid growth and that it truly took her by surprise.

“I did go into it thinking ‘ok, let’s kill it’, but I didn’t think we’d be where we are after four years.”

At LEP Digital, we all know how hard it can be working in rapidly paced environments. Sometimes it feels like our to-do list is never ending, and trying to achieve mega-goals can be so exhausting. We get stressed out, we lose our notepads and, worst of all, we run out of wine! (WHY!?) So it was refreshing to know that even big Hollywood stars like Kate are faced with daily struggles.

“I think every woman in every walk of life, especially when you have kids and complicated relationships and you’re working, has those moments when you think you’re failing at everything and trying to keep everything afloat.”

Finally, Kate revealed the importance of keeping afloat and staying calm when these internal “AHHH!” moments occur. She believes that it’s in these moments, that one must pause and reflect, without pointing the finger or blaming others.

“You have to go, how did I get myself here and how do I make this better for everyone?”

It was encouraging when Kate admitted that she had made mistakes in her career, business and personal life. Thankfully though, she doesn’t regret a single one. (Well that’s lucky, because we’ve made more than a few!) Kate’s a “glass half full kinda gal.” She encouraged the crowd to see the bigger picture, let things go and not sweat the small stuff.

“I have the optimistic gene. Life is so fleeting and short, and I just want to have a great time doing it.”

Well said, sister. We left the lunch feeling wildly optimistic and inspired. We had a full belly, a full heart, a mind full of new ideas, and to be frank, we were a little bit tipsy.

Kate believed she can, and she did. And, to be honest, so will we.