Instagram stories are EVERYwhere. 500 million people use them every day. And with a third of the most viewed stories coming from businesses, it’s obvious that it’s important for your company to take advantage.

But what are they, and how do they work?

Instagram Stories is a feature that allows users to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. This makes them great for posts that you think are good enough to share, but aren’t good enough to stay on your IG Timeline forever. 

Your Instagram feed is where your “good” photos will go. The ones that you took some time to develop, layout, and edit. Stories allow you to, well, tell a story. Social media users LOVE feeling like they’re in on something. Showing them some behind the scenes videos or photos that tell the story of your timeline posts, or you, or your business, gives your audience a connection with you.

And while what you do day in and day out might not seem very glamorous to you anymore, it might seem really cool to your audience. For example, let’s say that you’re a local jewelry maker; People love seeing your finished products, but imagine showing them the creative process from raw materials to a finished product. This allows your audience to see the time and care you put into everything you do.

Instagram stories give you an awesome opportunity to engage with your followers that other platforms, including your Instagram Timeline, don’t afford you. By using polls, questions, or AMA’s, you get to build a relationship with your followers, further cementing your brand.

And since replies to IG Stories are sent as DM’s, it gives you an amazing opportunity to communicate with your audience one on one.

Add in the fact that 37% of a businesses engagement is coming from their stories, but only 50% of them are using them, means that you’ve got a chance to get ahead of the curve and become the business of choice for your audience.

Video content is huge right now, and only getting bigger. Cisco has said that by 2022 82% of the world’s internet traffic will be video. Instagram Stories gives you an opportunity to meet and communicate with your audience in a way that they want to be met. Whether is pre-recorded, or a live video, you’ve got a tremendous opportunity to reach your audience and give them the info they want and need in an extremely timely manner.

Instagram Stories are huge, and they’re not going anywhere. Do you and your business a favor, and start taking advantage of them today!