8 Instagram Stories Tactics You Can Use to Grow Your Brand

Unleash your Instagram Stories feature to its full potential. Here are clever ways big brands use Stories to reach their audiences.
illustration of a hand using a smartphone, using Instagram to make Instagram stories

Instagram Stories bring a sense of fun and interactivity that many social media platforms don’t offer. Is your brand or organization using Stories as well as you could be?

Stories have a great deal of influence, with over 500 million users clicking on a Story every day. About half of those users say they have clicked on a business’s profile or website after seeing it on a Story. They can help a brand build awareness and engage with its community online.

The Benefits of Instagram Stories 

Instagram marketers are expecting the story feature to be even more helpful in the future. 

Here are a few of the reasons why: 

Authenticity/Humanizing Your Brand 

It is important to build trust between your customers and your business. Instagram Stories are a great way to establish that bond. Companies can use IG Stories to show behind-the-scenes footage,  which will make the customers feel like they’re in on it. It makes your company relatable and fun. Social media influencers are very good at this because they take their followers behind the scenes, providing footage of their day-to-day lives and making their followers feel as if they know the person. 

Reach People Faster

When you post a Story, your profile gets pushed to the front of the line of the Stories feed. This allows you to get more content to more followers since the regular IG algorithm doesn’t always put your posts in chronological order. 

Interact With Your Audience 

The Story feature allows users to interact in fun ways with “stickers” that invite anyone who views the story to vote, respond, ask questions, and more, with a ton of different prompts. It helps businesses see what their customers really want and it is an engaging way for customers to get their feedback in. Stories offer polls, quizzes, music additions, hashtags, and mentions among many more. 

Need an example? Look to one of the world’s largest brands. Starbucks uses Instagram Stories to have some fun around zodiac-centered content and invites interactions on the posts by using the slider poll at the bottom. 

A screenshot of an Instagram story by Starbucks, reading "how to spot a Capricorn and showing various illustrated icons"
A screenshot of an Instagram story by Starbucks, showing a zodiac wheel with 12 different illustrations of drinks for each zodiac sign

Drive Traffic to Your Site 

Instagram Stories allow users to click or swipe up on links, which take them directly to a website. This is a great way to get more traffic on your site to showcase anything specific. 

Interestingly, social media quasi-competitor Twitter is a great example of this because it shifts its audience on Instagram back to its own platform by sharing tweets and adding a link to swipe up. Next step: Create a Twitter account. Pretty clever, bird app. 

A screenshot of an Instagram story by Twitter, with a blurred image of a basketball game and the text "Twitter Q&A, Dwayne Wade keeps it real in an impromptu conversation with fans. Swipe to see his answers"
A screenshot of a screen on Twitter reading "to get the whole story, view in the Twitter app" with an Open button

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your Stories. 

Visual Identity and Cohesiveness 

Your Instagram Stories are an extension of your profile and your brand, so make sure that the posts are cohesive with any language, colors, or aesthetic you have committed to. Dutch Bros. is awesome at this because they have a distinct brand aesthetic that translates well on their Instagram. When you see their stories, you know immediately who it is.

A screenshot of a grid of Instagram stories on the Dutch Bros. account, showing similarly colored stories, fonts, and images
A screenshot of an Instagram story by Dutch Bros., showing a hand holding a drink out of a window

Post Consistently/Frequently 

Stories allow you to skip the line and show up at the top of your followers’ feeds, so it is important to stay consistent to keep that algorithm happy. It is recommended that you post Stories at least 1-5x a day to increase your chances of getting seen. MinimalistBaker on Instagram shares food that they create every day and even has a Highlight to show all the recipes from the week before. This allows their followers to consistently view Stories every day, so they never forget about the account and its content. 

A screenshot of an Instagram story by MinimalistBaker, with an image of a cucumber salad with the text "recipe"
A screenshot of an Instagram story by MinimalistBaker, with an icon illustration of a cup of tea and the text "last week's eats"

Invite Interactions 

The built-in features that Stories have allow users to invite interaction from their followers, which can be fun for both sides. Stories offer polls, quizzes, music additions, hashtags, and mentions, among many more. Dropbox has an entire Highlight of polls they have posted that encourage people to interact and vote on different topics. 

A screenshot of an Instagram story by Dropbox, with an illustration of two people working and a poll asking "I do my best work..." with the options "from my desk" and "from my bed"

User-Generated Content 

Sometimes it is hard to constantly create new content for your social media profiles, so user-generated content can be super helpful in staying consistent. Stories are a great way to show your customers’ content and allow potential customers to see real people advocating for a company. The gym giant Planet Fitness does this well by highlighting photos of customers in their gyms with inspirational messages. This not only shows real people using the gym but also inspires others to get in the gym and post their own photos, which might one day get featured. 

A screenshot of an Instagram story by Planet Fitness, with two women smiling and the headline text "Marathon training made easier by BFFs"
A screenshot of an Instagram story by Planet Fitness, with five smiling people looking at the camera with the caption "working out with friends is the key to this group's success!"

Instagram Highlights 

Stories disappear from your profile after 24 hours, but with Highlights, you can pin them to your profile page for as long as you want. Instagram even allows its users to group archived Stories so their followers can see all the content of a specific type together in one useful Highlight. Postmates does this well. They use their Highlights to showcase celebrities who use their service, shine a light on amazing Postmates deliverers, encourage their followers to support local businesses, and even play fun games with their Stories, like “Name That Food.”

A screenshot of a Postmates' Instagram home page, with the highlights icons displayed

Stories are without a doubt one of the most useful and fun features on Instagram. They can be a vital part of any marketing strategy as long as their full potential is used. By using some or all of these tips, you can upgrade your brand’s Instagram quickly.

Ava Hadan

Ava Hadan

Ava is the Social Media and Content Creative Writing Intern at Method Marketing. She primarily manages social media accounts but lately has enjoyed having a hand in and learning about other aspects of marketing, such as writing and market research. Ava is a fourth-year student at California State University, Chico pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communications and Journalism. She holds a leadership position in her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, and for a year has loved being a leader for the women in her chapter. Ava is originally from Los Angeles but has loved living in Chico. Her interests include cooking, escape rooms, and replaying her favorite video games over and over.

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