Okay since you’ve probably read this blog article, (or this one), you have now realized that I love Instagram. It’s my guilty pleasure honestly. And I think my favorite part is Instagram Stories.
Tell me if you can relate to this? You start by innocently clicking on a photo of a cute dog. Before you know it you’ve tapped through 30 people’s Instagram Stories, watched 5 ads, swiped up to see the new Taylor Swift video (anyone else? Just me? Okay…) and you’re not sure where the last 20 minutes of your life went. Once you’re on the conveyor belt, it’s hard to get off.
What if I told you that you can leverage this same kind of power with your audience simply by tapping into Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories are All About Being Relateable
Instagram stories are different from a regular post. An Instagram story is a quick 15-second video or photo clip that appears for 24 hours and then disappears. They are becoming more and more popular and they are so much fun! You access Instagram stories by clicking on your profile picture in the top left-hand corner of your feed.
One of the main goals of social media as a handmade seller is to connect with your audience. People are starting to get tired of the perfectly staged photo and are looking for something they can relate to. Que Instagram Stories! This is a great way to bring your audience behind the curtain and show them the person that’s running the handmade business.
That can be a difficult task for some of us to be that vulnerable and showcase something that real. And it’s made even harder by the fact that sometimes you draw a complete blank on ideas of what to post. But once you get rolling and get the hang of it, Instagram stories are so much fun. This is a great way to show the real-life, here and now. The relatable human being that is behind all the perfectly staged, wonderfully lit, awesome product photos in your Etsy shop! Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
1. Use it to Humanize Your Brand
Are you trying to get some work done, but the tiny humans that you live with are terrorizing the place? Snap a quick pic and put it on Instagram stories Use these kinds of pictures sparingly though).
Do you have a fur baby companion keeping you company on the way to a post office drop off? What about a house that needs a deep cleaning and a pile of laundry as tall as your toddler that needs doing?
All of these things humanize you and are things that your audience can relate to. The more they can relate, the higher the chances of them continuing to follow you.
2. Interact with Your Audience
This is a great idea for your Instagram stories because there are so many fun little tools that Instagram has added in. There’s a ton of great poll templates, questions, reaction sliders, and so many more fun stickers and emojis just waiting for you.
Create a poll and ask what the weather is like where someone is. Or you could ask about an upcoming TV show or movie that you’re excited to see and have people give you feedback. Give people a glimpse of your real life, and more to the point, use Instagram stories to get to know your audience as well.
3. Make an Exciting Announcement
Are you running a sale, hosting a giveaway, or have something else exciting to talk about? Instagram stories is a great place to post this information. Sometimes a post won’t get seen until much later, and if you have a time-sensitive piece of information it may not get seen until it’s too late. Posting in your stories feed is a great way to make announcements and reach more of your audience.
4. Get to Know Your Audience with Story Templates
Another great way to use Instagram stories is with some pre-made templates. Story Templates are well-designed images with graphics and text, including spaces left purposefully blank to be filled in by the user.
Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about:
You can post one in your Instagram stories, filled out, and then post a blank one that your audience can screenshot, fill out, and post in theirs. (Making sure to tag you of course!) This is a great way to interact with your fans, as well as letting them get to know you a little better.
Here’s a little Instagram Stories template I made for you to use for free!
5. Live Video
I can hear the groans from here. I know that Live video is scary and sometimes more than us introverts can manage but hear me out. Doing a live video in your Instagram stories can be used for so many different things! Here are a few ideas:
- Behind the scene, sneak peeks
- Product launches and new products
- Live Q&A’s
However you chose to use your Instagram stories, just make sure you’re being authentic. Be you, showcase your real-life and people will respond to that. Interact with your audience in some way, and you’ll be amazed at how many loyal fans, (and sometimes friends) you will build.