Most of the time Instagram Stories are used to share fun moments or personal interests like a shopping moment and a dinner with friends. But using it in a more professional way can lead to a growth in your engagement, help you with website traffic, online sales and even to build up brand awareness. So if you haven't been using it for your (Personal) brand yet, it's time to get in action.

In this post, call it a guide, we will tell you the tools, strategies and everything else you need to create the right Stories. Grab your phone, open Instagram and let's get started!

WHY AND HOW? It's the same as with placing pictures or video's: when you post at the right time and a lot of people are seeing it, the Instagram Algorithm system will boost your content. It works the same way with Instagram Stories. With this system you can appear on the explore page in between the suggested Stories and a ton of new people can see your brand! So post consistently and at the right moment. 

! Good to know: Instagram won't block or shadow ban stories when you make too many of them or use the wrong hashtags as they're only online for 24hours. However, don't create a spam effect. Current followers may unfollow you if they see the same content over and over again or if they find it not interesting or related to your brand.

But when is it the best time to post your Stories? Placing content is important when your followers are the most active! That rule doesn't change. For Instagram Stories it isn't such a big deal when it comes to timing, except if you want an instant engagement. But even if your followers are asleep or working, once they're back online your Stories will still show up on top of their list. So no stress, just post when you got time and when you feel like.

WHAT TO POST? It's always good to post a mix in content. Even backstage pictures of you behind your desk or the staff having a break can work. Be creative and entertain your followers, of course without forgetting the sales! 

How do you improve your sales and brand awareness?
1. Use the location and hashtag stickers in your Story as they will increase your discoverability. What does this mean? When people are looking for places to visit on a certain location, your story will pop up on the location page. So not only your own followers will see it, but the whole while world can land on your page!

2. Use links that are related to your business, or said otherwise: let them swipe up. With this tool you can post for example a new shirt that has arrived in store, a new fitness product or any other kind of sale you want to boost, even blog pages, and add the link so they can find it immediately. 
Good to know: you can only use this tool if you've reached the +10K.

3. Tag people to have more engagement: it's the same tip as we gave when it came to increasing engagement on your post (read it here). To increase your engagement you need to tag people or let other people tag each other. However that second part isn't possible on a Story. But !you! can though. So tag the other brands or people and they will get a notification of your post into their direct messages. They will see it, open it and it will create extra viewers and awareness. 

4. Get to know your audience and use polls. We've been talking about this tool before on the bYooma blog (click here to read all about it). Using a poll on your Story is the perfect way to survey your followers in an easy and efficient way so you can adapt your content by what they want to see and love. Questions such as 'Do you like the new sweater?' or 'Which color do you prefer?' will give you a lot of information. Give them two possibilities to choose from as answers and get to know them!

5. Go LIVE and give them a realistic view on your business. People love to see what's going on in other people's life so use the LIVE tool to create an instant interaction opportunity. Give them a tour in your store, let them follow your fitness routines or go live while cooking that famous dish. It's all possible! Once you've ended the video, you can save and share it so it will appear in your Stories for 24hours as well. By this you will still reach those who weren't online at the same moment.

6. Be creative and share different type of Stories. There are many ways to upgrade your Stories to avoid the 'only pictures' kind of sharing. Use BOOMERANG and video's. Apps such as Canva of Pic Collage will give the normal pictures more color, variability and will make them stand out. The more attractive your Stories are, the more engagement you will have!

Are you convinced now that Instagram Stories can be important for your business? Try it out and let us know how it worked. And if you want to know HOW TO GROW FAST ON INSTAGRAM: we're organizing our fifth workshop on the 8th of November. You can still reserve a place by clicking here.

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