Instagram Stories are temporary posts—photos, graphics or videos—that have a 24 hour lifespan and play in the sequence they were added.
They take some getting used to, but Stories can be a fun, effective way to drive traffic, sales and membership sign-ups in your coworking space.
You can add as many Stories as you like to your Instagram, and use them to target new audiences and generate leads to your coworking space.
You can also add calls to action (CTAs) in Stories, which can be especially useful for workspace promotions or highlighting new posts and content about your space.
Stories can be used to capture behind-the-scenes content that doesn’t have to be as high quality as regular Instagram posts. Because Stories disappear after 24 hours, they tend to be more in-the-moment and timely. They can, however, be used very effectively to market upcoming events and promotions.
One of the benefits of Stories is that the most recent ones appear in the top of your followers’ app, directly below the Instagram logo. So, unlike posts in your feed, which may or may not be seen depending on the platform’s algorithm, Stories are always there.
Using Stories to market your workspace takes consistency. Post regularly—even daily—to stay in front of your followers. If you have too many Stories, however followers will just tap through to the next account. We suggest doing 5 or 6, with no more than 10.
Posting frequently ensures that you’ll end up in the top five or six Stories, where you have a better chance of your followers seeing your content than they will in a post.
Link to Your Content
Once you have momentum with your Stories, link people back to your profile and, eventually, to your content, website or landing page.
If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers, viewers can “Swipe Up” to see more information or an outside link. However, if you have fewer than 10,000 followers, best practice is to link viewers back to your Instagram profile where they can click a link in your bio.
You can share other Instagram Stories onto your Story, if the other account is public. Tagging other Instagram accounts in your Stories is ideal for collaborations as you can easily share each other’s Stories, posts and information.
Stories include fun additions, such as the ability to ask questions, conduct polls, and add text and stickers to edit images on-the-go. Hashtags in Stories allow you to extend your reach and make your Story discoverable to anyone following specific hashtags, including #coworking #coworkingspace #coworkinglife and over one hundred more.
While Instagram Stories only have a 24 hour life, you can add any Story to your Instagram Highlights, which are the circles between your Stories and your feed.
Highlights are curated collections of Instagram Stories that your followers can tap into and watch any time they like. They live permanently on your profile and are a fun way to group your best Stories thematically.
To create a cohesive brand experience, create thumbnail images or graphics for your Highlights.
Instagram Stories Tools
Stories have built-in tools, including GIFs and stickers, and there are plenty of apps to help you level-up your Instagram Stories game. Here are some of our favorites:
Livestream: You can stream video to your audience as part of your Stories. If you do livestreams consistently, consider posting them to your Instagram TV (IGTV). (IGTV best practices will be shared in a future post).
Boomerang: Boomerang is a fun, built-in tool that creates mini-videos that loop back and forth.
Superzoom: Superzoom is what it sounds like—a tool that lets you zoom in on an image. It also includes numerous effects so you can let your creativity play.
Rewind: Rewind is a tool that rewinds video footage to provide a special effect.
Unfold: This tool provides templates for Instagram Stories
Inshot: Inshot is a video editor and photo editor created for Stories
Canva: Canva is an easy to use image editing tool, with templates and graphics for Stories.
Pro Tips for Creating Instagram Stories
- Add text to your photos
- Play with size and color
- Tag people in your Stories using an @ mention
- Draw on your photos using different pen styles
- Use stickers. You can access them by swiping up
- Add your location
- Use relevant hashtags
- Create polls
- Ask questions
- Swipe right or left to apply different filters to your Story
- Add additional images to your story. Pick the image you want to use, pinch it to make smaller, copy the image then paste it into your story.
- Check performance by swiping up while viewing your story. You’ll see how many people have viewed it. You’ll also see the results if anyone took the poll or answered the question
- Add music to your Stories. You can find this option in the sticker pop-up
- Post anytime of day, whenever something interesting is happening
- Use the built-in emoji slider tool to get feedback from followers
- Use the built-in countdown timer to promote an upcoming event or launch
As with all your marketing, be strategic about how you use Instagram Stories. Plan it out and create a schedule that’s realistic and focused. If you post a lot of Stories all at once, your followers will expect that trend to continue.
That said, Stories are a somewhat informal way to share your brand, company, community and values. If you’re creating Stories in real time to share with your followers, don’t think about it too much, just share.
A Landing Page for your Brand
Instagram is like a landing page for your brand and Stories can be an important part of developing and sharing your brand identity and creating a cohesive experience for your followers.
Instagram Stories has its own culture and norms. Spend time researching how other brands and workspaces use Stories and start experimenting with your own Stories. It’s a powerful tool for expanding your reach and showcasing your community and brand.
On May 29, CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel is co-hosting, along with Coworking Content founder Cat Johnson, a virtual training on using Instagram to market your coworking space. Register here: Instagram Marketing: an Introduction for Coworking Spaces