If you’re familiar with Instagram Stories, you’ll know the struggle. You’ll be posting photos or talking to your followers, telling them about your business, products or services…then comes the tricky part. Where do you send them for more information?
You could tell your followers to stop watching Stories, head to your bio and click the link, or you could post a colorful “Link in bio” sticker over the top of your video and hope that works. Still, there’s no way to customize that link to what you were talking about, or streamline the process of getting people from Instagram to your website, or see how many people clicked your link.
The best you can do is lead people to a link in your bio, or hope the link is easy enough to remember for people to retype manually.
That anti-link stance was loosened a little bit for Stories a couple of years ago, with Instagram allowing you to post them there — but only if you operated a ‘Verified’ account or had over 10,000 followers. For most businesses, that was a bar too high.
No longer. No matter the size of your Instagram account, personal or business, you can now add links to your Instagram story via a Link Sticker!
Marketing using Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are posts with a limited shelf life. You can find them at the top of your ‘Feed’ screen by tapping on an account’s circle profile picture. Each ‘Stories’ post lasts just 24 hours.
While your Instagram posts should be carefully curated, with a lot of time and care put into photography and caption writing, posting to Stories is usually more on-the-fly with an immediate call to action. What’s something that’s just happened that you want to show people or talk about?
Perhaps a customer, client or visitor tagged your business in one of their photos. The photo isn’t polished enough to share to your own Instagram feed, so why not share that post as a less-permanent Story?
An additional benefit to incorporating Stories into your social media marketing strategy is appearing at the top of a user’s Feed. Whenever you post a photo or video, there is no way to guarantee that your post will be the first one a person sees when they log on to Instagram. Stories, on the other hand, always appear up in the top bar of your Instagram feed. Regularly posting to Stories is one way to stay front of mind with your target audience.
The exciting news is that since then, the ability to link to your website has been opened up to everyone. Plus, like most of Instagram’s fun, interactive features like polls, surveys, quizzes, and the ability for users to ask you questions, the Link Sticker shows up as a button on the screen.
For example, you could shoot a quick video of yourself talking about an upcoming event that you’re excited about, and include a Link Sticker that takes people directly to where they can get tickets. The Stories video will disappear in 24 hours, and your beautiful Instagram profile won’t be cluttered with ‘outdated’ posts promoting an old event.
For businesses, the options are almost endless, and a reminder that posting or sharing Instagram posts to stories should be part of your social media strategy.
Link Sticker Best Practice
Avoid putting a link sticker near the right or left edges of the screen. Tapping the screen edges is how people navigate between stories. You’ll only end up annoying people if you keep accidentally sending them to your website. Plus, all the ‘accidental’ website visits will throw off any meaningful stats.
According to Instagram’s own research, 50% of people surveyed say they have visited a website to buy a product or service as a result of seeing it in Stories. Anecdotally over the past year, our people who monitor social stats and analytics have seen Instagram stories as a significant driver of website traffic.
At TimeZoneOne, we’ve found many companies are now seeing more website visits from Instagram Stories than from the link in their Instagram bio. Of course, to get this traffic, you actually have to post to Stories and use the Link Sticker function. It won’t sit passively on your bio. Those companies who are using Link Stickers as part of their social strategy are seeing real results.
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In case you haven’t heard, TimeZoneOne are celebrating twenty-five wonderful years of storytelling. And what better way to celebrate than with five cocktails inspired by our company's core values.