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Instagram & Snapchat Stories for Businesses: How To Use Them

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

You may be more familiar with Snapchat and Instagram stories for sharing holidays and funny moments with friends. However, they are becoming a powerful tool for business and one that shouldn’t be ignored.

The story features on Snapchat and Instagram are very similar with just a few small differences. For example, on Instagram, stories appear at the top of the feed, ranked by an algorithm showing those you have the most interaction with first. Whereas Snapchat orders them chronologically with the most recent first.

Both platforms allow you to edit your stories with emojis and filters. However, Snapchat’s features are slightly more advanced; giving you the ability to change the speed of videos, for example.

Despite their differences, both Instagram and Snapchat provide a useful marketing tool which you should definitely give a try. Here are a few ideas on how you can make the most of them for your business…

A day in the life of your business

People love to see what goes on behind the scenes, like an inside scoop of what happens inside a company. This can be applied to a number of different business types from freelancers working alone to global corporates. It shows a more personal side which your audience can better relate to. You can include anything from the team having a morning coffee to a big reveal of a new product you’ve been eagerly awaiting.

Take Vogue for example. Their backstage shots of fashion week and celebrity interviews offers a great window into the fashion empire for avid fans.


Instagram stories can be used as a way to share useful information in an easily digestible way. People on this platform are generally looking for inspiration and new ideas for a whole host of things such as cooking, crafts and fitness. Think of the services or products you provide and how you can share tips or useful ‘how to’ guides. You can then incorporate them into a story, providing your followers with useful content, which will likely leave them wanting more.

Product demonstrations

Offering insights into how your product can be used is a great way of generating interest. For example, a fitness brand could show how to use their new weights by including five different exercises people can do with them. This is a great way to sell a product and gives users advice and tips before they make a purchase.

Showing Property

This is very specific to the real estate market, but Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories can be great for realtors that want to show off properties as they’re carrying out viewings, or at development meetings.

Our client, Dubai Property For Sale, use social media heavily to connect with both investors and buyers.

Post a #TBT

#TBT or #ThrowbackThursday is a great way of showing fans a real insight into your company. Snapchat allows you to upload from your camera roll to share media from any time (uploads on Instagram stories have to have been taken within the past 24 hours). You can, therefore, share ‘throwbacks’ of your first product launch, first office, a key milestone or anything you think your followers will appreciate. It can be a great way of showing your followers how far you’ve come as a business.

Guest host

This is a great way of mixing your content up and providing fresh insights into your business. Having new people either take part in your story or present the whole thing can show a different side to your business. This can be anyone from a celebrity who’s in for the day to do a podcast to Bob the office manager – you’ll get a completely different point of view each time which can really shake up the content.

Use influencers

Do you have a big reveal coming up or a company announcement? Whether you choose Instagram or Snapchat, there are plenty of people to out there with big followings. Take DJ Khaled (@djkhaled305) for example, hailed ‘The King of Snapchat’ because of his regular posts showing highlights and general insights into his daily life. These type of influencers can be a great source of exposure for your brand but it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with millions of followers. Think about people who fit within your niche and scope out ways in which you could work together rather than just approaching people aimlessly.

See our article to find out what influencer marketing is

Share coupon codes

A sense of urgency and scarcity is a proven and established marketing method. So what better way to make your followers feel those emotions. Stories disappear after 24 hours, meaning users would have to act fast to retrieve discount codes and offers; a proven way of boosting conversion rates. If you have an e-commerce shop, think about sharing voucher codes for free next day delivery or just general discounts. The sense of urgency will likely have more impact than a code that stays valid for a month.

Decorate your flatlays

If you’re an avid Instagram user, you’ll be familiar with ‘flatlays.’ If not, they are as simple as emptying out your makeup bag, for example, and photographing your products bird’s-eye view style on a flat surface. What the story feature enables you to do is decorate your image with your logo or anything else that you see fit. You can then upload this from your camera roll and is a way of providing more detail to followers. Canva is a great tool for quickly and easily creating your own.

All in all, keeping track of the new features that come into play in the digital marketing space will be hugely beneficial for your business. Instagram and Snapchat are two of the fastest growing platforms by new users and, more specifically, they do an excellent job of capturing the attention of the teenage and under-35 markets.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency that keeps their finger on the pulse and that can help you implement a multi-channel marketing strategy that generates results, give us a call on 0115 971 8908 and we’ll be happy to help.

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