5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business for the Holidays - Curalate

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5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Business During the Holidays

The holiday season is the best time to use Instagram Stories for business. Instagram Stories can dazzle your customers and help you make loads of sales.

You’ll need to spread the word, of course, and Instagram is hands-down one of your best options. Why not get to the very top of the Instagram app by hopping into the Instagram Stories section? It’s a brilliant promotional tool — if you know how to use it.

Instagram Stories

So, let’s get your brand front and center on the Instagram app, where you can communicate and sell to your audience throughout the holidays. Here are five ways to optimize your Instagram Stories strategy:

1. Tell followers to tune into your Instagram Stories

Wherever you’re currently communicating with your customers — email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. — let everyone know you’ll be posting something special on Instagram Stories very soon. Pick a date to start your holiday Stories surge and tell your audience when to tune in.

This serves a very important purpose: to build buzz before you start your holiday promotions. At the same time, prepare a big splash for your Story feed that’ll attract maximum attention. The goal is to get a rush of customers watching your Stories at the beginning of the holidays, then to keep them hooked until the very end of the season.
To start your holiday Stories off with a bang, deliver something incredible that your followers will love. For example, you could lead with an expansive giveaway or a massive flash sale for your 25 best-selling products.

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Instagram Stories are an excellent place to run flash sales, as Lilly Pulitzer has demonstrated with its own Story promotions.

2. Entertain first, then promote

Now that you have followers’ attention, keep your customers checking your Instagram Stories until the end of the holidays. This doesn’t mean you have to bombard your followers with promotions. That’d get boring for you, and it’d lead to a massive drop-off in your daily Story viewership. Instead, get into a “value first” mentality — that is, delivering catchy, entertaining content before even thinking about selling anything. When you load your Story feed with good stuff, your followers will want to watch it.

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Sephora and Nordstrom doing Instagram Stories right. Here, Sephora publishes a super-useful makeup tutorial. Nordstrom delivers a high-value series of tips from Bridal Fashion Week. Both brands deliver value first, then sell.

Ultimately, this works wonders for your holiday strategy. You want to stay in front of your audience; great content makes this much easier to achieve. And when you finally do sell something, your audience will be more receptive to the promotion.

3. Promote when they least expect it

As your Story feed delivers an endless stream of entertaining content, drop a few surprise promotions here and there. Flash sales and time-sensitive online deals are fantastic — they’ll keep followers glued to your Story in anticipation of the next great promotion.

Instagram is a visual-first platform, so publish high-quality images of your products or services as you announce promotions. Furthermore, be creative with your calls to action: Make them visual, use the doodle tool to markup your Stories, and leverage Instagram’s “See More” feature.

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4. Publish holiday-specific and series-based content

Now’s the time to get festive. Think of holiday-specific content that will fit well with your brand. For example, you can give followers a behind-the-scenes look at how you’re preparing for the holiday rush. You can also spotlight how customers are using your product or service to have a blast during the holidays.

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Starbucks is a master of holiday content. Here, its visuals match the fall/winter vibe, and its Instagram Stories promote its holiday-themed Red Cup Contest.

Furthermore, try coming up with series-based content — material that you release in installments. Like a gripping TV show that piles on the suspense, use your Story feed to make followers insanely curious about what’s coming next. For example, your series can show snapshots of the 24 hours before you open a store for Black Friday. Or, you can drop tantalizing clues about what your next flash sale will bring.

5. Whip up Instagram Stories engagement

If your want your Story at the top of the Instagram feed, it needs to maintain a high engagement rate. As the Instagram algorithm sees your followers frequently interacting with your account, it’ll keep delivering your Story to them.

Here are a few ways to increase Story engagement:

  • Poll stickers. This is a fun new feature from Instagram that lets you ask a simple two-question poll. After your followers vote, you can see their responses. This is a great way to get enthusiastic clicks on your Stories.

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  • Encourage direct messages. Frequently ask questions to your followers in your Stories and encourage them to message you privately. And of course, message back!
  • Give away goodies. Launching flash giveaways and contests is a great way to drum up engagement. Consider making the barrier to entry really low — ask followers to fulfill very simple requirements to be eligible to win.

With through-the-roof engagement and can’t-miss content, you’re well on your way to a stellar holiday Story feed.

Want to step up your Instagram game? Partner with Curalate. Our

Want to win on Instagram? Partner with Curalate. Not only were we the first solution to bring shopping to Instagram, we offer sleek scheduling and advanced analytics to help refine your strategy. What can Curalate do for your business? Contact us to find out.

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