In early August, Instagram announced a new feature - Instagram Stories. In an attempt to compete with Snapchat, this new feature took everyone by surprise. No one was expecting Instagram to launch a feature so similar to Snapchat when the two platforms were distinct because on the same premise. The two social media networks have been in competition since 2011.
Instagram Stories are a string of videos and images that are uploaded to a different feed than the one that is regularly used, and akin to the content on Snapchat, it disappears after 24 hours. A story will play chronologically as a user adds content.
Instagram Stories do not appear in an Instagram account’s feed so it prevents users or companies from posting content too frequently and flooding a user’s feed annoyingly. A user has to specifically click on your Instagram Story to view it as opposed it appearing in their regular feed. This makes it even more attractive from a reachability point of view as in today’s world, effective marketing is more inbound in nature.
Where Instagram gave the reticent photographer in everyone a chance to show pictures in the best light (with the best filters!), Instagram stories encourage users to be more real. For wineries, this adds transparency between them and the consumer encouraging a level of trust to develop.
Content may be edited with emojis, finger paint, or text. Instagram Stories cannot be liked or commented, but one is able to check the statistics on their stories. This includes details like the users who viewed your complete story as well as the ones who watched a part of the story.
One of the best things about Instagram Stories is the fact that everyone has access to them, and companies are able to share a specific part of their story in the regular Instagram feed or even make it viewable to selected followers. Instagram Stories are a great added feature to the regular feed.
So, how can wineries leverage Instagram Stories? We talk about 5 different ways in which wineries can use this feature to grow their business.
#1: Behind-The-Scenes Content:
One interesting perspective a winery can give to their followers is to show them how they produce the content they regularly share on their Instagram feed. This would bring a sense of authenticity to the content, and your followers would love to see that. It takes them a step further into your world and adds exclusivity.
For example, you are working on a TV advertisement for your brand with a well-known personality. On your regular feed, you may only share their image. However, you can take the Instagram Stories feature and show the set for the shooting or what happened afterward.
In case your winery attends many business events, you can also use Instagram Stories to make these events more visible to your followers. You can entice their curiosity with an overall idea about what's going to happen and encourage them to open your Instagram Stories where they will be able to see live updates.
Takeovers are fairly common on Snapchat accounts and can be implemented on Instagram Stories as well. A social media influencer takes over your account for a pre-determined period of time, and creates original content that is shared with your followers and theirs. This can either happen between brands or between a brand and an influencer.
This is a great way to add a fresh voice to one’s social media account, introduce a burst of energy and share content with a combined following. Wineries can join forces with another winery, a local cheese company or a festival and generate creative Instagram Stories with a brand-new perspective.
#3: Increase One-on-One Communication:
When different social media networks spawned, the idea was that one would be able to talk to anyone, from other wineries to influencers, to anyone else in the industry. Some companies do a limited level of customer service on social media networks, especially to make a complaint or to ask more questions about their products or services, but the truth is that one-on-one conversations on the whole have been losing steam.
With Instagram Stories, your winery can take the chance to get back to the basics. And your customers and followers will love it.
There are many different ideas that can work well to increase your winery’s brand awareness. For example, you can organize a Questions & Answers session where people will send you the questions through Instagram Direct. And you, would take their question and answer them with a Story, for example. Instagram Stories can also be used to send video messages directly to one or some of your followers.
#4: Using Special Promotions, Short-Term Games & Contests:
Most people love promotions. And one of the ways one can lead their followers to open their Instagram Story is by offering them a special coupon or discount code. You will be encouraging them to see your new Story, and they will be rewarded if they open it. Plus, you always have the wild card of the 24-hour limit for them to get the discount, or the Instagram Story will disappear and they will not be able to avail that promotion.
Short-term games and contests are one of the most popular ways to get followers’ engagement. Wineries can introduce a quick game or contest via their Story and release a prize for winners that includes a free bottle of wine or discount coupon to buy their wine from an online portal. They could also win swag that the winery can post to them.
#5: Using Live & Timely Content:
It is no secret that video content is a winner on social media. Live content is even better. Instagram Stories allows you to do just that, by creating true-to-life, transient videos that keep followers engaged.
Unlike Periscope and Facebook Live, you won't have the option to have a long and uninterrupted live broadcast in Instagram Stories. However, you can entice your followers to check your Instagram account to see the live and interactive content you have.
When you have a live event for example, like the launch of a new product, this may be the perfect opportunity to create some curiosity around it and then update your followers with live images and videos of the event itself.
So how does Instagram stories work
Instagram Stories can give your winery a boost not only in sales and prospects, but also creates a connection with your brand-lovers. By being close to your followers, you're allowing them to join your winery events that they usually don't have access to and to give them early access to products that pre-launch, for example. Consumers love to be connected to their favorite brands. And you can turn your winery into one of those brands by using Instagram Stories.
With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.
You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.
To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.
Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.
Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too. Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. To learn more, check out the Help Center for Instagram Stories.