How to Use Instagram Stories in the Age of a Pandemic

During a time of social distancing and virtual living, many brands are trying to find creative ways to interact with their customers without physically being in the same place as them. Enter social media.

Instagram has been a widely popular platform for quite some time. As the coronavirus continues to separate us all, Instagram has been adding unique features to help support businesses as well as encourage people to stay connected.

One of the most popular features on Instagram is Instagram stories. The platform has added a plethora of new stickers since the start of the pandemic. These stickers include Stay Home, Thank You, Donation, Food Delivery, Gift Cards, and the most recent sticker, Challenge. 

Listed below are a few ways businesses can implement Instagram stories into their marketing strategy to stay connected and increase engagement with their customers.

If you’re a restaurant, make it easy for your customers to support your business

Instagram recently launched the Food Delivery sticker for restaurants. This sticker is placed in Instagram stories and makes it easier for customers to order takeout or delivery from a third-party delivery service.

Additionally, Instagram also added a Gift Card sticker to the platform. By adding this sticker to your Instagram story, it gives customers a quick and easy way to support your business.

To learn more about the Food Delivery and Gift Card stickers and how to use them, click here

Stay in touch with your customers

There are plenty of ways to stay in touch with your customers, and now is the time to do it. Once the pandemic ends, you want your business to be fresh in your customers’ minds. 

How do you stay in touch with your customers through Instagram stories? Get creative with it! Consider starting a cooking series or creating a virtual blog. Share content you think your customers would be interested in following.

Interact with your audience by using the Question sticker. If you’re a restaurant doing a cooking series, ask your audience what kinds of dishes they want to see. If you’re a hotel with a virtual blog series, ask your audience what they want to see next on the blog. 

Challenge your audience!

The newest addition to Instagram is the widely popular Challenge sticker. Since the start of the pandemic, people have been “challenging” one another during quarantine life. Some popular challenges include the Push-Up Challenge, the See a Pup Send a Pup Challenge, and many more. 

With this new sticker, Instagram made it easier for people to nominate their friends for a specific challenge.

Create a new challenge for your customers! Nominate a few of your followers in a cooking challenge, a wellness challenge, a bed making challenge, the possibilities are endless.

Once you tag a few of your followers, they can participate in the challenge and then challenge their followers! This sticker will engage your customers while also keeping your business at the forefront of their minds.

Remain sensitive and empathetic during these times

One of the biggest mistakes businesses are making during these times is their lack of sensitivity and empathy. It’s easy to make this mistake, but also possible to avoid it. 

Be careful with the imagery you are using. The usage of GIFs is prevalent on Instagram stories, so don’t shy away from them. However, stay away from content that may seem insensitive such as high-fiving or hugging.

Highlight products or services that show empathy by helping people adjust to life in quarantine. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you can give a tutorial on how to make the perfect Manhattan. If you’re a hotel, you can give your customers tips on wellness. 

For a complete guide to copywriting during a pandemic, click here

Takeaways

Now is the time to utilize social media. More and more people are online these days, and your business should be too. Take this time to leverage your social media channels to interact with your customers and stay relevant. Because when this is over, your customers will remember you were there as a means of entertainment and support!