If you want your Instagram Stories to get seen by more people then listen up as I tell you about Instagram Location Stories.
In this post I show you what they are, and how to leverage their power to attract attention and engage with your audience.
BY DONNA MORITZ | PUBLISHED JULY 31ST 2017
Instagram stories have become hugely popular and give us a way to add more content past our curated Instagram feed.
An “Instagram Story” is basically a creative slideshow of photos and/or video that users or followers can view.
Sometimes we have content that needs sharing but we don't want to add too much to our feed… Instagram Stories are a great place for that content.
Here's a few quick things you should know about Instagram Stories before we dive into Instagram Location Stories:
- Instagram Stories appear at the top of the feed, so if someone is following you, it's likely they will see your story.
- They are available for 24 hours only, after which they disappear (but the creator can record them before they go if you want to keep the content)
- You can add 15-second clips to your story with video and add photos as well.
- Instagram Stories allow for engagement with your viewers (they can send you a DM to start a message exchange with you)
- You can add text, stickers, filters… many many fun things to make each section of your story engaging.
- You can add a Call to Action for your audience to learn more by asking them to swipe up. Currently, this is only available for users with more than 10k followers or verified accounts. Another way to add a call to action is to tag another user and ask your followers to click through and follow them. If you add @username on any of your story segments it will provide a direct link to that profile.
- Instagram stories are intimate and raw – Instagrammers love to get to know the person behind the brand, so this is a great way to do that. Instagram Stories allow you to do “more” than what you can with images or video on the feed.
So, What are Instagram Location Stories?
There are actually two new ways of searching and getting found on Instagram stories – Instagram Hashtag Stories and Instagram Location Stories. For this post we are going to focus on Instagram Location Stories, but I will share a little about Hashtag Stories below.
For now, let's look at Instagram's reason for loving both of these “story-types”. Here's what Instagram says about these new story features:
“Location and Hashtag Stories Help You Share Experiences As They Unfold” – Instagram
It's true – both types of stories hep you share experiences as they unfold… with contact being easily found from stories via location stickers or hashtag stickers.
Here's a few things to know:
You'll see Instagram Location Stories in your Story Feed on the left hand side. Any location story will be highlighted with a Location Pin like this one for my home on the Sunshine Coast:
As long as your location phone location settings are on…. Instagram Location Stories will be suggested to you on your explore tab.
Recently when I was speaking in India, my daily Instagram Story feed had a top suggestion to check out the stories in both Kochi (the city I was in) and the Le Meredian in Kochi (the hotel where I was speaking).
I had added both stickers to my story and my story was subsequently featured back in the stories for those locations by Instagram.
The results? An instant hike in the number of viewers of my story (4xfold increase once my story was featured).
Is your mind ticking over about the potential of adding more location stickers to your stories on Instagram?
You'll get Noticed More with Instagram Location Stories (and Engage More)
Instagram stories attract more reach and eyeballs to your content. When your story segment is picked up and featured by Instagram for a particular location, you'll get a boost in eyeballs on your story.
Be vigilant with adding Location Stickers to your story, especially if you are:
- A Tourism Operator or Destination Marketing Organisation (anyone with a restaurant, attraction, tour or accommodation).
- A Location-based business where people can find you via geotags or location services on your phone.
- Events and Conferences
- basically anything with a physical location.
You can find and engage with travellers or visitors in real time, which means it becomes more about the experience they are having rather than just promoting your destination.
I just love what this will mean for tourism. In the example above, it was a great opportunity for the Le Meredian Hotel in Kochi to reach out to those of us at the conference, post and comment or DM those poeple (me!) that are posting about their location.
Here's how Instagram describes Instagram Stories:
How do you end up on Instagram Location Stories? You need to add the location hashtag to your post, like this one for San Francisco:
How Do You Add Stickers to an Instagram Location Story?
It's easy! Just open up your Instagram Story and add your stickers.
Here's how I added a photo from the Marvel Exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane to my story – using a story sticker for that location.
1 Click the smiley face icon at the top right and the sticker options will open up.
Then choose the location sticker to add your location:
3 Enter your desired location to bring up location options.
4 Click to add the location sticker to your image:
5 Post the image to your story.
6 Note: when someone clicks on the location sticker in your story it will pop up to say “See Location” and they can click through to see all the stories from that location (in this case, all the Marvel exhibits):
What if you don't have a Physical Place of Business?
Even if you don't have a physical location for your business, you can still take advantage of Instagram Location stickers in one of the following ways:
- Post about local events or celebrations using the location sticker.
- Post around major city landmarks or locations that you want to be found for. In the example above, the city of Kochi had a huge number of stories, but the Le Meredian only had 6 people use the location stickers during the conference. It was a big conference, but my story got featured first for using the location stickers.
- Be sure to add location stickers when you are at events, working from a restaurant or cafe or taking time out and sharing down-time on your story… all of those locations will help you to be found!
If you DO have a physical location, use Instagram Location Stories:
You have a great opportunity to be found, and to find conversations around your location (and engage with people).
- Post about your location and your business (and surrounding locations) using the Instagram Location Stories feature and location stickers.
- Where appropriate, encourage visitors or customers to add location stickers too.
- Search on your location and find the people sharing stories around that location – and join the conversation. Or Surprise and Delight them! They are already posting about you on social media so they will be very warm to the idea of communicating with your brand.
You can add Hashtag Stickers too!
Even though the focus of this post is about Instagram Location Stickers, it's worth knowing that you can also add Hashtag Stickers to your posts.
These are found in the same place as the location stickers and they work in a similar way.
When you hashtag something on your story using the Hashtag Sticker, it may be curated along with other stories based around that Hashtag.
Just like the location stickers, if you click on a hashtag sticker within a story, it will open up a collection of all the images and videos posted to that hashtag from Instagram Stories.
Just like the regular newsfeed, consider the hashtags you use on Instagram stories carefully so that they show up in search. It may be better to stick to niche or unique hashtags with smaller search volumes rather than the massively popular hashtags where your content will get quickly lost in the noise.
Experiment and see what works for you!
Have you used Instagram Stories Yet?
What success have you had with Instagram Location Stories?
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