Vision Expo West starts this week, and a lot of people will be following along on Instagram Stories. If you’re attending and want to capture all the excitement, consider using Instagram Stories and some of its new built-in capabilities. These encourage a give-and-take with your audience that you’ll both enjoy.
Instagram Stories: A little background
Instagram Stories are brief snippets of video, photo, or typed content that are available to followers for just 24 hours. They are found in the circles at the top of the Instagram screen, and are offered to you in order of each account’s relevance to you (in other words, you’ll see your best friends and most popular accounts first). Instagram Stories are great for sharing glimpses of live events, because producing them is quick and mobile-friendly.
New to Stories?
My advice: play around with making some Instagram Stories before you head to Expo. That way you’re comfortable with how they work before you try to use them on the loud, busy exhibit floor. There are all kinds of fun things you can do with Boomerang (looping video), Face Filter (bunny ears, anyone?), and Superzoom (zooming in with mood music). To make it fun for your audience too, try them on your kids or pets.
Ready to level up?
Awesome! Here are the new capabilities Instagram has added to Stories that are a ton of fun and will engage your audience.
Ask a question of your audience with the regular Text feature, then offer them two choices in response. It can be Yes/No, or you can change the response text to whatever two answers you desire.
Ask your audience a question, and let them type back an answer. The beauty of this is no one sees the answer but you, so you can share responses selectively.
Share Posts to Stories
Instagram is brilliant in its simplicity, but it’s always irritated me that you can’t share other people’s posts natively like you can on Twitter. While you still can’t share a post right into the post feed, you can share a post to your Stories. This is wonderful, because you can add your commentary, and the original poster gets credited and notified.
Another new feature I really appreciate is that when someone mentions your Instagram handle in their post, you are notified and offered the ability to add it to your Stories in one click. Instagram even adds a background in a coordinating color (though you don’t have the ability to change that color – yet).
Want to get an idea of how your audience feels? Ask them a question, then let them answer with an emoji slider. Not every emoji is available, but most of the basic emotions are covered: mad, sad, happy, on fire, crying laughing, etc. You can have text right above the slider, or not.
Where to find them
You’ll find each of these tools in the Stickers menu of the Instagram Stories creation wizard. Click that, and you’ll get a menu of these tools and many others.
Need more help?
Here are the Stories FAQs straight from Instagram. You’ll find detailed help for these tools and a lot more.
Want expert help for your social media? That’s what we do. Contact us.
Have fun at VEW! And if you’re not going, watch for our Instagram Stories at @socialeyesonyou.
Peggy is the founder of The Social Eye, a social media agency for optical businesses. She led social media efforts at ZEISS Vision US for 4 years, and prior to that created digital marketing for the tech and music industries. She has far too many pairs of eyeglasses, but can always find room for one more.