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The basics of engaging Instagram stories for small businesses

The basics of engaging Instagram Stories for small businesses

Instagram Stories have taken over as a creative and casual outlet in an otherwise curated presence for businesses. They have become a way for business owners to show another side of their brand and inspire interest and action with customers on a closer level than can be achieved with a static feed post.

We’ve talked about growing your business using Instagram Stories before, but today we are going to cover the basics of this social media feature and help you get the most out of it.

Instagram Stories by the numbers

Instagram Stories are a great way for small businesses to drive engagement, provide more value to your followers, and even open up another channel for communication.

If you’re a casual creator of Instagram Stories or unsure if they’re worth investing time in posting, let’s take a look at the stats according to research from Instagram:

  • Over 500 million Instagram accounts use Stories every day.

  • 58% of people surveyed say they have become more interested in a brand/product after seeing it in Stories.

  • 45% of people surveyed prefer Stories for becoming aware of new trends.

  • 50% of people surveyed say they have visited a website to buy a product/service as a result of seeing it in Stories.

For businesses looking to build brand awareness or build a loyal customer base, Stories provide a good option for their strategy.

Optimizing for Instagram Stories

One of the biggest advantages of Stories for small businesses is the ability to have your customer’s full attention. This is because Stories make full use of the phone’s screen, so there is nothing else competing for their attention.

To make the most of this, it is crucial to optimize your Story posts.

Below are some ways to make sure your Instagram Stories are optimized.

Keep graphics 1080 x 1920 pixels or an aspect ratio of 9:16 (Ripl does this automatically with our resizing tool!)

Include some of the great engagement stickers Instagram provides such as polls, question boxes, sliders, links, and quizzes.

Instagram Story Poll idea

Use GIFs and the drawing tool to draw attention to specific parts of your story you want them to see or action you want them to take.

Instagram story example

Instagram Stories performance

Once you start regularly posting to Stories, the next step is to assess their performance to understand what you should keep posting and what may need some tweaking. Are people engaging with your stories? Are they clicking on your profile to learn more? Track your performance to see.

Instagram Story statistics

In order to see performance, head to your story and swipe up to see Interactions and Discovery. The Interactions section tells you what actions a follower took after viewing your story. The Discovery section shows how many people see your content and where they find it.


Read on for content inspiration and poll ideas for your Instagram stories.