The year was 2016 and Instagram launched Instagram Stories for the first time: a combination of images and/or videos with a "short expiration date" that enabled users to tell something to their circle of contacts.
Someone reduced them to a bare copy of Snapchat, while others have loved them from the start. One thing is certain: despite having copied the idea, Instagram was able to do better, thus dethroning the teen's favorite social network.
But let's get back to us.
Instagram Stories: you either love them or hate them, and the data are self-evident! With over 400 million active fans every day, they are definitely one of the most appreciated tools by social lovers. Stories changed everything, increasing users’ engagement exponentially and catching brand advertisers’s attention.
There are several answers to this question:
- They are much more personal, real and emotional
- They let you maintain your feed clean and professional
- They disappear after 24 hours, meaning that they are ephemeral and “undemanding" by their nature
- They do not allow public comments or likes, only private
- They create a surprise effect: you cannot know what has been posted until you open the Story
- They are funny to use thanks to several ludic functions that have been integrated over time
This last point is probably the most important one. If they weren’t useful, intuitive and above all funny, indeed, users wouldn’t use them. On the contrary, thanks to Stickers they have all these peculiarities.
Here are some examples to use this tool in a creative way! In particular, Oceana made a further step with edutainment, i.e. asking its followers to make a quiz and teaching them something at once, giving the right answers in the following Stories.
That’s the most immediate way to discover the tastes of your community. Hubspot uses it just in this way.
The fashion blog Who What Wear used the pool to make its follower guess “How much does the entire Meghan Markle’s tour wardrobe cost?”, making them scroll up to know the answer. A smart way to increase traffic to the website.
Both Lazzaro and Haribo have created personalized gifs, using them in two different ways. The first used the successful patterns of its collections to enhance brand awareness, while Haribo Italia used them for recreational purposes, to promote a Halloween contest (users had to take a photo of their door and decorate it with Halloween-themed stickers).
Some might not know that the Countdown is not only amusing and scenographic to use: it can also help the brands launch offers dedicated to their followers. This sticker, indeed, lets you save the event in your calendar and receive an alert not to forget about that!
It’s not difficult to understand how powerful is the possibility to ask questions to your community to collect information about your target. This is how Netflix has used them, offering the wallpapers of its series to be screenshot and used as you wish. Feltrin Make up uses Q&A sessions with its followers about specific themes concerning beauty.
The last born in the Stickers’ family! On April the 23rd Instagram launched this new function that we like to describe as the natural evolution of “Questions”.
Quiz can contain up to 4 answers. If you choose the right one, a confetti showers appear on the screen; if you don’t, a red cross appears instead. Instagrammer Jessica Cani has used quizzes to play with followers and test their attention to the captions of her posts, focused on food and wine from Sardinia (and beyond). General Electric already used to involve users with the Sticker “Questions” and immediately used also this new feature to create engagement through odd and funny riddles.
Obviously you might play and mix all the tools as you want, expressing your creativity freely. Billboard, for example, used the combination Question, Slider and Swipe-Up to discover what were the “hottest” summer hits in the followers’ opinion, then reposted them to be voted live, redirecting users to the website to vote the final chart.
If you have successfully used these features to create a more involving storytelling, or simply to offer a more interesting experience to users, let us know. In the meantime we hope we have given you inspiration to try and let your creativity loose!