A woman in a bright orange shirt and black brimmed hat uses her smartphone to take a picture of art scattered on the table in front of her.
Instagram Stories adds a new twist to social media posts by creating new ways for you to reach your audience. — Getty Images/Georgii Boronin

Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to increase engagement with your audience. But did you know that you can use Stories to drive more sales? Here are six ways you can use Instagram Stories to promote your business.

[Read more: Instagram Stats: Understanding Social Media Stats and How to Measure Success]

Poll your audience

It’s hard to swipe past an Instagram poll without sharing your feedback, no matter how ridiculous the question is. As a business owner, you can use polls to solicit feedback and learn more about your audience.

Instagram polls can be an excellent way to perform market research and better understand your customers' pain points, as well as to build awareness and excitement around an upcoming product launch.

You can also use polls for crowdsourcing new content ideas or to have fun engaging with your followers. To get started, tap on the “Your Story” icon at the top of your feed. From there, you’ll tap on the sticker icon and scroll through until you find a sticker marked “Poll.”

You’ll fill in the question, change the default answers and share the story with your followers. Make sure to check back on the results later in your Instagram app.

Share company announcements

If you have an exciting announcement about your company, like a product launch or new promotion, your best bet is to share that information on Instagram Stories. Your followers may miss the most recent post in your feed, but most will tune in for an updated Story.

Sharing news on Instagram Stories will make the announcement more exciting. And your audience will likely feel like they are one of the first to learn about the information. You can also use Stories to share a behind-the-scenes look into your business.

Ask questions

Stories can also act as a way to ask your followers questions and solicit more in-depth feedback. Questions are trendy and one of the best ways to interact with your followers.

You can ask questions related to something about your business or just questions that you think will spark an interesting conversation. Any responses you receive will go to your direct messages, where you can easily respond and continue the conversation.

Sharing news on Instagram Stories will make the announcement more exciting.

Use product stickers

Product stickers are one of the shopping features in Instagram Stories, and you don’t have to be a verified account or have over 10,000 followers to take advantage of this feature. It’s an excellent way for small businesses to drive sales directly from their Stories.

Once you’re set up and approved to use shopping, you can add one product sticker to each Story. When the customer taps on the sticker, they’ll be redirected to a new page with information about that product. They’ll also be able to view similar products and click on a link to purchase on your website.

But before you can use product stickers, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have an Instagram Business account.

  • Be located in an eligible country.

  • Have a profile connected to a Facebook catalog.

  • Sell physical goods that meet Instagram’s commerce policies.

[Read more: How to Start a Business Instagram Account]

Use the countdown feature

The countdown feature is a great way to add some urgency to your Instagram Stories. If you’re getting ready to launch a new product or a major sale, you can add the countdown timer to your Stories promoting the event. This will help you build excitement around the event and can increase your total conversions.

If you have a limited supply of certain products on hand, you can also use Stories to communicate scarcity to your customers. Let your customers know when a popular item is close to selling out and when you’re anticipating receiving a new shipment.

Add hashtags to your Stories

Stories are a great way to build a relationship with your current followers, but you also want to reach new followers. The best way to do that is by including hashtag stickers in your Stories.

Do some research and find out what hashtags are used most frequently by your target audience. This will ensure that you’re showing up in front of the right people.

[Read more: How Truff Hot Sauce Got Started on Instagram]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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