Did you know that over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat?

Make mastering Instagram stories one of your business goals for this year, because they are becoming increasingly popular. Customers really appreciate the informal, lighthearted feel of a story, and they are an excellent way of introducing the face behind your brand, while keeping your grid neat and beautifully curated. Instagram stories, as with Snapchat, disappear after 24 hours, but you can make a feature of them on your profile page, by saving to a series of ‘highlights’ reels (you can also signpost your customers to these periodically, thereby creating some evergreen content!)

You can also connect with your Instagram followers by posting stories featuring your products; favourites and exclusives – here are some quick tips on how to get started with Instagram stories.

To begin with, first make a list of retailers you admire, take a look at their Instagram accounts and see how they use the ‘stories’ feature. Think about how you could use Instagram stories for your own business. Then, take a leap and go for it, post your first Instagram story! It can be as simple or as intricate as you like, but give it a go, and have some fun.

For more Instagram tips, see How often should you post to Instagram? and How to get your posts seen on Instagram.

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