It’s all about Instagram Stories these days. And according to recent predictions, it will be all about Instagram Stories in the near future. That’s why it’s time to eventually get your head around Instagram Stories and accept the fact that this is a new marketing tool worth using.
If you want to maintain a successful online relationship with your followers and fans, it will be inevitable to be active on Instagram and especially make use of the popular 24-hour lifespan content.
What had first been offered by Snapchat is now becoming one of the most effective marketing tools on Instagram but also Facebook and WhatsApp.
And it’s not even that difficult to implement. In fact, it only takes a couple of minutes to create an Instagram Story compared to a thought-out and edited picture with a meaningful caption, which sometimes takes almost an hour to complete.
Over the past months, Instagram has introduced a variety of modes to create stories, such as the classic photo and video posts, boomerang, superzoom, rewinds or hands-free. Another popular option is to start a live stream where your fans can engage in real-time. On top of that, you can add text, hashtags, geotags, polls, and combine everything with all kinds of stickers, emojis, and GIFs. The options are endless and give you a lot of room for customization.
However, this post is not about the incredible designing options for stories but their content. In this article, I’m gonna present you with 5 Instagram Story ideas specifically for small businesses in the dive industry.
1. Behind The Scenes
Behind the scenes stories are among the most popular options when it comes to promoting your business on Instagram. The main reason for this is that you can make use of them to help your followers realize that there are actual people behind your brand. And that’s important because this gives people a reason to trust you.
But how is it possible to achieve this kind of trust?
Basically, you need to show your followers things they usually wouldn’t see on your social media or website. Things they might get a glimpse of when they’re physically at your dive shop but otherwise would not get to experience.
Introduce The Team
An excellent way to create authenticity is by introducing your team members.
You can post a photo of one of your members and a second slide with a few basic facts about the person. For example, you could have him/her write a profile with information about his/her first dive, latest dive, qualification, a favorite dive site in the world, a motto, etc.
Another fun way to introduce the team is to create a list of random facts and amusing statements about each of them. You may also find creative Q&A templates online or download these dive shop Instagram Story templates for free.
Introducing the team has two other advantages:
One, you don’t have to introduce everyone on one day, which means, depending on the number of employees, you have story content for a couple of days or even weeks.
Two, the stories slides of your team members would be a good foundation for story highlights. Simply create an “About Us” story highlight and add all the team introductions from the archive into the story highlight.
Employee Take Over
You may also authorize one of your team members to take over the dive shop’s Instagram account for a day. Different employees have different functions within the company, so it’s a good way to show your daily routine from a different point of view. Also, people have their own ways of creating stories, selecting emojis and adding text. Your audience will likely appreciate the fact that there’s variety in your stories and that the entire team is involved.
Taking over the dive shop’s Instagram account means additional responsibility and might also help motivate individual team members. And who knows, perhaps you’ll even discover a new creative mind within your team?
Before & After Work Tasks
Many divers have no idea about regular duties revolving around a pleasant dive day on the boat. So show them!
Create a few stories while preparing for a dive trip. For example, have someone take a rewind video of you while grabbing all pieces of equipment necessary. Or take a flat lay picture of your dive accessories (dive computer, SMB, pointer stick).
After your dive day, create some stories while cleaning the equipment, helping guests fill in their logbooks, identifying your sightings in a fish identification book, refilling scuba cylinders or even relaxing after a long day of diving.
You could even create a tutorial now and then explaining regular tasks to your followers. In a video, one of your staff could demonstrate how to refill a scuba tank. Or take pictures when conducting maintenance checks for cylinders or your boat.
Also, consider background tasks for Instagram Stories. For example post a short sequence while giving theoretical dive courses, working on your marketing or editing photos from a recent dive.
Some of those tasks may seem trivial to you, but they might not be for your audience, especially if you manage to present the content creatively.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to create stories of all the things I mentioned. I just wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to find interesting content. Just make sure not to post the same content over and over again. Diversify your stories regarding both content and style.
Show Dive Shop & Workspace
Another great way to gain your followers’ trust is by showing your workspace. In your stories, give your fans a tour of the dive shop, maybe even the surrounding area (if it’s worth checking out).
If you guys have a pool, be sure to include that because that’s an asset.
If you have direct beach access, people want to see pictures of that.
If you have a nice boat, take your phone aboard and show all your boat’s awesome features.
From an organized, clean and fully-equipped dive center to a cozy terrace where guests can enjoy an after-dive drink, point out your special features while casually presenting your work environment.
2. Work Flow
Showing your workflow can help your fans understand how you operate.
The more professionally you operate, the more trustworthy will you become to your audience.
That said, there are tons of creative ways to display your workflow.
Demonstrate how you conduct briefings on the boat. Have one of your staff take an occasional photo while you’re doing a briefing. In your story, you may add text explaining why pre-dive briefings are vital or how you go about them.
You may also share with your fans how you teach dive novices the basics of diving in both a pool session and theory.
Besides, demonstrate your professionalism while working with particular groups of guests, such as children or senior guests.
3. Sightings Of The Day / Week
Sharing sightings of your dives has numerous positive effects.
One the one hand, it shows your fans that when diving with you, there’s a good chance they get to see the animals shown in your sightings.
I know from experience how nerve-racking it can be when guests come to your dive shop requesting to see a sea snake, turtle, whale shark, ray or moray eel because they read somewhere that there is a possibility of spotting these marine animals in that particular region. Then you have to explain to them over and over again that these animals may show up or not because they’re not robots and there’s not 100% guarantee of seeing anything. If you share sightings on a regular basis, people get an idea of what they’re going to see when diving with you and may adjust their expectations beforehand.
On the other hand, sightings may also inspire your followers and send a subliminal message of wanderlust, or rather “divelust” to them. Already knowing what they might be spotting when diving with you, they will likely choose you over a competitor.
You can also make sightings a regular event in your stories. For example, consider one day per week (e.g. Sunday) your official sighting day. On that day, you share all your sightings from the previous week and tag each story with #SightingSunday or #SundaySightings. For these kinds of stories, it also makes sense to create a story highlight where you list your best sightings.
4. Fan Photos & Mentions
There’s no better way to gain trust than by sharing photos from fans who have tagged you in their posts. Not only does it show that you appreciate your guests but it also serves as a testimonial to the services you offer.
People will only tag you in a post or Instagram Story if they liked diving with you, so make use of that. Show the world that guests are happy after diving with you by either reposting their photos, adding their pictures to a story or sharing their stories directly.
Another way that’s pretty similar to reposting your followers’ posts is sharing photos of and together with your guests and team members. However, make sure your guests are fine with you sharing the photo. There’s nothing worse than taking pictures down after they’ve already been published.
Besides dive trips, a perfect opportunity to post a story with your guests is when dive students complete their courses. For example, post a photo of them and their instructor, add some “congratulations on your OWD/AOW/… course” text and a few emojis.
5. Discounts & Special Deals
As of June 2018, 400 million users are viewing Instagram Stories on a daily basis, which means posting regular Instagram Stories will actually get you noticed by your followers.
Therefore, if you want to advertize special deals or discounts, it’ll be very effective to do so in Instagram Stories.
Creating graphics in the correct dimension is no big deal anymore using any graphical software, such as Photoshop, Gimp or Canva. You can also edit a small video (15 seconds) using apps like Quik or GoPro.
Don’t post too many promotional stories, though. Otherwise, all the authenticity and trust you’ve managed to build up with all the other story types will soon be gone. The reasons for this is that people are generally bored by seeing a great number of advertizements online.
Instagram Stories offer a variety of possibilities to engage with your followers in an authentic way. Give your fans an exclusive insight into everyday life by sharing some behind-the-scenes footage. Show your professionalism while explaining specific tasks in your day-to-day operations. Sharing sightings will inspire your fans in their daily routine and hopefully make them want to dive with you in the near future. Post photos together with your guests or make use of their online testimonials by sharing their photos when tagged. Last but not least, Instagram Stories are an excellent platform to promote special deals and discounts.
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