This month, Instagram launched a new sticker for Instagram Stories – ‘Chats’. When tapped, the Chats sticker will enable your Stories viewers to join a private discussion.
The social media platform shared news of the latest feature in their own Story, which shows you how to add and make use of the Chats sticker in an Instagram Story:
As you can see, when you add the Chats sticker to a Story, viewers will be able to request to join a private Instagram group message simply by tapping on the sticker.
Instagram said, “there’s [now] an easy way to start conversations with a group of friends right from your story”. Great! But how can we make use of the new feature to market our businesses? Here’s just a few ideas…
Use Chats to invite people to provide feedback on products / services
We’re already familiar with using a poll on many social media platforms in order to communicate with our followers and ask for feedback on a product or service. The new sticker will allow you to gain more subjective feedback.
For example, let’s say you own a bakery and are about to launch a new pastry product. Using the Chats sticker, you could invite your customers / followers to discuss the flavours people enjoy, prices they’re willing to pay, etc.
Lamb Social Media could potentially use the new feature to canvas ideas on future workshop locations, workshop content, particular social media bugbears and so on.
Host a question and answer session using Chats
You might have already played with the “Ask A Question” sticker on Instagram Stories. Holding a Q&A session using the Chats sticker allows you to share real-time advice with your followers.
Not only will this show that you’re there and listening to their needs, but you might find that some of the chat participants want further help / support and buy from you too.
Let’s say you’re a landscape gardener. You could create a chat around common garden problems – ask your followers what issues they are facing in the garden and provide snippets of advice.
For us, it could be asking followers if they need help and support using a particular social media platform and helping them with their problems. This shows Lamb Social Media as an industry leader (we know what’s going on and can help you), as well as putting us in a positive light (we’re not expecting anything for helping you).
Share a time-limited discount with followers using the Chats sticker
As an example, let’s look at a yoga teacher who has a class or workshop tomorrow. Not all of the places have sold, but they will still have to pay for the hire of their venue. Better to sell some tickets at a reduced place than none at all, right?
Using that Chats sticker, the yoga teacher could offer a discount on the price of tomorrow’s class.
This is time limited to just 30 minutes, meaning not everyone and anyone can get the discount and also it creates an urgency to get the discount and book on to the class. It also means that you only have to be active for those 30 minutes, and followers seeing the Story after those 30 minutes have passed will be more likely to engage in the future knowing that they could get this kind of offer.
Promote an event on Stories with a Chats sticker
Okay, so you can do this on Instagram Stories and elsewhere without the need for a Chats sticker… however there are some benefits to adding one.
We’ll use a monthly market as an example. The organiser will be busy promoting this each month via social media and elsewhere. Creating a Story will probably be a part of this promotion.
Adding a Chats sticker to the Story means that followers can ask questions about this month’s market – What can they purchase? When does it open? What refreshments are available? Will a particular stall-holder be there? Someone who is wondering whether to go or not can have their concerns addressed and end up coming along.
Without being ‘salesy’, the organiser has created a group around this event and they can follow up with the chat once the market is over too. They could ask people who have joined the chat what their favourite stall was, what they’d like to see next month… and (again, without being ‘salesy’) you can remind them of when the next market is!
Will you be using the new Chats sticker?
The Chats sticker in Instagram Stories is brand spanking new – the best thing you can do is experiment with it. Have a go at some of the above ideas and let us know what you think… likewise if you’ve come up with a way of using the new feature to market your business, please tell us. Comment below.