Story Time: 4 Steps to Strengthen Your Sales with Instagram Stories

Written by Danielle Pastula

Your spa’s Instagram profile is the new three-fold brochure. It’s the introductory point, the attractor, and the place where your ideal clients go to discover the brands and products they can connect with. According to a study by VidMob, one in four millennials and generation Z users browse Instagram stories for the products and services they’re considering buying. Thus, if you’re not using Instagram stories as a place to foster those connections, you’re leaving massive opportunity on the table in the space where you already have your ideal clients’ attention. So, if you’re ready to begin leveraging the full power of Instagram stories to support your spa’s sales efforts, here are the key steps to getting started.

 

TELL A COMPLETE STORY

 

Due to its ephemeral nature, it’s common to see everyday Instagram users share single, non-contextual stories showing a slice of life. However, as a brand, you need to (for lack of a better phrase) tell the whole story. So, before you share a quick clip of a treatment in progress and leave it up to your viewer to figure out the rest, it’s critical to put forth strategic effort to plot out the beginning, middle, and end of your stories. For example, if you are about to introduce a new treatment modality to your aesthetic practice or want to highlight a specific service for a monthly promotion, it’s a good idea to use stories to make a concerted effort to educate your audience about that particular treatment.

 

First, start with the introduction of your story and ask:

  • What is the single focus of the story I’m showcasing? For example, is it a modality, a product, or a specific ingredient?
  • What makes this timely or exciting for my viewer right now? Is my treatment seasonal or does it feature a new, cutting-edge technology?

 

Next, show (and tell) the middle of your story, and consider these questions:

  • How can I give a potential client a glimpse of what to expect when they visit my spa?
  • What is the most visually interesting part of this treatment? (Show them where the action’s at.)
  • Where can I invite the viewer into the conversation?

 

Finally, end by answering:

  • What do I want my viewer to do next?

 

This may sound like a lot to think through – compared to the single non-contextual story slide of the everyday user, it is. However, as a brand working to capture the attention of a potential client and move them through your sales funnel and closer to a consult or booking, you have to appeal to the natural psychological tendency to know how a story ends by telling a complete (and interesting) story. If you’re wondering how many Instagram story slides that typically equates to, a finding from Block Party states that the most effective brands posting to stories post an average of two point three times per week, consisting of eight total frames containing both pictures and videos.

 

CONSIDER THE CONVERSATION

 

By far, the most potent aspect of Instagram stories is that unlike typical sales funnels, stories open the floor for two-sided dialogue between you and your ideal clients through two avenues: direct message (DM) and story stickers. Before the debut of Instagram stories, the highest-level metric of engagement was commenting, but now that stories are the highest-trafficked sub-channel on the Instagram app, DMs are engagement gold. It has never been easier to invite your potential clients to one-on-one conversations where they can privately ask questions and receive support without providing personal contact information to do so. One of the easiest ways to spur direct message conversations for your spa is by including Story stickers – particularly the poll, questions, and quiz stickers, which will give you the richest feedback data to not only inform future marketing efforts and story creation, but also provide a catalyst for starting a conversation.

 

ALWAYS GIVE A CALL TO ACTION

 

The most prevalent calls to action we see in marketing and sales funnels are “buy” and “book now.” But remember, Instagram is the attraction point of your sales funnel, not where the buying transaction takes place. Thus, you need to rotate between using other calls to action to invite potential clients further into your sales funnel. Calls to action by way of engagement stickers is one option, but you can also tell viewers to swipe up to visit a link (if you have 10K or more followers) or to watch your IGTV episodes (you can do this no matter your follower count) where you can provide more information and ask for a higher-commitment calls to action such as “subscribe” or “book now.” Finally, asking viewers to click over to the link in your profile (or “bio” in Insta-lingo) provides the opportunity to drive viewers to opt-in to your e-mail list by way of a landing page, set up a free consultation, or RSVP to an in-spa event, which acts as the next step in your spa’s sales funnel.

 

CATEGORIZE AND ORGANIZE

 

At this point, you might be thinking that all this hard work isn’t worth the 24-hour shelf life of a story. However, the creative juice is worth the squeeze thanks to the Highlights feature, which allows you to categorize your stories and keep them visible on your profile beyond the 24-hour window. Highlights are the circles that live right under your bio and above your main feed, and they provide a powerful opportunity to give your profile visitors a glimpse at the various panels of your “brochure.” Some Highlights to consider adding are an About Us, featuring team member introductions, a virtual spa tour, Highlights for your primary services and treatments, and timely Highlights on seasonal promotions or events. If you’ve followed the previous steps adequately, your Highlights will work in tandem and on autopilot to effectively funnel any potential client who visits your profile toward becoming a booked client.

 

 

Danielle Pastula

 

 

 

Danielle Pastula is the founder and creative director of The Social Spa, where she and her team work with spa owners and aesthetic experts to fine-tune brand messaging and develop creative social media strategies to convert dream clients into scheduled bookings. Tap into their educational resources, learn more about their work, and get in touch at www.thesocialspa.co.

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