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It’s time to step up your Snapchat and Instagram Stories game before the holiday buying frenzy!

We are so excited to have Karma Oviquio break it down Barney-style when it comes to Snapchat and Instagram Stories for your business.  If you’re ready for more engagement, more followers and more moolah, you’re going to want a notebook for this one!


Before we dive into how to get the most bang for your buck with Snapchat and Instagram Stories, let’s go over the difference between the two.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories are Very Different

Although they seem very similar (I mean they are both just quick videos, right?), Snapchat and Instagram stories are decidedly different animals.  The vibe and feel of Snapchat is casual, raw & real wheras Instagram Stories are a little more polished and perfected.

On Snapchat, no one is looking for perfection.  They are expecting you to show up just the way you are, no prep needed.  Your audience wants up close and personal.  They want vulnerability.  They want to be treated the same way you would treat your bestie or your sister.

On Instagram, you’re going to need to put a little more effort into the way you show up.  You’ll probably want to go ahead and change out of your work pajamas and be more prepared.  You’ll also want to use all of the features that Instagram Stories has to offer like stickers, polling, tags and the rest of the stable of extras.  Instagram is more of an experience for your audience than Snapchat is.

How to Connect on Snapchat

Unlike Instagram where anyone can just find you, with Snapchat, you’ll need to share your username or send people the scan code.  You’re not going to have a lot of random people finding you, each person will be accepted into your snap circle of friends.

If you’re already using Snap for your friends & family, you can set up segments to make sure that your private content only goes to the people who are closest to you and your business content goes to your audience.  When you segment your Snapchat content, you want to set up three different segments:

  • Training, teaching or sharing your expertise
  • Challenge participants or people who engage with you more
  • Friends, family and anyone else that isn’t business related

Each group will see a different segment of your content and will still be able to view any of your public Snapchat stories and content.  As a side note, Instagram as these same features!

In your Snapchat settings, there are several options when it comes to publishing your content and who has access to it:

  • Friends
  • Friends of friends
  • Public
  • Private

If you want to get more sales from Snapchat and Instagram stories you're going to love this episode of #inboxbesties #snapchat #instagram #stories

How to Use Snapchat and Instagram Stories to Get Clients

The first thing to do to get more clients from Snapchat and Instagram stories is to decide exactly what you want.  Do you want more people on your email list?  Are you looking to get more followers?  Do you want to become an influencer?  Do you want to sell more products or courses?

Once you’ve decided on your goals for your Snapchat and Instagram stories, then sit down and decide on the best way to meet those goals.  What has worked best for Karma is to teach.

The great thing about Snapchat and Instagram stories is that you don’t have to be an “expert” with a ton of degrees or certifications to teach what you know.  You only need to know a little bit more than they do… and be willing to teach your audience exactly what it is that you know.

Use your story spot to teach something every day with a call to action at the end.  That would sound something like “If you like this mini tutorial, you can access the full version HERE or THERE”.  Tag yourself in your Instagram story so that when someone taps it, they will go to your profile.

The Benefits of a Business Account

The truth is, you don’t need a business account to get more clients and make money from your Snapchat and Instagram stories.  Where the business account comes in handy is the analytics that come with it. By taking a look at where your numbers and adjusting your content accordingly, you’ll get more engagement and more followers.  You don’t have to be an Insta expert to dive into the analytics.  Just take note of what kind of content gets the most comments and make more of that!

What About Swiping Up?  I don’t have 10,000 followers yet!

Analytics show (see what I did there?) that only a very small percentage of people actually use the swipe up feature.  Instagram users are subconsciously trained to only use the swipe up feature for big brands that have sales or promotions.  Your audience is much more likely to watch your Instagram stories, go through your feed or look through one of the most under-utilized feature of Instagram – your carousel.

On another note, you will never get to 10,000 followers until you get 100 then 1,000 and then growing from there.  If you serve the people who are already there for you, they will go out and bring you more followers.  It’s up to you to show up and share your expertise.

Set out to reach people is to create your Instagram Stories in IGTV.  If you create your content in IGTV, it automatically has the link in your stories to send people to the IGTV episode so they can get the entire content.  Then remember to treat your people like people.  Speaking of treating people like people…

Maximizing Engagement from Your Snapchat and Instagram Stories

The people on the other side of the country are real people.  They are looking at their phone while they are stuck in traffic or waiting for their toddler to finally eat their dinner.  Answer every DM.  Reply back to your comments.  It’s amazing how much people appreciate being treated like a human being instead of just a number on a spreadsheet.

By replying to comments and answering direct messages, it shows that you are listening.  Never forget the “social” aspect of social media.  That’s how you connect with your audience in a meaningful way!

Ideally, you want to spend at least 30 minutes a day engaging with your audience on Snapchat and Instagram.  This time is broken up into different times of the day:

  • 10 minutes in the morning
  • 5 minutes in the afternoon
  • 5 minutes later later in the day (early evening)
  • 10 minutes in the evening

If you think about it, this isn’t much different than how you use these apps in your personal life.  You check your Insta feed while you’re getting ready for the day, then again after lunch or so.  Then that 3:00 slump kicks in and you wonder what other people are up to… and then while you’re chillaxing on the couch in the evenings you pop it back open again.  Your audience is the same way.

By regularly engaging with your audience, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.  You’ll have this person on the other side of the world who is super-excited to hear back from you.  They can’t believe that a real person is actually talking to them!  If you want to go the extra mile, you can even send them a personal video or audio responding to their question or comment.  You can have a real, meaningful conversation and make a huge difference in someone’s life (that’s what you’re in this for after all, isn’t it?).

Sometimes, just asking a question can spark a whole conversation.  Karma has a list of 48 thought-provoking questions you can ask your followers to get the ball moving when it comes to engagement.  These are fun questions that help you get to know your audience better – and let them get to know you too!

Planning Content for Your Snapchat and Instagram Stories

Until your analytics are kicking in, it’s hard to determine what kind of content to create for your Snapchat and Instagram stories.  The best way to dive in is to have themed days.  These can be piggy-backed off of popular daily themes for hashtags.

Business Insider has put together a list of popular hashtags for days of the week that can used for a good jumping off point.   The key is to mold these daily hashtags to something that is relevant to your audience.

#MondayMotivation can be all about what you’re excited about sharing that week

#TuesdayTravel can showcase your trip to the post office to send of packages for your customers

#WednesdayWisdom can be about the things you wish you knew when you first started

You know your niche and your clients better than anyone else so your content will be unique to you.  Just take a few minutes to brainstorm around how you can use what’s already out there for your people.

By using this framework to teach your expertise, you’ll get accustomed to the platform and then you’ll also have the numbers from your analytics to show what content is resonating with your audience.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories Analytics

What metrics do you pay attention to when it comes to analyzing the numbers for your Snapchat and Instagram stories?

You want to pay close attention to how long people are staying on your story.  What are they watching?  How long do they watch?

If you announce at the beginning what you are going to be teaching that day and no one tunes in, then you know that topic isn’t a hot one and you can move on to the next one.

If you announce the topic in the intro and your people are watching the first couple of stories, you can see where they drop off and adjust your future content accordingly.

In the end, you’ll find that there are about three to four things that you talk about most of the time.  When it comes to Snapchat and Instagram stories, it’s all about what you’re teaching.  If what you’re talking about doesn’t resonate, you’ll lose people.  Be sure to stay on-topic and feature content that your audience is already interested in.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories Tech Tips & Hacks

One of the great things about stories is that you can cut a 20 minute training down into easily digestible one minute clips.  There’s an app called Cut Story that takes your video and magically cuts it down into clips for you.  Or, you can edit your story in a program like iMovie.

When you slice your stories down, you want to upload them all at once instead of one at a time.  It’s so easy to forget where you left off if the phone rings or your kids decide to decorate the bathroom with toothpaste.  Uploading everything all at once saves you from the stress of having to figure out where you left off when life happens.  Karma suggests to turn your wifi off on your phone, upload everything and then turn wifi back on.  Your stories will then upload all at once so you don’t have to do the extra work of coming back later and adding to it.

When it comes to Instagram stories, most users don’t have the sound on.  Unless you’ve added text to the story, the vast majority (97% to be exact) of your audience is only going to see you and not hear you.  Adding a text summary to your story lets your audience know what is going on in the video and encourages them to turn the volume on so they can listen in.

Before you introduce your Instagram or Snapchat story subject for the day, have a static image with text on it that lets them know exactly what they’re in for when they tune in.  You can even go the extra mile and create a “table of contents” on an image so they can scroll to the story that they are most interested in (this is also excellent for analytics!)

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Instagram Stories and Hashtags

Hashtags for Instagram stories are amazing.  You will get in front of people that you would have never been in front of without the right hashtags.  Instagram give you 10 slots for hashtags – use all of them!

You can hide your hashtags behind stickers or make them the same color as your background so they can do the work to attract new people without it being obvious or spammy (NINJA!!)

When it comes to using hashtags, in addition to the daily hashtags, you want to think about what people are actually searching for. If you are into real estate, no one is looking up #realtor.  They are looking up #homestaging or #bestplaceinLA or #schoolsinLa.

Another fun hashtag strategy is to put a suffix on your niche like -tips, -inspo, -hacks, -help.  If your niche is homeschooling, you would use hashtags like #homeschooltips, #homeschoolinsp, #homeschoolhacks.  Just put your niche in front of one of those suffixes to attract new people every day!

The last tip when it comes to hashtags is to borrow from whatever crazy holiday it currently is.  There is literally a holiday or special day for everything.  For example, this year National Sandwich Day lands on Sunday, November 3rd.  This list of National Days gives you something to celebrate literally every single day of the year!

Snapchat and Instagram Stories are Supposed to be Fun!

When it comes to creating content for your Snapchat and Instagram stories, remember to have fun and not take it too seriously.  Don’t let social media overwhelm you.  Pick one strategy and stick with it for a month or two to see what happens.

You can use creative challenges (join Karma’s Facebook group for suggestions and accountability), ask questions, engage in the conversation and be someone that your audience looks forward to watching on the daily.

Just start by asking one question… “What are you struggling with right now when it comes to _______” and then create  videos to answer those questions!

Karma Oviquio’s Official Bio //

inbox besties snapchat and instagram stories with karma oviquioCommunications and Marketing professional with 17+ years of experience producing engaging and impactful content from conceptualization to evaluation for print, direct mail and online properties. My primary areas of focus include client services, public relations, experiential + consumer marketing, project management, social media management and event planning for individuals, companies and nonprofit entities.

I have demonstrated success implementing creative strategies that heighten brand awareness, increase profitability and expand client base. Adept in operational functions such as personnel training, recruitment and sponsorship negotiations.

Specialties: PR/ Media Relations, Client Services, Event Planning, Brand Management, Event Promotions, Experiential Marketing, Relationship Building, Strategic Planning and Hospitality Services.

Karma’s Links / /


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