Has your dealership hopped on to the Instagram bandwagon yet? And if so are you utilizing Instagram Stories? If not – you are missing a huge opportunity to get in front of a (mostly) untapped audience. With stories, you can hit customers with a short but sweet image or video conveying a sales message in a place where they’re least expecting it. Fun fact from our friends at Instagram: “Of the 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories, one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers.” Awesome, right?

Below I’ve outlined some of my best practices, methods, and designs to attract and engage customers with Instagram stories. The best part? You can achieve quality story ads through both “in-person” images/videos and through graphic design on your computer. Keep reading and become an Instagram Stories Pro!

1. Keep your message short, relevant, and engaging.

Stories are only a few seconds long, so adding tons of text makes no sense. Lease offer, vehicle image, link to SRP. Simple and effective. Pro Tip: If you’re worried about compliance, add the disclaimer to the vehicle image. Stories are a great opportunity to ask a quick question of your audience, take a poll, or even get their feedback on new inventory. The engagement is instantaneous and valuable to you at the dealership.

2. Keep your images shaped correctly for stories.

1080×1920 is my go-to size because it fits the average smartphone screen perfectly. So, if you’re on the lot or in your showroom, the best way to get a beautiful image is to take one vertically. If you’re on your computer making some graphics – use the size I mentioned above and be creative. Don’t be shy with colors and designs – Instagram is a visual platform, and your audience will eat up eye-catching ads way more than a basic, boring, and “obvious” ad.

3. Make sure your story is getting some love with some marketing dollars behind it!

If you’re trying to have your story seen by customers, expect to pay for it. The quickest and easiest way to add money to an Instagram story is with Facebook Ads Manager. Even at $5/day your stories will get more views and more engagement. If you need some help setting this up, feel free to drop a comment below.

So there you have it, you’re on your way to being an Instagram Stories Pro! Social media doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated, it’s meant to be a way for all of us to connect – so get out there and make some ads that actually connect and convert!