• Tempest Scammell

Instagram Stories 101

Fact: More than 400 million people actively watch content on Instagram Stories every single day. Not sure where to start? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know to get the most from the platform.

Instagram Stories was launched in 2017, with in-the-moment content sharing at its core. Stories forever changed the way we all use Instagram - and despite talk of its features being too similar to Snapchat, Instagram’s ever-growing audience base make this feature bigger and better. Users no longer need to jump over to a different app like Snapchat to enjoy in-the-moment content.

The rapid rise in popularity of Instagram Stories saw the platform really challenge Snapchat’s market share across all user segments: personal profiles, influencers and businesses. It’s not hard to see why:

with image sharing, written content (captions), video storytelling and direct messaging, Instagram has created a one-stop platform for businesses to speak directly to their audiences. In fact, Instagram has managed to capture the attention of 1 billion active monthly users (Statista, June 2018).

Stories is a must-use feature of Instagram that affords brands and businesses more choice in how to present themselves - and how they interact with their customers/target audiences. Using Stories is about creating conversations and sharing a side of your business that audience members don't normally get to see.

What sort of content should you share?

When using Instagram Stories, it’s important to post a mixture of content types.

Try branded content pieces such as:

  1. Industry tips and tricks

  2. Team profiles

  3. Questions & answers using live and pre-recorded videos as well as images

  4. Behind-the-scenes content pieces (staff takeovers is a great way to do this)

  5. Influencer content

  6. Brand co-creation: working with associated brands and industry personalities to leverage both audiences.

With fun content elements such as:

  • Videos

  • GIFs and Boomerangs (mini loop videos)

  • Memes

  • Images accented with stickers

  • Candid, not overly stylised photos

All about the engagement

Creating great content is one thing, but sharing and facilitating community conversation is just as important to keep audiences interested - and passing on the message to others.

When facilitating audience conversation, use elements such as:

  • Instagram stories stickers

  • Share polls

  • Share answers to questions

And keep the conversation going by:

  • Re-sharing local community highlights

  • Sharing screenshots of audience answers and poll results. Make your followers feel like a valued part of your community!

The great thing about Stories is that it’s a relaxed environment; the vibe is more laid-back and familiar than the Instagram storyboard feed, which is more carefully curated. Stories allow your audience to get to know you and your brand from the inside out, so don’t be shy. Personality is a huge selling point. At the end of the day, have fun with your content!

#SocialMediaChanges #SocialMediaEducation #InstagramStories