Instagram Stories will be your brand’s new best bet
Monday, January 29, 2018
Facebook is soon going to show fewer of your Page's posts, and you probably already noticed your Instagram engagement is lackluster. After Instagram's most recent algorithm changes, about 10 percent of followers see your posts.
So, what's next?
It's not Snapchat, which has virtually stopped growing. But you're close. Instagram Stories are the best place for your brand to focus right now.
Instagram Stories are displayed to all your followers — no need for your company to decode complicated algorithms or pay for boosts to get your content seen. The placement of Stories at the top of the app is prime. That's partly because Stories are the type of content people are most interested in right now.
As of November 2017, Instagram Stories have 300 million daily active users. That's a 20 percent growth rate in less than six months. Instagram also credits Stories for users spending more time on the app. People under 25 now spend, on average, 32 minutes a day, which is double the time before Stories.
Without further ado, here's how your brand can use Instagram Stories to your advantage.
1. Be yourself. These are ephemeral pieces of content, so feel free to take risks. You also want to be yourself. Don't overthink it. Have the face of your brand share daily (or weekly) stories. This is the place to show you're human. You want to make a connection with your followers, build a relationship and keep it real. Worry less about marketing and more about getting comfortable in front of the camera. Wondering what this looks like? Check out Shop Ban.do for inspiration.
2. Talk it out. While 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched in silence, 70 percent of Instagram Stories are viewed with the sound on. Give people what they want and talk directly to viewers.
3. Follow the leaders. The most popular brands on Instagram share merchandise promotions, inside looks and guest takeovers on their Stories, according to Klear data. This is a great go-to list if you're unsure where to start.
4. Like it and link it. Stories are effective on their own, but even more so when you link to more content and products. That's the "Swipe Up" for more feature you've seen. To get that, you need to have more than 10,000 followers on your business profile.
5. Use the tools you have. Regardless of whether you can link, you can add location tags and hashtags to your Stories, which will garner more views. Also, add polls to get users engaged, and be ready to answer messages. 20 percent of Stories by businesses result in a direct message.
6. Do more of what works. If you have a business account, you get all kinds of good data in your Instagram Insights. Track each story's impressions, reach, taps forward/back, exits and replies your story gets. Tap forward means someone skipped ahead to the next story while tap background mean someone likely replayed it. Monitor this data, just like you would with your regular Instagram posts, to find out what your users love (and what they could do without).
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