Last September, Facebook accounted for 16.5 percent of all digital content consumption. This September, it was only 14.3 percent. While a 2.2 percent drop doesn’t sound dire, or even all that bad, its implications are enormous.

That equates to each Facebook user reading, on average, 20 percent less content, estimates Pivotal’s Brian Wieser in a Fast Company article.

Likely because fewer people are using Facebook, the ROI on Facebook ads has dropped 75 percent (from an index value of 2 in April to below 0.5 from May to August), according to a C3 Metrics analysis.

Right now, Facebook is a tough place for brands. Instead, go where the getting is good — Instagram Stories! Because the people are aplenty, it's cheaper to reach your audience.

As of June 2018, over 400 million people watch Instagram Stories every day. That’s nearly double the number of daily active users from a year prior. Plus, the growth shows no signs of stopping.

Also, Buffer found using Instagram Story ads instead of Facebook ads decreased their cost-per-click by up to 50 percent.

This holiday season, Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to reach (and keep) your audience’s attention.

Maximize its potential even further by optimizing your Instagram Stories with these data-driven tips. Buffer analyzed over 15,000 Instagram Stories from 200 of the world’s top brands. Here’s what you can learn from the best of the best!

How to Make Instagram Stories That Perform Better

How often to share: Most brands, on average, are only posting daily about 30 percent of the days in one month. That’s about eight Story segments. If you can do more, you’ll see greater results.

How much to publish: Like Twitter, there’s really no such thing as too many Instagram Stories. The more you post, the more people you’ll reach. People don’t seem to be annoyed or drop off if you share too much content. The format is that engaging.

When to post: Publish your stories outside of typical working hours. Stories perform best between 4-6 a.m. (before work), 8-10 a.m. (commute time), 12-2 p.m. (lunch break) and 8-10 p.m. (after work). That’s when more than 70 percent of people complete the Story they started. If you post before work, that rate hovers around 80 percent.

How long should one Story be: Aim to tell one story or thought using one to seven frames. When you do that, 70 percent of viewers will stick with you from that first frame and watch all the way through until the end. Instagram calls that the completion rate.

But, if you occasionally have something longer, go for it! Even if you tell a story using more than 20 frames, 55 percent of people will still watch them all!

How to make better Stories: Start the story with your best, most-engaging piece of content. Your first frame should get people interested and inspire them to keep clicking. If people are going to abandon your Story before finishing, it will happen in that first frame.

What visuals perform best: Think you need professional videos? Think again. Often, static photos with text overlay perform better than professional videos. It worked for The Guardian, and it could work for your brand, too!