Instagram Stories: a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. The content shared to your Instagram Story won't appear on your profile grid or in the main Instagram feed. It's a feature that helps you to engage ‘real-time'. Especially with all the added extra features. How can your profile benefit from Instagram Stories? Welcome to post 2 in ‘what still works on Instagram'.
Everyday, unpolished sharing
Instagram Stories are a perfect place to post photos that are a bit unpolished. Your not-so-pretty-but-still-fun-pictures. You might work with a good camera to create beautiful photos for your feed. After all, Instagram users go crazy for a well structured and visually engaging Instagram gallery. But in Instagram Stories, these expectations are irrelevant. Here your fans will accept lower quality stuff.
What to post?
Instagram Stories are great for both videos and photos. A mix of this content work particularly well. Videos can be up to 15 seconds in length. It's important to make sure your Instagram Stories content is different from what you post in your normal feed. You want it to be worthy of watching – and people don't like seeing the same thing twice.
I always like to advice to think of your Instagram Feed as a magazine. You could see Instagram Stories as a small, daily newspaper that goes along with your magazine. It's up-to-date and less extensive. Small bites of information that's easy to digest.
In that daily newspaper you could, for example, have a column that features a guest post. Instagram gives you the opportunity to directly repost posts you've been tagged in to your own story (as long as the person who tagged you doesn't have a private account). This is a great way to highlight their content and show you value their effort to tag/share your brand. Besides that, it's easy content: it truly doesn't cost you any extra effort.
Leverage your story-game
To truly lever the power of Instagram Stories, it's a wise thing to use the stickers Instagram provides you with. Polls, Q&A and interactive sliders are among the options. See the example below where we asked De Koffieschenkerij fans whether this particularly snowy day asked for a ‘hot chocolate' or ‘flat white'. It's relevant, it's fun and it doesn't cost any extra effort.
Another way to leverage Instagram Stories is to use them to refer to your latest post in your feed or to your website. It helps to create curiosity which is always good.
Another thing to get your Instagram Story promoted even more: use the hashtag sticker! Don't want the hashtag to be visible? Then simply make it the same color as the background of the post to make it ‘invisible'. You could use for example a hashtag with your location (#amsterdam), or the thing featured in the post (#coffee).
You could also let an influencer or blogger or, why not, a staff-member take over your Instagram Stories for the day. Be careful though to guard your brand's tone-of-voice and style, you don't want content in your Instagram Story that is irrelevant or inconsistent to your normal content. When working with an influencer or blogger, ask them to refer to your Instagram Story through their own Instagram Story. This is a good way to start some cross-promotion traffic.
As I said, your Instagram Stories don't have to be as polished or fine-tuned as the content in your normal feed. However, working with templates may provide ease and comfort in coming up with new ideas. There are a lot of templates made which you can download for free. You could, for example, use templates via canva.com. Or you can download a pack of templates and customize them to your own brand's style via Photoshop or Illustrator. This, however, requires a little bit of skill, and of course the right software.
Using templates or creating frames for your stories can help enhance your brand's image and identity. By giving your stories just that extra touch of your brand, you make them easy to recognize for your fans. It helps your stories to stand out. When people are browsing Instagram and just surfing through stories, a branded frame will help them to easily identify a story made by you. As your fans are seeing tons of content a day, this is might be a worthwhile investment.
Want your own templates but don't have the right software? Then let's get in touch: Tremento can create a set of templates for you which you could then, for example, load into canva.com and use for all your future Instagram Stories!
Please help me to do this!
Can't keep track of the latest features on social media? Feeling lost or like a complete dinosaur? Then check out our Tremento Tribe Membership. This membership will help you to get things streamlined and improved. You'll get a personal success coach which will guide you to become better and better and better, on your own. No more hiring graphic designers or ad companies: we will teach you how to do it, on your own, and give you plenty of content ideas to never get stuck on creating new posts!
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