Instagram Knows How To Follow The Leader

By Stevie Sleeter, Content & Social Media Manager

Published: August 22, 2016

Let’s talk Instagram Stories.

Instagram is the first to admit they got the idea for their new feature — Instagram Stories — from their social media competitor, Snapchat. Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, has a 24-hour shelf life and allows users to enter text, add filters and take both photos and videos.

[quote align=”left”]Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, has a 24-hour shelf life and allows users to enter text, add filters and take both photos and videos.[/quote]

As supporters of Snapchat in both personal and professional use cases, we were surprised  Instagram even attempted to mimic such a skyrocketing platform — but imitation is the highest form of flattery. And as the go-to social media platform for engaging, beautiful and creative photos, Instagram offers a unique and largely untapped opportunity for brands — particularly as they add new features.  

What do Instagram Stories mean for your brand?

Instagram Stories offer added value to an already popular social media channel hurdling the one big barrier Snapchat faces when it comes to brand use — the audience. Companies hesitant to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon often cite the younger demographic as a key reason why they shouldn’t be there. With the wide age range already established in Instagram, innovative companies may no longer have an excuse not to leverage live video.

Screenshot of Envano's Instagram showcasing the 'stories' on the topIn addition to offering a different audience, Instagram Stories:

  • Add an additional element of tracking allowing you to see how many (and exactly which people) watch each piece of your story. This aids in understanding which content resonates with different target personas.
  • Offer your brand prime placement at the top of user feeds. Instagram recently added a Facebook-like algorithm to filter its feed and show users the posts it determines they’ll be most interested in at the top of their feed. Instagram stories are positioned permanently at the top, so you don’t run the risk of losing visibility in the algorithm.
  • Are yet another indication of a rise in 1:1 communication — arguably the future of brand communications.

The right way to use Instagram Stories.

Instagram offers fans of your brand a chance to see unique photos that pertain to behind-the-scenes footage, events, projects and more. Instagram Stories offer a real, unfiltered look into your brand. Here are a few tips:

  • Like Snapchat, use the ‘story’ feature on Instagram to do just that — tell a story.
  • Make sure the stories you share are easy to understand — create a story as if it will explain how to play Pokemon Go to your grandma.
  • Use Instagram to share a creatively taken photo that reflects your current Instagram Story — “Check out how to make this 5-ingredient meal in my story. #DIY #MealsForOne.”
  • The story can reflect the how-to steps that it took to get you to your final photo — the one you share on Instagram.
  • You don’t have to post an Instagram Story every day — if there’s nothing going on, don’t post. Make sure it makes sense to your brand and your social media plan.

It’s time to start Snapping … I mean Instagramming.

Ready to ramp up your social media game? We’re here to help — Let’s Chat!