As a social media manager, one of my main responsibilities is creating visual and written content for my clients. An especially fun part of my job is continually exploring and playing around with features of new and existing platforms. As an avid Instagram user, I often enjoy creating an Instagram Story more than publishing to Instagram. As well, I feel the developers have done a great job of creating new features to keep users interested such as: selfie stickers, polls and superzoom.
Why Instagram Stories?
The number of users for Instagram Stories continues to climb. The network’s feature hit 250 million daily active users in June 2017 and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Since Stories have generally been a more authentic version of Instagram posts, users find interest in watching them.
The Run Down
Instagram Stories is a feature that allows users to post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Stories generally provide a more personal and simplified user experience. If you’re a brand, the list of reasons why you should use Instagram Stories are endless. Most importantly, it provides another platform to make creative content, and ultimately drive to your goal, whether that is to have someone read a blog post, complete a purchase or download an app.
When Instagram first launched, it was the “it place” to showcase your perfect, glossy life. Now what we're seeing is that people want to show the behind-the-scenes of life and make it feel authentic. When there's soul and personality behind a post, it clicks better. When it's too perfect, it doesn't perform as well. Whether you’re a brand or a user, you want to feel like you have a true connection with someone. Instagram Stories is a great tool to connect with your friends and followers!
Using Stories For Events
Instagram Stories is a top choice for live social marketing of any event or trade show. With a Story only lasting 24 hours, you can use it to create a live or semi-live view of your event, your booth or any activities happening. It provides the live experience to people not attending, and also informs attendees of what else is happening or what they may be missing.
Stories are the ideal channel for more fun or less formal content, such as a goofy moment or a sneak peek behind-the-scenes. It can also be an opportunity for a quick question or live discussion with your team or a speaker, without the pressure of curating a permanent post.
How To Use Stories At Your Next Event
Spur-of-the-moment, unplanned shots and videos are what make Stories so fun! But don’t forget to plan ahead. With so much going on at an event, you need to be at the right place at the right time to create the best content. Set alarms on your phone for moments you want to capture. This is also a situation where you might want to print out a schedule, so you don’t have to constantly check your phone while also using the camera.
Remember, you don’t need to post live every time. Capture the footage, make your edits, add all your fun elements: handwritten text, emojis, user mentions, the event hashtag and location - then post. Be sure to keep an eye out for random moments to photograph or film, which you can add into the mix for variety.
You can also create permanent collections of Instagram stories that will live on your profile. The Highlights feature combines multiple stories into long-term content your audience can discover at their convenience. After a week long of panel talks, conference sessions, film and music events, we can easily reflect back to SXSW 2018 via their Highlights. or if you’re a golf fan, you can follow along in the LPGA Kia Classic Highlights!
1. Find Your Voice. When accounts have a voice, a personality or a sense of humour, it really stands out. You don't have to try to make people laugh all the time but when you click on a profile, it must resonate with you in some way. That sense of connection is not only important for users, it's just as important for a brand.
2. Mix it up! Curiosity is a natural human emotion, and if you keep followers guessing, you’ll keep them watching. Travel + Leisure knows what people are coming to them for: good trips, good food, and good wine. But they also know that people don’t just want to come along for the ride — they want to be stimulated, challenged, and delighted.
3. #BTS. This should go without saying, but use Instagram Stories to show an exclusive look behind the scenes. If people are following your team or brand, they’re likely big fans of yours. Make them feel closer to you by spotlighting your team members and showing the personality behind the brand.
4. Fun facts and tips. Instagram Stories from National Geographic feature product FAQ, tips and amazing views from fascinating locations that their photographers are visiting. It’s like following an expert or a tour guide around some beautiful places. Find an expert in your company, and have them give a tour you think your followers would be interested in.
5. CTA. Although this feature is not yet available to the masses, you can look forward to adding a url to your stories soon. Business accounts with 10,000+ followers direct users to “swipe up” for more info, promotions, RSVPs or any Call-to-Action. The popularity of Stories has given strong engagement for ads in that format, which is especially great for pre-promotion, following up after the event as well as driving more traffic to your company website.
Whether you’re a brand or an every day user, Instagram Stories should be fresh, fun & creative; but not everything needs a giant YASSS over it… or does it? Take a picture, add some text and fun emojis and story away!