By now we’re all super familiar with the “story” function that seems to be built into every major social platform at this point. What was once a unique feature on mobile app Snapchat, is now all the rage on Instagram, trying to break through on Facebook and rumoured to be launching as a built-in camera feature on Twitter soon.
Whether you use the feature religiously on or you’ve never bothered to check it out, it’s important to know what value it adds and how it can be used as part of an Instagram strategy to help you reach further and engage better.
Stories Vs. Posts
The first thing we need to determine is what the difference is between the two and how you can strategically decide what type of content to post where on Instagram. Social media has always been about sharing small snapshots and tidbits from our lives over the course of time and Instagram’s newsfeed does a wonderful job or organizing those for us in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Unfortunately, the news feed is where the algorithms come into play which means sometimes your narrative can get lost or your messages can unintentionally annoy or bombard your audience due to the system making guessing and trying to assume what people want to see and when.
Stories provide a fix for these challenges by literally stringing together the narrative and keeping it moving.
Ease of Use & Accessibility
The major value of stories is undeniably where they’re located on Instagram and how people engage with them. When your content is front and centre at the top of the app at all times, your audience is much more likely to see it and dive in to explore as organic impressions can be all over the place and based on previous engagements.
Compared to Snapchat, Instagram’s integration of the feature is much easier to navigate. Plus, thanks to the popular app, Instagram’s audience was already quite familiar with the functionality so it was easily and quickly adopted.
The Big Benefit
Stories present a unique opportunity to post as much as necessary and not have to worry about being penalized by the algorithm. They’re fantastic for more grassroots, raw content that encourage engagement and input with features like the Question button or the Poll option. Businesses can have fun using GIFs, filters and stickers to jazz up their content and can also tag other users, locations and even include hashtags to be part of a larger collection of stories curated by keywords.
Stories place your content front and centre and instead of forcing your audience to consume it, the feature give them the power back when it comes to what they view and for how long. If people are viewing your content in stories, they’re doing it because they want to and they’ve gone out of their way to check out what you’ve got to say.
It seems like every week there’s a new update to the stories feature! While some directly benefit users, some are also great tools for businesses so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Instagram “New” story at the top of your feed to stay up to date with the newest updates.
What new feature would you like to see incorporated into Instagram stories?
We embrace spring cleaning for our homes and our lives with open arms but what about our digital lives? Aren’t our social media accounts just as in need as our closets when it comes to purging and organizing? If your digital life could really use a good cleanse, consider these simple tips that will have you feeling better in no time:
Clean up the Clutter
We’re all guilty of using social sign ins across the internet because let’s be real, creating a new account login every single time we want to use an app or service, is way too time consuming. The problem is that many of us have been using social media for a decade so every time we use Facebook to authenticate a login through another app or service, we can end up with hundreds of apps that have access to our information on a regular basis, even if you haven’t accessed them for years. While we’re not asking you to stop using social sign in, it’s important to keep an eye on which apps have access so you can purge unnecessary connections. To do this, head to your Facebook page and click the arrow in the blue bar at the top of the screen. Select settings and then choose “Apps and Websites” along the left hand side. You’ll see a list of active apps that you have given access to and you can remove items right from that screen by selecting them and choosing Remove.
Polish Your Reputation
It’s no secret that your online reputation matters and employers are searching candidates on a regular basis. How would you fare if your employer looked you up today? While we all do what we can to protect our privacy and ensure we’re sharing and engaging appropriately, it can be hard to track down all the not-so-great decisions we made prior to caring about the workforce. Use a service like Scrubber Social to clean up embarrassing posts all the way back to the creation of your account so you can stop wondering what people are unearthing from the past when they look you up on social media platforms.
Give Your Accounts A Purge
It’s not hard to accumulate hundreds (or thousands) of followers over the course of time on each social media platform and while it’s always nice to have reassurance that you’re worthy of a follow, who you follow back mindlessly is half of the problem. Go through your social media accounts, specifically the accounts that you follow, and don’t be afraid to purge accounts that just aren’t serving you any more. Whether they were accounts you followed to enter contests or businesses you connected with years ago that you just don’t like anymore, removing them will lighten the load in your newsfeed and help you better curate the information you see and interact with on a regular basis. Tread lightly though, the last thing you want is to upset an old friend and cause an argument over an “unfriend” scenario. If you’re on the fence about removing someone on Facebook specifically, try the unsubscribe button instead so you can avoid their updates and all the drama of fully removing them from your circle of friends.
Create New Habits
Moving forward, the best way to stay on top of your social media accounts is to create new habits so you’re always conscious of the decisions you make. Get into the habit of daily maintenance that can make things easier for you in the long run and help you stay on top of things with minimal effort.
We’ve all been there; hunched over the computer, organizing our content in a third party software so we can blast it out over the course of the week and feel like we’ve accomplished something. While sourcing content is half the battle, figuring out when to schedule it to maximize engagement can be tricky. Instead of playing the guessing game next week, consider these updated stats that outline the best days and times to post your awesome content:
Easter is a holiday that tends to creep up and catch us off guard every year because the date is always changing! Even if you aren’t the religious type, it’s a time to celebrate spring, eat far too much candy and spend time with family. To me, it’s a little reminder that beautiful weather is on its way and that makes me happy! Ironically, my birthday this year falls directly on Easter Sunday so the holiday is taking on a whole new meaning for me haha! It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in even more goodies and treats. Even though it’s not your birthday and even though you may not be big into the holiday itself, as a business there are many ways you can get involved and encourage your followers/fans to engage:
- Host A Virtual Egg Hunt
Want to get followers/fans involved and encourage them to engage? Host a virtual egg hunt! Create a few custom social media posts with hidden Easter eggs and hold a competition to find them. Both Instagram and Facebook would be great platforms to incorporate for a hunt. You can even offer a prize for finding all the eggs that creates incentive for them to continue engaging through the holiday weekend or the week leading up to the big day.
- Create Seasonal Social Graphics
Changing your cover photos or incorporating easter graphics into your content schedule is a simple and fun way to get involved with any holiday and Easter is no exception. Remember to keep it bright and colourful and don’t be afraid to show off your team (think easter bunny ear selfies, easter egg competitions etc).
- Encourage Followers/Fans To Share Moments
Whether it’s taking a photo of their Easter table or sharing their creative Easter egg decorations, there are plenty of ways to encourage user-generated content for the long weekend. Whether you decide to host a contest or you just want users to share content for fun, there are a lot of options at your disposal. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to give people enough time to share and make it easy for them to do so.
- Host A Special Sale/Event
A long Easter weekend means that there’s more to the holiday than egg hunts and chocolate binging. People will be looking for things to do and experience over the course of the weekend so why not host an event or share a limited-time promotion? Whether it’s generating a simple Easter promo code for your online shop, hosting a family-friendly easter event at your location or including hourly specials to entice more visitors to come through the doors, there’s a lot of ways to have fun with it! Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget to create graphics that will help you promote everything online.
From the rise of grassroots influencers to society’s response to fake news and misinformation, the world of social media marketing is ever changing and 2018 is no different. If you want to stay current and ensure that you’re leveraging platforms to their full potential, understanding upcoming trends is the key. Below are the six main trends you should take note of as we move further into 2018:
- The Rise of Micro-Influencers
- Focus on Generation Z
- Twitter’s Bot Crackdown
- The impact of Call-Out Culture on Brands
- More Brands Will Use Messaging Platforms
- Social Media Marketer Battling Fake News