Are you feeling a little intimidated by Instagram Stories? You’re not alone.
Earlier this year, I managed an influencer campaign for an eyeglass lens manufacturer. We’d had glasses made for several fashion and beauty influencers which featured a new lens we were launching. We looked forward to them sharing what they thought of the lenses on Instagram.
But as the Instagram mentions started to appear, I was surprised to see that they weren’t showing up in regular posts as we expected, but in Instagram Stories. I panicked! Those Stories were going to disappear in 24 hours. How could I capture them to show my boss? Had I missed some already? Would their fleeting nature mean that few people would see them? And would the sponsorship dollars we’d paid the influencers have no return on investment?
You might be feeling similar discomfort with Instagram Stories. It can be exasperating to learn how to run a business account on Instagram, only to have them add a new publishing format that has its own rules. And why should you even bother?
Well, you really should bother, and here’s why.
Instagram Stories are hugely popular
Snapchat first debuted Stories in 2013, and this function helped differentiate the platform from others. Then Instagram and Facebook cleverly figured “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” and added Stories to their capabilities in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Now use of Stories is growing 15x that of feeds, according to Techcrunch, and has over 300 million daily users. It probably helps that Stories are featured at the very top of the Instagram interface, and you can see that you have waiting Story content from 4 of your most relevant friends without scrolling.
Stories do disappear, but not for you
If you have an Instagram business account, your Stories are saved to an Archive, complete with stats and insights. So you can see exactly what impact your Story had, and the actions users took with it.
If you hired an influencer, and the Story is on their account and not yours, they can save it and send it to you, and take a snapshot of its stats. Specify this in every influencer agreement so you can track ROI effectively.
You can reshare any post to your Stories
Instagram is sometimes maddeningly simple. Every other social media platform has a way to reshare posts built into it (Retweet on Twitter, and Share on Facebook). But resharing on Instagram has always required a separate app, or crude screenshotting and cropping. There was no easy way to reshare a post and credit the original poster – until now.
Now any public post can be reshared to your Stories, with attribution intact, and you can add GIFs, stickers, and your own comments. This is a great way to react to posts you find relevant, or reshare mentions of your account.
- You can reshare Stories you’re tagged in to your own Stories
Speaking of mentions, when your account is tagged in a Story, you’re notified and offered a way to add that Story to your Stories in one click. This is a great way for two accounts to bring attention to each other – say, you and your best customer, for example.
All these factors make Instagram Stories a publishing format you really can’t ignore. Have you tried it yet? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.
Are you an optical business that needs help navigating the ever-changing social media landscape? We can help. Contact us.
Peggy is the founder of The Social Eye, a social media agency for optical businesses. She led social media efforts at ZEISS Vision US for 4 years, and prior to that created digital marketing for the tech and music industries. She has far too many pairs of eyeglasses, but can always find room for one more.