This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for you!

thank you

Gratitude is a core value here at The Social Eye, so I just wanted to take a moment to thank you. Yes, dear reader, you.

It’s now just six months since I took the very scary step of leaving my corporate job to start my own digital marketing company. Like jumping out of a plane, it was both exhilarating and terrifying. And it could have been a plummet straight to earth.

But it wasn’t. My parachute opened. I found friends, supporters, cheerleaders, mentors, and most importantly, customers. And now I get to live to the life I always envisioned – flexing my talents, bringing ideas to life, geeking out over great eyeglasses, and helping others in the optical business achieve their dreams.

So thank you. If you liked or commented on a @socialeyesonyou post, or you shared one to an Instagram Story, thank you. If you read one of my blog posts, or used one of my tips, thank you. If you found me at a conference and introduced yourself, double thank you, because I really love that. If you asked me to write for your magazine, thank you, and I’m really honored. If you recommended me to an eye doctor or optical shop owner that needs social media help, then I truly cannot thank you enough. And if you hired me to manage your social media – well, you’re my hero.

But really, thank you. Because whatever you did that helped me believe that a first-time solo woman business owner like me could succeed, it worked. And I am grateful.

Want to improve your business’s social media in 2019? Need help? Please contact me. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

4 reasons you should make Instagram Stories

Do Instagram Stories Scare You?

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.

  1. 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.

    Instagram Stories position

     

  2. 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.

    Instagram Stories insights

     

    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.

  3. 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.

    Add post to Instagram Stories - step 1
    Add post to Instagram Stories - step 2

  4. 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.

Instagram Stories tools you should use at VEW

Instagram Stories are perfect for VEW

Vision Expo West starts this week, and a lot of people will be following along on Instagram Stories. If you’re attending and want to capture all the excitement, consider using Instagram Stories and some of its new built-in capabilities. These encourage a give-and-take with your audience that you’ll both enjoy.

Instagram Stories: A little background

Instagram Stories are brief snippets of video, photo, or typed content that are available to followers for just 24 hours. They are found in the circles at the top of the Instagram screen, and are offered to you in order of each account’s relevance to you (in other words, you’ll see your best friends and most popular accounts first). Instagram Stories are great for sharing glimpses of live events, because producing them is quick and mobile-friendly.

Instagram Stories

New to Stories?

My advice: play around with making some Instagram Stories before you head to Expo. That way you’re comfortable with how they work before you try to use them on the loud, busy exhibit floor. There are all kinds of fun things you can do with Boomerang (looping video), Face Filter (bunny ears, anyone?), and Superzoom (zooming in with mood music). To make it fun for your audience too, try them on your kids or pets.

Ready to level up?

Awesome! Here are the new capabilities Instagram has added to Stories that are a ton of fun and will engage your audience.

Polls

Ask a question of your audience with the regular Text feature, then offer them two choices in response. It can be Yes/No, or you can change the response text to whatever two answers you desire.

Instagram Stories tool - poll

Q&A

Ask your audience a question, and let them type back an answer. The beauty of this is no one sees the answer but you, so you can share responses selectively.

Instagram tools - Q&A

 

Instagram tools - Answers

Share Posts to Stories

Instagram is brilliant in its simplicity, but it’s always irritated me that you can’t share other people’s posts natively like you can on Twitter. While you still can’t share a post right into the post feed, you can share a post to your Stories. This is wonderful, because you can add your commentary, and the original poster gets credited and notified.

Instagram tools - share a post

Share Mentions

Another new feature I really appreciate is that when someone mentions your Instagram handle in their post, you are notified and offered the ability to add it to your Stories in one click. Instagram even adds a background in a coordinating color (though you don’t have the ability to change that color – yet).

Instagram tools - share a mention

Emoji slider

Want to get an idea of how your audience feels? Ask them a question, then let them answer with an emoji slider. Not every emoji is available, but most of the basic emotions are covered: mad, sad, happy, on fire, crying laughing, etc. You can have text right above the slider, or not.

Instagram tools - emojis

Instagram tools - emoji slider

Where to find them

You’ll find each of these tools in the Stickers menu of the Instagram Stories creation wizard. Click that, and you’ll get a menu of these tools and many others.

Instagram tools - where to find them

 

Instagram tools - menu

Need more help?

Here are the Stories FAQs straight from Instagram. You’ll find detailed help for these tools and a lot more.

Want expert help for your social media? That’s what we do. Contact us.

Have fun at VEW! And if you’re not going, watch for our Instagram Stories at @socialeyesonyou.