Instagram Stories: Worth the time or passing fad?

With new features, platforms, tweaks and changes being rolled out across each social media channel every month, it can be hard to know which ones to jump on (Vero?) and which ones to leave behind (Peach).

 

Instagram launched Instagram Stories back in August 2016 as a way to compete with the look and feel of Snapchat. So far, it looks like they are here to stay. If you’re a social media coordinator or content manager, it can often be hard to know where to put your focus with only so many hours in the day. So should you, or shouldn’t you add Instagram Stories to your ongoing list of responsibilities? If you haven’t gotten on board yet, here’s a few things to consider:

 

Don’t Recreate the Wheel

You don’t have to go out and create brand new content for Instagram Stories. Repurpose the content you’re already sharing on your channels with a fun twist. Trying to decide between which photo is better for Instagram? Throw them both up in a Story and use the poll feature. Show off the new video you’ve finished with a short teaser. If you’re already posting content daily on Facebook and Instagram, you’ve got lots to work with to incorporate into your Stories.

 

Drive Link Clicks 

Instagram has finally added a feature where you can add links for your organic posts, other than just in your bio! This is reason enough alone to get started. (Note you can only add a swipe up feature if you have 10,000 or more followers or are a verified account). Have a new blog post? Throw up one slide promoting it with a link. Want people to download your new app? Promote it in your Instagram Story. Since Instagram Stories show up both at the top and throughout the Instagram feed, there’s a better chance your fans will catch your Story before they see your Instagram posts. Combined with the loss of organic reach that Facebook is seeing, especially for article posts, you don’t want to miss out on these eyeballs and possible click-throughs to your owned content channels.

 

Have Fun

Stories disappear after 24 hours. This means, unlike your Instagram feed which lives on forever, you can test out content that might not otherwise be a fit. Show off your funny side. Give your audience a look behind the scenes at something you’re working on. Don’t worry about it being perfect and polished, your fans want to connect with the real voice behind the person or brand. And if the joke falls flat, it’s gone after a day anyways. Don’t forget to add in stickers, location tags and gifs to liven up your posts!

 

Are Instagram Stories going to change in the future? Probably. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment now and get up to speed on how to best utilize this new channel.

 

Are you using Instagram Stories? Why or why not have or haven’t you added them to your content calendar?