Yes, Snapchat invented the idea of social media 'stories'; however, Instagram may have taken it to a new level. Instagram users, specifically companies, seem to be more serious about the content they post, rather than on Snapchat where it is only visible for a maximum of 24 hours. For Instagram, users tend to put a lot more thought and effort into each post, because the post is on their story until they decide to delete it. Users only have one chance to get their post right in order to get the most engagement. The new implementation of stories on Instagram gives users a chance to share more about their content than with a single image or video with a caption.
Stories Erase Instagram Limitations
Of course we all know the phrase "a picture says 1000 words", but this is not always the case for companies who are trying to give their viewers a lot of information. Instagram posts are great to use as a quick representation or summary of an event, an end result of what the company has been working on, etc. With stories, companies are learning to use this tool as a way to give their viewers a behind the scene look that leads up to their actual posts. These stories give the background information and lead up necessary to help their viewers appreciate their posts more, and feel more personable with the company.
Instagram Stories' Wider Reach
Another benefit of Instagram stories for businesses is that they get a much larger reach than those on Snapchat. A lot of people follow their favorite companies on Instagram so that they can see a glamorous shot of the product or service, while easily being able to access the product or service through a link in the company's bio. This is something that cannot be done on Snapchat. After viewing an Instagram story, the viewer can quickly access more information on the event, product, or service by clicking on the link on the company's profile. Because of this ammenity, more people tend to follow companies on Instagram instead of Snapchat. With this new implementation, companies can reach their large following in a new way without them having to go to a different app to do so.
Companies are constantly trying to figure out how to track who is engaging in their content, but also who is simply just viewing it. Instagram allows followers to 'like' or comment on post, which is great, but companies may not realize that more viewers are looking at their content than are actually taking the time to 'like' or comment. Through stories, companies are able to see everyone who has viewed their story, and not just who engaged in it. By looking at a company's story, a viewer is more likely to later engage in the company's long-term post. Seeing background information and a more detailed look at their content will help viewers appreciate a company's posts. A viewer can also swipe up on a story to quickly send the user a message or view their profile.
With these many benefits, companies would be crazy to not give Instagram stories a try. They may find that they have more opportunities for content, a wider reach to their followers, and more engagement with their content.
Instagram is a gold mine of Millennials, and they are the ones who engage in a company's social media posts the most. For more ways to use social media to your advantage, check out this guide on how to market to the biggest group of its users!
photo credit: Phubbing via photopin (license)