Ephemeral Content, Instagram

How to Succeed with Instagram Stories

If Snapchat is the network that started the ephemeral content trend, Instagram is the one that perfected it – Instagram stories has more daily users than Snapchat! Companies that do it well make creating a great Instagram story look easy, but it’s harder than it looks. Here are a few tips to help you succeed with your own Instagram stories.

Keep it polished

Even though Instagram stories lift their functionality directly from Snapchat, the two platforms require different strategies. Where Snapchat is perfectly fine with more raw, candid content, Instagram requires a certain level of polish. Don’t be afraid to give people a look into the daily workings of your business, but keep it professional.

Avoid too many hashtags

While putting a block of hashtags at the end of a normal Instagram post isn’t bad, putting too many hashtags in your story just clutters it. At most, choose one hashtag.

Use hashtags and locations

Even though you shouldn’t cram your story full of hashtags, it’s still a good idea to use one and/or include a location! This will get your story more exposure, since it will show up in searches for that tag or location (and could possibly be put in a “featured in this location” story collection for the tagged location).

Share interesting content

This is somewhat obvious, but make sure the content you share in your story is interesting. Chances are nobody cares about the new conference table at the office, but they might find it interesting to know that the C-suite executives all have walking desks. A good litmus test: “If one of the brands I follow posted this, would I be interested?”

Get creative

Good Instagram stories require creativity! The goal is for it to be engaging to your audience, and that requires some creative thinking. The most interesting thing in the world can still be not engaging if it’s presented uncreatively. If you’re not a creative person, it might be worth talking to a creative person about it – if nothing else, look at other brands’ Instagram stories and see what techniques of theirs you can imitate.

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