Recently, Instagram changed its algorithm and platform to focus less on the number of likes a post receives and instead focus on the quality of content to help increase engagement. In order to do this, Instagram has taken the focus away from likes by simply hiding them, allowing only the owner of the post to see how many likes they have received.
So, what exactly does the removal of likes on Instagram mean for brands and their social media strategies? That they can focus more on their content, rather than just a number! However, with the removal of the “likes number”, Instagram’s algorithm has changed causing brands, users, and influencers to find new ways to get their content being found. This is where the use and strategy of Instagram stories comes into play.
Instagram stories are the ephemeral content that is displayed at the top of the home page of the platform. Over the last few years, this type of content has grown in popularity as they are simple, fun, and engaging pieces of content that brands can share with their audiences. And now with Instagram hiding likes and changing their algorithm, Instagram stories are becoming to new relied on content that helps your posts be found.
IMPLEMENTING INSTAGRAM STORIES
With over a billion active monthly users, it makes sense to include Instagram in your social media marketing strategy. But yet many seem to be behind on including IG stories into their strategy.
Buying ads on Instagram is great for increasing brand awareness and getting people interested in your business. But the great thing about Instagram Stories is that they’re featured at the top of the home feed, increasing the chances of your Story being seen. In addition, since the content is usually raw and simplified, it builds a better connection with your audience, resulting in further engagements.
Overall, all features of the platform should be consistently used, in different ways, to help ensure that you are building that strong connection and producing engaging pieces for your followers. Instagram stories is just another piece to the social media puzzle that should be included.
Our tip is to include more behind the scenes, chatty, and raw content that will make your followers feel as though you are taking the time to speak and share with them, rather than showcasing overproduced content, as your posts should be.
HOW INSTAGRAM STORIES CAN HELP YOUR BRAND
Instagram Stories are great for brands because they tell a story and they can do so much without a caption in place. With Instagram already being a visual platform, Stories work so well in keeping users engaged and interested.
Here’s how Instagram Stories can help benefit your brand:
- Humanizing your brand. Creating relatable Instagram Stories help make your brand human and easier for your followers to identify with. You can post your favorite foods, behind the scenes footage, new product launches, events, workplace culture and more. By helping your followers learn more about your brand, Instagram Stories can show the passion behind your company and ultimately, create loyal fans and customers.
- Set you apart from competition. You can show your followers how your product or service is different from others. Maybe you have a makeup brand that uses healthy, organic ingredients that produce great benefits for the skin. You can let your viewers follow along on the journey to purchase clean, organic ingredients that your company uses. You don’t have to reveal your secrets, but showing important elements of your business communicates to your followers that you trust them and makes them feel a part of your team.
- Drive traffic. By adding links to your stories, you can advertise your products with shopping on Instagram. This makes it easier for you to reach your audience and help them discover your products, while easily directing them to a website or blog.
- Increase your reach. Instagram Stories give you the ability to add hashtags and geotags. This makes you more discoverable, giving you a chance to get into Featured Stories and amplify your reach. In addition, as more followers engage with your stories, the Instagram algorithm will begin to show your posts in their feed more often, resulting in higher engagement for all Instagram content produced.