photo courtesy of the official Instagram Blog
Earlier this week Instagram launched Instagram Stories, a new feature that’s a direct competitor to Snapchat. Like Snapchat, the new Instagram feature makes it possible to share multiple 10-second videos and photos that will disappear after a 24 hour period. The organic and off-the-cuff nature of these short video gives users a new way to spend more time directly viewing your brand, and allows your followers to pull back the curtain and get a more nuanced view of who you are and what you do.
There are some things to keep in mind if you are considering using Instagram Stories to promote your organization:
1.) The user base varies between Instagram and Snapchat:
Demographically, Snapchat and Instagram differ widely. Snapchat has a monopoly on younger users from 13-24 years of age. Instagram has a more diverse age range and over 500 million users worldwide. On Snapchat users typically follow friends and acquaintances–which has made it challenging for companies and organizations to gain followers. On Instagram users are already accustomed to following brands with large companies and celebrities making up the top 20 most followed accounts on Instagram.
2.) Be cautious: The story format might not be for everyone:
Keep in mind that when sharing stories, you are sharing experiences rather than recording a polished message. Recording an experience can generate a larger reach than traditional Instagram posts and endear your audience to your day-to-day experiences, but be cautious about highlighting them at the expense of you brand. It may seem attractive to record every moment, but that should not outweigh the value of strategic messaging. Your Instagram Stories should fit into a marketing and messaging strategy that contributes directly to your mission. So be sure to ask yourself . . .
3.) Does this fit my brand?
As we mentioned in last week’s blog post 5 Tips For Non-Profits on Instagram; “The best Instagram accounts post consistent content that matches with the brand’s identity. It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you have complete control of your content. Although you might have various content creators and admins, you must ensure that the content has a consistent voice. A great strategy is to categorize the type of posts that you make and limit yourself to only 2-3 categories.” This goes for stories, as well. Your social media strategy should tie back to specific goals for your organization. If you don’t have a clear-cut plan for how a story can contribute to your organization’s goals, chances are you shouldn’t be doing it.
Instagram Stories are an exciting new addition to the platform. Acquiring followers on Snapchat can be tough due to its incredibly minimal design, but now, with Instagram Stories, your Instagram followers can have automatic access to a similar style of ephemeral, real-life posts without having to seek it out. Instagram is becoming a one-stop platform for polished marketing and off-the-cuff and organic posts. With thoughtfulness, planning and consistency your organization can capitalize on the opportunity to tell your story in a way that resonates with a new audience.
Looking for more information? Check out our blog on Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative – Stories of Entrepreneurship