The Low-Down On Instagram Stories And Why It’s Worth Your Time

Karina Patel
Allwork.Space spoke with CloudVO’s Karina Patel to get the low-down on IG Stories and why it’s worth your time.
  • With over 1 billion users, leveraging Instagram should be an obvious decision for flexible workspace brands.
  • However, it requires significant investment in time and resources to get it right.
  • Allwork.Space spoke with CloudVO’s Karina Patel to get the low-down on IG Stories and why it’s worth your time.

Instagram is the hottest social media channel. It boasts over 1 billion users, most of which are highly engaged, with reports estimating that 75% of Instagram users take some sort of action after seeing a post. 

Leveraging Instagram should be an obvious decision for brands. However, we’ve already learned that it’s not as simple as snapping a picture and posting it on your feed. Companies need to have a strategy and be intentional about the content they share on the platform. Furthermore, Instagram offers features that need to be leveraged uniquely, like IG TV, profile, and Stories. 

The latter, Stories, is a great way to humanize a brand and engage your followers. On the downside, Stories only have a life-span of 24 hours, so they require a unique strategy to have the desired impact. 

Content marketing experts, Cat Johnson and Karina Patel, are co-hosting a training session on Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators next week. 

Ahead of the training that will take a deep dive into Instagram Stories and how coworking operators can use this feature to their advantage, Allwork.Space spoke with Karina Patel to get the low-down.

Allwork.Space: Next week you and Cat Johnson will be co-hosting a training session on how to leverage Instagram Stories. I have to ask, why Stories specifically? 

Karina Patel: Instagram Stories launched in 2016, and since its release, the number of posts to feed has decreased by 36%. More than 500 million users are on Instagram daily and 60% of those users are active on Story every day. 

Businesses are turning to Story as the “hottest and newest” channel to reach audiences with engaging formats – short videos, boomerangs, Q&As, and polls. 

Cat and I realized that it’s a channel not many coworking operators are taking advantage of, and therefore, breaking down this topic made the most sense as a training. 

People roughly spend 30 minutes a day on Instagram, so the opportunity to reach segmented audiences is high. 

Allwork.Space: In other words, to get the most out of Instagram, brands need to post Stories as well as on their profile Feed. What are some of the key differences between Stories and just posting on a profile?

Yes. The main  difference is that Stories expire after 24 hours, while your Feed is permanently there (unless you delete a post). 

Your brand Feed should tell a story about your brand. On the other hand, Stories are great for experimenting with new mediums, repurposing content, and sharing teasers. There are a lot of built-in tools that make Stories user-friendly and perfect for posting on the go. With your Feed, you have to be more intentional, determining which photos you want to share in which order, along with captions and call to actions to match.

Basically, Feed requires a little more effort than Story. 

Allwork.Space: So, what would you say is the best type of content to post on Stories vs on Feed? Can you share some specific examples?

Great question. The most common mistake I see is brands posting content best suited for Story onto their Feed.

We saw this was such a common issue that our team at CloudVO created an infographic for coworking space operators on how to create intentional, effective content for Instagram Stories and Feed. 

The simplest way to differentiate the two is that “off the cuff and fun” content is better for Stories, while “curated or evergreen” content is best for Feed. 

So for example, videos, fun boomerangs, outtakes from a member interview, behind the scenes at an event, announcements, or notices from the building or management are all great for Story. 

High-quality photos from an event or of the team, space, or community, as well as graphics with quotes, member testimonials, or news from your community are great for your Feed. 

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A quick side note and pro tip: brands really don’t need to spend as much time editing photos or videos for their Story, as opposed to posts for their Feed. 

Allwork.Space: Besides posting the wrong content on Stories, what are the top 3 mistakes you see brands making with IG Stories?

  1. Forgetting to tag a location and mention brands or collaborators. When you don’t use a location tag, you take away the opportunity for posts to be discovered. When you miss mentioning people, you take away their ability to repost. Remember, this is all about engagement, and the more reposts and reach, the better your post performs. 
  2. Use of too many stickers – a user has less than 10 seconds to see your story, sometimes only a few before they tap forward. Give them something easy to comprehend within a few seconds.
  3. Inconsistent posting. If all you can do is post once a day on your Story, do that. If you share multiple posts on your Story in one day and then disappear for a few weeks, you will lose engagement (organically, and thanks to the platform’s algorithm). 

Allwork.Space: Since we’re talking about content and being consistent, I have to ask, is there such a thing as too much posting? How many stories a day/week should brands post? Is there an ideal length? 

We all have short attention spans, especially on social media. 

Therefore, up to 7 Stories will keep your followers engaged without fatigue. If you are starting out with Story, I recommend 1-3 every other day to keep you at the top of a follower’s timeline. Stories are automatically capped at 7 seconds for photos (unless there is music or stickers added), but videos can be up to 15 seconds.

Allwork.Space: I’m going to back up a bit here. You said stories expire after 24 hours, but that doesn’t really mean people can no longer see them, right? 

Right. That is, as long as you enable your Stories to be archived. It’s an automatic setting that is enabled, but if you turned it off, just edit the Settings. 

Archived Stories allow you to quickly retrieve and download content, send as a direct message, share as a post, share as a story again or save as a Highlight. Highlights are perfect for recent updates in your space, product or service launches, highlighting best selling items, or repurposing top-performing content. 

Bear in mind that you are the only one who can access your saved Stories, but your Highlights can be seen by those who visit your profile and tap on the Highlighted Stories. 

Allwork.Space: One of the reasons Stories are great is because they are great for engaging with followers. One particular benefit of Stories over Feed is that you can add a link to them. How does this work, is it effective?

If you have more than 10,000 followers or are a verified user, take advantage of the swipe up feature – an incredibly effective tool. After all, the goal is to have your audience convert by leading them back to a landing page, whether it’s a store, a blog, a download, whatever. 

If you do not have the swipe up feature at your disposal, then you will need to update the link in your bio or use a third-party tool like Linktree or by Later. I recommend having a page for links as the link in your bio, so followers have access to more than one important link to your brand. 

Allwork.Space: Anything else you’d like to add?

Stories are great for experimenting. If you haven’t landed on a design strategy for your brand, or trying to test mediums, use Stories. Use it to interact with your audience and build a relationship. You can get away with a lot on Stories as opposed to your Feed as it only has a 24-hour life cycle.

If you’re on Instagram and haven’t figured out how to use Stories to your advantage, then tune into Cat Johnson and Karina Patel’s upcoming training session “Intro to Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators” this February 19th. You can register for it here.

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