We have no idea what next year has in store, but there is one thing we can all be certain of: Instagram is due to add another feature that will complicate your entire social strategy all over again. But before you jump right into the trials of Instagram Reels and the new shopping tab, we want to make sure you’re mastering the basics of Stories and Feed posts.
Look at your Instagram account like a restaurant. Your outdoor signage is flashy and highlights menu specials to invite guests inside. And once guests are in, your charm and customer service makes them come back for more.
If your outdoor signage is your Deed, your indoor charm is your Story. This scenario will help you seamlessly create and share content in a strategic way that will increase reach and engagement.
Types of content best suited for your Instagram Feed.
Your Instagram Feed is your chance to make a good first impression. When potential followers come to your profile, your posts should be visually engaging and tell your story: who you are, what you do, what makes you different from everyone else, and what impact your company has on people. This is evergreen content that would be relevant to viewers at any time of day.
Your feed should also have a balance between curated media and unfiltered, natural content. Continue to post high-quality photos, videos and designed assets, but also include user-generated content and lifestyle imagery. And when posting videos, opt for gifs or videos with no sound since most users scroll through their feed with the sound off.
Mindbodygreen is a great example of how to use infographics, user-generated content and clean photography to tell your brand story.
Here’s a checklist you can use to make sure your Feed makes a good first impression on viewers:
- Archive posts that are low-quality and off-brand.
- Crop images into squares so that text and faces are visible on the Feed.
- Add hashtags and locations to your posts to increase reach.
- Incorporate user-generated content or lifestyle imagery into every 6-9 posts.
- Use brand colors throughout the feed.
- For speaking videos, add text to the video or make sure the caption summarizes what is being said.
- Use the carousel feature to break up posts with a ton of content.
- Include a call to action when necessary.
- Engage with comments where you can.
Types of content best suited for your Instagram Stories.
Stories are designed to engage with your current followers, and since they’re right at the top of the screen, people will probably click your story before they see your Feed post.
Stories are only on your page for 24 hours, so this is where you can post in-the-moment content without worrying about how it fits into your Feed. This content should also be conversational and make your followers feel like they’ve known you forever.
Focus on the features that boost engagement, like a poll, open-ended question, emoji slider and multiple-choice quiz. The content possibilities are endless and followers will answer polls and submit questions without it feeling like a time-consuming task.
Your Story is also a great opportunity to show lifestyle content and your company culture. Give followers a behind-scenes look at a current project – and since most people view Stories with the sound on, you can speak directly to the camera so people can put a face to your brand.
Be sure to re-share user-generated content that might not be visually cohesive with the content on your Feed here too. Play around with stickers, music and filters that feel true to your brand. And for accounts with over 10,000 followers, take advantage of the swipe-up feature – we beg of you. One of Instagram’s biggest current downfalls is that you can’t add links to captions, so this feature is a great opportunity to get people directly to your website or sales page for the lucky brands that have achieved the follower milestone.
Letterfolk has mastered the use of Stories to promote products, re-share user generated content and speak directly to viewers.
Once you have a good idea of the type of content you will add to your Story, start to think about how you can organize these posts into highlights on your Feed, like a sizzle reel of your company. Here are a few examples:
- Products, services and menus – Add specific highlights that call out individual products, services or menu items with strong visual shares.
- Team – Faces feel authentic, so this shows followers there are real people who work at your company.
- Office life and events – Highlights company culture and gives people a behind-the-scenes look at company events.
- Resources – Features company resources and can even include links to non-profits or causes your company is passionate about.
When trying to figure out the best content for your Feed vs. your Story, ask yourself two questions:
- Does my Feed give off a solid first impression of what my brand is?
- Are my Stories conversational and engaging?
Don’t get too caught up in trying to outsmart the Instagram algorithm because there’s no one single formula for success. Be authentic and make your followers feel like your friends, that’s the tried and true method to creating content that works.
Rethink your content strategy.
Working through a new social media strategy can be overwhelming, but our digital marketing team knows how to streamline the process. Contact us today to get started on social strategies for your channels.