With the constantly changing landscape of social media, it can be difficult to keep up with where to focus your energy and resources in order to get the highest return. One of the major sources of confusion is the question of which elemental piece of content to use on Instagram – Stories or Posts? In this article, we will explore the differences between Instagram Stories vs Posts and help you decide which one is best for your business and audience.
I. Instagram Stories vs. Posts: Understanding the Difference
Instagram is constantly evolving. In addition to being a popular photo-sharing and social media platform, it has now become a great tool for branding and promotion. Though users can share stories and posts, they often don’t know the difference between the two.
Instagram Posts are images or videos published on a user’s profile. Posts are publicly visible and can show up on followers’ feeds. They appear in a post-oriented feed, so they remain discoverable for an extended period of time. Posts are most suitable when you need to communicate a message to your audience in a concise and effective way.
Instagram Stories are at the same time images and videos, but they don’t appear on users’ profile feeds. Instead, the stories are visible for 24 hours and then disappear from the feed. Stories are great for engaging the followers by providing regular updates, build a narrative, and explore different creative opportunities in the feed. Here are the main differences between posts and stories:
- Posts are permanent and visible on the profile, whereas stories are visible only temporarily.
- Posts can reach a larger, more diverse audience, while stories are exclusive to the user’s followers.
- Posts are an effective way to share a message, while stories are better for engaging the followers.
II. What Makes Instagram Stories Unique?
Instagram Stories offers a range of unique features and editing tools that make it stand out from other social media platforms. Users can create unique, eye-catching stories and share them with their followers.
Customize and Enhance with Tools & Filters. Instagram Stories offers a variety of tools and filters that let users customize and enhance their photos or videos to create the perfect story. Filters like VHS, Retro, and Toon give users an array of options to choose from. Along with filters, users can add stickers, text, and GIFs to their stories.
Stories Highlights & Collections. Instagram Stories gives users the ability to save their stories in collections or highlights. This feature allows users to keep and showcase their stories easily. It also makes it easier to find and view stories at a later time.
Time-limited Content. Instagram Stories is also unique because it only lasts for 24 hours. This encourages users to be creative and to come up with fresh, exciting content regularly. It is also a great way to see what other people are up to since content will disappear shortly after it is posted.
- Customize and Enhance with Tools & Filters
- Stories Highlights & Collections
- Time-limited Content
III. Should You Focus on Instagram Stories or Posts?
The beauty of Instagram is that it allows you to tell stories through multiple mediums and formats. Whether it’s through a photo post, an engaging video, or even a compelling story. Knowing which to use can be difficult, however. So should you focus on Instagram stories or posts?
Instagram Stories: With stories, you can show your audience a more intimate look into who you are and what you do. Stories are a great way to complement your posts with additional content, as well as share day-to-day moments with your followers. This is especially important for more personal brands and in cases where you may be far away from your customers.
Instagram Posts: On the other hand, posts are still an effective and powerful way to engage your audience, promote products and services, and provide valuable content to your followers. Posts can also be used to influence consumer behavior and drive engagement.
When deciding between stories and posts, think about how you want your audience to engage with your content and what your goals are for each post. If you’re looking to keep your audience engaged, post stories and videos. If you’re looking to get more engagement and visibility on your posts, focus on photos and visuals. Ultimately, it’s best to use a combination of stories and posts to create a comprehensive picture of your brand.
IV. Maximizing Your Reach with Instagram Stories
Making Use of the Instagram Story Highlight Feature
Instagram stories give you the opportunity to create videos and images that indicate what has been going on with your brand recently. The more engaging and creative your stories, the more likely people are to be drawn in. Additionally, you can use the “Highlight” feature to your advantage by curating collections of the most interesting stories from various campaigns. This allows you to draw people’s attention to your stories for longer amounts of time and to introduce them to some of the other story topics that may be of interest.
Encouraging Audience Engagement
Instagram stories can also be a great way to capitalize on audience engagement and increase your reach. Utilize the platform’s tagging, sticker, and location features to replicate a conversation dynamics. You can also utilize polls and surveys to better understand what your customers think and want. You can also ask questions directly to your followers and encourage them to get involved in the conversation surrounding your Instagram story.
Including Multiple Story Options
In addition, it’s important to remember that providing different viewing options for your story content can lead to increased interaction and reach. For instance, you can use animations, sound effects, and drawings to draw attention to certain stories. Furthermore, using multiple variations of the same story gives people a variety of ways to interact with your content. Some tips to remember include:
- Incorporate several different forms of content, such as animations, GIFs and tags.
- Add captions that are clear and direct that encourage users to comment.
- Include polls and surveys to get a better sense of your audience’s views.
- Link your stories to other relevant content across your platforms.
V. How to Use Instagram Posts for Increased Engagement
As an effective business tool, Instagram connects companies with customers that can lead to increased engagement. Here are three tips to help you maximize engagement through Instagram posts:
- Create Thoughtful Content: Successful posts must have an engaging message behind them or else it will be seen as generic or bland. Focus on delivering your message in a compelling way to capture the audience’s interest in your product or service.
- Utilize Hashtags: Using hashtags helps your content be discovered by a wider audience and can increase engagement from new and old followers alike. Additionally, using local hashtags can help localize the audience and will increase chances of your posts getting noticed.
- Capture Audience Attention: Whether it is through pictures or video, make sure your content is able to capture the audience’s attention – this can be achieved by editing in post or by shooting high-quality content. Additionally, be sure to stay on top of trends in your industry and post accordingly.
Instagram posts are an invaluable tool when used correctly and with a strategy in place to increase engagements. With the ability to create organic content, use hashtags, and design visually appealing posts, you can properly leverage Instagram to help increase your business’s visibility.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the goals you have for your Instagram account and the way that you prefer to engage with your followers. Consider the audience you are targeting and the message you are trying to convey – understanding the distinction between stories and posts will be essential for setting you off in the right direction.