When it is a big company, you do not always have to be the first. You do not always have to be innovative. Sometimes you just need to think ahead enough to see where the market is going and react. Often reacting can even mean stealing, as was the case recently when Instagram raised the idea for its new feature “Instagram Stories” directly from SnapChat.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal” (And, Later, Steve Jobs)
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom openly admits that Instagram “lent” the Instagram idea to SnapChat Stories. When you are the size of Instagram, a property of Facebook, you tend to shy away from this type of behavior, and if the first indications are to believe, the latest feature of Instagram is proving popular.
How will your business publish Stories on Instagram and how does the feature compare to what is already available in SnapChat?
Questions may accumulate in this new world of SnapChat inspiring updates on Instagram, but fortunately, we have you protected.
How to post Instagram Stories?
Publish to Instagram Stories is fairly straightforward, and largely accomplished in line with the existing framework, ensuring that people of all ages can indulge in the fun.
To post to Instagram Stories in your business or personal profile is as follows:
Navigate first to the home screen of your Instagram application. Unlike regular photo posting in your main feed, Stories are only postable on the home screen.
Forget the familiar camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Instead, look at the top left of your home screen. You will notice a new “broken circle” icon that is comprised of dashes and straight lines. There is also a “+” sign in the middle of the circle. Touch this icon.
The camera application will open. Take the photo of your choice by clicking the camera button at the bottom of the screen, or, hold this button to record a video. You can rotate the camera by tapping the icon to the right of the camera button.
After you take your picture or video, you’ll notice that the user interface changes to include additional options. In the upper right corner, you can add text and drawings. In the lower right corner, you can save the image or video to the camera roll of your phone. Edit your image however you want.
Finally, in the middle of the bottom, you’ll notice a checkmark. Tap here to submit your post to the Stories feed once you’re satisfied with the bottom line.
How Instagram Stories and SnapChat Differ
It is important to understand that although Instagram Stories has been directly inspired by SnapChat, the two story features in each social application are not carbon copies. There are differences.
Let’s take a brief look at what separates Instagram Stories from SnapChat.
SnapChat remains entirely episodic. Whenever you post a story in SnapChat, you will see that the story will always disappear after 24 hours (unless the user deletes first). This is derived from the initial structure of SnapChat, which involved sending “Snaps” directly to users who would “high-destroy” immediately after viewing.
With Instagram, it’s a bit different. Although Instagram Stories is also scheduled to automatically disappear after 24 hours, you can always use your feed to tell permanent stories. Unlike SnapChat, the Instagram main feed hosts your photos and videos forever – in case you choose not to delete them – and Instagram allows you to save your stories to your camera roll to permanent posting in your main feed.
SnapChat recently incorporated the “Memories” feature that allows you to re-publish the photos saved in Snaps in your story, or send them directly to friends. You can also save the memories for personal reading. However, while Memories remain visible to your eyes only in the future, they will also disappear within 24 hours after being sent to a friend or added to your story.
Despite the addition of memories, SnapChat continues to lack the permanence that Instagram offers
It is not just a matter of permanence. Instagram Stories is public (unless the account in question is set to private), giving your brand the opportunity to reach many more consumers.
SnapChat stories are inherently a private matter. Your stories can only be viewed by those who track your account, and vice versa. In contrast, Instagram Stories is public by default, in the same way as the posts added to the main feed of an account.
In short, there is a much greater exposure opportunity for Instagram Stories versus SnapChat.
Filters have become huge on the SnapChat platform, and Instagram also comes into the fun with its new feature Stories.
Instagram has recently announced motion-mapping and face-mapping filters on Stories, allowing users to play with face-swap technology and slow-motion effects, among other options.
Snapshots are a major negation in SnapChat. Whenever a user takes a screenshot of a snap-in that service, the user who posted the content will be immediately notified.
Instagram Stories does not have this privacy protection, although the existence of this feature seems out of place given the inherently public nature of the platform. It is a remarkable distinction, though.
While Instagram offers a great chance for exposure through Stories, it also increases the chances that your business content gets lost in the midst of the mess.
There are currently approximately 500 million active monthly users for Instagram, compared to approximately 100 million for SnapChat. Currently, there is no system to hide Instagram specific account histories, opening up the possibility that Instagram’s pure scale may cause some stories to be ignored or lost entirely.
With so much content spilling over into Instagram, both through the main feed and Stories, businesses will have to adapt to determine the best way to present their content.
USING THE STORIES TO GENERATE LEAD, SALES, AND TRAFFIC
Many are questioning the purpose of Instagram Stories and whether this can be used as a tool to further develop their business or not. We have found some simple tactics to work on so far.
One thing you can do is take advantage of the 24 hour life time of each Story you post. You can be creative and have limited free shipping time or discount coupon codes, for anyone who sees the story. The powerful thing about it is that it allows your fans to get in on the action, which makes interaction more fun and natural.
HUMANIZING YOUR BRAND
Because Instagram Stories is practically live, it will allow you to develop a much deeper relationship with your audience.
Remember, people buy from other people or brands they like and trust, and this is now a great opportunity to show people behind the company or page they are operating. This is also a great opportunity to start doing “behind the scenes” and publish unique content that your fans will not be able to see anywhere else. The best part is: even if you’re testing a type of story to post, they only last for 24 hours!
CTA’s (CALL TO ACTION)
Using your Instagram Stories as another way to catch the attention of your fans – can be a powerful way to drive/drive traffic!
If you are not using Instagram Stories to grow your business, you are wasting time. Now, promise to yourself: take the tips we shared above and execute them.