Have you had a go at Instagram Stories yet? Instagram Stories are slightly different form your usual post as they only appear for 24 hours. However, they appear at the very top of your feed before any of the standard posts so this really is prime real estate as it is often the first place people look when they log into Instagram.. Better still, it is free with all personal and business accounts.
There are many options with Instagram Stories, with more options being released on a regular basis. You can include many different elements including text, images, giffs, video and more. You can also go Live on Instagram Stories if you’re brave enough.
You can’t schedule Instagram Stories in advance but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using this feature!
In addition to the usual, you can now add stickers to your Instagram Stories, or colour over an image. You can run polls, ask questions, add hashtags or your store location and more. But make sure, whatever you create is relevant to your brand voice and company objectives. If your audience is mostly made up of corporate professionals for example, it is probably best you don’t go crude or over do it with emojis.
You also have the option of sending your Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories or you can keep your story forever by adding it to your Highlights section on your Profile. After you get a certain number of followers you will also unlock ‘swipe up’ functions which is great for directing more customers to your website or for when you’re hosting a competition / contest.
Not everyone has the time or money to invest in regular stories posts so what you can do is share your existing posts to your stories. Then customise them with stickers or a location tag etc. This will save you time as you’re simply re-sharing content you’ve already created. Remember, stories are prime real estate and will encourage more click-throughs and followers as your audience are able to re-share your content in their own feeds. Exciting isn’t it?
There is a big debate in terms of when and how often you should be posting. The key is to test, test and test some more. When is your audience most likely to be online? When are they more likely to engage with your content? How often are your competitors posting?
Once you are ready to start answering these questions, it is best to sit down and come up with a plan. Better still, schedule your content in advance so you know what content is going out when and you can keep an eye on how varied your content is. Remember, people don’t like repetition so try a 30 day content plan so that your whole month is filled with different content to surprise and excite your audience.
Be sure to remember to include any promotions that you plan on running, or events and National Days such as ‘World Book Day’. National Days often fill social media with content so it’s good to get involved and encourage shares.
There are also hashtags that trend regularly such as #mondaymotivation or #fridayfeeling. Have a look at what trending hashtags would be most relevant to your business, products or services and start posting. Remember, hashtags are a great way to increase your visibility to mass audiences who may not be connected with your brand.
If you don’t have a social media or marketing plan in place already, you really should!
It is so important to understand what you want to be posting and when. Plus your audience will appreciate a level of consistency within your brand voice, style and message. However, always make time to respond to trends, if they’re relevant to your business. Trends don't last so you have to be on top of your game and keep an eye on what's happening in real time. You could always go back and edit the content that you've posted about or delete it altogether if it's no longer relevant and the trend has passed.
Managing multiple different social media platforms is always less daunting if you plan head and prepare content in advance, such as imagery, copy and links. There are so many third-party apps out there which you can use for scheduling so whilst you are busy running your business, you can be reassured that content is still going live on your social media channels, when it matters most. When preparing your content, always keep in mind your brand voice and guidelines so your social channel appears professional and consistent.
Another good way to make sure that your content is being seen by a lot more people than just your followers is by promoting your posts. You can pay to have your post boosted either directly within Instagram or through Facebook ads manager. There are different options with paid advertising including stories, you can do a carousel or image advert or potentially a video advert which tends to get higher engagement rates especially within Facebook. All of the above should be added to your social media marketing plan as well so you can keep track of what is going live and when.
It’s all very clever and the options are endless. But as with most things in marketing, the best thing to do is test, test and keep testing. You won’t know what is most effective unless you try but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t create adverts based on educated guesses.
If you know your business and your audience, you will already have a good idea as to what will get the best results. So make sure you always keep an eye on your insights and analytics to see if your efforts have paid off. They do say numbers don’t lie and it’s always exciting when you get the results you were looking for.
Need help managing your social media content? Contact us today to get the ball rolling.