Instagram Stories vs. Instagram Feed

Alright, alright I’ve polled my @sociallysteph community numerous times to get the answers on what you like best: STORIES vs FEED. I’ve seen this asked many times on Instagram as well. So let’s uncover some tips, tricks & truths to how you should use these functions!! 💜💛📲

First, let’s get some background on Instagram:

Instagram has been around since 2010! Throughout the last decade or so its gone through huge changes that you may have noticed! #FUNFACT: It didn’t take long for Instagram to grow it’s users to just over 1 million people in under 3 months back in 2010! With those kinds of numbers, obviously Facebook sparked an interest. Facebook bought Instagram for about $1 billion dollars, in which Instagram still remains under the reigns of Facebook since 2012. The traditional photo or video accompanied by a witty caption are still thriving today and not going anywhere anytime soon. Social media is always evolving & with the introduction of Stories there is a huge difference in the content variety you now have. Let’s break down the differences:

How to best structure your Instagram feed posts:

  • Place importance on your feed posts. Unless you delete later or archive them. This means you want to put more time and effort into these posts because they aren’t going anywhere!
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  • Plan, plan, and plan! Planning ahead of time can really distinguish your profile opposed to other users just by thinking ahead. You may ask, “Well I want to be spontaneous, and have fun!” Yes, you can still have fun! But, sometimes the first caption that comes to your head isn’t going to be the most engaging. Or the edit and picture you want to use won’t catch other users’ eyes. Putting more thought into the caption, intention & visuals can really set your profile a part from the other 1 billion users.
  • Be unique & stand out!! Your feed is the first thing new followers will see about YOU.  This goes hand and hand with planning, but also you have to think about the fact that when a new follower reaches your profile the first thing they see is your feed. Putting extra time & thought into it is important. This could range from using the same editing style in your pictures to show a seamless and more uniform flow to your feed to using a color scheme. This will ultimately make your feed more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This doesn’t mean you’re being hindered by doing the same thing every single post.  Truly, it’s about finding your own unique feed aesthetic and style in order to start branding yourself.
  • Put your best face forward in the content you’re sharing. Literally, put your face into it! Posts that have YOU and human interaction in them do 10x more better than a photo of your grande latte from Starbucks. Be sure to include the best quality in your pictures and videos you wish to share.
  • Provide value!! This can range from sharing others’ content, (with permission of course) to anything that you and your followers’ might find interesting. Such as, your go-to restaurants in the city you live in or providing food reviews of new spots in town. Providing value to your followers can really increase engagement, especially with adding in a CTA (Call to Action)  into your captions. Such as, “Comment below your favorite drink spot in Chicago!”

How to best structure your Instagram Stories:

  • 24 hours, 1440 minutes, or  86,400 seconds. Whichever way you look at it, all of the posts within your Instagram story are gone in 1 day from the time you posted it. UNLESS, you save to a highlight. With Instagram Stories being time sensitive, you can post completely different content than what you would post in your feed.
  • Great for a “behind the scenes” (BTS) approach to posts in your story. Especially for business Instagram profiles who want to maintain a more professional look overall. Many consumers want to see what’s going on in the background of the “professionalism” Face it, we’re all human! Some great ideas: BTS in a factory, photo shoots, and even office life culture or maybe you work from home & can share your day-to-day routine.
  • Meet the team! Especially if you are running a business account on Instagram this gives insight to some of the faces that followers and consumers might not see or know about with the brand or company. Putting a face to the brand can be really beneficial in becoming more relatable to your audience.
  • Increase your visibility. With an insane amount of messages being delivered daily your feed posts won’t be seen by all of your followers. You might say, “Whaaaat”, but this has to do with the way in which the IG algorithm functions. If you want your followers to see your feed post consider posting it up to your Stories. #TRICK: Try using the location and hashtag stickers for further reach. Users searching for hashtags and locations can see your posts if you’re a public account.
  • Build brand awareness and visibility. Consistency is 🔑. The more consist of posts in Instagram stories, the more your brand will be seen by users. #TIP: You can also use paid promotions to have sponsored ads within the Instagram story function. This will gain more eyeballs👀 on your brand’s profile.
  • Announce new products or services. Stories are used many times for brands to push out new launches of products or services because it is so time sensitive. Utilize the story function for new launches rather than just posting in your feed. If your feed is primarily just about new product launches, then users can become desensitized seeing the same posts over and over again.
  • Share discounts and current sales. Again with Instagram Stories being so time sensitive, use this as an opportunity to share discounts and sales for your business. Instead of a mass email with coupons for your company, try delivering the discounts through your IG Stories and see if this influences your sales and website traffic. As well as, followers visiting your profile after watching your story.
  • Try using a “day in the life” approach. Let’s be honest, people are nosey. Whether it’s your personal profile or a business, users like to see what your routine is such as, day to day activities. Also, vlog style is popular among influencers and bloggers within IG stories. Meaning, talk to your phone, let people hear your voice! Literally. It’s all about being as transparent as possible because people want to feel like you’re being genuine or like you’re really one of their friends. If it’s not your style then try using boomerangs, videos without talking, or pictures.
EXAMPLE: @sociallysteph asks for help on which hair photo audience likes best.
  • Gather follower feedback!! Whether this is for your personal or business IG profile, asking your followers questions can really increase engagement. For a business, this can be used to ask about new products or services consumers want, while also gaining insight about what your target market wants out of your brand. #Tip: Use Instagram Stories poll & question feature to enhance the hype!
  • Use a “day in the life” approach. Let’s be honest, people are nosey. Whether it’s your personal profile or a business, users like to see what your routine is such as, day to day activities. Also, vlog style is popular among influencers and bloggers within Instagram Stories. #TIP: 🗣️talk to your phone, let people hear your voice! It’s all about being as transparent, authentic & real as possible because people want to feel like you’re being genuine or like you’re one of their friends. If it’s not your style that’s OK. We suggest then try using boomerangs, videos without talking or pictures.

So, there you go. If you ever caught yourself scratching your head thinking, “Really… What is the difference between IG feed posts and IG story posts?”  You now have the magic answers. Two different approaches, for two completely different tools within Instagram. What’s your take on it all? Let’s hear it below in the comments. Share a tip, trick or truth with us.

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This post was created by Socially Steph Co.