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Features / 3 Sep 2018

Do’s and Don’ts with Instagram Stories

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It’s time to meet with your fans online, using Instagram’s ultimate feature.

Now proving to be the ultimate tool to connect with your fans, Instagram stories are the place to be. Whether it’s for your brand, band, or personal account, it’ll pay to be ahead of the curve with the short-form content player. So we’ve put together our agency minds to create the ultimate Instagram story guide, so you don’t have to!

Want to know the do’s and don’ts for using hashtags on Instagram? Check out our guide here.

Real-time stories

Posting stories in real-time is the lifeblood of the format. Your fans want to see what’s happening right now and feel part of the action.

Do:

  • Choose your style. Whether you post every single day, or only for major events, pick your format and stick with it.
  • Use all features available for real-time stories. We’re talking location tagging, emojis, and gifs. Make each story slightly different, with a pop of fun in every one.
  • Tell a story. That is the point of the format after all. If fans are waiting for an event to start, capture that! Those at home want to experience every element, from the queues, to the food, and to the event.
  • Make it real. Highlight people as much as possible, especially in a behind-the-scenes or VIP style.

Fans lining up for Why Don’t We in Sydney | Jaden Digital for Warner Music Australia


Don’t:

  • Mix up your brand voice. Every day your stories should have a similar tone, as fans will buy into this and return every day for the latest update. If your stories change in style, your fans will become confused and stop engaging with the content, as there’s no familiarity.
  • Just use stories as a marketing tool. Sure you might have an album to push, but fans will swipe away from your story if they know you’re just trying to sell. Intermixing real content along with a sales message will best help you achieve your goals.
  • Go beyond your abilities. Fans are now expecting stories to be of a certain quality, and will switch off if you don’t meet that expectation. So if your phone doesn’t have a great camera, or you have a poor connection, it’s not the time to be doing a live video. Focus on your strengths, be that still photos, boomerangs, or timelapses.

Pre-made stories

Whilst real-time stories are there for the fans, pre-made stories are all about your brand. These are stories made in advance, perhaps tied in with a new product launch, or simply just to highlight your priorities for the week.

Do:

  • Show off your brand. Take your time to make a series of stories that really sing, using all of your brand elements. Fans shouldn’t have to be told they are watching your content, so make it obvious!
  • Create a series of recurring stories. Be it quizzes, get-to-knows, or product highlights, create a number of story templates and use them on an ongoing basis. This is also a great way to segment your story Highlights.

Get to know Dennis Lloyd  | Jaden Digital for Warner Music Australia


Don’t:

  • Use generic Instagram assets. These are easy to drop into real-time stories, whereas your brand’s assets aren’t, so use this to your advantage.
  • Keep changing the look of these pre-made stories. Engage your fans with familiar content that they will recognise.
  • Skimp on the quality. Test your story on different-sized phones to check no major elements are cropped (p.s. you can find all size dimensions right here).

Have we inspired you to start using Instagram to its full worth? If so, you can see even more features here, with our coverage of its latest updates.

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