Six best practice tips: Making Instagram Stories work for your brand.

Instagram stories, since its not-completely-original inception, has managed to rack up over 200 million daily views. Thats’s 200 million, per day. With traffic like that Insta stories aren’t something that brands can afford to ignore (especially as they’ve recently been beefed up with the ability to tag and search for stories by location or hashtag).

But with so many fresh eyes, it’s important that the content going up in your story is right. So here are a couple of pointers to make sure that your stories are temporary, but not forgettable:

1. Find a consistent style

Your stories will go back-to-back with hundreds of others, and the only things that will differentiate yours (apart from quality) is visual style. Whether it be bold text boxes, skinny arrows or black and white; make sure your Instagram stories are visually consistent and recognisable. The aim is to be identified solely by how your content looks. LinkedIn, for example, does a good job of making their stories look consistent, which helps the viewer focus on the narrative (below).

​2. Tag people, like a lot.

If your client sent you cookies, if someone famous has worn your bespoke beanie, or if you want to shout out all the people eating your food truck tacos (yes a lot of those are food based. I make no apologies) then you can reach out to everyone in stories without it dominating your account. Just type an @ when posting a story to add a handle, and the recipient will get a direct message letting them know they’ve been tagged. The best way to get people to care about your stories is to get them involved!

3. Allow your tone to change

The key selling point of stories is that they’re moments of time; as opposed to the manicured, polished main feed. So let them be different, if the feed and the stories are the same, there isn’t much reason to see them both. Even if you have solid style standards (you can always upload images and videos you made earlier) make sure that you’re speaking with a voice that’s distinct from the usual.

4. Get involved with hashtags & locations

Being able to add hashtags and locations to your stories is amazing for being discoverable. Add either of the two and your story now gets indexed like all other posts. Not only that, you get put under the glowing button at the top of the page (although whether or not someone sees your story in the discover reel is up to Instagram’s algorithm). Being able to search is also a great way to find people who are recently active and talking about what you are, or are nearby.

5. Know your limits

Most things on Instagram are at least somewhat interesting, very few things on Instagram are 25-story interesting. Unless you’re National Geographic or have seriously interesting visuals, keep it short and to the point. As well as saving you time, it’ll also make sure that people aren’t skipping through half of your hard-made posts.

6. Find your format

Stories may not be up to Snapchat’s level of AR integration yet, but with a selection of live streaming, boomerangs, reverse videos, and filters you can find the format that works best for you. Swipe up on stories you’ve posted to check out the viewer numbers (try leading your story with different content types and seeing which ones work best!)

We hope these pointers either help you start out strong, or get back on track. If you’ve got any advice for getting stories on point, or you think we’ve missed out a crucial tip, leave a comment below!