My Take on Instagram Stories & The #1 Question To Ask Yourself Right Now
Hairstylist Tribe’s Top Strategies for Instagram Growth (Part 3/3)
It’s fair to say that by now you’ve probably noticed the stories feed in the latest Instagram update…
…And thats exacly what the new stories feature is — a secondary feed where you now have the opportunity to not only share a Snapchat — type video of behind the scenes or a quick how-to…
… but its also another way for you to share your own photo posts inside the story feed and have them stay up a while.
If you are worried that your photo or your regular Instagram video might not be seen in the regular feed, you can now guarantee that it will remain visible to your followers in the stories section for 24 whole hours.
I’m currently in the process of figuring it out for my own purposes but to give you an example of what I think, here are my first impressions after using it a couple of times…
…It is a phenomenal addition!
Aside from me never having to do a Snapchat ever again (and I love Snapchat) it allows the Tribe to see my posts way after the fire hose of the feed put my posts way down in the regular feed.
For context , when I announced the first part of this blog on Instagram, I made a post which received 55 likes.
Upon checking the insights (after switching to a business profile), that post had about 250 reach.
Once the likes stopped coming in , I assumed the post was way too far down in the feed for anyone to see at this point so I proceeded to upload it as a story.
What this new Instagram story feature did for me when it came to this particular post is it allowed 449 additional people view that story.
Without the new story feature, it would have been only 55 likes and around 250 possible pairs of eyes reached.
“Instagram stories, in short, doubled Hairstylist Tribe’s Instagram viewership FROM WITHIN ITS OWN COMMUNITY!”
People were given an extra chance to see that I had written a new blog, made a post about it and the new Instagram stories helped with the distribution of my content more than before.
You must look at the stuff you post on your professional page as the content while the place where you upload it to is the distribution channel.
If you haven’t noticed by now, people (or at least from where I’m standing) seem very pleased with this Snapchat — like feature Facebook developed for Instagram.
They no longer have to click out of the platform and go on Snapchat (a.ka. ANOTHER platform), when this new Instagram feature breathed new life into their Instagram accounts.
This isn’t a rip on Snapchat , but Snapchat succeeded up until now because it filled a gap that the other Social Media giants didn’t fill earlier.
More importantly then that , Instagram like Snapchat has what it was missing up until now, the ability to engage , express and show behind the scene stuff that their previous version of the platform lacked.
The more important benefit, to reiterate, is that it also gave accounts more reach and increased viewership from their own followers.
(I can’t say it enought)
It wasn’t my intention to compare the two as to which one is better but , Facebook did try to buy Snapchat for 3 billi0n dollars and Snapchat refused. It was only a matter of time until Facebook would create their own version.
(In fact Snapchat is such a hit that Apple is introducing their own version to IMessage)
What am I really getting at?
I would suggest you take advantage of the distribution power of the new Instagram , and understand how important this new feature is when it comes to the reach of the work that you showcase.
You’ve already made an effort to start learning about Instagram, so take full advantage of the new feature and don’t forget to throw in video clips of your personality much like you would on Snapchat.
In other words, spice it up a little and mix it up some more.
Everyone loves a good story.
And if you do nothing else, at least do this one thing…
I would be the first person to agree with you if you were to say “Growing my social media presence seems to take so much time”.
The truth is — it does.
Therefore it becomes a matter of only a handful of choices.
Either you do it or you don’t.
Since you’ve decided to do it, you are now faced with new choices and questions you’re asking yourself.
The best piece of advice I could offer after 14 months of taking daily consistent action and another year of preparing prior to that, is to ask yourself one basic question:
What do I want to happen?
The truth is we can sit around all day and discuss different ways to grow our social media pressence but the one thing that is not up for debate in MY world is which direction I want to take the Tribe in.
It is up to you to figure out what it is you’re trying to achieve on social media.
I know I made a few comments in part 2 about the beauty industry having popularity contests on social media, but that was tongue — and — cheek humour.
The truth is , for some hair professionals, popularity might be what they’re after and that’s perfectly okay. Some people are built for it. Others are not.
What I hope you don’t do is lie to yourself and tell yourself you want one thing to happen (only because everyone else is chasing or talking about it) when deep down what you feel is the right direction for you is the complete opposite of what everyone else is doing.
Not only is doubting yourself detrimental to your sense of self — worth , it is a colossal waste of time and wasted mental energy — but it subconciously forces you to participate in the online popularity game making you a willing participant to the very thing you are trying to avoid , which is not to second guess yourself.
Focusing on anything else first other than answering the question of “what do I want to happen” is again , another form of procrastination.
It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your social media presence — start anew today and maybe you’ll actually love the direction you start taking after you start asking yourself this.
When you ask yourself this question , you eventually find a few answers that only you can come up with .
Now that you have your answer , you can break down or reverse engineer how you are going to get there, in other words, you now have the basic parts for a kind of road map.
The blueprint is easy , the actual doing of the work day in and day out is the hard part (that’s the part I’d agree with you on which I mentioned in the beginning), so I hope my perepective on approaching your goals eases your mind a bit.
I mean, after all, doesn’t it feel great to know that regardless of what the outcome of your actions may be (positive or otherwise) you and you alone have the ultimate power and control over the input of actions that are needed to get there?
It will feel weird at first especially if what you want to happen is different than what everyone else is doing, but stick with it.
There is nothing better than the satisfaction of the feeling of being in full control over your creative outputs.
There is also nothing wrong with supporting and being encouraging of other stylists but I get way too many private messages with questions along the lines of “should I do what so — and — so is doing?”
My personal opinion is no.
Again, only you know what the right thing is , and I’m willing to bet most of the time is ain’t what the popular kids are doing.
It’s perfectly okay to “ooh — and — awww” at others’ work and profiles , but you would be doing yourself a huge disservice if you didn’t add your own touch which by definition would be unique to you.
Be original , be you , do you , be patient , answer your own inner questions and wait for your own inner answers.
Sometimes they might not come right away.
Usually they come when you least expect them.
If you’re too busy looking at what others are doing, you’re not spending time in your own head creating.
External inspiration can be as detrimental as anything else when taken in too much.
External environment stimulation overwhelm happens.
There is something real called internal inspiration and it’s such a part of us, we sometimes forget it’s there.
Sitting and doing nothing sometimes works best.
That’s when the majority of answers seem to come.
Be selfish — make more time for yourself.
I promise you’ll receive better anwers…
P.S. If there is any way I can help by adding a different perspective to your specific situation please don’t hesitate to e-mail me : firstname.lastname@example.org or add me as a friend on Facebook.com/myhairstylisttribe