3 Things You Must Know About Instagram Stories

Welcome to episode 293 of “Hit the Mic” with The Stacey Harris.

Alright, guys, so Instagram Stories has been out for a couple of weeks now, and it’s time that we talk about it because the next, I would say, month really separates the people who are going to actually use this and use it effectively from the people who got excited and who have maybe not even looked at it in a couple of days or weeks. These that are the things that those of you who really want to invest in using this tool to cultivate community, these are the things you need to know. We’re going to talk about those three things today.

We’re going to first talk about some functionality. Then we’re going to talk about some getting and keeping engaged with it. Third, we’re really going to talk about it from the perspective of: “How do we get this to lead somewhere else, do something, really impact our business for the better?” That’s really what this tool is for.

First up, let’s talk about some of those sort of tactical stuff.

If you want to see how to use it, I will actually link to a video I did over on my Facebook page really breaking down how to use Instagram stories. One of the things I wanted to talk about from a tactical perspective today with you is how you can share what you’re doing on Snapchat over on Instagram as well, because I’m getting a lot of questions from people who are Snapchat users already as far as, “Is this something I need to do as well or is this something I need to do instead or, if it is something I’m going to do both, then how do I make this make sense as far as content in both places?”

One of the things I’ve been doing a lot of Instagram Stories, and I’m see some success with, is actually something I don’t do very often anywhere else, and that’s straight up duplicating. I find that I have a very different audience on Snapchat and Instagram. There’s not actually a lot of crossover. There’s some but not really a ton. Especially people who consistently watch stories in either place. For me, actually duplicating content has been really, really powerful. What I’ve been a lot is creating the content over on Snapchat and then saving it to my phone and then uploading it into Instagram stories.

The way you do that is, when you’re in that story screen where you’re actually going to take a picture or video, if you swipe down the screen, you’ll be able to access stuff from your camera roll from the last twenty-four hours. You’re not able to share a story from the last week necessarily, but you are able to share something that you’ve just saved to you phone in the last couple of minutes, which is what I’ve been doing. I’ll save each snap, and, again, I’ll upload each of them into Instagram.

I’m not actually duplicating everything from Snapchat to Instagram because, again, I do have different audiences there. They engage with me differently. They engage with my brand slightly differently. I’m not sharing necessarily everything from Snapchat to Instagram, but when I’m sharing value, when I’m sharing tips or tools or lessons or hacks or things that are a fit for my Instagram community, then I do, I straight up duplicate. I pull it out of Snapchat and upload it into Instagram. A, it’s a huge time saver because I’m not having to re-invent the wheel, but also it’s a great solution to the way I’m able to serve both communities without having to massively change what I’m creating or how I’m creating it up for each audience.

Again, this is not something I do all the time, but it’s a great, great way to serve your audience. I’m finding, for me, a lot of who is engaging on Instagram Stories are people who have zero interest in hanging out on Snapchat. That works really well for me from this perspective, because I’m able to really give them that experience, give them that kind of engagement, give them that kind of feel, without having to actually get them to Snapchat. That’s worked really well.

Again, if you just swipe down when you’re in the camera to take a story, video, or photo, then you’ll see what’s been added to your camera in the last twenty-four hours. Either pictures you’ve taken or videos you’ve done. Then, you can just upload them from there. You can still add filters. You can still add text. I don’t generally add either because I’ve added text and filters and whatnot in Snapchat. It generally looks exactly like it did on Snapchat. That’s a really easy way, and that’s what I wanted to start with is you can in fact share stuff with other networks or straight from your camera roll. If you shared something on Facebook or you shared something, an image, that maybe even with your magical editing is not Instagram profile worthy but you want to share it on Instagram, you can share it in your Instagram story as long as it’s from that last twenty-four hours. Cool?

Number two, let’s talk about actually getting people and keeping people engaged.

That’s going to be really critical, especially as we go into this next thirty days with Instagram stories. Already seeing in some cases the amount of people broadcasting stories or sharing stories dropping down, and you’re also seeing the number of views drop down a little. I’m seeing that across some of my stuff, some of my clients’ stuff. Some friends and I have talked about it, and it’s not dropping dramatically. The bottom’s definitely not fallen out, but the shine is wearing off. Let’s put it that way. How do we get people engaged, and how do we keep people engaged? Great, we get them to watch one story, but how do we get them to keep watching, to keep engaging, to keep being a part of this community?

A great way to do that is to consistently give them a reason to show up. Give them a reason to move from story to story. Give them a reason to hit on your profile image every time it shows up at the front of that timeline. Give them a reason to be there and to keep coming back there and to stay there. That’s really just value.

A lot of that is knowing who your audience is. A lot of that is saying, “Okay. This is what they like. This is what they don’t like. I’m going to do more of this and less of that.” Some of that comes through trial and error. Getting a little uncomfortable and testing things and seeing what you want to share. None of it happens to if you are not showing up, and if you are not showing something. Make sure that you are in fact using this tool and using this tool consistently, because that’s how you’re going to keep people engaged. That really is going to be the difference maker as far as getting people to do something.

Number three thing I want to talk about is how do we use this tool to get them someplace else.

To have an actual impact on our business and what’s happening in our business? That really comes from, again, consistency, but more than anything value. Have a purpose there. Know what you’re sharing, why you’re sharing it, and give it a reason. If you’re sharing because someone told you you have to be using Snapchat Stories, or really insert any must-use tool that you’re hearing about right now, you’re not going to see your result. You have to have a plan. Where does this tool fit into my overall strategy? Where does this tool serve my larger goal? Where does this tool fit into what I want to have happen in my business? Where does this tool fit into my launch, to my podcast, to my video, to e-mail opt-ins, to that webinar I have coming? If you don’t know where it fits in, you’re not going to get anybody moving in another place or moving towards a goal, because you’re not going to be able to clearly send them anywhere.

First, take a step back and tell me where it fits. If you’re talking about a launch that you have coming up, where does the content you share on your Instagram story really fit into that launch? Is it building excitement? Is it sharing behind-the-scenes? Is it giving little clips and previews and tips and screenshots or whatever of what’s coming or what’s inside the premium offer? Figure out what that is first. That’s going to be critical.

Once you’ve figured that out, you then say, “Okay. It is. It’s going to be behind-the-scene shots and sort of screen grabs and things like that to get people amped for the webinars and the launch sequence and, of course, the actual program. That’s how it fits.” Once you have that, you figure out what it is you’re going to share. You lay out what it is that happens at each step, and then, in those, you drop, “Hey, come see me at yadda yadda dot com and find out more. This is what we’re doing inside of ‘Hit the Mic Backstage’. Check it out.” Whatever it is for you in each of those pieces, make sure that it makes sense in telling them where to go and in giving them a reason to go there.

The fact of the matter is is Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories are really hard to track from a link perspective, because they don’t have links. They don’t have something I can click and get to you. A lot of what I’ve been doing with Instagram stories is a link in the bio. Same thing I do with Instagram Images in my profile, because that’s a really easy way for me to give them some place simple to go look. Give them that, or give a short URL to go to. Hit the Mic Backstage. HittheMic.com. Whatever it is for your launch, that’s going to be really critical.

You have to tell them to go there, and you can’t tell them to go there or do something until you know what it is you want them to do or where it is you want them to go. That’s got to be critical. A lot of getting anyone to do anything through social is first being really clear on what you want them to do and why you’re using this tool to get them to do that. It’s often overlooked, but it’s one of the most critical things you can do.

Okay? That’s today’s episode. The three things, of course, how I’m using, and how you can really be using it along with your other tools. We talked about keeping them engaged. It’s got to be value, and it’s got to be consistent. Then, of course, number three, we talked a little bit about getting them to do things. You’ve got to figure out where this fits in your strategy. You know what? For some of you, it just straight up might not. That’s okay too, but figure that out from a strategic perspective and not a “everyone’s talking about it, I have to do it” perspective. Okay? All right. I’ll see you on Tuesday.

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