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5 Reasons to Start Using Stories on Instagram and Facebook

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Creating social media content is more than simply posting a photo or updating a status. Social media platforms constantly evolve to include fresh ways of engaging with your local community. TS Instagram Story

As of 2017, Instagram and Facebook offer a “Stories” feature where users can upload or record 15-second videos, or post still photos. Millions of people now use Instagram and Facebook stories each day. On Instagram alone, 86.6% of total users consume Stories daily – averaging to about 500 million users. The popularity of the Stories feature has pushed other major platforms, such as YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, to adopt the capability as well.

Normally, Stories content will disappear from users’ feeds after 24 hours, which raises the question: why would I want to use that feature, then? Public agencies have the potential to capitalize on the Stories feature, and the number of Stories users, to bring their communications to the next level. Here are 5 reasons agencies should make the most out of this feature:

  1. Stories are customizable. Agencies are able to add eye-catching stickers, text or their logo to their Stories. By doing this, agencies can build awareness of their distinct brand and offer more opportunities for engagement than other plain content.
  2. Agencies can ask questions or take polls on Stories. If an agency has a topic or question they would like public input on, they can use Stories to do this. By adding a poll or question interactive sticker, agencies can easily access feedback from their audience.
    • Note: Social media poll feedback is not scientific. However, you can use polls to gather anecdotal feedback and inspire community engagement on a lighthearted or fun topic. When it comes to agency business where statistically valid feedback is vital to making informed decisions, check out a software-as-a-service provider like FlashVote. Read Tripepi Smith President Ryder Todd Smith’s insights on why he personally invested in FlashVote.
  3. Stories let you share links to important messaging. Once an agency page has reached 10,000 followers or becomes verified on Instagram, they can use the ‘Swipe Up’ feature to share links within their Stories. This means they can promote community events and news — driving traffic directly to the agency website.
  4. Stories allow direct message replies. Oftentimes, the local community may not know how to get in contact with a local government agency. If the agency has replies enabled, the community will be able to directly address the agency — allowing for more public input.
  5. Instagram lets you ‘pin’ past Stories on your profile. Agencies can keep Story highlights, located underneath the Instagram Bio section, to display recent information or campaigns. Stories content typically only lasts 24 hours, but the highlights will keep chosen Stories accessible for however long the agency chooses. By enabling highlights, an agency can continue to promote necessary and important information at the top of their profile.

By leveraging every feature Instagram and Facebook has to offer, agencies can maximize engagement within their community. This also means agencies need to spend more time on strategizing how to produce Stories content in tandem with simpler social media posts. If you would like help with your social media strategy, executing your content plan or measuring the impact of ephemeral Stories content, contact Tripepi Smith.