It's been a while since there was a reason to be excited about posting on Instagram. We're passionate about posting on Instagram because it's essential to our client's web presence. We haven't been excited about posting on Instagram because we know that with each passing day, Instagram is imposing more and more limitations on our organic reach. The followings we have worked so hard to establish are less and less reachable, with only a fraction now having the ability to engage regularly with our profiles.
There is finally a great reason to be excited about posting on Instagram again. Instagram stories are currently the best thing to happen to social media since early Facebook. When I say early Facebook, I'm referring to 2008ish, the great days of the reverse chronological order newsfeed for the once budding company, when you could create a friend profile for a business and actually have the ability to add friends and turn them into customers. This was a great time where if you understood the real time power of social media marketing, you could quickly establish a following.
Fast forward to 2017 and the social media landscape is unrecognizable, except for Instagram stories. This is the one bright spot, where posts are as close as it's ever going to get to reverse chronological order again. Aside from the obvious ability to express yourself in a much more personalized way, we're focusing on the benefits of this new area of opportunity. The opportunity is so tremendous that I'm suggesting, for every social media manager, that Instagram stories be prioritized over posts for the sake of achieving meaningful organic reach similar to the good old early Facebook days.
Even though the growth of Facebook and Instagram paid ads are exploding, many small businesses have a minimal paid ad budget, or even none at all. Small business relies on organic reach, meaning the ability to post to obtain new customers and communicate their marketing message with existing ones. For these reasons, Instagram stories under their current structure are the best thing to happen to small business in a very long time.
Here are some tips for the current social media climate:
1-Prioritize stories over posts. As long as Instagram keeps stories as close to reverse chronological order as we've seen in a very long time, harnessing this powerful reach should be top priority compared to posts that get lost in the algorithm.
2-Spend time to make your stories stand out to maximize results. Yes Instagram has great features to help with this, but this preparation should go beyond Instagram to include graphics, video and sound.
3-Provide a visible call to action in your stories to generate business every time.
4-Keep posting the traditional way, even if the algorithm limits reach. Whatever future changes are made to the algorithm, posting the traditional way will always be one of the most important aspects of any small business marketing strategy. Always use a smart combination of 30 hashtags, including hashtags specific to your content as well as more broad reaching hashtags.
5-Continuously improve the quality of your stories. The power of communication the story platform creates under the current system warrants constant innovation in how you share content.
6-As long as Instagram keeps stories as they are, this is currently the most powerful posting method available on social media and should be treated that way.
There's no telling how long this opportunity will exist. As we're all aware, Facebook tends to limit organic reach for the purpose of generating paid ad revenue to satisfy Wall Street. And with Instagram stories being the best thing to happen to social media since early Facebook, there's a 100% chance that a plan is already in place to impose algorithmic restrictions on the organic reach that is currently available through stories. Take advantage while it lasts and start prioritizing stories over traditional posts, but keep them both coming!