Instagram is a powerful tool for marketing your business, but the variety of features available can make the platform quickly seem overwhelming! Today we are going to compare what to post in your Instagram Feed vs. your Instagram Stories, and how to get the most traction from each one.
Before diving in, I want to make a note here.
I’m going to share with you the IDEAL of how to best use feed posts and stories for your business. And then I want you to take that information and apply it to YOUR business and even more importantly, apply it to the context of your real, actual life!
Because you know your bandwidth. You know how much time you want to spend on social media.
I always say this, but it’s so true… “consistency” is not the same as “constantly.” It is much better to be consistently showing up for your audience on social media, for the amount of time that you have decided…. than to be on social media constantly, and then burn yourself out and not post for 3 months!
So today, let’s learn first.
Dig into the lesson today and learn the ideals, how a business could get the most impact out of their posts. And then after you’ve soaked in the learning… you can apply it to your context.
First let’s get specific about which posts we are discussing.
Your Instagram Feed posts are those that show up in your grid. When someone goes to your account page, these are the posts that they will find. Also, these are the posts that are in the Home feed when people are scrolling.
Feed posts can be photos, videos, carousel posts, and even reels. All of these types of posts go in the Feed.
Your Instagram Stories are those that show up at the top of your home feed tab. They are the 15 second little videos that people can watch. They last for 24 hours and then they disappear.
Both of these types of posts have different purposes.
Your Feed posts accomplish 2 things.
1st – This is where you can connect with and educate your EXISTING followers. People that already follow your instagram account can see these posts in their home feed and interact with them.
2nd – Your feed posts are used to reach NEW followers. These posts are all searchable, and it is in your feed posts that you will attract new people. Ideally, you’ll attract people who are really interested in your brand, and the types of things you post about.
Think about it this way…. Every single Feed post that you create is a chance to reach new followers and be discovered.
So you’ll want to be asking yourself with each post, “Is this the type of content that I want to be known for?”
Now, your Instagram Stories have a different purpose.
Your stories are almost exclusively viewed by people who are already following you. And, even more – the people who are watching your stories want to know more about you. They want to go deeper with you, see behind the scenes, get insights into your life, and connect with you personally.
Note, your stories will not necessarily help you to GROW your following. This is not how you are attracting people. This is how you are connecting with those who are already in your audience.
Now that you understand the different purpose and goal for each of these posts, let’s talk about what types of things to post in your Feed vs. your Stories.
What should you post in your Instagram Feed?
Most of the posts in your Feed should be about your specific topic, or niche.
What is your business known for? What is the main thing you teach? Or what is your main service? What is the thing you sell? The vast majority of your posts should be about this.
Remember that your feed posts are the place where you are attracting new followers. New people need to see right off the bat, who you are and how you serve them. Before they have followed you, they simply aren’t invested enough to search around and try to figure out what you do. Make it clear right from the beginning.
What is your MAIN thing? Create feed posts about that.
Bonus….. think about creating feed posts that are SHAREABLE. When you give some great tips about your area, people who are interested in that are going to save and share your post!
Another note about your Instagram Feed posts….
The trends have changed when it comes to your aesthetic.
Remember about 5 years ago when it was REALLY popular to have professional, clean, coordinated Instagram accounts?
Well, that’s not a popular thing anymore! (Anyone else relieved?)
Let me explain a bit.
It used to be popular to have all of your photos coordinated, all the same color scheme, branded and extremely professional-looking. People would spend painstaking time planning out their perfect “grid.”
And that was really effective for a long time!
But now, people crave real. And that overly branded approach can come across as fake. People want to see the real you. Your real business. Not the polished, fake version.
Honestly that takes a load off all of our shoulders! Show up authentically… and don’t worry so much about the polish.
Now, what to post in your Instagram Stories?
Since your Instagram stories is the place where you are connecting with your followers, this is the place to let your life and your personality shine!
Yes, you can post about your personal life on stories. You can share silly things. You can post in anyway that feels genuine.
Then, what does this have to do with your brand?
Remember, people only buy from those they know, like and trust!
When you are posting regularly in a super-personal way…. You are building that know, like and trust factor.
How often should you post a story?
Here’s how the algorithm works for stories…. Every time you post a story, your little circle profile photo moves to the front of the queue in people home screen. So if you post a few times per day, you will get MORE views, because you’ve moved to the front of the line more often.
Ideally, if you could put up a story every 2 hours (that’s 5x/day) you’d be getting a lot of views!
Now, admittedly that’s a lot! Like I said, I’m going to share with you the ideals for traffic and views, and then you get to decide what’s realistic for you.
Need some creative topic ideas for your Instagram Stories?
I have a little rotation of topics you could use. This is not exhaustive, but sometimes – especially when you are first getting going with your stories – it can be helpful to have something to start with.
Here are 5 ideas that you could use each day.
- Peek into your personal life today.
- A valuable resource – show something that you recommend. This could be a book, a podcast, or something you learned.
- A question or a poll of the day – simply ask something and ask for their response.
- Behind-the-scenes of how you daily do things. This could be in your business, or in your personal life. Remember, personal connection is the goal!
- Give a tip in your area of expertise.
Now obviously, you could go completely off book here, and do whatever you want in your stories! Remember, being related to your business and niche is not super-important in your stories. Your connection with your people is the point.
So, let’s end this post with a little challenge!
I always love a good challenge, and maybe you do too.
Because, truthfully, upping my game in a certain area can feel overwhelming. If I have the mindset that, “This is what I have to do from now on,” I am overwhelmed. …. But if I focus on this instead: “This is what I am testing for 30 days,” then it’s so much less pressure!
Here’s the challenge….
- Decide how often YOU will post on your Instagram Feed per week. Post that often for 30 days. Be sure that the VAST majority of your posts are specific to your niche. If a stranger saw your post, would they clearly understand your business?
- Decide how often you want to post Stories, and then do it for 30 days.
At the end of 30 days, how does it feel? How many followers did you gain? Was it worth it? Will you continue this routine, or will you change something about it?
If you do this challenge, let me know what you learn!