A Trick I Tried: Instagram Stories

I’ll admit it: I was nervous when Instagram stories first came out. How was I going to be able to make beautiful content instantly? And, also, I’m just starting to get used to Snapchat! Of course, that’s the thing about social media; you will never feel completely comfortable. And when social media is your job, that can be a little scary.

It turns out that maybe there wasn’t any need to panic. The content we produced for Instagram stories instantly (ha) performed well and we were getting good feedback. I was happy but not yet satisfied. I knew I wasn’t doing my absolute best, but I wasn’t sure how to take it to the next level.

Then, one day, I was looking at the Instagram stories on my personal feed. I realized that Ilana Wiles/@mommyshorts – someone I’ve been following since my days at Parents magazine – wasn’t posting her Instagram stories in real time. She would wait until she had a chance to go through her video content and then curate everything for her stories. No wonder they flowed so well and looked so nice! Why didn’t I think of this?

Unlike with Snapchat, Instagram doesn’t have the annoying “from camera roll” disclaimer when you upload content from your phone. It’s really a great solution.

Recently, I covered a campus tour at the college where I work and I decided to try this strategy. It made a huge difference. Even if you have an idea of how you want your stories to flow, it rarely works out that way in practice if you’re uploading it as it’s happening. (Keep in mind I am not a videographer by any means.) By having the ability to edit footage and thoughtfully consider captioning, tagging and what I’ll call “decorating” (emojis and GIFs), I made a more cohesive product.

Honestly, I probably could have spent even more time editing it. I realized that, in the future, I should film even more, because I have the opportunity to edit exactly how I please so having more content to choose from is better. (Again, amateur hour over here.)

The other thing I should have done is posted at a peak time, which is something I normally consider but didn’t think to do in this instance.

Now, I’ve made the move from being skeptical about Instagram stories to becoming a fan. Where do you stand?

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