When it comes to social media marketing, Instagram Stories are all the rage. With 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day, brands and businesses have been targeting audiences through the app now more than ever. Studies have shown that 1 in 5 Instagram Stories posted by a brand receives a direct message from a follower and 15-25% of viewers swipe up to follow a link and engage directly with a brand’s website.
To make the most of your Instagram Story, you should be familiar with all of the features and tools that the app has to offer. It’s also important to know exactly when the best days and times to post are so that your Stories receive high engagement rates, impressions, and ultimately, conversions.
Instagram Story Formats
- Normal lets you post a regular photo or video up to 15-seconds long.
- Boomerang is a looping GIF-style video that plays forward and backward repeatedly.
- Rewind plays videos back in reverse.
- Hands-free allows you to take a 15-second video without holding down the record button. Just tap it once, and the camera keeps rolling until time runs out.
Effects & Tools
- Filters, stickers, music, hashtags, and locations can be used to make your Instagram Story more interactive.
- Pro tip: Using location stickers can help your story get pulled into the larger location story which is found on the explore feed! Posts that have a location receive 79% more engagement than those without.
- With poll stickers, you can ask your audience any question with two pre-set response options. You’ll see their answers in real–time and your followers can also see how other users are responding.
- With emoji poll stickers, you can ask your audience any question and they can answer on a sliding scale, with an emoji at either end.
Have an important announcement to make? Want to show off some new products? Go Live on Instagram!
- Tap “Start Live Video” to broadcast yourself to the world. Typically, your followers will be notified when you go live. During the broadcast, viewers can send reactions and leave comments in real-time.
- Now you can add users to your live broadcast! Keep in mind, you can only invite someone to join who is already viewing your live video.
When Stories expire in 24 hours, they are archived and can be shared as Highlights on a user’s Instagram profile. Highlights are active until they are deleted. You can have many different Highlights that are categorized according to a specific topic, event, book, campaign, ect.
Optimal Posting Schedules
The best days and times to post on Instagram are:
- Wednesday at 3 p.m.
- Thursday at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Friday at 5 a.m.
For nonprofits, the best days and times to post on Instagram are:
- Tuesday at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Wednesday 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
It’s always important to know how your posts are performing! Instagram Insights provides real-time data for both regular Instagram posts as well as Instagram Stories. For a full list of insights such as impressions, reach, and interactions, click on your Instagram Story and swipe up.