August 4, 2016 Social MediaOur thoughts on Instagram Stories It’s a big week for the blogging world, you guys. (Although, a not-so-good week for poor old Snap Chat.) Instagram has unveiled a Stories function, which was, obviously, a total rip-off of Snap Chat. While part of me feels bad for Snap Chat, and annoyed with Instagram for doing such a thing, I have to admit–overall, I’m really excited about this feature. Let’s go through some of the Pro’s and Con’s together. PRO: One platform to update vs Two I have to admit, I never got into Snap Chat. I really loved the idea of it–showing a “real life” version that was clearly impossible to achieve on Instagram, where everything has to look perfect and pretty– but adding ANOTHER social media channel to update just wasn’t in the cards for me. Something had to give. I always had a lot of blogger guilt about it. Like, I’m trying to grow my following, be competitive, how could I rationalize not prioritizing Snap Chat? When Instagram unveiled Stories–I did a happy dance. HERE was something I could handle! I already post daily on Instagram, so just clicking a couple buttons to update my Instagram story was a breeze. PRO: A great “imperfect” compliment to “perfect” Instagram This is certainly my favorite part of Instagram stories–you get the pretty, perfect version of a photo on your Instagram feed, but then you can show the behind-the-scenes “real life” version. This is something that is extremely important to me and my brand. I try really hard to remind my readers that even though things look put-together on my blog and on my social channels, it’s not even close to that. Instagram needed a dose of reality to remind us that we’re ALL human, and that we can’t compare our lives to someone else’s highlight reel. If you take a similar approach with your blog, I definitely think this is something to explore! PRO: A TON more views For me, my Snap Chat following was insanely hard to build. It was nowhere near (and never would be) the size of my Instagram following. While my Snap Chat views were in the hundreds on a good day, my Instagram Story views are into the thousands. Even if you don’t agree with the other “pro’s” listed here, you cannot deny that getting your content in front of more eyeballs is an incredible thing. CON: (Potentially?) Does it take eyes away from your feed? However, it does pose a big question (as Blair pointed out to me)–are Instagram Stories hurting the amount of views in our feeds? Seeing as Instagram is a very important platform for pretty much all of us–does the distraction of “stories” affect how many people view the photos on our actual feeds? Only time will tell. The best strategy overall: In my opinion, the best strategy to take with Instagram stories is to share content that is down-to-earth, behind-the-scenes, of course–but ensure it still compliments your brand, as well as the content that you share on other channels. Use “stories” to tell a story–make sure that not all the content you share is just blabbering to the camera. Share something useful, fun, or inspiring that people don’t get on any of your other channels–and I think you’ll see some great success with it! What do you think about Instagram Stories? Have you given them a try yet?