When it comes to working out the elements to include in your social media strategy, it helps to bear in mind the goals that each social media network has for itself, and how you might be able to align your strategy to suit them. If your goals are aligned with the social network’s, the network will be helping you to achieve them in many subtle and not so subtle ways, so it’s well worth doing.
Let’s dig down deeper into this. Facebook and Instagram have faced a backlash in recent years as the link between excessive use of their platforms and poor mental health has become clearly apparent. Many users, often young kids, obsessively chase social validation, check like counts tens of times each day and constantly compare their lives to those they see on these platforms.
The New Facebook Algorithm
Facebook realised that although this shallow activity did keep their usage stats high, it wasn’t healthy or sustainable, so they switched strategies. They decided to encourage users of their platforms to activities that were uplifting. They tweaked their features and adapted the algorithm to better encourage community and genuine connection, as well as the sharing of high value and topical content.
Key features that got a serious boost were Facebook Groups, Facebook Live and Facebook Stories.
- When you post in Groups you are a member of, your post is far, far more likely to pop up in other Group members’ newsfeed than when you post to a page they follow.
- When you go Live, your connections get a notification telling them so, to encourage them to tune in.
Facebook Stories, like Instagram Stories, only last 24 hours. They are designed allow you the chance to convey your brand’s personality in a much more real way. They are often videos and aren’t generally as polished as posts. They don’t have to be as they don’t upset the aesthetic of your feed. As such, they foster a more genuine connection with viewers, so Facebook and Instagram help you to get them viewed.
Facebook has placed stories at the top of the newsfeed and made them easily available in Facebook Messenger App too. Facebook also tells you how many views your story has got, which is likely their way to encourage you to do more of them.
Stories on Instagram
Stories have always been a key feature for Instagram. They are placed prominently at the top of your feed as well as at intervals further down, and many users mainly view Stories rather than scrolling through posts.
To help Stories spread, Instagram lets you add location tags and hashtags, so your stories appear to people who don’t follow you already. You can also add stickers such as polls and sliding scales to encourage engagement and thereby more views.
Another change Instagram has brought in to foster real connection is hiding ‘like counts’ on the majority of Instagram posts. Likes are still important to the algorithm, but by hiding them, Instagram is forcing users to focus on the content of the post and not the social validation aspect. Instagram also encourages accounts to engage fully with their audience by boosting exposure for accounts that do - you’ll find if you reply to each and every comment on your posts, your reach will improve greatly.
- So, the key to performing well on Instagram is to create engaging, thought provoking posts that encourage likes, longer form comments and engagement, then interacting with your audience fully.
Instagram Stories & Facebook Stories Tips
It’s clear Stories should form a part of your Social Media Marketing Strategy, so here are some content ideas for both Instagram and Facebook:
- Share user generated content - pictures and videos taken buy your guests, clients and customers.
- Make an announcement - ideal for broadcasting happy hours and quick updates.
- Give a little tour to show off behind the scenes.
A handy feature to turn on is auto-share stories from Instagram to Facebook. You get the option to do so when you post an Instagram Story.
And finally, below are our top Story Editing Hacks:
- Try creating and editing Stories outside of the native app to broaden the creative and design horizon
- Make your Stories stand out with these quick photo editing apps: VSCO, Unfold, Snapseed
- Explore more text and graphic designs for images and video: Canva, Offeo
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