Instagram has become of the biggest marketing strategies for business owners since 2016. Did you know Instagram has over 800 million users making it one of the most popular social media tools? The best part, it’s free marketing and advertising at your finger tips. According to Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business, 70% of Instagram users have reported looking up a brand or company on Instagram. Facebook is currently ranking as the top social media platform as of 2019 but Instagram is trending to overtake Facebook’s position as early of 2021.
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s dive deeper into the two different types of posts you can share on your business Instagram to attract more leads.
Stories vs. Instagram Posts
What are the main differences between stories and posts?
- Stories are limited to 24 hour time limits.
- Posts are limited to square format and live on your timeline.
- Stories can have multiple forms of content (music, gifs, polls, questions, etc.)
An Instagram story is a feature that allows brands to post photos or videos that are visible for only 24 hours. These are located at the top of your profile and on the main feed. These could include short videos of day-to-day activities in your gym, photos you took that day (posted in a slideshow format), polls, graphics, quotes, music, gifs, questions, and for accounts with 10,000 or more followers, links to outside content. Instagram stories give you flexibility for what you can post, because these allow you to interact more with your audience. Not only that, Instagram has now made it possible to keep all of your stories on your profile through an update called a Highlight. You can organize these based on date, theme, type, or business event for even further customization. These organize your stories on your profile well after the 24-hour time limit is up.
Examples of Instagram Stories:
(@FightsportsMiami on Instagram)
(@ribeirojiujitsu on Instagram)
Examples of Instagram Stories Using Templates:
While stories disappear (Or not, if you want to include them in your highlights!), Instagram posts are what your followers and new visitors see when they first click on your profile and scroll through your timeline. These are in the square format and allow for videos or photos that can be posted singularly or in a grouping. It is important to have a template that covers both of these features and allows flow between the two so that your brand can be recognized no matter what the format.
Example of Instagram Posts:
(@KicksiteOnline on Instagram)
Why Instagram Templates Are Beneficial:
Think of a template as an extension of your brand.
- It’s a decoration of your Instagram feed that best represents your business.
- Creates a recognizable social media footprint.
- Templates can be flexible throughout the year.
Having pre-designed templates help potential gym members understand your brand and what you’re passionate about before even setting foot in your studio. Many business owners appreciate using Instagram templates because they save them time and are already designed by professionals, so you know it is quality work. If you don’t want to pay a professional, you can create your own with pre made templates or by designing in photoshop. Basing these around your existing brand gives your profile even more of a recognizable footprint on social media. Consistency is key when choosing a template, although you can gradually change the theme based on season or campaign. For example, Sprouts changes color theme based on different types and flavors of food. Scrolling through their feed is like a colorful rainbow of delicious eats. This however does vary from brand to brand, as some could have stricter color palettes than others.
Examples of Instagram Posts:
(@ChopsAndChopsMMA on Instagram)
(@Lululemon on Instagram)
(@Health_House on Instagram)
Where to Find Inspiration For Your Page:
When looking for inspiration, don’t stray too far from what you already know about yourself and your own brand.
- Your audience is a huge influence on what you post.
- Whatever template you choose, it should reflect what you have already established.
- Trending topics can allow you to focus on weekly posts.
Inspiration can strike anywhere, but to find the perfect theme for your brand, often inspiration comes from right under your own nose. Looking at your own marketing and color scheme can be a huge component of curating a theme. Not only that, but your audience can help you choose what you want to base your profile around. Do they typically follow mom blogs or MMA fighters? Is your follower demographic more masculine or feminine? How old are they? What trending topics or hashtags are important to you and your business? Trending topics help you channel inspiration for your templates, for example, #womancrushwedneday or #throwbackthursday can help you plan out your posts and stories for the week. Staying on trend helps your page appear relevant and updated, and will ultimately help you get a better idea of which template you’d like to use.
How Often Should You Post to Instagram?
Posting on Instagram should be a daily activity, especially for big brands. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
- If you don’t know what to post or how it will look on your feed, there are plenty of apps that allow you to move photos around to curate the perfect Instagram feed.
- Remember that the more content you post, the higher your engagement will be.
- Utilizing Instagram’s Insights tool will help you better understand your audience and what they need from you.
- Don’t overthink it!
Instagram’s algorithm favors profiles that post more. While you don’t necessarily have to post every day, the higher frequency of posts will gain you a higher amount of likes and engagement. This is especially true if you are trying to grow your page. Not only that, but posting often gives your brand the opportunity to show up on the explore pages and in suggested follows to gain a larger audience. Major brands on average post 1.5 times per day. If that seems like a lot to you, that’s where the story feature comes in. Stories provide another outlet for content that is still visible to the public and holds potential for increase in engagement. Instagram Stories are absolutely a tool every brand should utilize daily for continued growth. However, it is important to remember the age old rule of quality over quantity. Making sure your template flows with your theme, pictures are of high quality, and stories are of relevance are key to ensuring your Instagram profile’s success.