It could be time to adapt your social media strategy in line with the recent releases on two of the globe’s favourite platforms: Instagram and Twitter.
Firstly, if you’re unsure of exactly what Instagram Stories and Twitter Moments offer, here’s a brief summary…
Twitter launched a curation tool last year called Moments, which lets users keep up to date with the best material and newsworthy tweets in one place, without the hassle of scouring or following endless amounts of profiles.
Previously, this feature’s content was internally controlled. Now, contribution is open to influencers, brands and in the near future; everyone!
Instagram added a feature last month called Stories. Too wary of images being imperfect? Spend hours applying filters? If that sounds like you;‘Stories’ lets you post multiple pics throughout the day – and each one will completely vanish at the end of it.
Does that last one sound (not so) vaguely familiar?
That’s because it is…very, very much like Snapchat’s ‘My Story’ feature. Only with fewer filters and lenses, for now at least.
Snapchat Stories were responsible for adding urgency to social media messaging. In fact, Snapchat introduced its own revolutionary approach which had never been seen before.
On Snapchat, followers only have 24 hours to view an update before it expires.
If you haven’t used it, that might sound crazy. Why would you post a photo that’s set to disappear like clockwork?
Well, Snapchat’s colossal growth proves that it’s an addictive format…
Content expiration has completely changed the way content is shared.
Facebook Live and Periscope re-imagined live video broadcasting, making it mobile and instant.
Social media is increasingly ‘real-time’. Marketers need to update their strategy to take advantage.
There’s no ignoring this trend…
So, let’s delve into Instagram and Twitter: two networks that have taken aim at Snapchat, developing their own versions of expiring content.
If you already have strategies in place for these social networks, you need to update them pronto in order to take advantage of these awesome new features!
About Moments & Stories
As mentioned, it didn’t take competitors long to steal Snapchat’s thunder.
Both Instagram and Twitter are expanding their apps to provide similar functions…
- Instagram’s version of Snapchat Stories is almost identical. Strangely enough, it’s also called Stories. An Instagram Story expires 24 hours after posting, and doesn’t appear in your normal Instagram feed or profile grid.
- On Twitter, a Moment is a collection of related content around news stories or real-time events. Now, the Moments feature is being rolled out to every account on Twitter.
Despite the implementation being slightly different, there’s a common thread running through both Stories and Moments. This content is here and now. In the past, everything on Twitter and Instagram was archived and indexed.
The new availabilities mean a selection of content is going to disappear pretty soon after making it.
Isn’t that crazy?! Two of our favourite social networks are doing a complete 180 turn…
Clearly, a new social media strategy is needed to take advantage of the real-time phenomenon.
Understanding The Change
Let’s break down Instagram Stories because they are massively different to the old-school Instagram…
- Stories allow you to overlay text in the Instagram app (finally!)
- Stories play consecutively on a show reel until expiry
- Instagram provides basic analytics about Stories
- There are no comments or Likes!
- You can post a snippet of your Story to your grid and timeline
- People can DM you right from your Story
For Instagram’s die-hard users, these features may be music to the ears. Either that, or you’re really gonna hate them.
But that’s okay; old Instagram isn’t going away. In fact, it can be used in conjunction. More on that in a tick…
Parallel to the Instagram additions, Twitter Moments are soon to be opened up for everyone to directly contribute. Here’s how they work:
- Moments contain curated selections of tweets, photos and videos
- Each Moment evolves as new content is posted
- People can follow Moments based on their interests
- Twitter doesn’t just throw any old content into a Moment, so the bar for quality is high
7 Actions To Improve Your Strategy
If you’re reeling from the news of these changes, here are some super-actionable tips you can begin right away.
1. Add marketing messages to your visuals
You can now overlay your message on Instagram content and push it out within a few minutes.
All the tools you need are right there in the app…
Use this tactic plentifully and choose your words wisely. Since there are no comments or likes on Stories, the text overlay feature is your best textual friend if you know how to use it. Check out this simplistic yet effective example:
Of course, similar techniques can be utilised on your Twitter images too!
— Sam Hurley 😎💻😎 💗 Kindness Enthusiast 💗 (@Sam___Hurley) August 9, 2016
2. Keep the cameras rolling
Stories and Moments are designed to dramatically increase engagement and affinity between the platforms and brands that use them and also between users and brands.
Remember: with a Story, your content will run on a show reel.
Use that real-time engagement to build a buzz. Videos and custom GIFs are essential these days. Why not create a few, ensuring harmony as one vid seamlessly flows into the next, like a journey? Keep your audience coming back for more; similar to how TV soaps operate.
Be sure to keep the quality high, or you have zero chance of being included in a Moment!
3. Utilise Story analytics
For Instagram users, Stories analytics are a big deal. They might be slightly rudimentary, but they’re here.
Without the use of third-party tools, Instagram has always been quite mysterious in that respect – so it’s a pretty big eye-opener.
Watch who engages with your Story and figure out three metrics to maximise: your best topics, optimal posting times and biggest fans.
When people view your story, you’ll see a number at the bottom of each portion…
Images from Kristi Hine’s post on Social Media Examiner
To view the stats for each portion, just swipe upwards on that number!
There aren’t any fresh updates for Twitter Analytics just yet.
4. Create a chain of rapid-fire content
Post your Stories to Instagram and then mirror this content with a promotional snapshot on your Instagram feed, building hype across multiple touch points which ensures you get noticed.
When you eventually become involved in creating a Twitter Moment, keep the content flowing and make it edgy. There’s certainly a bias towards trending content of such nature.
When Moments are released to the World, utilise a blend of Moment-worthy content and ‘standard’ content that pushes consistent messaging (as with the Stories tactic above).
Real-time social media is a great way to build rapid momentum. The take-away is clear: create synergy between expiring and permanent content.
5. Be impulsive. Right now!
Express yourself and live in the moment; use real-time content creatively to generate a buzz.
Everybody loves the classic use of Twitter and Instagram but it’s time to be open to new ways of using these platforms.
That means embracing the possibilities and adapting the pace of your content production process.
It may seem tough to adopt at first, but it’s just the way social is headed. In fact, it’s already arrived; people expect video, personalisation, wit and humour and they want it on the spur of ‘the Moment.’
(Sorry, I really couldn’t resist).
There is no other better example than the one and only Gary Vee. The way he uses Snapchat is certainly to be emulated.
6. Post Stories frequently to get noticed
Instagram know their typical users only post photos a few times per day.
Using Stories, you can increase your average volume very easily over your competitors.
Don’t worry about flooding your audience. Stories don’t appear on your timeline. Post to your heart’s content!
Much like the rapid-fire nature of Twitter – it’s perfectly okay to post many times per day.
Experiment to discover what best suits your audience.
7. Adapt your sales process to suit
Have you ever thought of taking orders or on-boarding clients via DM?
Encourage people to tap your Instagram Stories and tastefully communicate to convert right there and then with the use of text overlay!
This concept can be replicated across Twitter Moments – your attractive Moment can form a touch of backdrop storytelling to complement your sales campaign…
Combine the above with social ads and ‘standard’ posts with CTAs to create a full, multi-touch point formula that makes you very difficult to miss.
I know that’s got you excited.
Capture the buzz and compel direct conversions at the same time – just be prepared for the surge!
Catch Sam on Twitter for heaps of helpful tweets on entrepreneurship and marketing!