University Marketing & Communications

July 7, 2017

Navigating the new social media frontier: Instagram Stories


Much like Snapchat, Instagram now offers a way to showcase real-time images and video for 24 hours with Instagram Stories. In fact, Instagram Stories is crushing its competitor with 250 million users as of June 2017. Here are some best practices for creating engaging Instagram Stories with a lasting impression:

Tell a story: This may seem redundant, but Stories are opportunities to give your audience an in-depth, personal experience. Start a live video feed, or post content from earlier that day.

Tip: Offer behind-the-scenes coverage of your unit’s event.

Be creative: Stories are informal, so drawing tools, emojis, filters and other graphics offer fun ways to catch your audience’s attention. Make sure to keep text easy to read and brief, though. Most story posts only last for a few seconds.

Tip: Stories only allow content that has been captured in the last 24 hours. To use older content, open it in an editing application, save the new version to your device and then post.

Create a call to action: Direct your audience to other links to promote your unit’s news, achievements or upcoming events. Since Stories appear at the top of your followers’ newsfeeds, they offer a great way to build engagement with existing followers.

Tip: Invite viewers to participate in small giveaways or contests

Strategize: If your unit’s account is verified, use the Insights tab to track engagement and see what content is most successful. If your account isn’t verified, you can still tag users, use geotag filters and include hashtags to expand the reach of your content.

Want more tips? Check out these great resources from Mashable, Hootsuite, and Instagram, or ask Elise Perachio, associate director of e-communications.

— Caitlin Grady