Instagram: Feed vs Stories

We know that Instagram users are consuming so much content by stories. Heck, we might even be apart of that number (I know I love a good story time). But what’s the difference between feed posts and stories, and how should you be using each? Let’s dive in.

Feed

Let’s start with the OG. The feed. The feed is when you scroll down and see captions with hashtags under pictures. It’s what Instagram was before there were stories. And it should still be a part of your strategy. But why?

The feed lives on until you take it down. When people find your business for the first time, they’ll see the pictures on your feed. It’s also a great place to be found organically through hashtags. Lot’s of people follow or search hashtags, and your photo will show up there.

The feed is a great place to showcase gorgeous and droll worthy photos, something that will stop the scroll. You can also post your IGTV (long format videos) on your feed. Accounts that are engaging regularly with your account will easily see your feed content. The key, of course, is to get followers to regularly engage.

Stories

The stories are the circles at the top of the screen when you log on. They are used by over 500 million people everyday. They should be a part of your strategy, but not your only strategy. They disappear after 24 hours unless you add them to your highlights.

Stories can include hashtags and you can tag accounts in them. When you tags accounts, that account can then reshare your story (or you can reshare someone who tagged you). You can also add GIFs or text to put the reshare in context.

Use story stickers to learn more about your audience. Use polls (be aware of bots scewing results) and questions for open ended responses to do research on your followers. Those who answer these are more likely to see your content, as they are telling Instagram they like it.

Stories can include daily updates. During the Coronavirus shut down, I used stories to keep followers updated on 2 of my restaurant accounts. Daily menu options, specials, changes in operating hours and more were all posted in stories.

Your story can also be less curated. You can post about your day or behind the scenes photos and videos about what you’re up to. Be sure to include hashtags and stickers to add fun and improve your reach.

How to use them together

The feed and stories together can be a fire strategy. Here’s what I mean. Start with a good post idea. One photo curated for your feed, with a great caption and hashtags. Then move to your story. Your story can start with a few slides telling more about your post. Maybe a few tips or just putting your post in context. Then, you can share your post to your story directing followers to read more there.

Instagram strategy should include post feed posts and stories. This is how you will get your content to the most people. Stay consistent with your brand color and voice to stay cohesive. Have fun, be creative and most of all just keep posting!

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