Stories, stories everywhere…

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What’s the story with Instagram stories?

As Facebook continues its frightening mission of taking over the world as we know it, we can’t help but notice the continual rise of stories throughout the vast universe of social media. It’s really no wonder all the  industry-experts are predicting stories as a major trend of 2019!

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We live in a world uncomfortably familiar with words like GDPR and fake news; a world where our news-feeds are controlled by an algorithm that is taught to serve us only what it thinks we want to see, and plenty of it, which can be enjoyable but also subtly reinforces innate biases we all have – sometimes not for the greater good.

source: techcrunch

Sharing is caring… on my terms

Collectively we’ve become somewhat disillusioned with the structure of the newsfeed and everything being ‘out in the open’ which is why there’s been a noticeable shift towards a more ‘private’ social life (online social life… lol). We still want to share, but on our terms. The significant rise of Facebook groups, Whatsapp and yes, even Instagram stories (there’s now an option available to share stories only with ‘close friends’) show where our heads are at. Instagram story users are now at 300m. In fact, Facebook’s own chief product officer Chris Cox thinks story sharing will surpass the newsfeed in the next year.

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So, fancy giving them a go?

You may as well. Instagram is a visual platform, initially set up to inspire and help communities to share beautiful art. Whilst the network has grown and varying accounts’ purposes differ, its backbone continues to be to inspire; whether that’s with beautiful, unusual or entertaining content. Here are a few tips to tide you over for now, we’ll be posting a full how-to guide soon which will include a section on promoted stories.  

Have you your highlights done?!

source: airbnb

Make sure to utilise the highlights section on your Instagram profile. This is where you can save your stories by category. Great for campaigns, different areas of the hotel and what it has to offer, or even a selection of local gems and places worth visiting! Try and think of your Instagram channel as your hotel’s mood board. Use it as a tool to help convey the feeling you want potential guests to feel when they visit your property. It will be where a significant portion of your potential guests get their first visual impression of who you are. Your story highlights can shape this.

Keep it natural

source: airbnb

The nature of Instagram stories is that they’re raw, unpolished. Users play around with text, gifs, stickers, emojis ontop of rough’n’ready visuals that convey something their friends pick up on right away. It’s not real life… but it’s the next best thing! As a brand, you might think you need to manicure your stories like a well-kept lawn, but you can choose to do quite the opposite. The Guardian found recently that downplaying the production of their story content from snazzy videos to simple static images resulted in more success.

Be creative

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Your property is beautiful. Show it off! When your base is already flawless, you don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out ways to be overly creative. Is it a beautiful day out? Show off the flowers flourishing the front of your property. Is the breakfast menu looking particularly mouthwatering? Task the chef with snapping the french toast before it’s served! Another way of being creative is utilising what the stories feature has to offer, including polls. They will generate a little fun and engagement, and make it easy to spice up your content when you don’t have a lot of time.

Be consistent

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Lastly, try and post consistently. The more you story, the more confident you’ll get, the more engagement you’ll get, the more people will recognise not only your brand, but your brand’s playfulness and presence. Whilst you do this, keep an eye on timings and try to figure out whether there’s any consistency between when people are watching or engaging.

Stay tuned for our in-depth guide on Instagram stories that will help you generate actual leads!