How often should your business post to Instagram Stories?

If your business isn’t currently utilizing Instagram Stories, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity! Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to increase your engagement, build brand awareness, drive sales and they’re just really fun to create! Let’s take a deeper look:

Why should your business optimize Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories have over 500 million daily users, therefore Instagram Stories have the potential to reach new potential customers and build a stronger connection with your current audience. 

Instagram Stories allow you to:

  • Share everyday moments with ease
  • Start conversations and get interactive with followers
  • Inform your following of promotions/giveaways/events/launches
  • Share user-generated content

The aspect that we love the most about Instagram Stories is the opportunity for engagement – by adding question stickers or polls to your posts, you not only start conversations, but you can gain more insight and feedback from your audience, learning what they like and don’t like. 

instagram-stickers-legendary social media

 

Instagram has continued to develop its engagement-boosting features over the past few years, allowing you to be more authentic and humanize your brand. So if you’re not regularly publishing Instagram Stories for your business, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with your audience. 

Posting consistently is key

There are no hard and fast rules to how frequently you should post on Instagram Stories, but we recommend keeping it consistent. Consistency is the key to social media in general and it’s no different for Instagram Stories. It will also depend on your business’s goals and the amount of time you are able to dedicate to your social media marketing. But if you can only post 3 times a week, then at least make sure you consistently do that. 

If you have a special event or promotion happening then we would advise you to bump up the frequency of how often you post to Stories! 

Ideally, you’re posting throughout the day, focusing on documentation rather than creation. Break it down and post 1-3 times morning, afternoon and evening to remind your followers of your event and showcase different aspects of the event! 

For example, you might want to try the following for a special event or:

  • BTS of your business operations
  • Showcase new products
  • How to use the product
  • Share customer reviewing the product
  • Customers unboxing/using products
  • BTS of packing orders

IG stories we created for our client The Facial Room during Black Friday week:

instagram-stories-legendary social media

So how many times should you post?

It’s up to you to find the sweet spot for your business’ needs, but we recommend posting to Stories up to 10 times a day. Any more and you risk being annoying and potentially getting muted by your followers. 

Some tips for posting to IG stories:

  • Don’t post all 10 Stories at once, schedule throughout the day
  • Don’t worry about the production of stories, your photos and video don’t have to be perfect (it’s a backstage pass into your business)
  • Engage your audience (ask them questions, answer their questions, and have meaningful conversations)

Are you and your business in need of help developing and creating a social media content strategy? Let us help with that! 

Why social media will be crucial to your business’ success this holiday season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate that the majority of holiday shoppers will shift their spending online. This means that your website and social media platforms will act as your storefronts. Today, we’ll discuss how to effectively leverage your social media to get more sales during the 2020 holiday season. 

Salesforce recently posted about how COVID-19 will shape the 2020 holiday season and expressed that “Social media will be the most important emerging platform for engaging with customers.”

Enable Facebook & Instagram shops

Earlier in the year, Facebook launched Facebook Shops, making it easier for small businesses to create an eCommerce platform. Facebook Shops gives businesses the opportunity to create a mobile-first online store that lives on their Facebook Business page and Instagram profile. 

Setting up a Facebook Shop is free and simple, so ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table and set this up if you haven’t already! 

 By enabling this feature, you have instantly increased shopping opportunities for your audience. 

Implement your holiday marketing and promotion strategy 

The online shopping arena is especially overcrowded this holiday season, so your holiday marketing efforts need to stand out from your competitors and grab the attention of your customers. Your social media strategy should include the following:

  • Paid social media ads
  • Search ads
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Video content
  • Increased holiday-related SEO efforts

Do you have holiday-themed promotions planned for your customers? For our clients, we have these planned, photographed and ready to execute by the end of October. Some of the ways in which you could build up holiday excitement with your customers include:

  • Create weekly promotions
  • Promote gift card purchases, make this an easy add on at checkout
  • Create a sense of urgency with time-limited offers
  • Offer free shipping
  • Plan holiday giveaways and contests on social media to increase engagement
  • Create an influencer campaign (great for exposing your products or services to a new service)
  • Offer a contactless pick-up option, make sure it’s safe and convenient for customers

Use social media to communicate with customers

Your social media is also your megaphone, so use your platforms to effectively communicate the following to your audience:

  • Share your exciting promotions (on your feed and in stories/reels)
  • Showcase high-quality images featuring products
  • Use video to share product knowledge
  • Share key delivery and shipping information (due to increased digital orders, postal services are already seeing a surge at distribution centres and delays may occur, offer your customers a fair warning of this potential issue)
  • Feature customer reviews
  • Do you have any charitable efforts going on? Perhaps you could share these, or offer to match what your customers donate. Only include this if it’s authentic! 

Key shopping dates to note for your social media 

Event  Date
American Thanksgiving  November 26
Black Friday  November 27
Small Business Saturday November 28
Cyber Monday  November 30
Giving Tuesday  December 1
Free Shipping day  December 14

Final thoughts

Essentially social media is crucial to your success this holiday season, as it’s your storefront, marketing and communication platform all in one. Explore every aspect and functionality of your social media channels to ensure you leave no stone unturned. 

How to use Instagram Reels

Facebook-owned Instagram recently released a new video feature that allows users to record 15-second clips set to music. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s Instagram’s answer to TikTok

What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is the brand new way to create short, fun and engaging videos from Instagram Stories. Reels allows you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and other new creative tools. You can share reels with your audience on your feed, and if your account is public, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. 

How to create a Reel

instagram-reels- legendary social media vancouverSelect Reels at the bottom of your Instagram Camera. Once you’ve selected Reels, a variety of creative editing tools will appear on the left side of your screen to help you create your Reel. These include the following: 

  • Audio: Search and use a song from Instagram’s music library. Alternatively, you can use your own original music or audio by simply recording a Reel with it, which will then be attributed to you. If your account is public, people can create Reels using your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your Reel.
  • AR effects: Choose from a variety of effects (similar to filters) to apply to your video clip. 
  • Speed: You have the ability to speed up or slow down the pace of your video or even just sections of the video. 
  • Timer and Countdown: Set the timer and record your clips hands-free. Once you press record, a three-two-one countdown timer will appear on your screen. In your timer, select how long you want your clip to be (maximum fifteen seconds).

How to share Reels

With Reels, not only can you share with your followers but you have the opportunity to be discovered by a larger, diverse community on Instagram’s Explore page. A great way to reach a wider audience! 

  • If you have a private account: Your privacy setting will be applied to your Reels. You can share your Reel to your feed which allows only your followers to view. Users will not be able to access or use your original audio and people cannot share your Reels with other users who don’t follow you. 
  • If you have a public account: You can share your Reel to a dedicated space in Explore, where it has the potential to be viewed by a larger Instagram audience. You can also share your Reel with your followers by posting to your Feed. By featuring certain songs, hashtags or effects, your Reel could appear on a dedicated page if a user clicks on that particular song/hashtag/effect. And of course, if you’re public, your Reel can be shared with other users and posted to their Stories. 

Once you have recorded your Reel and you’re ready to share, move to the share screen where you can save a draft of your Reel, change the cover image, add a caption and hashtags, and tag your friends. After you have shared your Reel, it will live on a separate Reels tab on your profile. Similar to Instagram Stories, your Reel will disappear from your profile in 24 hours. 

Watching Reels

As we’ve mentioned throughout this blog, Reels has its own version of For You page: the new Reels Explore Feed. This feature is similar to TikTok: not only will you see Reels from people you follow, but you will see Reels from popular or trending accounts on Instagram. So far, we’ve observed that this is influenced by your likes/interests and where you’re located. 

Final Thoughts

Reels is still very new and we expect there will be further developments in the Reels feature in the near future. Stay up to date with all things Instagram and Facebook related by following us on Facebook!

You can check out our work here! 

How to get more Instagram followers

Social media is always changing. But 2019 has been like the Twilight Zone when it comes to Instagram. 

The API changes to the site have shut down mass following/unfollowing tactics that were popular before. That’s made it way harder to build a following. 

So how can you grow your followers list without employing risky tactics like using growth software, which might get your account banned, or buying followers, which looks pretty pathetic? 

How to say “screw you” to the API changes and build your social media following on Instagram in spite of them 

One: Publish regularly

With all the API changes, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your Insta-posts and keep them consistent. The best way to do that is to create a schedule. Think about how many posts are manageable for your company to maintain. How many pictures can you handle? What about Stories? Try for a post per day, and test the results. If your followers are increasing, try posting more. Then, try posting less and see if that helps (it’s not unheard of!). Can’t make a regular schedule happen? Call in a ride-or-die social media marketing company to handle your Instagram and other social media platforms. 

Two: Keep content fresh with buckers

It’s easy to fall into a rut with your social media… but that’s not going to win you many fans. And why would it? No one wants to feel like they’re just seeing the same post over and over again. Mix it up with the idea of post buckets. Each bucket is a category of post. For example, one bucket could be “inspirational quotes”. Brainstorm 3-8 categories that’ll appeal to your followers and potential followers. Try to balance more sales-focused and more lifestyle categories. Here are some ideas to get you going: 

  • Product photos 
  • Store/office photos 
  • Weighing in on new stories related to your company’s field 
  • How to videos 
  • Quotes 
  • What’s on your bookshelf/DVR/movie “to watch” list

Once you have your buckets in place, make sure you gather material for all of them. Post from each bucket regularly so if someone comes to your account page at any point, they always see a full reflection of your account. That’ll make it easier for anyone dropping by to decide if they want to follow you or not. 

Three: Be personal, even as a brand

Most people don’t want to feel like they’re getting the hard sell on social media. But how can you sell your products or services if you can’t sell your products or services? Get to the core of what you’re really selling instead! There is always an emotional component to any product or service. Take an engagement ring for an example. Even though you’re physically selling a ring, what you’re really selling is love and commitment. Once you know that, you can create posts about love and commitment. This way, you’re not marketing at your potential followers, you’re connecting with them. That connection makes them more likely to follow you – and convert into customers down the road.

 

Social Media Client Feature: The Facial Room

Kind, beautiful and powerful are three words that describe Patricia Asmar to a T. We began working with Patricia’s business, The Facial Room, in the summer of 2019. The Facial Room is Canada’s largest online retailer of Eminence Organic Skin Care, based in Surrey, and Patricia is also a top facialist in the Greater Vancouver Area. 

Here’s why we love Patricia and The Facial Room so much, and what our work for her brand entails. 

Our social media client, The Facial Room 

The Facial Room is Canada’s largest Eminence Organic Skin Care online retailer. A C.I.D.E.S.C.O. trained and internationally certified esthetician, Patricia Asmar has always been passionate about skin care. When she discovered Eminence Organic Skin Care line, she was amazed. She became a leading expert in the line, using it on her clients – and herself, of course. And you should see her skin! Patricia has redefined “glowing skin” by taking the term to a whole new level.

The Facial Room has been in business for 19 years, with the eCommerce side being active for about 6 years. 

Whether clients are looking to break away from break outs of shoo away their crow’s feet, The Facial Room helps them get the skin of their dreams at Patricia’s spa, or from their own homes!

The Facial Room’s social media

the facial room instagram - legendary social media vancouver
A peek at the Instagram Feed we created for The Facial Room, including photography by our own Adrian Perry. October 2019.

At Legendary, we handle all of The Facial Room’s social media. In order to do that, we take care of the following elements:

One: Visual feed styling and photography

One of our core responsibilities is to represent The Facial Room’s brand visually on social media. In order to achieve this, Adrian does prop styling and photography using Eminence Organics products that are available through The Facial Room’s website. We focus on a natural colour scheme in the photos, with a cozy, moody feel. This connects with the natural ingredients in Eminence Organic Skin Care’s products. 

Two: Instagram and Facebook marketing

Legendary runs The Facial Room’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. We create The Facial Room’s Instagram Stories and manage the shoppable Instagram Feed. To help build the company’s social media following, we focus heavily on education in each post in order to instill trust in the products from the brand’s customers. Our posts for Instagram are slightly different than Facebook, in order to communicate effectively with the audience of each platform, which are not quite the same. We manage comments, DMs, account growth and product tagging. We love getting to highlight the company’s awesome service. Seriously – they even send samples and organic Belgian chocolates with every order! 

Three: Paid campaigns 

Another element of our work with The Facial Room is the paid campaigns we create and optimize. The goal of these campaigns is to drive sales – therefore, we first set up a campaign to drive traffic to The Facial Room’s website, then a separate campaign focused on converting looky-loos into paying customers. In all, we built over 100 ads across 6 audience groupings for the first phases of these two campaigns.

How much does Instagram influencer marketing cost?

 

Instagram influencer marketing is a key part of social media marketing today. Just think about how many times you see “#ad” while scrolling through your Instagram feed!

And let’s face it, Instagram influencer marketing has blown up because it works.

But what does it cost – and is it worth it?

Why you need Instagram influencer marketing for your company’s social media strategy

In the past, it was more common for influencers to be willing to post something for free in exchange for use of your product or service, but that’s not the case anymore! Influencers who have fewer than 3,000 followers might be willing to do a trade, but even they may expect to get paid!

It’s only fair – the influencer is creating content for you (photos, videos and a caption, as well as managing comments on the post about your brand), so they should be compensated for their work.

The bigger the influencer’s following, the more they usually charge. Aside from that, there isn’t much consistency at all! We see influencers charging anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for an Instagram Feed post and a Instagram Story or two.

But while there may not be a standard Instagram influencer marketing rate, you can calculate a fair price. Follow these few simple steps to find the Instagram influencer marketing price that’s right for you!

The steps to establish Instagram influencer marketing rates and costs

One: Decide what your budget is for your influencer campaign

It’s easy to get swept away by influencers with big audiences and flashy posts. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear budget going into your campaign. It can be hard to negotiate if there’s no wiggle room. That’s why we always suggest having a low and high number for the total budget of the campaign.

Two: Contact a social media agency or create your own list of influencers

This is where having a social media agency can be very important. While you can put together your own list of influencers, how will you know if their followers are real? Will your post be shown to the right audience? Will the influencer act professionally when responding to comments? Does the influencer represent your brand in the right light? Will they post about your competitors in the near future? Most social media agencies maintain lists of influencers they know and trust – and that would be right for your campaign. By working with a professional, you can get your campaign up and running fast. Plus, you can save yourself hours of work!

Three: Vet the influencers or have them vetted

Again, a professional can really help at this point. They know how to vet influencers – and will have already vetted anyone on their influencer lists. If you are handling your Instagram influencer marketing alone, make sure you look at the influencer and their past engagement. Any vetting should include reading old posts, ensuring there’s no content that is going to be an issue for your company.

Four: Keep in mind how many followers your company’s account has

The larger your following and the more recognition your brand has, the more bargaining power you have. That’s because, if you have a large following, you can also help the influencer get more attention and followers, which translates to more success down the road.

Five: Approach your desired influencers

Now you’re at the first contact point. Make sure that when you get in touch, you explain what you want from the influencer. Let them know why you want to partner with them. The more personal you make this pitch, the more likely an influencer is to sign on! Finally, ask the influencer their rate.

Six: Negotiate

Be careful with this one! You want to negotiate, but within reason. If an influencer says their rate is $1,000, for example, don’t come back offering $250. Not only is that not going to happen, but it’ll probably be seen as insulting! So be cautious and respectful. If the price ends up being too high for you, let the influencer know and move on.  

Seven: Confirm your influencers

It’s decision time! Decide who fits within your campaign budget. Pick which influencers are the best fit for your product or service, as well as your company as a whole.

 

Hoping to check out some Instagram influencer marketing in action? Check out this recent influencer campaign we ran for our client GOeVisit!

Debunked: Instagram algorithm myths you’ve probably heard

Lately, there have been a lot of Instagram algorithm myths that have worried businesses. Here are the myths and the truths behind the “algorithm” that determines your brand’s success on Instagram.

Five social media myths about Instagram algorithms

One: You must post every day

This is one of the biggest social media myths. While many articles will recommend that you post daily or even twice daily, that may not always be the case. Posting more often can help with you need to grow your following, but recently, our crew at Legendary has noticed that posting too often may cannibalize the engagement you would have received on past posts. So if you’re looking for higher engagement, though, posting daily may actually be a negative, swamping your followers and discouraging them from liking and commenting on your posts.

The social media scheduling app Later has a great article that breaks it all down.

So what do you do? Test what works for your account. If your followers engage with daily posts, great! If not, try posting every 2-3 days so you get better engagement on each post.

Two: If a user swipes past one of your Instagram Stories, they won’t see your future posts

This myth circulated on Instagram, warning users not to swipe past Stories unless they never wanted to see posts from the creator again.
Of course, that isn’t true! But it did worry brands into thinking that if they didn’t have amazing, engaging Stories every single day, followers would flip past them and then never see content again.

Real deal? Stories gauge interest based on likes, comments, etc. But if someone swipes past a video, your content isn’t going to be hidden forever. So don’t stress about every one of your Stories being “perfect”. It’s more important to just be authentic and share so the right audience can find you.

Three: Comments only count if they’re over three words

There is a popular rumour that Instagram’s algorithms only count comments over 3 words. Again, not true: Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t look at length, it just looks at genuine engagement. If you’re finding that you’re not getting the attention and engagement you want, here are a few things to try:

  • Ask questions
  • Run a contest or giveaway
  • Sharing personal stories that followers can connect with

So you can stop worrying about word counts and start focusing on the social part of your social media.

Four: Swapping to a business profile will damage your standing in the algorithm

At one point, there was the belief that individual profiles got more attention than business profiles. That made companies reluctant to have a business profile. Again, no need to worry! Instagram doesn’t prioritize individuals or businesses. They are given equal weight in the algorithm.

Just choose the appropriate profile and get posting!

Five: Instagram’s algorithm hides posts  

Another huge myth is that Instagram hides posts. For a while, a ton of businesses were sharing posts asking followers to like or comment on posts so future content wouldn’t be hidden.
Instagram’s algorithm decides what content is shown first and what content is pushed down further – it doesn’t hide content per se.

So just post what works for you and focus on engaging naturally with your followers!

6 ways your small business can use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories to the rescue!

Have you noticed that your business’ Instagram isn’t getting the same response it used to?

Or that photos from days earlier are first on your feed?

If you’re at a loss for what to do with your next upload, don’t panic. Just scroll up to the top of your feed.

Your new weapon of choice is staring right back at you with a pink halo. Instagram Stories are a tool that can save your brand by allowing you to interact with your followers in new and exciting ways!

Skyrocket your Vancouver social media’s success with these 10 ways to dominate Instagram Stories

1. Expand your reach

Quality over quantity isn’t always the case in the wild west of stories. It seems that the more you post, the more often your Story appears first for your followers. So where do you begin? To prevent disappearing from your followers’ feeds (thanks to the new algorithm) upload Stories to remind them you’re there!

Use stickers and text to shake things up aesthetically and don’t forget that #hashtags count on Stories, too. By using hashtags and geotagging your location, your content can more easily gain traction from those who don’t follow you…yet! Using these features can give your content hundreds of extra views.

2. Post with purpose

Uploading often on Instagram Stories can boost you up in the ranks, but make sure there’s a purpose each time you publish!

New shipment of plaid shirts in your boutique?

Different hours for your tasting room tomorrow night?

Holding a theme night at your bar?  

Often, showing people a behind the scenes look at your business is a great purpose for your Stories. Let your followers get to know you personally, so show your face! Take a fun selfie and share it as a Story.

*Tip: Does your business already have over 10k followers? You can insert a link that they can swipe up to access right from your Story! Not only is this a great way to share extra content, but it also saves your followers time.*

3. Show your personality

It’s hard to avoid colour-coordinated themes scheduled to perfection on Instagram feeds these days. But all of this focus on perfection can sometimes lead to people forgetting about the beings behind the brand.

Use your Instagram Stories to show the human side of your business!

One perk to uploading to Instagram Stories is that it takes no time at all. It’s a medium that inspires in-the-moment creativity. For example, introducing your staff’s personality with a Boomerang video can gain you more than views.

Turn another faceless follow into a regular local customer who already has formed a deeper connection with your business.

4. Instagram Story Highlights are key

Instagram Story Highlights can help take your Instagram to the next level! This new feature can really elevate your company’s social media success… but it does require some strategy.

You may notice when you click on someone’s profile that they have pinned Stories. A regular Instagram Story will expire after 24 hours but highlights live directly on your profile for as long as you choose. You can use them to feature recipes, an event you hosted, menu items, sale updates or even as a way to expand your bio and introduce your business. How you use Highlights to work around your specific brand is up to you.

5. Build relationships with a tag or repost

Right now, we can’t repost Instagram Stories from our followers like we can regular photos (though rumour has it that this feature is on its way). For now, you can screenshot someone else’s Instagram Story or photo they tagged you in and manually tag them when uploading to your Story. While this is a little extra work, it really does go a long way!

Let’s say you’re a yoga studio and a new member just joined. They uploaded an awesome Story saying they loved your candlelight freedom flow. You then re-share their experience to show your followers an authentic interaction with your brand.

The more you engage with, recognize and appreciate your customers, the more they will do the same to your business.

Plus the more engagement your prospective customers see, the more likely they will want to engage with your business, too.

6. Instagram Story ads

This feature is a baby – born in January of 2017, businesses could place an ad within Instagram Stories! One of the biggest perks of Instagram Stories ads is that they blend in with other users’ Stories. These ads are great for generating brand awareness and attracting website sales. However, there are few things to consider first when constructing an Instagram Stories ad:

  • Make your ad in a vertical format.
  • You can either choose to post a 15-second video, or a photo.
  • If you go with a single photo, bold images with simple text may perform best!
  • If a video is more in your company’s taste, ensure it is quick to the punch and self-explanatory for best results.
  • Ensure that your ad stands out and informs the user about your business efficiently.

To create an Instagram Stories ad, simply connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Page (you do not need to convert to an Instagram Business account in order to do this) and use the ad creation tools on Facebook to put your ad together.

The more most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to using Instagram Stories for your small business it to have fun!

It’s Instagram’s world, we’re all just living in it. Social media in Vancouver is always evolving, so how will your business keep up? Try out Instagram Stories – and watch your engagement and reach flourish.

Need direction in your social media strategy? Contact the social media wizards at Legendary Social Media Vancouver. We’d love to help your business in the ever-changing landscape of social media.