Instagram Stories is a recent addition to Instagram’s portfolio of content options.
- As of 2017, over 50% of businesses on Instagram produced an Instagram Story
- One in five organic stories from businesses gets a direct message
- As of November 2017, Instagram stories has over 300 million daily active users – up from 250 million in JUne 2017
- More than half of Instagram’s daily active users are on Stories
With Instagram Stories you can share what’s happening throughout your day via photos, Boomerangs, and videos. What makes stories different? They can only be viewed within 24 hours of posting. That’s right, that photo you snapped will disappear from your story in 24 hours.
This helps create hype around your brand in the form of ever-persistent FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, for those non-Millennials out there). But it can also make it hard to capture your audience when the lifetime of your content in stories is limited to 24 hours max and users have to opt-in to consume a story (as opposed to their feed, where they are shown content organically). Learn how to get the most out of your Instagram analytics to be sure your Stories are connecting with your audience.
Understanding Stories Metrics
Stories don’t have likes, comments, and saves as Instagram posts do. Instead, they offer their own set of ways to interact:
- Taps Forward: The number of times a viewer tapped the right side of the screen to go to the next story.
- Taps Backward: The number of times a viewer tapped the left side of the screen to rewatch the previous story.
- Exits: The number of times a viewer swipes down to stop watching stories and go back to the main feed.
- Replies: The number of times a viewer swipes up and responds to a story. The reply feature starts a direct message conversation between you and the viewer.
Stories also come with their own daily unique reach and impressions, letting you understand how broadly your stories are being seen.
Using Stories Data to Build a Winning Strategy
Is your audience consuming stories?
The first question you should ask is whether or not your audience is interested in watching stories. Not everyone will be an early adopter, or adopt at all. To evaluate whether your audience is on Instagram Stories, first look at reach.
Daily unique reach will tell you how many people are viewing your stories each day. Compare this to the daily unique reach for your posts to identify if enough of your audience is on stories to warrant investing more efforts.
If you’re new to Instagram Stories, look for daily unique reach to be trending upward. This means that there may be opportunity for growth in your story strategy.
Which stories are resonating most with your audience?
Once you’ve validated that Stories is an area where you want to invest marketing efforts, you’ll want to refine your content strategy. Looking at impressions and interactions from Stories will help you identify what’s working best. Analyze your top stories to see if there are concepts, copy, or creative material they all have in common.
Next, look at interactions. To see what’s working, first focus on taps back, as they are usually an indicator that your audience wants to rewatch your content. Then look at replies, which can be considered the most powerful type of interactions. Users who reply to your story are passionate enough to invest the time drafting a comment. Use replies as a source for influencers and co-marketing opportunities.
To see what’s not working in your Stories, take a look at taps forward and exits. Taps forward tend to indicate that your audience wants to skip your content for some reason. This may be because an image does not resonate with them or a video is too long. Exits are the biggest form of negative feedback. Look at stories with a large number of exits and evaluate what they have in common or what may have caused the exit, and try to minimize these types of stories.
How are stories impacting your post engagement?
Whenever you’re trying out something new on social, you should keep an eye on how it’s impacting other areas of your social strategy. In the case of Instagram Stories, evaluate how the creation of stories is impacting your post engagements. If you find that your post engagements are decreasing but your Stories interactions are not increasing proportionately, you may want to shift some efforts back to your post strategy.
How are stories impacting your audience growth?
As with engagement, you’ll want to evaluate the impact of Stories on your audience size and audience growth. Do you see a larger number of followers lost on days you post stories? If you see more followers gained, it may mean that more of your target audience has adopted Stories, and you may want to invest more resources.