How to Audit Your Instagram Stories
All good things come to an end. At least that’s what we’ve been told. I’d like to argue that this isn’t necessarily true, considering how disappearing content has changed the social marketing scene.
Ephemeral content (disappearing content) has taken the social scene by storm, and marketers are starting to understand how content that eventually goes away attracts a large, curious audience. Instagram Stories is now leading this trend, leaving marketers both excited and confused.
“If my Instagram Story disappears in 24 hours, how can I possibly measure its success?”
We’re glad you asked! In this post, we’ll uncover how you can audit your Instagram Stories and gather the data you need in order better strategize your Instagram marketing efforts.
But first, let’s look at some numbers to show how Instagram Stories are impacting business results.
That’s right—your Instagram Stories are likely to boost engagement as people heavily respond to business Stories. This could mean more exposure for your brand and hopefully lead to more sales and audience interaction.
Your Stories will now reach an even larger audience, as the number of people actively using Instagram Stories on a daily basis has grown to more than 300 million.
Instagram stories are now a favorite among top social media influencers, who are posting almost twice as much to Instagram as they are to Snap.
Instagram Stories Metrics
Stories don’t have likes, comments, and saves like 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.
Collecting Stories Data (and What It Tells Us)
Now that you know which metrics to watch as you investigate the success of your Instagram Stories, let’s look at how the data you collect can fuel an even more effective Stories strategy.
With Simply Measured Social Analytics, you can measure and track the progress of your Stories—from reach to impressions to engagement. From the data below, we can see all Stories interactions, including the four metrics we defined in the previous section of this post. This particular account experienced a large number of tap-forwards on their Stories between October 25th and December 4th. This tells us a couple of things.
1. Lack of Early Engagement
First, these stories may not engage their audience right from the get-go (hence the number of tap-forwards is relatively high). To increase engagement moving forward, Stories from this account need to address the issue of the immediacy of its content. It’s important to make your video shareable as soon as possible.
2. Exit Rates Must be Managed
Next, we see that the exit rate for this account is around 9% (total interactions divided by the number of exits), meaning a good number of followers are deciding not to finish viewing the Stories. But why?
Stories Might Be Too Long
The Story might be too long. Instagram has a cap of 100 clips and photos that an account can share through Stories, and each video shared can be no more than 15 seconds long. This adds up quickly—it’s 25 minutes’ worth of content, which is a big time commitment for any audience. If you currently use Instagram Stories, try not to make your videos too long. According to Invisia, five percent of people will stop watching a video after 60 seconds, and 60% will stop after two minutes. In terms of your Stories, two minutes of content equates to eight 15-second videos before 60% of your audience will stop watching.
Content Isn’t Engaging
Viewers are exiting because the Stories are not engaging. While we hope that everything we share on social media has that viral appeal, we sometimes reveal that our content actually isn’t as engaging (or share-worthy) as we’d like. It may be time to revisit the type of content shared and adjust to the needs and wants of viewers.
Are Your Stories Being Seen?
As you continue your Stories audit, you want to be sure that your Stories are being seen. This is when you would look at both impressions and reach. Impressions refer to the number of times your Instagram Stories were displayed, while Story Daily Reach tells you the number of unique accounts that viewed your Story. Keep an eye on your reach, as this data will let you know whether or not people are viewing your stories.
If you notice that your reach is dwindling over time, you may want to rethink the content you share, as people may decide not to watch your Stories if they are redundant or boring. Be creative with your Instagram Stories: use polls, add text, and include links, tags, and mentions.
Also look for trends in the days you share Stories. You may find that some days drive more engagement and views than others. As you start tracking your Stories, keep in mind that you may need to adjust your strategy to accommodate the days and times during which your target audience is active on Instagram.
Stories is becoming a popular way for users to engage with each other—and brands—on Instagram. In fact, TechCrunch believes Instagram users will soon prefer watching Stories over scrolling through feeds. As you continue (or start) to use Instagram Stories in your social marketing strategy, remember that the appeal of disappearing content is a huge reason why people watch Stories. Be sure your Stories cater to your audience by playing into their FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Recognize that your Instagram Stories won’t last forever—which is a good thing!
If you are looking for some inspiration for your Instagram Stories, check out these 10 Creative Brands Making Instagram Stories Now.
Bryan is the Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured. He spoils his dog, is a fitness fanatic, and loves research and writing.