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Instagram Stories for Television

Snapchat, Facebook stories, Facebook live and Instagram stories: nowadays it seems that every Social Media platform is jumping on the ‘story’ bandwagon, and yet while they all seem similar, each platform has its own unique advantages with this feature.

Instagram released the Stories feature last year with the aim to encourage its users to create and share more content.  The feature, which has similarities to Snapchats stories, lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Instagram stories are a great component for TV shows to use to create user engagement, audience interaction, promotion and hype.

Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 14.22.38But before we get into how exactly Instagram stories and Instagram live can be used by TV shows, here’s a quick debrief on what and how Instagram stories work.

Instagram Stories is the photo and video sharing app’s disappearing content feature. It allows accounts to share photos and videos in a personalised slideshow format. They appear in a bar at the top of your feed, every account can share stories and when an account has a new story their profile photo will have a colourful ring around it.

To view someone’s story, you click on their profile photo, the story will play in order from oldest content to newest.  To create a story on Instagram simply click the ‘+’ icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen.  Your camera will open and you can then take a photo or record a video. After you’ve recorded a video or taken your photo you can use filters, add texts or swipe the boomerang option to create a more fun video.

After posting your story, you can view some analytics and these can tell you how many times each post in your story has been viewed and who has viewed, simply swipe up on your own story to find out this data.

But why should I use Instagram stories over Facebook stories/live, I hear you say?  Because Instagram has excellent engagement numbers. One in five Instagram Stories receive a direct message from its viewers and around 70 percent of videos are watched using the sound.

Here are 5 ways your TV show could use Instagram stories:Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 14.32.04

  1. Think about how many times you post on Instagram daily? On average, it’s probably one to two times per day.  With Instagram stories, you don’t have to worry about posting too much and overwhelming your audience.  You can share lots of content throughout the day without having to worry about your audience losing interest and unfollowing you.
  2. Use behind the scenes content to give something back to your audience. Your TV show has the chance to take followers behind the scenes and show them how the polished content is made. Show your followers the set, the actors, the producers and create content that will excite your audience and keep them coming back for more.
  3. Use your Instagram Stories as a platform for your actors. Create takeovers, for example, think about your cast, would they be willing to take over your Instagram account for the day and take your audience through a day in the life with them?  Perhaps they could take the audience through the hair, makeup and wardrobe process to make the viewers feel privileged.
  4. Instagram Stories can be a great way to engage with your followers on a one-to-one basis. For example, you can run Q&A’s using your story by encouraging people to send questions via Instagram’s Direct Message. These questions can be answered within the story.
  5. Last but not least, Instagram Live. To go live, swipe right from the feed to open the story camera, here you can swipe to the ‘live’ option and begin your broadcast. While you are posting a live story, your followers will receive a notification encouraging them to tune in.  Live video is very engaging and it enables accounts to create interactive, one-off pieces of content.