How to Post Stories Effectively: A Study of 15,000 Stories by Buffer
When is the best time to post a story? How much? Let’s take a look at the statistics of 15 thousand stories and draw conclusions for each metric. And, of course, let’s draw some final conclusions.
What’s the point?
The Buffer portal has published the results of the analysis of 15 thousand Instagram stories. The goal of the research is to find out which content is the best for engaging users and converting them into subscribers and customers. The whole research is devoted to the Stories format for a reason:
Every day more than 550 million users post and view Stories every day.
And the popularity of this format continues to grow – moreover, in all social networks.
Optimal volume: up to 7 stories per day
To determine the average optimal volume of stories, the authors calculated the number of views of stories from beginning to end during the day (Until they disappear).
Key facts from the chart:
- Immediately after the first story, views drop. The second and third stories are watched by about 80% of users.
- The next downturn occurs on the 4th story
- After the seventh story, the total view rate drops below 70%
It is worth noting that half of the users (55%) watch stories containing more than 20 fragments to the end. Stories engagement is extremely high.
The best time to post stories is outside business hours
According to statistics, there are 4 periods of activity of viewing stories (2 morning, afternoon and evening), and all of them occur during non-working hours:
Accordingly, users prefer to watch stories:
- In the morning before work;
- At lunchtime;
- In the evening after work.
If you want to optimize your reach, use this information.
More content – more reach and more impressions
Sometimes quantity turns into quality. Research shows that the more stories brands publish, the greater the reach of users.
The Instagram feed is endless, so the more followers a user has, the lower the likelihood that your post will be seen. And stories disappear after 24 hours, making room for new publications. Another bonus of the transience of this format.
The impact of the number of stories on reach is undeniable:
Absolutely the same dependence is relevant for impressions. More stories, more impressions.
How to post a story? Recommendations
Make your first story intriguing
An obvious point that is still worth highlighting. The strongest drop in views occurs precisely after the first Story.
Here is the same situation as with the preview on Youtube: the first frame determines further viewing. However, do not overuse clickbaits – you run the risk of displeasing subscribers. The content should match the title, while keeping it intriguing.
For example, Airbnb runs mini-quizzes, revealing more and more information in each story. The first story asks a question, then hints appear, then part of the image, and finally – the answer.
Make more stories easy
Feel free to experiment with content. Popular stories are created without any technical complexity.
You don’t need professional filming or editing
Stories is about naturalness, sincerity and transience. Even brands, creating content, often do it without much sophistication. For example, Starbucks often publishes simple user-generated content, sometimes adding text captions to it:
Keep your own statistics
Research is great, but don’t get too carried away with it. Each profile is different, so be sure to research your audience.
Start collecting your own statistics. Record what you have posted and mark at least the baseline:
- Completion rate;
- Reach and impressions;
- Bounce rate at different stages of stories;
- Post time;
- Stories length (number of fragments).
This data will be very useful for you when analyzing the preferences of your subscribers.
- The first story should be as intriguing and interesting as possible.
- The average optimal size of Stories is up to 7 fragments.
- The most effective posting time is non-business hours.
- Quantity grows into quality. Try to post stories every day.
- There is no point in complicating stories with professional filming. They disappear after 24 hours. Just grab your smartphone and shoot.
- Study general statistics, but be sure to collect your own.
This data should help you publish Stories more efficiently. Do not forget that Stories are more popular today than publications in the feed. We’ve even included stories in content trends for 2020, so it’s hard to overestimate the importance of this format.