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With the majority of marketers agreeing that Instagram is important to their social media marketing strategies and Stories being one of their most effective content types, it may be time for marketers to examine how well their Stories are working for their brand. With the help of research from Socialinsider, here’s some data about Instagram Stories and some tips to improve your efforts.

1. Fewer Followers, Better Reach Rate

Don’t fall in the trap of thinking that more followers (a common way of benchmarking success) will equate to a higher reach rate. Socialinsider analyzed more than 135,000 Instagram Stories from more than 2,500 business profiles, all of which had at least 1,000 Instagram followers. From this data, the opposite seems to be true.

Accounts with fewer than 10K followers reach an average of 9.12% of followers with their Stories, while accounts with between 10K and 100K followers have an average reach rate of 5.22%. The trend continues, with the data showing that those Instagram accounts with more than 100K fans reach an average of 4.59% of their followers with their Stories.

As your follower count increases, you may find that your reach rate decreases, so be prepared.

2. Brands With Fewer Followers Need to Step Up Engagement

While brands with a smaller number of followers are reaching a larger percentage of their followers with their Stories, they’re not as successful at holding their followers’ attention with those Stories. When measuring the exit rate (a percentage of the impressions that leave the Story by closing out of Stories in Instagram), the data reveals that brands with more than 100K followers had an average exit rate of 4.37%, compared to the average exit rate of 7.43% for brands with fewer than 10K followers.

This suggests that while accounts with fewer followers get a higher percentage of their audience to open their Stories, the content within them might not be as compelling to keep viewers hooked to the end.

3. Keep the Number of Stories Per Day to 6

Socialinsider found that retention rates (percentage of the impressions of the last Story divided by the impressions of the first Story within a given 24-hour time period) drop about 15% when moving into the second Story of the day. However, those brands that post up to 6 Stories per day are able to maintain the engagement of more than 70% of viewers.

4. Post More of Your Content to Stories

While Socialinsiders finds that the optimal number of Stories per day is limited to 6, the data also shows that brands can increase their reach by posting more content to Stories. Across all account sizes, as the number of Stories per day increases, so does the reach rate. The same can be said for the impression rate, which also increases as the number Stories published per day.

Another reason to post more content to Stories is that past research has shown that Instagram users put more value in Stories from brands than from content posted in the Instagram feed.

5. Use Videos to Keep Attention

Last year research by Quintly showed that videos on Instagram received more interactions than images. While this data was not focused on Stories in particular, this new research from Socialinsider does indicate that videos gartner higher engagement than images. Images’ tap-forward rate (the percentage of impressions that have a tap forward to see the next photo or video in a Story) is about 5.7% higher than videos. Moreover, the exit rate tends to be slightly higher for image Stories than for video Stories.

Do keep in mind that Instagram only allows for 15-second videos with longer videos being cut into 15-second segments.

Read the full Socialinsider analysis online here.

About the Data: More than 135,976 Instagram Stories from a total of 2,548 business profiles were analyzed for the report. Within the report, a representative of Instagram handles are used, which had an active presence on Instagram between August 2018 to April 2019. These business profiles had more than 1,000 Instagram followers as of the same date.

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