Introducing Instagram Stories… A knock off for Snapchat

Remember when a few years ago Facebook wanted to buy Snapchat and Snapchat said no? We all thought that t s not a good move by Snapchat as Facebook will go ahead and build its own Snapchat and now a few years later here we are with Instagram stories. Yes! You heard it right.

As the saying goes “Good artists copy; great artists steal” – the famous words of Picasso, revived by Steve Jobs, ring true today as the world complains that Instagram’s new Stories feature copied Snapchat.
Instagram launches its Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in the feed.

You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.

To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.

Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile

How Does Instagram Stories Work?

Firstly Update Your Instagram App

To get this amazing feature started, you are going to need to get your Instagram app updated to the latest version. Head over to the App Store on an iPhone, then check your updates tab for the latest installment. On an Android phone, go to the Play Store and search for the Instagram app. Then hit update. Job Done!

Create Your Original Story

From your Feed, you should be able to see a little plus icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen.  Then click the photo / video button to capture the first part of your story. If you want to grab a photo or video you took at a party last night, just swipe down on the screen and select your top snap.

Be Creative with Your Photos and Videos

Tap the “Aa” button to add text on top of the photo/video or use the pen icon to put your artistic skills to work. When you are finished with being Picasso, click the “Done” button and it will be ready to add to your story. If you want to get rid of the photo, hit cancel; to save it, hit the download icon.
Sadly Instagram yet does not have any filters so you cannot put up a dog face here but if history teaches us anything, it may not be far away.

Check Out Other People’s Story

To see the stories of people you follow at the top of your feed, just click on their photo to bring up the story. You can also access someone’s story by tapping on their profile photo. If they have an active story, their profile photo will be surrounded by a pretty rainbow ring.

Access to stories works like photo access — if you have your account set to private, you stories will remain private. Users with public accounts are sharing their stories with the world.

Just like Snapchat you Can View Your Viewers

Human validation is key for these features to succeed. Just like on Snapchat, if you want to know who has been watching your entire vacation, it is simple to find out. Be warned: It is the quickest way to find out how unpopular your life story actually is. Take a moment.

Simply open up your story and swipe up on the screen. It will provide you with the number of viewers along with the names of people who have been watching your every move. Luckily, no one else can see these stats. You also cannot hide the fact you are looking at someone’s story, so sort out your addiction of stalking.

Show Your Appreciation for a Story

Really enjoyed your friend’s story Send them a message to say something good about their story. Open the story, choose “Send Message” in the bottom left, write your message and hit send. Although the app will save your text message for life, the photo or video you are talking about will vanish from your chat.

Keep Your Stories Saved

Sometimes your photos and video mean a lot more to you than just stories you don’t want them to vanish in 24 hours. You can either save a photo from a story before or after you publish or upload any part of it to your Instagram feed as a regular photo.

If you want to save your photo before it is published, just hit the download arrow icon. After it is published, open up your story and click the three dots in the bottom right of the screen. Click “Save Photo.” To share it as a photo on your feed, click the dots and “Share as Post.”

If you want to do the opposite and destroy one of your photos from living memory, also click those helpful little dots and hit “Delete.”

You Can Also Hide Your Story

Don’t want to show your story to a particular person? There is a button for that. Go to your profile and in the top right of the screen, tap the cog icon on an iPhone or three dots on an Android.

Hit “Story Settings,” click “Hide My Story From” and select away. Once you have them selected, they won’t receive your stories unless you go back into your settings and unselect them. You can also hide a particular story from an enemy by clicking to the right of their name and selecting “Hide Story From.”

Conclusion

Snapchat’s problem – which might be slightly intentional – is that it’s always been confusing and opaque to use. Adults frequently complain they have no idea how to use the service, while generations of millennials gleefully enjoy it without needing to be taught
Instagram took that confusing interface and did what it’s always done best: Made it useful to the masses, with a number of improvements that make it far more enjoyable to use.

Instagram stories will be popping out globally over the next few weeks on iOs and Android. It is worth the wait.

Let me know what you think of this blog in the comments section and if you really find it helpful,  feel free to share it with your friends and acquaintances on social media.

How to Boost Your Social Media Traffic Immediately


Building social media traffic is a lot like tracking down a city plan down the road with a lot of diverse people coming from different demographics and backgrounds. If each roadway into a city is a different source of website visitors, your social media traffic should certainly be a pillar to your highway infrastructure.

Getting people to your website can be tricky through social media engagement, especially when you are low on budget and already implementing paid campaigns. But the fact is real as paid advertising can instantly boost your social media traffic.

The visible presence you build on social media the more you can rely on steady social media traffic to your site.

Social Media Is Huge! Where to Start From?

Social media’s ground is wide with so many open options starting from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat,Pinterest, Linkedin and so on. Before starting to market one need to understand that all of these social media platforms are different from each other, their audiences are different, their tactics are different but one thing which common between all is the building of immense traffic.

How to Increase Social Media Traffic?

Increasing your social media traffic becomes easy when you engage and build relationships on each network. Being readily available for customers, brand loyalists and potential buyers it helps you nurture these people through the purchasing process.

Each social network is different, but to get an immediate boost in your social traffic, there are some hard and fast rules to follow for all your social channels. Remember that your content says everything about your brand, so make sure your blog posts, case studies or infographics go above and beyond to make the social sharing aspect greater.

In this blog I’ll explain briefly about some of the key points which are necessary to adopted by every marketer to get the desired social media traffic.

Engage Your Audience with Visuals

First impressions are essential. We always say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but more times than not, visuals help us make decisions. In fact, Adobe’s Q4 2013 Index showed social media posts with images create 65% more engagement than text posts
People want visual content to help make sure their purchasing decisions are valid. When customers are able to view a product video or demo, they are 85% more likely to make a buying decision right there when compared to reading a text review.

Master Social Media like a Pro

On social media it is beneficial to use visuals and videos to drive traffic and almost all of these sites have the options to share videos. Ever wondered why? Because videos help people to relate and they are remembered for a longer period of time then a simple text.  The key to building follower count is all within consistency. The more consistent you are with your Social Media Publishing, the higher chance you have at being seen. Once you start to see a spike in social media traffic, you shouldn’t slow down on your posting.

Keeping a daily publishing schedule is crucial to effective social media traffic building. Make sure you know roughly how much to post to each site and at what times. Constant Contact and Union Metrics provided some insights on how much to post:

  • Post on Facebook 3-10 times a week
  • Tweet at least five times a day
  • Instagram around 1.5 times a day
  • Post on LinkedIn 2-5 times a week
  • Post on Google+ 3-10 times a week
  • Snapchat as much as you can.

Make Your Content Easily Shareable

Every marketer or business owner by now should know the importance of being mobile friendly. Data from ComScore showed in 2013, 65% of time spent on social media was through a mobile device. Almost 40% of news content was read on a mobile device compared to a desktop.

Living in a mobile age means your content has to be easy to read, but more importantly, simple to share. Share buttons on mobile devices are critical to driving social media traffic. Neil Patel explained it by stating the harder it is for your audience to share your content, the less likely they will.

Improve Your SEO

While you want it to be easy for readers to share your content, you also need to ensure your content is being shared correctly and effectively. Digital marketing has grown immensely, which means at some point you have to consider upping your search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

In the most basic terms, integrating SEO best practices into your content can help you:
Improve online visibility
Generate more sales/leads
Strengthen your brand’s authority and domain
Connect with your direct audience
Increase your social media traffic
If you’re looking to bolster your social traffic, optimizing content for search engines like Google and Bing can have tremendous payoffs. According to a 2014 Advanced Web Ranking report, data showed that on average, nearly 72% of searches lead to a page one click.

Focus on Your Inbound links

While SEO best practice can help your site you can use social media as a useful tool as well. Once you start to build up your quality of content, you’ll encourage external sites to link to your site with social media.

While this process might not be immediate for newer social users, it’s good to get in the habit of sharing other’s content and your own to build awesome relationships.

Inbound links are helpful in keeping your audience engage within your website but it is not always important to link readers to your site you can also direct them to any of your videos or blogs and eventually they’ll end up on you.

Best example to be seen here is of Social Media Examiner does a great job by sharing various social media resources. When you promote your content, it encourages other outlets to as well. This can lead to a share that puts your content in front of different eyes.

Encourage CTA Tabs

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are the buttons you use in your website and on your landing pages to guide users towards your goal conversion. It’s the part of the landing page that the user needs to click in order to take the action you want them to take. CTA buttons can vary in style and size depending on your goal conversion and website style. But there are some rules of thumb to be followed while you’re initiating for CTA’s.

  • Use action packed text
  • Use RGB colors (red, green, blue)
  • Large and legible text
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Keep it above the fold

Conclusion

Driving conversions and traffic from social media requires a combination of tweaks to your posts, and some structural changes to your website and blog. At the same time, you need to keep a close eye on your social media stats to understand which content is performing well and how you can leverage it to increase your overall social media engagement. If you can get this combination right, you can create sustainable stream of high converting social media traffic to your blog or website.