Instagram offers multiple options for sharing content: you can post traditional content to your newsfeed, post videos longer than a minute to Instagram TV (IGTV), and post content viewable for 24 hours to Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are gaining a lot of traction, with 500 million users every day. Story content can either be static photos or videos, including videos created as Reels. Creative touches such as unique captions, music features, and polling make Stories totally different from traditional Instagram feed posts. In this post, we’re going to break down how to use Instagram Stories for your law firm. From what makes a proper post to best practices to ensure your Instagram Stories don’t go unnoticed, we’ve got you covered.
Introduction to Instagram Stories
Creating Instagram Stories can be a fun activity with a lot of benefits for your law firm’s social media strategy. You can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. Remember, the same frequency recommendations do not apply to Instagram newsfeed posts.
When you post a photo or video to your story, a colorful ring will appear around your profile picture that people can tap to see your story. Photos and videos from your story don’t appear on your profile grid. Stories also appear at the top of your feed. Your profile picture will appear in a row at the top of your followers’ Feeds, and they can tap it to see your story.
Your Instagram Story will last for 24 hours and then disappear unless you save it as a Highlight. Unlike regular Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights can live permanently on your profile. They’re essentially curated collections of Instagram Stories that your followers can tap into and watch at any time.
10 Types of Instagram Stories for Law Firms to Try
Below we’ve highlighted five different formats of Instagram Stories that work well for law firms.
1. How To’s and Tutorials
Stories’ sequential format makes them perfect for step-by-step, how-to style content that’s an engaging alternative to a traditional video or blog post. You can include CTAs such as encouraging your audience to download an eBook or checklist/ guide that goes into further detail. Our suggestion is to include the link in your bio, for example: “Link to Full Guide in Bio” or directly on the post by using the link sticker.
Related: Advanced Social Media Strategies for Law Firms eBook
2. Sharing User Generated Content (UGC)
Encourage your followers, employees, or clients to share Stories on their own accounts and tag your law firm in them. This way, your firm can repost the content for your own followers to see.
3. Behind-the-scenes Stories
Consider putting the human side of your firm on display. Firms can post candid, unedited, or in-the-moment photos to your firm’s Instagram Story. For example, post photos and videos of company events, holiday parties, community service, and other moments that capture the culture of the firm.
4. Time-sensitive Content
Since Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, it is a better strategy to post time-sensitive offers and content on Stories rather than the main feed. For example, firms can post content around an upcoming webinar, hiring information, summer intern application deadlines, etc. Story-specific offers are a smart move to encourage people to stay glued to your Instagram for updates.
5. Special Announcements
Take advantage of Stories’ sequential posting to post content that reveals more of a special announcement with each click to the next post. Gain your followers’ interest while also keeping them up to date with your firm’s news like awards or perhaps your firm’s ranking in the Am Law 200.
6. Use Instagram Stories Polls to Learn More About Your Audience
One of the easiest ways to get to know your followers (and get them talking) is to simply start asking questions! This gives you an opportunity to understand your followers’ goals, preferences and, possibly, help you to brainstorm more Instagram content for the future.
7. Share Reels
Instagram Reels can also be easily shared with Stories. This is a savvy way to share longer-form content, as it will appear as one Story (rather than several video clips) and users can easily click on the Reel to view the whole video clip. Consider adding some text as an accompanying caption describing your Reel.
8. Shout Out Your Most Recent Post
You can add a post to your Instagram Story by clicking the paper airplane icon that appears in the left-hand corner of your Instagram posts. Consider sharing your new posts to your story and adding text or icons that announce it is a new post you’ve just released.
9. Link to Your Blog
Stories now allow users to easily share links. Promote your latest blog post, and use the link sticker to share the link directly with your audience.
10. Countdown an Event
You can easily countdown to an event using the countdown sticker. Consider doing this as you host webinars, in-person events, live streams, etc.
Best Practices for Instagram Stories
So, what should your law firm be focusing on if you want to get the most out of your Stories? These 3 best practices can help you stay ahead of the curve and keep your followers engaged without missing a beat.
Point Followers to Your Stories
Make sure your law firm’s Stories gain the recognition they deserve. Let your followers know about fresh content posted to your law firm’s Stories with a newsfeed post. Include post copy like, “Check out our story for more behind-the-scenes footage”.
Make Your Visuals Count
Instagram has devoted itself solely to one major theme: displaying striking visual content and your Stories should be treated no differently. Given a shorter time frame to efficiently grab your followers’ attention, make sure your Stories compel people to keep watching time and time again by:
- Using bright, contrasting colors in your fonts or overlays
- Encourage more interaction by incorporating dynamic elements such as quizzes, polls, or even music into your Instagram Stories.
- Including an image of a person or group of people to make an instant emotional connection
- Capturing interesting or unfamiliar settings (think outside the box!)
Although your Stories don’t need to include these features 100% of the time, consider them an added bonus.
Mind Your Text
Make sure that any text you include in your photos is legible. Avoid any clutter and confusion in the post itself and only include one CTA. Although Instagram’s default sans-serif font is among one of the most popular and easiest to read, your law firm may want to play around with the various other fonts and colors that are available.
Furthermore, leave about 15% space from the top and bottom of the video to post titles or text, otherwise, the content will overlap with the app’s interface and will be difficult for users to read.
Although Instagram Stories only live on top of people’s feeds for 24 hours, you can lengthen their life span by saving these stories to your Highlights. These are the circles that appear on top of your Instagram account page.
Simply click the circle with a plus inside at the top of your page to start creating Highlights. And don’t forget to create graphics with your firm branding to use as covers for each Highlight.
Instagram Stories are a fun and interactive way to capture your audience’s attention and get them to perform an action. When your law firm is planning to use Instagram Stories, consider using a mix of images and videos. Hopefully, this gives you all the inspiration you need to start using Instagram Stories to engage and interact with your audience. By understanding the best formats and practices above, you can stay ahead of the curve and keep your law firm’s Instagram followers engaged at all times.
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This post has been edited and republished from Jun. 15, 2020.