Instagram Stories: Instagram Poll Number 1. / by Allan Hinton

THE POLL: "Is it OK That People Use Instagram Stories to Announce That They’ve Just Posted a New Picture?"

Instagram Stories Poll Chaiwalla

Before we begin be mindful that 19.5% of viewers of my Stories fed back so there’s a majority that probably are not that fussed on this particular question but based on feedback from others 12%-18% poll response seems the average rate right and I also got the most amount of responses I have ever had from a Stories post. How fantastic. There are enough people that care about this what may seem trivial point.

If this subject interests you perhaps you want to read about my quick fire top 30 tips to Instagram growth here.

So Why Did I Decide to do This Instagram Poll?

Doing a shoutout of your last photo can irritate me, leave me baffled to why its done or sometimes leave me super happy as I am excited someone I like has posted a new photo I missed. It can all be depending on how its done and the creativity, the language and tone used. 

First off, in my social media consumed world it also feels like a “hot topic” right now. Yet to get straight to the point I really just feel a bit clueless on how my own followers feel about this method of approach. It’s a question thats been burning on my mind for quite sometime… and apparently others too.

I believe I am quite a modest guy, perhaps a little insecure about my own work, and I am terrible at taking compliments so I tend to hold back on anything that could come across in an overly confident way - this could be my downfall - yet I do however care about my followers and their opinions - as cheesy as that may sound and I want them to see my photos to be more blunt. Right now I am also seeing a large number of people I follow often announcing themselves in Stories that they've made a new posts - so I am bound to be curious - and some of my followers are telling me that they don’t always see my photographs (we will touch on algorithms later don’t you worry guys!) so its natural to want to know a little more information about the best way tell everyone that you’ve posted a new photo.

Photography, Instagram, Social Media Marketing. Its my career now. Like many others so I do think about the ways in which I can make my latest post get as much attention as possible. If people are not even seeing my photo I want to know how I can get my followers eyeballs onto it. Stories shout-outs seems like a strategy to do this.

Below is an example of my last photo that I post just after my poll.

Instagram Promote Post Example Chaiwalla

I want to highlight and bring it into the blog post as in terms of likes, in my humble opinion, did not appear to be doing well (under 1000 likes within the first hour) but as you can see Instagram highlighted to me that it was performing well, 85% better than other post, and they wanted me to promote it! Thats because on engagement metrics (thats the total number of engagements - such as likes, saves and comments - dived by total views) it was actually performing super well. It just wasn't getting the view numbers I would have liked. So of course I am led to think of ways that I can get more people to see this post. Maybe a Stories shoutout would help?

One last thing to add. There are many accounts that don’t often use Instagram Stories regularily yet when they do its only to ask for me to go an “check out” their latest photo. I personally would much prefer this kind of request mixed in with alternative and other interesting a personable content. I am now starting to see a lot of Instagram Stories consecutively where people are making this “new post” announcement. I have an understanding of why they do this (see above blurb!) but sometimes I can find these shoutouts somewhat tedious and the posts that are less creative have made me ask “how can I do this kind of post, but better, or differently, or in a more engaging way”.

I’ve been lucky enough to have spent 5+ years befriending other “influencers” and we are passionate about discussing strategy but perhaps we are more narrow minded and biased in our views.

So what did everyone think?

The Overall Results - Top Line

The final results ended in 36% of people saying that they “didn’t mind” but 64% pressing “No, it’s not cool”.

Again about 19.5% of viewers (note: a handful actually skipped page one of my Stories, thanks man! and my last thank you post got more views than the poll page - how’d that happen!) to the post actually took part in the poll and a pleasantly a great amount of kind folks took the time to write more detailed feedback and I engaged in some longer discussions with a handful of them. Again, thanks so much! 

So lets delve into that longer winded feedback below

The Detailed Feedback

I will break this down into three sections. The positive feedback, the negative and then touch on algorithms.

The MORE negative LEANING responses.

Lets start with some answers to those that find it more of an irritation!

It can be considered quite “crass” and words such as “desperate” and “annoying” were used when I engaged with followers who replied to me. It came across as a way of begging for likes and engagement. Even though these days its clear that Instagram and blogging is a full time career for some people and the success of their photos can make an impact on future work it didnt make it came across any less like a form of begging.

  • "I see more and more people announce their posts on Stories, if they don't do other fun Stories I'll usually mute"
    • I really want to avoid possibilities of being muted. I mean I will try to be myself in Sotires and accept people may not like that but of course I don't like the idea of annoying someone over something unnecessary.
  • Many people were getting frustrated with people simply screenshotting their feed and then sharing this screenshot in their Stories. This caused a lot of irritation. Maybe this was the number one pain point.
  • The frequency plays a part too. If someone does it from “time to time” it was considered to be more acceptable. We need to think about timings then, right?
  • “I scroll through the feed first and then look at Stories so their request is now redundant and just one more thing to scroll through.”
  • “Just dont share a screenshot of your feed - or blur out the background of the newest post” This came up numerous times too.
  • “OK if its not coming across in a desperate way like "go like and comment on my pic!”

Positive responses; the "I'm Ok with it" FOLKS

Although the overall quick-click poll results showed a more negative result I would say that at least 40% of the people responding with a personal message to me stated reasons to why they were ok with it. 

  • “I don’t mind people shouting out their new post but I never actually act on the request.”
    • So is it really worthwhile doing them? Thats what I've asked myself here. The new internet generation are lazy and if we have seen the photo in the Stories whats the incentive to click on their profile?
  • “It’s ok and it shows that people are really just proud of their work” this I can understand for sure but perhaps then we need to think about how we communicate this pride.
  • "I am ok with it but prefer people who are more creative in the way that they do it" So we need to think of different examples of how we can be creative. 
  • “it’s nice when people show “behind the scenes” footage that goes along with the new post” 
    • quite a few people responded in this way and it seems to be a popular method. Can we tell a little additional story that goes with the photo to encourage people to click to the actual post.
  • “I usually find it annoying but its OK for you, I like your photos and sometimes I can miss them in a crowded dashboard”
    • so perhaps there really is a benefit to being told this news by a selection of your followers. I mean they do follow you for a reason, right?
    • This was beyond flattering but made me think more about algorithms and that people must follow different kind of people from some they love following to some on lower levels of appreciation. So I guess I must also have a number of followers that don't actually include me in the top category! I don't want to offend them or make them mute me.
  • “I actually prefer it because you don’t always see new content now that the Instagram feed is not chronological anymore.”
    • As always expected. People understand that algorithms are in play here...
  • My follower @red_lullaby gave me a tremendous example of an account that does Stories well. One was of a follower that takes 4/5 additional photos and then tells a stories on different parts of the photo, some of them are very funny, some romantic, sometimes getting technical about the edit and the editing process. 
    • this made me think that I need to do an additional blog post on how to do Stories well though!

Algorithms. The good, the bad and the ugly algorithms:-

We all understand algorithms are in play on Instagram and here are some responses that touched on this subject.

  • “Its not preffered but not horrible considering the algorithms does not always make it easy to see someones post”
  • "So I can understand and no longer think its dumb"... that people make shout outs about their new posts.
  • “Its fine considering the circumstances” but “somedays the stream of Stories mostly consists of annoucements” *yawn*
  • This made me think though. There is the notification setting, where you can choose to get a push notification on a new post but perhaps in reality people are not using this function - or its more annoying to get loads of notifications! Some did tell me that they have many notifications and don't now click on them all. Especially if they are busy.
  • We are now following 200+ people so how is it possible to see everyones photos? I know I miss a lot of post by my friends and followings.
  • "Post notifications stack up" and clicking on the notification only takes you to the last post apparently so you can miss a photo if people post more than one in a short space of time.


How do I conclude all this wonderful personal data - what do you think? How should we progress? I know that personally I am going to work a lot harder and coming up with more entertaining ways in which to announce a new photo. My brain is brimming with ideas. I always film a lot of behind the scenes a b-roll so I will at least try to work in ways to add that in a timely manner to my Stories to go hand in hand with the main post. I always have so many silly tales from travelling too and may add them. Also it could be time to get technical and talk about equipment and lenses. I for one had a tough time at the beginning know what camera to use and so many people are either secretive or just assume that no one is interested in this kind of info.

Perhaps another post of great Stories accounts should follow? 

But overall its time for us to up our game here. Lets not just do screenshots of our latest post and hide the latest photo with an emoji :) Lets talk to our followers as if its our Stories are a way to communicate one to one in a personable and humble way.

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