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Brands get better organic visibility with Instagram Stories

Stories have been captivating audiences across social media platforms, allowing brands and users to give their Followers a glimpse into their life-moments for a limited time. While Instagram Stories usage among users is exploding – brands are still looking for ways to get in on the action. And brands that haven’t jumped on the Stories train just yet may be missing out on some major engagement.

The popularity of Instagram Stories has exploded since their 2016 debut. In fact, Instagram Stories growth hasn’t slowed down since – boasting 300 million daily active users as of today. Of course, it comes as no surprise that these short clips have become a social media favorite.

However, when it comes to new formats brands sometimes struggle to keep up with user-demand. Many brands understand that Stories are one of the hottest new trends on social but can’t decide if Stories are worth the amount of resources that are invested into creating them. After all, each Story only sticks around for 24 hours.

To find out how Stories stack up against Organic posts Socialbakers took a look at content from more than 1,100 Instagram Profiles. Our conclusions? These time-sensitive clips have BIG potential.

Brands post more Stories than posts

Interestingly, we found that the largest Instagram Profiles aren’t really making the most of this new format. The relative number of Posts and Stories brands are publishing are nearly even. Considering that Stories are posted countless times a day without any repercussions, we would expect that the overall share of Stories vs. Posts would be more than just an eight per cent difference. Is it possible that by not embracing this new format brands are missing out on a major opportunity?

Brands using Stories get more visibility

Due to the time-limited nature of Stories, Brands will need to create a specific set of KPIs. Unlike Posts – Likes or Comments shouldn’t be considered success metrics. Partly because Likes are impossible to leave within a Story and partly because clips are often too short for users to leave a comment.

So, what should brands measure when it comes to Instagram Stories? Well – Reach and Impressions are a huge part of it. Reach is important because it shows the unique views the Story received, compared to Total Impressions, which gives the overall number of how many times the Story was viewed.

According to Socialbakers data, it was clear that brands’ Stories had a tremendous impact on their overall Impressions, though it’s true that Posts still predominantly make up most of a brand’s reach. However, we can’t ignore that the lifecycle of a post and Story are quite different, so of course the comparison isn’t 100 per cent fair.

Here we can see that Posts contribute to a whopping 81 per cent of a brand’s Impressions while Stories account for 19 per cent. Brands may be thinking that 19 per cent may not be big enough to encourage them to roll up your sleeves and start posting Stories – but let’s look at the data.

For the brands analysed, we can see that one-fourth of their Impressions are solely coming from Stories. This is actually a huge chunk – especially taking into consideration that it’s purely organic – which is becoming harder and harder to achieve. With that being said, brands that are not posting Instagram Stories are getting Reach from one source – posts. This means that they are missing out on a quarter of free impressions!


Organic Reach is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve on social media, especially in light of algorithm changes like the recent Facebook News Feed update. More and more brands are expected to put dollars behind their content, in order to ensure that it gets seen. However, adopting new formats could be the loophole that could earn you better visibility. While Reach is still possible on Facebook, marketers are now turning to Instagram to connect with their audiences.

Instagram Stories have tons of marketer-friendly features that open up more avenues for creativity, branding, and more so it’s important not to shy away from this new format because of their vanishing act. On the contrary, social media marketers can leverage Instagram Stories to create a stellar storytelling strategy, that has the added advantage of reaching their audiences instantly.

Co-written by Jordan Julian, Social Media Analyst, Socialbakers

Charles Tidswell

Charles Tidswell is the Vice President of JAPAC at Socialbakers and is based in Singapore. For the majority of his professional career, Charles has been involved with early stage start-ups and companies entering the high growth stage across the South East Asia region.