When Instagram rolled out this feature, no one really knew how to use it. But they are getting popular with lots of fun features. They’re a great way boost your Instagram game. We’ve been using it more frequently and have seen great progress.
Stories are a great way to grab followers’ attention for a short period of time. Want to get more likes on one of your posts? Want to share a post you like? Post quick updates? Share a cool video? This is where you can do that.
Highlights are a great opportunity to archive your stories. When we post to our Story, we think about which highlight bucket the content will ultimately be saved under. That way we aren’t just posting a story that doesn’t connect with our followers. At the institutional level, our goal is to showcase the Oregon State experience, and Stories do that.
We have found success in using Stories for event or gameday coverage. These truly capture what it’s like to be part of #BeaverNation. We have also seen people engage with our fall, winter and spring highlights. By simply grabbing boomerangs, photos and videos you can produce a great Story.
Additionally, the perfect length is about 4-8 slides because people will just skip past you if the story is too long. You want to make sure to have a good hook at the beginning and your followers will love it! Check out Sprout Social’s Instagram Best Practices if you still want to learn more.
Next up, going Live:
The key is to have a goal in mind. Are you going to answer follower questions? Or are you going to showcase an event or are you going to go live with someone? Once you have that figured out, you can execute a plan of how your live will go.
The feature is pretty easy to use and here are some tips we’ve learned:
Post an Instagram story a couple days and hours before you go live —this way your followers know it’s happening.
Save your live after it’s done. It will stay on your profile for 24 hours and people can revisit it.
Instagram live will cut you off after one hour. So make sure you keep track of the time.
Make sure you have a tripod or a secure place to put your phone when you go live. You don’t want to move your phone too much or it doesn’t make for a fun live.
Better lighting always helps.
Make sure the phone is charged.
If you want to do a Q&A, check out these helpful tips. This feature is engaging and allows you to connect with your audience. You’re able to pick questions you want to answer and won’t have to read the comments as they roll in.
Check out how to go live with another Instagram user here. If you have a student or researcher, this might be a fun way to interact.
Both these Instagram features are a great way to connect with your followers. These are becoming more popular among brands and helps up your Instagram game. Go have some fun!
Instagram is the most popular with students and prospective students. This is where Oregon State can share campus beauty/ life photos and videos.
The first thing to think of is a goal. Ours was more followers and engagement, so this is how we started to up our game in the Instagram world.
We learned that you need to be consistent in posting. Basically, look at your metrics to see when followers are online and post then. Make sure you have diversity in your posts (this doesn’t just go for people). Don’t just post buildings or event info. Show your students or professors in their environment or go to an event and share photos from it. Put yourself in the shoes of your followers to know what they want to see.
Break up your feeds! Pictures are great, but Instagram is also a video sharing platform. Post videos spotlighting professors, students and your department or a fun lighthearted video (time-lapse of campus). This helps your feed look more pleasing. It’s important to make sure videos are formatted correctly and don’t cut anything off — that leads to less engagement.
IGTV is becoming more popular to use within the Instagram app. It’s a great place to post videos longer than 1:00, and you can share those as posts as well to boost viewership and reach. This is something the institutional account has started to do with event coverage.
Be active. Don’t just leave a post after it’s been posted. Look at comments, give them a like or answer any questions. Look at your feed and engage with other posts from accounts you follow. Also keep up with those DMs. All these are ways for followers to form a connection your account.
Since adapting to these best practices, Oregon State’s account hit 50K in December 2019 and continues to grow. It’s important to be able to adapt to the changes Instagram makes as you continue to grow your own accounts. The only way is up!
TikTok is becoming more popular among 16-24 year olds. During fall term 2019, Oregon State launched its TikTok account with the goal to connect with prospective and current students by producing timely, authentic and relevant content that showcases the university and its community.
The most important part of this social media platform is to stay on top of trends (including music) and hashtags by spending time on the app. We have found it helpful to follow other university accounts and see what they are doing.
These are the topics or trends the OSU account will create videos from:
College related trends
Dance and Cheer team
We’ve had success on TikTok so far with collaborating with departments, clubs and student organizations across campus. We were lucky to create a video with the OSU Dance and Cheer Team, and it’s one of our best videos since launching the account. Success will come when you collaborate creatively. We’ve also seen success when sharing our exported TikToks on Instagram Stories. This connects your followers with another channel and can help with growth. A little call to action never hurts.
While we are still learning this new platform, we need to remember that the audience we are trying to reach is not only current students but prospective students. We need to create videos that showcase campus in a positive way but also builds on nationwide trends. Sure, there’ll be some things that you cannot do because they aren’t university appropriate, but there’s always a trend/style/music track to explore. You need to put your creative hat on and be willing to put yourself in the shoes of Generation Z knowing no idea is a bad one. Go out there and get your TikToks started!