You’ve created a new Instagram Post. You want it to get a few likes quickly, so you post an IG Story letting your followers know you have a new post. Congratulations, you’ve just stabbed your organic reach in the back.
I see people doing this all the time, even self-labeled “influencers” and social media marketers. These are people who do it because it feels like it is working or it seems it might work, but the data does not prove this out. On average, the organic reach of that post will be decrease by just under 5% and your potential reach going forward will continue to be affected the more you do it. Here is why this is the case and what you can do to still take advantage of the option of using IG Stories to let followers know about your post.
First, you need to understand the Instagram algorithm for your organic reach. The algorithm increased and decreases your organic reach based off the percentage of people viewing and engaging with your post when they see it in their feed. It does not, in any way, factor in people who click on your profile and then click on a post or who go directly to that post via a link. Therefore, people clicking on your post from your IG Story will have no benefit to your organic reach.
People clicking on your new Instagram post from your IG story will not benefit the organic reach of your post, but why does it actually hurt the reach of your post? It is a bit difficult to explain in a blog post, but do your best to follow along, or scroll down to my solution in bold text below.
The people who view your Instagram Stories are your most loyal followers. These people are also most likely to view your posts in their Instagram feed and many of them will probably click like on your photo or leave a comment. They are the followers that help increase your organic reach by consistently viewing and engaging with your posts when they see them in your feed. When these people see your IG Story and click over to your post, they now won’t see your post in their feed and now can’t help you increase your organic reach. Instagram will replace them and show the post in the feed of someone less likely to view the post and engage. For each person who views your new post from your IG Story, this process is repeated. If you consistently announce immediately your new post via an IG Story, eventually your most engaged followers will stop seeing your posts in their feed altogether, and your reach will drop because those left seeing the posts in their feeds are not as interested in your content.
So why do people keep going it? It is something that has perceived value but not actual value. Some are addicted to the high of getting a few people to like their posts right away. Some are big into vanity metrics. Most people just don’t know any better, or they saw someone else do it, and they don’t look at the data deep enough.
The solution: There can be a benefit to sharing about your most recent Instagram posts through an Instagram Story, but you should wait at least 4 hours (I recommend 12 hours) before posting that IG Story. This allows for Instagram to show your new post into the feeds of your most engaging followers and you’ll get the benefit of having your organic reach grow over time as these followers view and engage with your posts. Then, once most of those people have been served your post in their feed, 12 hours later you can post an IG Story to encourage people to view your new post and you’ll get views from all of those people who didn’t see it in their feed.
I will also add this: If you like doing it, and aren’t concerned about your organic reach or who or how many people view your posts, then keep doing it. The data says that is not a logical choice, but for most, social media serves to fill emotional needs. If it makes you feel better, if you perceive it is helping, by all means, keep doing it. I have a particular running bandanna I’ve been using for my last several races, I feel like it helps me. The reality is that a new bandanna would service me better, it’s in better condition and will wick moisture better. I keep using the one I like because it makes me feel better. There are a lot of things in social media that don’t actually help or aren’t best, but we feel better doing it that way. If this is one of those things for you, keep doing it.
I will end this post with this opinion: The biggest reason to not post an IG Story to let your followers know that you have a new blog post up is that it reeks of desperation. You’re essentially saying, “Look at me!” Once in a while, we all need that attention and we may have one post we really want people to see, but it is a well you can only go to so often. It is not a long term strategy. It is not an intelligent strategy. It is not a winning strategy.