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I Posted to My Instagram Story Every Day for a Month and Here's What I Learned

Something that most of y'all probably don't know about me is that I love stats + data. In 5th grade, when my soccer team was in the running for first place in our league, I would always check the website with our standings and analyze our goal differential, how many games we'd won compared to other teams, and our chances of winning the league. Everyone on my team would always ask me, How many points do we have now? What are our chances of winning?

Fast forward 6 years, and I still love analyzing data, especially when it pertains to social media. I find it so intriguing, especially considering how the Instagram algorithm is so mysterious. At the beginning of October, I decided to challenge myself to post to my Instagram story every day for a month. I honestly expected to see growth in my story views + impressions, but surprisingly, I didn't see a significant amount of growth numerically. I did, however, notice some distinct patterns based on what types of posts did well, so today I'm sharing everything that I learned during this past month!

Interaction Is Key. Whenever I posted a story with an interactive component, such as a poll or a Q&A sticker, it got significantly more views and impressions than my other stories. I think people love to interact with stories, making them more likely to click through and engage, which in turn lets the algorithm show the stories to more people because the stories are receiving more engagement.

People Love OOTD's. About once a week, I share pictures of my outfits I've worn in the past week. I usually get around 200 views per story, but these pictures easily get 300-400 views. I have a few theories as to why this is the case. I think that perhaps the algorithm could favor stories that are uploaded in batches (for example, I upload about 5 stories all at once when I share my OOTD's so maybe the algorithm likes the fact that I'm posting more than one thing at once). I also think that because more people are sending me messages about those posts (to ask for links to items) they receive more engagement and therefore the algorithm decides to show my stories to more people.

Weekends Get More Views. I learned pretty quickly that the stories I post on weekends get around 50-100 more views than the stories I post on weekdays. The explanation for this is pretty obvious... people have more free time, and they're spending more time on Instagram, and are therefore going to watch more stories. I also noticed that whenever I went a week without posting an actual post on Instagram, my stories dropped in views + engagement.

The Last Slide Gets The Most Views. Whenever I post multiple stories at once, the last one always ends up getting the most views. For example, one day I posted three stories within the span of an hour. The first two stories got around 230 views, but the last one got around 300 views. I don't understand this one, because you have to click through the first stories to get to the last one, so if you can explain it, please let me know!

Overall... the most interesting thing I found was that my average views & impressions actually decreased. My average view count in September was 274, and it decreased to 231 in October. My average impression count in September was 329 but it decreased to 288. If I had to guess as to why this is, I would say it's because I was on the app less in October: although I posted to my stories daily, I just generally spent less time engaging with others. That just goes to show you... engagement is key!

In my stats class we learned that observational studies cannot be applied to the general population, so I'm not saying these observations will necessarily be true for you... but I definitely think there is some truth to them! Overall, I think it is definitely a good idea to post at least once every day to your story; this way, more people see your profile picture and have the opportunity to engage with your content. Posting to your story is also a lot easier than posting actual pictures every day, so this way, you still have the opportunity to create content and let your followers see different aspects of your life!

However, I think the most important thing is to engage with others. Comment on their posts. Swipe up in their stories. At the end of the day, engagement is the no. 1 factor when it comes to Instagram growth, because that is what's helping you build relationships with others.

ALSO... if you read this whole post and you're still not following me on Instagram... what are you doing??? Go follow me @blissfullybrooke :)

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