Welcome to The Social Smarty Show, your weekly podcast for social media marketing tips, tactics and practical digital marketing advice. Let's get you taking real action to grow your online audience, build connections and your business. I'm your host, Jodine McIntyre. Think of me as your digital marketing coach, cheerleader and wingwomen all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing know how for free at socialsmarty.co/freebies. Now, before we dive in, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.
Welcome to the Social. Smarty Show episode number 14.
Posts versus Reels versus Stories. Where should you be focusing your efforts when you're creating content for your social media, for your business?
Now, if you are ready to show up on social media, you want to reach more people, you want to grow your business, you want to make more money, but you're not quite sure where to start. Do you jump into creating posts? Should you be focusing on video and sharing it as Reels? Or should you be showing up in your stories? It's a bit confusing, right? So let's break it down. In this episode, I'll be discussing the differences between Reels, Posts and Stories, the purpose of each, and where I think you should focus your efforts for your business marketing.
First up, I think it's important to take a look at how our content, you know, the stuff we put out on social media, how it's shown to people, and that comes down to algorithms. So what the heck is an algorithm? Well, the algorithm is a process. It's a set of rules that basically solves a problem. In this case, the problem is who should see your social media content? Sounds simple, right? It is anything but simple. But if you think about it, the success of a social media platform is really determined by the algorithm. So if the algorithm does a really good job and you open up Instagram or Facebook or TikTok and you see a lot of content that you enjoy, you're obviously going to spend more time on the platform. And the more time we spend on that platform, the more ads we see. The more ads we see, the more revenue the platform makes. So it's really in the platform's best interest to put lots of time and effort into perfecting their algorithms. That's kind of their secret sauce with their own secret recipe. So they don't really come out and tell us, this is how the algorithm works. As a business owner, as a marketer, this is how you can influence the algorithm. You know, those sorts of things. It's just not how the platform's work. So instead, they do give us some hints, but really, we have to test, we have to measure, we have to figure out what works and what doesn't.
So let's focus on Instagram. You might have noticed that I have been referring to algorithms, plural. Now, Instagram has told us that there isn't just one algorithm but there's actually individual algorithms for each part of the app, like the Feed and Stories, the Explore tab, Reels. And these algorithms determine what content we see and in what order we see it. So when we open up a different part of the app, the content is shown to us in a particular order that is relevant to us and that is determined by the algorithms.
So often when we're scrolling our feed, we'll see content from the accounts we follow, it might be content tagged with hashtags that we follow. There'll be a ton of ads and of course there's now some Suggested Content and it's all in a particular order. And that's the algorithm deciding what we're most interested in, what's relevant to us. And that's what pops up right at the top. And so that's why you'll often see content from accounts that you regularly engage with right at the top of your feed. So if we're going to create content for our business to market our business and post it to the Feed, we know that it's going to be shown predominantly to people who already follow us.
But we can reach new people in the feed through the hashtags we use, through Suggested Content and then over on the Explore tab as well. Now, Instagram is going to show content that is completely new to you on that Explore tab and in that Suggested Content that pops up in your feed. Now, this is generally content that has had some engagement. Instagram is unlikely to help us discover brand new content that isn't engaging, right? So as business owners, we need to create content, Feed content that makes sense to both our existing audience, but also to people who have never heard of us before. But we need to have a target audience in mind. What would they find interesting, entertaining, educational? And what would they be likely to engage with? And then we need to add hashtags. So we add hashtags that our target audience is likely to follow. So that's Feed content.
Now let's talk about Stories. So when we jump on that conveyor belt of Stories and we swipe through our Stories feed, it's the same thing. So the Stories are shown in an order that is relevant to us. So we are seeing Stories from the accounts we follow in the best order for us, determined by the algorithm. And what we don't see is Stories that are tagged with hashtags we follow. So there's really no point in adding hashtags to our Stories. But it does mean that when we create Stories for our business, we can assume that the person viewing those Stories already knows who we are. So that type of content can be a little bit more like talking to an existing customer or a friend. It can be that real behind the scenes stuff. We skip the intros, they know who we are. So our Stories won't be shown in the Explore tab. It's unlikely that someone is going to see a Story that we have shared and have no idea who we are. So it's slightly different kind of content.
Now, Reels goes the other way. Reels are our vertical, short, audio driven videos. When we scroll our Reels feed, we're predominantly seeing content from accounts we do not already follow, brand new content. And you can see this really clearly because when we scroll in that Reels feed, we often see a big follow button at the bottom, which tells us we're not already following that account. So when we create Reels, our purpose is to introduce ourselves to mostly a brand new audience. We need to create content that captures their attention, so our target audience's attention, entertains them, educates or inspires them enough that they want to find out more.
So you can see we have three very different types of content there. So which should you focus on for your business? Well, as you can probably have guessed, the answer is all three. We want to be sharing Reel posts and stories because each one, each type of content has a slightly different purpose, but every piece is important. I hope that answers your question. I hope that helps you with your social media content creation. A quick note before I sign off, if you would like to advertise on this podcast, reach out to me. I would love to hear from you. My email is [email protected] I haven't ventured into advertising yet for The Social Smarty Show so if you want to be one of the first, I would love to hear from you.
Right, that's it for another episode and as always, I would be just over the moon if you would leave me a review, click that five star rating if you're listening on Spotify and even share this episode with a friend, come and find me on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. Let me know what you thought of the episode, you'll find me @socialsmarty.Co and I'll see you back here for episode number 15. Until then, stay social!