Number 1 Mistakes to Avoid with IG Stories and the Fate of Snapchat


Today we are talking about the number one mistake that you must avoid if you are using Instagram stories. So many of you know. If you haven’t already, I want to make sure that you head to the app store and after this is finished, update your Instagram app and you will likely be one of the people who has received the update. Now of course it’s still rolling out. So Android users, you need to be patient. Some of you have it, some of you do not but to recap for those of you who don’t know, Instagram is owned by Facebook.

Facebook recently and allegedly offered to buyout Snapchat. Snapchat is clearly the golden child at the moment. Everybody will spend talking about Snapchat, everybody has been trying to figure it out and figure out what to do with it and how to monetize it. Allegedly although I think it’s confirmed, Facebook went to the creators of Snapchat and said, hey listen, we got a lot of money. You’ve got a lot of people using your platform. We would like to make you a handsome offer and Snapchat said eh! We are good, thanks anyways.

Facebook then said, okay, if that’s all you want to be, #periscope, the next thing you know, Facebook, the parent company to Instagram rolls out a version, not that’s just similar to Snapchat but nearly identical to the features that are included in Snapchat called Instagram Stories. So for those of you who use Instagram on a regular basis, you’ve probably seen it in the last 72 hours, the time of course that I am recording this and I want to say this because these things live on. You know people will be listening weeks later and things will have likely changed from the time that I am recording this but this release or update happened just 72 hours ago. And when that happened, the world went crazy and especially those of us who use social media not just like to keep up with our friends and family but to connect with people and to spread our message and to build our business et cetera.

It kind of sent people into a tailspin and everybody has been talking about what will be the fate of Snapchat. How will this affect Instagram? Today what I am going to share with you is the #1 thing that you must avoid on Instagram during this very precarious moment in their development and we are also going to talk about the suspected fate of Snapchat and how this may change the landscape of Instagram. So if this is important to you, if you have people who follow you on your page specifically who need to build a business because this is really, really important because it is going to affect your Instagram account majorly if you don’t feed this warning. It is incredibly important.

All right, let’s get to it. Shall we? Okay, the first thing I want you to take away is the thing that I want you to avoid doing. Okay here it is. The #1 thing to avoid if you are doing or using Instagram stories is treating it like it’s Snapchat. Now I know it’s identical, nearly identical minus the fact that we don’t have cute filters but the #1 mistake people are making is using it like Snapchat and the biggest offenders of this myself included initially are people who are already familiar with Snapchat and so we are like, oh cool it’s Snapchat. I will just do what I do in Snapchat because it’s working and I got this. I got this but you see the problem is, people don’t use Instagram the same way they do Snapchat.

Therefore the people who are following you on Instagram don’t know you or like you or have room for error the way the people do on Snapchat. Snapchat is so intimate that we are going to put up with you doing goofy, weird, funny, ridiculous things that have nothing to do with your brand because if I followed you on Snapchat, it’s not because I found you. No one is discovered accidentally on Snapchat. Nobody and that was part of the problem especially for entrepreneurs. The reason why someone follows you on a Snapchat is because they are like, I love you and I want to know what you are doing and I want to know how weird you are and I want to know your sense of humor and I kind of want to like peek behind the scenes and I find you interesting.

Now Instagram is very different. The Instagram, we tend to treat it for the most part kind of – they are of course your exceptions. There are those people that we follow because we know them and we like them but that’s a small group. I would dare to say, the majority of people who are following you don’t really know you that well and are not entertained or intrigued by you feeding your dog and in fact, they don’t even recognize the person feeding the dog because they followed an account that post beautiful photos of flowers and arrangements or they followed an account where they are seeing these really cool yoga posts and now all of a sudden, there is this person that just shows up in their feed talking to the camera like a crazy person which works on Snapchat because on Snapchat, people followed you there, yes and they are like, I want to know more about you but see on Instagram, we didn’t ask her out.

We want to look at your pictures, we want to look at your videos. We treat it kind of like a magazine where it’s like oh this is an account that’s very interesting to me. It’s content that I find valuable and it’s content that I want to see. It teaches me something. It’s pretty, it’s nice to look at but Snapchat is not that way. You see, Snapchat is kind of like, if someone is following you on Snapchat, they’ve already said, I am so down with you. You can’t make me mad. You can’t offend me, you can’t get rid of me. We are friends but see in Instagram, we don’t really know half the people that were following. So what’s happened is now people jumped on Instagram stories who’ve already been using Snapchat and they are like, oh I will just be like in – I will just like pretend and it’s too much. I don’t know you yet. Simmer down, I don’t even know who you are.

I don’t recognize your face yet. I don’t know your – I’ve never heard your voice. Like there are people who I’ve seen on Instagram stories and I am like, do I follow this person, I don’t even know who this person and then it’s not easy to click back and see their profile page. So what do people do? They unfollow. So but here it is, Drumroll please. The number one thing that I want you to do if you are using Instagram stories if you have Instagram, you are ready for this. It’s don’t use it yet. What! What! Well then, won’t I be late to the party? Isn’t that a bad idea to not jump in when everybody else is doing it. No and let me explain why.

Allow the dust to settle. We are not ready for this yet. We should be easing into it. It’s like when husband and wife divorce. Things didn’t work out and then one of the partners starts to date again. Can you imagine if on the first date, the new guy walks in their house and tells the kids like hey I am your new dad and get to know me. It’d just be like too much to ease into this relationship. Simmer down, okay. Now why am I able to tell you not to use it yet. Here is why because you won’t lose anything by waiting. At the moment, the only people who are really going to see your stories on Instagram are people who are already following you.

So you are not going to lose followers just because you are not using it. You’ve probably have already seen a drop in your likes and comments and views and that is because most people are already consumed by the stories that appear across the top of their feed but if you don’t use it, you are not going to lose anything but here is the deal. Because people are really trying to figure this out and so is Instagram and Instagram is going to have a lot of updates in the next 4 to 5 weeks. You are going to see so many updates. It’s going to change tremendously.

By the way, I am doing an update for my students in the Instagram Impact Academy as well as the Marketing Impact Academy. It’s going to come out to you the first part of next week but it’s going to be a preliminary update because it’s going to change a lot but in the meantime, I don’t want you to use it. Here is why. If you use it and you don’t come with it, you don’t deliver content, you don’t introduce yourself, you don’t do it slowly. You do it wrong. All you risk is an unfollow because we kind of like some of these people and there is some of these people who are pretty decent at their stories and so what you do is you scroll through the top of your feed. That’s what’s happening at the moment. I pray that Instagram changes this soon but at the moment, you scroll through all of the stories that are at the top of your feed.

And if by chance, you stumble upon a person, you are like I don’t know who they are and I don’t know why they’ve just done ten little stories that are completely uninteresting and not the kind of content that I – that improves my day. What are you going to do? Unfollow. Chalene, how do you know this? Because I have unfollowed massive amounts of people. You have unfollowed massive amounts of people. I’ve been unfollowed because I made the very same mistake. The day it came out, I am like, oh sweet. I am going to be at the head of the class. I’ve already been using Snapchat. I know exactly how to do this. Here I come with all my filters and my funny faces, ta da da, ta da da…but meantime people who followed me for fitness, they don’t know that I teach business.

They don’t know that I am a goofball and they probably don’t care. So I am sure I got tons of unfollowers and I am sure that people, once they unfollow, they are not coming back. So don’t take that risk until you spend some time. Just sit back, relax, observe, you have nothing to lose. There is no opportunity you are going to miss. People aren’t going to unfollow you simply because you are not posting stories. They won’t. Continue to use Instagram as you always have, watch other people’s stories, take note of who you like and who is annoying. The best way to dominate on any social media platform is to take a look at the people who are doing it right not because someone else has said they are doing it right but because you are like, yeah that’s what I like.

This is an account I look forward to, I like their stories, their brief or whatever it is. Maybe like long stories, maybe like short stories, maybe you don’t like videos, maybe it’s just like a pic – whatever it is that you like in other people stories is probably how you should craft your own. The other reason why I think you should not do anything with it is because I myself spent two nights where I got very little sleep. I went to bed too late, I woke up too early and I was consumed with this, consumed Snapchat, Instagram, Snapchat, Instagram, Snapchat Instagram, Facebook…and consumed with – and then watching people’s stories and I am like okay, this is taking over my life and it’s stupid. It’s just dumb.

It’s affecting my sleep and it’s all I need – there is no reason to freak out and feel like you have to master things. Day 1, let the dust settle and see how things pan out. You won’t miss anything and I felt like very tired and distracted and overwhelmed and I got to this moment where I almost said, I need a break from social media and then I am like, why do I feel this way. Oh I know why because I am acting like a lunatic. I need to just calm down. A lot of what I am explaining right now will change and it’s different on each one of your phones because they are rolling this out and testing it. That means the way you are seeing it and the way I am seeing it may be different. It also means that they are constantly tweaking the algorithm.

The algorithm is simply a fancy word that describes how the platform works and decides what it is you see. So at the moment, some people are seeing the person’s story that’s been updated most recently and some of you are seeing stories that you’ve been watching all the way through and so they are putting those at the beginning and it’s putting the people who you’ve skipped past them towards the end. A lot of changes soon to be had. I am really thinking you should be an observer and take note of what – how many snaps you like, how much is too much.

Especially I want you to pay attention to the people who you really don’t know and you are like, I didn’t even know I was following this person. Pay attention to those people who you didn’t know and now they are showing up in the Insta story and you are taking an interest in them. That’s the majority of the people that we follow. At this time, let’s shift to the problems with Snapchat that I think Instagram may be able to solve. My reluctance in suggesting that people use Snapchat is this.

Most of you – I could be wrong but most of you don’t have a ginormous following. You actually need more people, you need more customers, you need more leads, you need more prospects and most people don’t know who you are that need your products, services, messages, right and if that’s the case, Snapchat is not for you unless you just are having a blast making silly faces with filters. That’s great but just remember how valuable your time is. And is it more important for you to be making silly faces for the 12 people who already know you or the hundred people who already know you or should you be focused on – it’s finding the people who need you and don’t know you yet.

The answer is, I need more people, then you should not be on Snapchat because it didn’t have a discoverability feature. Meaning if I am doing incredible Snapchats, you can’t search for #Business advice and find me. The only way you are going to find me is if I have invited you there, okay. So that means I am already taking my existing fans and followers and going deeper with them. For those of you who simply need to go deeper with your existing fans and followers so that they become customers, I think it’s a great use of your time. But not if it’s a bigger priority for you to find new people. If you need to find new people, then don’t spend time on Snapchat. That’s been my thing.

I like Snapchat but you can’t look at what I do or what Gary Vaynerchuk or what the Kardashians do – Not that I am putting myself in those leagues. I am just saying, if you have a big size of a following, it makes sense for you to be on Snapchat. If you don’t, don’t do it because those people are doing it. You – it is more important for you to work on getting a big following. Now let’s talk about where Instagram can fill the gap. So they’ve completely copied it with the exception they haven’t added filters yet. Mark my words. Those will probably be seen next week because it will just be a matter of I am sure days, at the max weeks before Instagram is giving us fantastic filters.

Filters are important. Here is why. People who either feel uninteresting or not that pretty or want to be entertaining, the filters encourage them to broadcast. It’s like putting on a mask. It’s like becoming someone you are not, it’s like being silly and more entertaining and they have pretty filters and so you don’t even have to put on your makeup. So that’s fun and it’s missing right now on Instagram.

Instagram needs to add that. #2, the problem with Snapchat has been that there is no discoverability, right. We couldn’t find anyone. You had to be invited in. It’s kind of like a secret clubhouse for the people who already know about you. Instagram yet hasn’t given us a way to share people’s stories. They also haven’t given us a way to hash tag in our story so that people can find us. If Instagram is going to surpass Snapchat which is a possibility, then they are going to need to solve that problem. Otherwise I think people will be annoyed with it and it will have changed the platform too much and I think Instagram could struggle but if they fix that, that’s huge.

#3 mistake I believe Instagram will need to fix in order to take it to the next level is right now, they show you when you are looking at somebody’s story how many snaps if you want to call them that or videos or tags or pictures they have taken by the number of tabs that show up when you click on their story. I think that’s a mistake to be honest because you are telling us already not to watch someone. You know and I think the content should be so engaging that the viewer makes the decision for themselves, right.

It’s like if you could see the size of a book before you picked it up, you would be like, ehh I don’t – Even if it’s an amazing book, you are like ehh…I don’t know but if you couldn’t see the size of it, you just start reading it and it was fantastic. You would continue reading. So I think they should – personally I think they need to get rid of the tabs. The next thing I think that they’ve missed is choice. As it stands right now, every person you follow if they’ve created a story, it shows up across the top of your feed. They released a new feature in settings called Stories and it says, click to hide stories from these people.

You see the problem with that. Well if you don’t, let me point it out. Click to hide stories from these people. What does that mean? Does that mean I am hiding my story from them or does that mean I don’t have to see their stories? It’s not clear. So hopefully they will put some clarity on that because we need to be able to decide what people – we just want to see their pretty photos and their pretty videos and what people we would like to see their stories. Frankly speaking and I don’t mean to offend anyone but I speak the truth. There are people who I love their accounts. I love their pictures, I love their videos, I don’t love their stories.

And in fact, I was like, oh shoot! I had this fantasy in my mind of how awesome this person was and hh…you know and so it’s kind of like, they hide their stories but there is other people I am like, [0:19:01] they are so cool. Oh I love this person and then I want to know more about them. The next problem with Instagram is, when I am watching the story and in the top upper corner, I can see the icon. I should be able to click on that icon and have it take me back to your profile. And the reason why that is going to be incredibly important especially for those of us who are building a business on the Instagram is we could then add a call to action.

Instagram needs to get to a point where you can be watching my story and I can say, if this is of interest to you, click on the little icon of my face and it will take you back to my profile and there, you can be added to my newsletter or you can receive my free download. They have to be able to get back to our profile because at the moment and I know they are going to fix this. You have to close your stories, go back to your own page. Then click on the people you are following and then try to remember that person’s name and search for them in most cases simply to unfollow.

So there are some major problems that are really easy for them to fix. Let’s talk about if they fix these things. If they fix these things and Instagram stories stick. It changes the platform. Now it’s two platforms. At the moment, it’s kind of Pinterest, you know where we are looking at quick videos, quick photos, getting inspiration. Oh cool, cool, cool, cool, cool just looking at things right. And if it changes and people just start using stories, then it becomes two completely different platforms. I mean they are so different. That feature is so different.

One is real and authentic and one is connecting i.e. stories. Stories allow us to connect, it’s engaging, it’s going to separate people who look pretty in pictures and don’t have much substance when they are real, from those who you know, know how to use filters frankly. So it will be interesting to see what happens to this platform. If we look at trends, if we look at trends, when Instagram released video, everybody freaked out. When they released 15 second videos, every one freaked out and said, stop trying to be Vine, how dare you try to be Vine? Vine will never go away except it pretty much has. I mean it has gone away.

Okay. Let’s talk about periscope. When Facebook Live came out, myself included I said I love periscope so much. I am never going to leave periscope. Well except that you want to go where the people are and if I am getting 200 people on a periscope broadcast and I can reach 200,000 on a Facebook Live. I mean that’s just common sense that I want to be able to reach more people. The same is true on Instagram. My Instagram stories at the moment, I am getting like 7000, 8000 views on a story and day 1, on Instagram stories, I had like 32000 views on the beginning of my story.

So it’s where the people – You can’t say. Listen, if you are in business and you are – This does not include what I am about to say. It does not apply to those of you who are just using social media for fun. It doesn’t apply. If you are just using social media for fun, then just use the platforms that are fun, okay and don’t worry about it but if you are using social media to build a business, to earn extra income, to get your message out there, to become a speaker, to become known, to write a book, to reach more people, to influence people. If that’s why you are using social media, then you can’t – it is irresponsible to say I am going to stick with it just because I like it. That’s irresponsible.

You have to use your time wisely. And the wisest way to use your time is on the platforms we are going to be able to reach the most people. Because of that and because of history, I suspect if we look at trends, if we look at Vine, if we look at Tumblr, I mean Tumblr virtually went away when Facebook started showing longer blog posts. If we look at periscope, if we look at all of these examples. Once Facebook has said, hey we can do that for you too and now they own Instagram. If we look at past history, usually those platforms tend to either slow down if not disappear but I think who will stay on Snapchat, my kids. Yeah.

The demographic that it was originally designed for and I suspect that. I don’t know this but I would suspect that the reason why the CEOs of Snapchat politely declined the ungodly amount of money that Facebook offered to them is because in its essence, they wanted it to be a platform that adults couldn’t figure out. So that kids can have some privacy. Basically they can do whatever they want on Snapchat and you’ll will never know. You don’t even know what’s going down. If your kids have Snapchat, you don’t even know like even if you have their passwords, you’ll don’t even know what’s going down. Oh you don’t know, let me tell you and that’s what it was initially designed for and that’s why it’s very cumbersome and that’s why it’s not adult-friendly or user friendly for us but kids are like, what, how come you can’t figure this out. What, it’s so easy.

So what will happen? I think it will stick around but I think it’s going to lose the interest of marketers, of business owners, of people who are of a certain age above 25 and I suspect that Instagram will figure these things out, will make a few tweaks and it will survive. In the meantime, my recommendation to you is to just wait a couple of weeks, let the dust settle, continue to update your phones so that you’ve got the latest version, watch other people’s stories but don’t start creating them until you really have a sense of what’s working, what’s not working and what will actually help you and your brand and get you more followers and not get you unfollowed.

Thank you so much for being a part of this discussion. Thank you for following me on Snapchat and on Instagram. On Instagram, I am Chalene Johnson and on Snapchat, I am Chalene Official. It’s impossible to find. I triple dog-dare you to find me. And that’s the beauty of Snapchat. It’s like so hard to find people. Chalene Official and I am going to be using both very differently and I am just going to do like maybe 1 or 2 posts a day on Instagram maybe until I can let the dust settle and see how this all pans out. It is my goal to be brief, to be bright, to be fun and then be done. Thank you so much for listening and thanks so much for subscribing to my podcast Build Your Tribe. I love you guys. Bye.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Build Your Tribe. I’d like to invite you to attend one of my free trainings on how you can Build Your Tribe.