Ep 61 | Getting Started with Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a great way to get to know your audience better and for them to get to know you. Don't be scared – just get started! And in this episode we're sharing how.

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Creating Instagram Stories doesn't need to be scary or complicated but you just need to get started. Get Nicole's ideas for creating content ideas and what features to use. She's also talking through some ideas for engagement and using DMs.

In this episode you'll learn:

→ How the newsfeed and stories are different.
→ How does stories actually help your newsfeed?
→ Ways to create graphics if you don't want to be direct to camera.
→ How to utilize DMs for communication
→ Using Instagram lives
→ Setting a timer for engagement.


FREE 30 Min Digital Marketing Therapy Sessions through April 2020.

Nicole Bernard

Nicole Bernard

Founder, NB Marketing

Nicole started her first entrepreneurial journey in 2007 with her husband when they decided to start an organic farm & micro-brewery in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

During the seven years that they ran Acadian Farms & Brewery, Nicole was in charge of all things marketing- everything from events, to social media to website design.

Learning + doing everything on her own, she created an SEO-friendly website that reached #1 on Google and utilized the power of social media and influencer outreach to get featured in prominent publications.

After closing their doors due to creating too much traffic (literally), she wanted to take what she learned from the experience and help other small businesses. She spent the next few years working at digital marketing agencies and expanded her marketing chops by learning the systems, tools and strategies implemented by agencies to achieve massive growth.

And that's what she's sharing with you- knowledge from both sides! She truly wished that there had been a step-by-step strategy to follow when she was growing our business, but there wasn't one…until now!

Learn more: https://nb.marketing/

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Full Transcript

[INTRO] What's up everybody Sami here, your host of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. So thankful to be back for another episode in here with you guys today talking about Instagram stories.

If you're home and maybe have a little bit of extra time now might be a great time to share what you're doing what you're up to what your business is up to on Insta Stories and kind of jump in and, and kind of take that plunge in. So I'm thrilled to have Nicole Benard here with me today to talk to you a little bit about Insta stories, how to create content and why now is just as good a time as any to start sharing those little pieces of you and your business with your audience and growing your audience.

Nicole started her first entrepreneurial journey in 2007, with her husband when they decided to start an organic farm and microbrewery in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest. During the seven years that they ran Acadian Farms and Brewery, Nicole was in charge of all things marketing. Everything from events to social media to website design, learning and doing everything on her own. She created an SEO friendly website that reached number one on Google and utilized the power of social media and influencer outreach to get featured on prominent publications. After closing their doors due to creating too much traffic (literally), she wanted to take what she learned from the experience and help other small businesses. She spent the next few years working at digital marketing agencies and expanded her marketing chops by learning the systems tools and strategies implemented by agencies to achieve massive growth. And that's what she's sharing with you today knowledge from both sides, she truly wished there had been a step by step strategy to follow when she was growing her business, but there wasn't one until now.

So I think you'll love the conversation that we have where we just talk about lots of different ways you can utilize Insta Stories, and I would love your Instagram link so I can follow along and learn a little bit more about you and your business.

But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our Digital Marketing Therapy sessions which are now available free through the month of April. We may extend it a little bit we'll have to see but head on over to thefirstclick.net/officehours to book your free 30-minute session with us before they aren't free anymore. We can talk about whatever you want from social media to your website to should you be selling what types of things should you be talking about? Should you not be talking about so hit us up at tthefirstclick.net/officehours and I'd love to get to see you. Let's get into it.

[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Hey, Nicole, thank you so much for joining me on the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Thanks for having me. I'm excited about our conversation.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and I love talking about Instagram, and especially Instagram stories, because it's something that I talk to with a lot of my clients and students, and it's something that definitely makes them glaze over a little bit, especially Instagram stories. So I think this is going to be a great topic. But before we hop into it, kind of why is Instagram, the platform that you love? And why are stories something that you think everyone should be participating?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, um, so I love it just because a lot of you know, my ideal customers who I'm trying to reach are on the platform, you know, a lot of small business owners, creatives, things like that, who I'm trying to kind of target. So I think it's a great platform. And there's tons of people on there that like so many different industries. So if people are wondering if they should start it, like, I would wonder, you know, like, I would start with trying to figure out who you're trying to target first, and if they're on Instagram. And then stories is just great. Because, you know, it helps with like the newsfeed like when you would see the scrolling up and down that it helps with the reach. And it's just really convenient being up at the top. And so, since people, you know, like our attention spans are shorter, it's just easy to kind of look at stories and kind of whip through and just a great way to stay top of mind.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I know, I've turned on stories when I've just been getting ready. And all of a sudden, I find myself just like watching them go from person to person, right? I know, what just happened?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Who is this. I don't even know this person.
Yes, it's totally easy to get sucked into that for sure.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So, talk a little bit about the difference between the newsfeed and stories and maybe a little bit about how people are using the platform differently now than when Instagram first started.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, yeah, for sure. Like stories is getting to be a lot more popular and a lot more important as far as like algorithm wise. So they're really trying to push, like the emphasis of using stories and using their different little engagement tools within the stories to help with the reach on that.

But yeah, so if you like, if you're looking at your phone on Instagram, and if you were to scroll up and down, that would be your newsfeed. That's usually like, whatever you know. And like, if you go to your profile, you see all of your pictures and, you know, laid out on your grid and everything. And so that's great. Like, you can kind of come up with your own consistent kind of vibe as that like on your newsfeed.

And then your stories, they're the ones the little circles up at the top. And that's where, you know, a lot of people share a little bit more personal information. It's not as polished it's, you know, really kind of behind the scenes chance to get to know brands and businesses. So it's really nice having both of those aspects to be able to use to grow relationships.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But do you feel like if you are on Instagram, then you should be in stories, otherwise you're not really using the platform to really reach Your audience?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, definitely. So yeah, the more you use stories, the more it actually helps with your newsfeed reach as well. So you want to use both together. And they're saying to, you know, like the emphasis on the newsfeed like the reach is going down. And the guess they're saying a lot of the different experts, but to concentrate actually more on stories like you don't feel like you have to post in the newsfeed every day. Just do it like a few times a week and use your hashtags and, and all of that stuff appropriately. But to make sure that you do stories, a few daily if you can.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, so now everybody groaned and they're like, I have no idea how to share stories three to four times a day, and how am I going to come up with content and so that's really what we wanted to jump into today is kind of some ways of generating content ideas for your stories. So I want to start with the first objection that I know I get all the time, which is I don't want to show my face or talk direct to camera in stories.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, no, I get I'm the same way like I always tell my clients I'm like, yeah, you need to get on video and I mean, I never get on video because I just don't like it but um, you know, I have done it a few times and it actually is getting less scary the more that I do it and people don't judge us the way that we feel like they probably do like we judge ourselves a lot more you know? And so you know, maybe just instead of like doing a post about common questions you get, like asked in your answer, maybe just hop on and do like a short video, you know, explaining it, like just showing that that like the added element of seeing your face and seeing you talk just, it just really helps strengthen that relationship really. And you can always use filters, filters help a lot to.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] The eyelash filter I think is my favorite, I use it all the time. Almost every time.

[NICOLE BERNARD] I know I think I have one called like Bali or something and I'm just like, Oh yeah, this can't even see wrinkles is amazing.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yes, filters are definitely your friend. Okay, so then obviously the direct to camera stuff and the other thing is you can pre-record all of that, like so let's say maybe you want to do a batch of four or five of those when you're in that mood, or you've done your hair and makeup for the week or whatever. I mean, I know I only do my hair and makeup on days when I know I have to go live on camera, like in training sessions or things like that. So I want to maximize that time when I've gotten ready. So you can kind of batch that content to right, and share it over the course of multiple days or weeks.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Oh, definitely. Yeah. And that would be such a great idea. Because being able to batch all your content like that, you know, just really kind of gives you like a leg up on you know, knowing what your content is going to be coming through the pipeline. So, you know, that's, that's perfect. And it'll just stay on your phone and you can just share it when you're ready.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And I think the last thing I'll say about direct to camera is your Insta Stories only lasts for 24 hours as opposed to live on Facebook, where it lasts forever.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, definitely. So it I mean unless you add it to a highlight and you wanted it to stay there for people to be able to see it again. Other than that it's gone in 24 hours. And you know, it's the blink of an eye Really?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] It's a great way to practice doing camera stuff if you're shy.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah. And there's also a way you can do it, you can set it to yourself, like if you want to just practice it and you see it as you get ready. You can just set it to like me only. And so it's a great way to just kind of practice and get more comfortable with it.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That's a great tip. Okay, so earlier, you mentioned some of the features that Instagram has in their stories that they kind of reward you for using, you know, like questions and polls and all that stuff. So what are some of your favorites that you like to use for engagement?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, so like, I like doing the polls or the questions. Those are really fun because it just it's like that added element of people being able to ask questions and kind of, you know, start that relationship. I like the one too, where it's like, you can just slide like a smiley face across, but you can actually added that, like emoji in it, so it could just be like a straight heart, or you know, could be like a smiley face any of those. So add a like, editing to make it your own is super fun too. Um, and then just like some of the gifs, like people love gifs, you know, I mean, they're just picking some of the ones that go along with what you're talking about in your story, just, I don't know, that's when you'll get a lot of responses. And that's what they like to see, too. They want to see people like responding to your stories, because that'll, you know, that'll help it show it to more people that they think would be interested in it.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and those questions and polls and things are great for market research, right?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Definitely. Yeah. Whatever you think, like so one of my clients is a brewery. And they wanted to know, you know, with all this stuff going on right now, they were like, We don't know what to do. We don't know what people want. We don't really know how to, like, keep going. We only have like a little window to like walk up, you know, like their pubs closed. And I was like, why don't we ask them and of course, like people responded, like we want, you know, kids take away meals that they could do at home, like a homemade pizza, like all of these things that we would have never thought of, you know, had we not asked them?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and that brings up a good point too, because the people that are engaging with you in your stories or just in your newsfeed on Instagram are probably your biggest fans your most loyal so if they're giving you that feedback, it almost holds more weight than just a general survey that goes out to a bunch of people. And maybe they kind of haphazardly fill it out.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally. And like, you know, if you sent out a survey to your email list that, you know, some maybe somebody has even engaged with for a while, like, you know, social media is just a lot more fluid. You know, a lot of people like if they don't kind of pay attention to your stuff, then they just don't really see it for algorithm wise. So you know, that these people are, have a vested interest in they're going to tell you, you know what they're thinking.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, that's awesome. Okay, so then, let's talk a little bit about because obviously, you know, Instagram Stories has been around for a long time. It will continue to be along around for a long time, but we are in the midst of COVID-19. I mean, we can't not bing it up. Right. And so I know we get a lot of questions about kind of the sensitivity around how to address things or like topics or what's on like, what, what brands could talk about what they shouldn't. And kind of how, how do you feel about brands showing up on Instagram stories? And how should that maybe be altered? And I know it depends on the industry. But showing up is still a good thing.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think do you know people are on social media more like, I don't think that they're, they're saying that they're definitely the usage is up. So they're on there, you know, but like, you know, you might want to think about what you're sharing, you know, like, still show up, but, you know, a lot of people are just really like, they'll get on there and talk about it too. And they're like, you know, we will just want to be here for you guys. I'm going to show pretty pictures or like pictures of puppies in our feed, which you wouldn't normally do. But say you know, just kind of like lighten the mood and like just like I said, Yes, like still showing up and just sharing and if you know you do have things going on, then don't be scared to share them. Like, I think some people do really want a sense of normalcy, you know, like to see some of the same normal things that we normally would. But yeah, just, you know, try and keep it light and share what you're still doing.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and as a business owner, if you've been scared, like maybe you have less time, or you have more time because your business might not be as busy, now's a great time to kind of play and experiment with something new that could potentially carry you, you know, maybe it's something you've been thinking about doing for a while. And now's the moment to kind of test and try it out and have some fun with it.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally. That's a great idea. Because I mean, once you know, you get the hang of it, and you get used to doing it, it becomes quicker and easier, you get more comfortable with it. So when things are back to normal, you'll have you know, like, like a step ahead that you'll already be ready and a little more comfortable. I love it.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so there's some other things so if people are comfortable with direct to camera, I mean, you did mention a few things like gifs and things like that. Um, but there's plenty of just text options. And you know, you don't have to be a crazy graphic designer in order to create amazing Instagram stories.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, no, totally Yeah. So even if you just want to a lot of the ones were, people just write out the text and you know, put like a little, the engagement tools that says, like, hold down to read, you know, like, you can even share it that way as well. It's just a different way of seeing like seeing it in the newsfeed. And so you can also put, like, you know, your spin on it, like your brand and everything, and then also to Canva. Like, do you use Canva at all or no? Yeah, it's so easy, like, so user friendly. So that's like a great option to they even have templates or you know, it's just super easy to like, upload and make something in just a few minutes and then share that.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so I have, I love Canva. I use it all the time. And I have used it for my stories and templates. And I love it because I can create. So there was a period of time I don't do this anymore, but there was a period of time where every Monday I was posting like, hey, here are my three goals that I'm going to get done this week, like, let's hold each other accountable, blah, blah. And I could just reuse that same template in Canva every week. And, and so I wanted to just touch base on.

Like with my newsfeed, I kind of think about core topics and I post I try to post two to three times a week and I have kind of core things that I think about. So would you also recommend doing like a core? Like, I have the same things that I do every week. And this is like the things that I talk about, this is how I show up. So I might do like a direct to camera free tip and then I might do a question the next day and then I might do a behind the scenes of what's going on in my business. Like do you recommend people having kind of common themes?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, I do. I think it makes it easier for, you know, us as business owners to have that and to know like going into the week, like what we're going to be talking about what the strategy is and everything and I think the like the engaged, you know, listeners and people have followers, they expect that to and they kind of look forward to, you know, and you can kind of see too, if you like if you track your analytics and kind of just be able to see what they're engaging with. So say they like one of the topics more, I wouldn't make it every single time, but maybe you can work some of that more of that content in. So yeah, just kind of keeping track of what they're engaging with. Is is great to like, that's just great knowledge to have.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and analytics in Instagram is not necessarily the easiest to pull.

[NICOLE BERNARD] No, it's really not. And they only do it week by week, which is kind of annoying. So unless you have, if you're listening  Instagram.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, if Instagram was listening to my podcast then I'm feeling pretty, pretty darn good about myself. I mean, you know, not to say my podcast isn't amazing, but you know, but if you're using a third-party tool, like there's some of those that offer longer tracking, but I mean, I guess I don't, so I don't know if there's any that track your Instagram stories or not?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, and I think later.com does, and you can also publish like you can schedule out your stories on later. Yeah, that's for like the paid program, which is only like, I think $15 a month, like, their free version is great. You just can't schedule stories, but maybe $15 bucks a month, if you find it, you know, mean needed to be able to schedule it. That's a great option too.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so if we've got great content that's being pushed out. And we're posting on a regular basis, I think the next kind of step for people to pay attention to is that kind of interaction with the people that are in engaging in your stories. Do you have any tips ideas or thoughts for the best way for people to kind of stay on top of that?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, so yeah, that's probably one of the biggest pushback that I get from people as well. They're like, I just don't have time and I'm like, I promise just, maybe like, I have to tell them to like set a timer. You know, like 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and even afternoon, like just hop on, you know, like, it shows the platform that you're being consistent that you're engaging. And then it also like helps you, you can just hop on, respond to anything, share things comment, it's just really good to be able to, you know, you don't want to just keep pushing it out, and then not reciprocate anything like it is supposed to be social. It's supposed to be a relationship. So yeah, I tell my clients to like, set a few timers throughout the day, whatever is convenient for you. And just hop on and engage with those people.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I've done that several times where I've posted a question, and then haven't gotten back on Instagram in like, 24 hours. And I was totally wasted, because you can't see the responses anymore. You can't engage with their responses. So it's like, well, the effort you put in isn't even worth it because you're not taking advantage of the responses that your audience gave you.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally. And then they are you know, you can screenshot their responses and then share those so it shows them that you know, other people are answering and then yeah, there's there's just so many good things to be able to just share all that information and just be engaged for a little while, you know.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Well, and I think, I mean, talk a little bit about DMs and stuff. Like there's so many different ways that you can engage with people in a dm. So whether it's voice or video or whatever, so you could totally be in your comfort zone there too.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally. I get a lot of people that send me the voice DMs. I haven't gotten on board with that. I don't know why I think it's just because I'm used to typing so much. But God, it saves so much time. So yeah, and that's like a whole other element. Like when you can hear someone's voice I don't know, it just helps as well, you know, so that's saves time and just kind of adds a little bit more to do the voice DMs or video if you're comfortable with that.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That's awesome. Okay, so then one other question that I get asked a lot and that I have also thought about is when it comes to growth in your Instagram followers, how does growth with Instagram Stories differ from like growth within your Instagram feed like you mentioned that they work better when paired together. But as far as getting in front of new people is one better than the other?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Um, well, no, I like again, I would use both, um, and then being able to use both, you can put hashtags like even on your stories like, so you can kind of hide them into the background of whatever you're posting about. And so that search tool of the hashtags helps you get found by more people. And then also to, like I was saying, the algorithm just rewards using stories more, and the more that you're, they see your stories, the more that they'll like, push out your reach on your newsfeed. So growing, using both, like, both of them together would be the best.

And then also, with like, the appropriate hashtags, which also too if you look like if you go in your newsfeed, and it shows like view insights for each post, you can click on that. And it'll break down the analytics and it'll tell you how many people found your post just from hashtags. So they're not even followers, yet. They just found it and then they engaged with it, or look or viewed it. So you can really expand your reach and really reach people with like appropriate hashtags in both your stories and your newsfeed.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, that's so good. Okay, so I'm comfortable using stories. I've been doing it for a while, and now I want to maybe jump into doing an Instagram Live. Mm-hmm. What? How are you? What are your thoughts on Instagram Live? Because then that like the live shows up. So if you talk about real estate, right, you've got the newsfeed, you've got the Instagram stories and the live show up on even before the Instagram stories do at the top.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, Mm hmm. They do. And again, they only stay for 24 hours too. So if you want to, you know, for whatever reason, like maybe save them, you can put them in the highlights, which is that little area between like, the grid and your bio. So it's like a really good live and you have a lot to share. You know, and people can see that interaction too. You can see people jumping on and asking questions all that via live is such a great way because you know, for that reason, people can ask you questions in real-time. And so it's just yeah, it's really great. And then it like you said, it goes at the top of the stories like before the stories, so that's really a great tool to use as well.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And you can bring people on, right?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, yeah, you can have I don't know if he can bring one in two. I know on Facebook, you can have more than two, but I'm not sure I'm not positive about Instagram. But yeah, you can at least have one other person hop on.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And yeah, well, and I think um, the thing that I love about Instagram Live is it feels way more like nitty-gritty like, I don't feel the pressure to have the perfect backdrop and the perfect lighting as I maybe do on a Facebook Live.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, definitely. I agree with you on that. And I feel like that's like that stories in general. You know, like, it's meant to be a little unpolished and show like the real real life kind of things, you know, which people love that and that's probably why it's so cool. popular because people feel like they're seeing like, the realness, you know? Mm hmm.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. And, to me, that's the biggest like I hopped off social media for a long time, a few months ago, and I'm still not even posting all that regularly. I'm working my way up to it. But it was the same thing. Like, it felt very much like I was comparing my business to everybody else. And it just got real heavy, because I was like, why am I not doing this? And why are my people not commenting here compared to the other.

And what I love about stories is like, you can throw something out there and ask questions, and nobody knows, if anybody's engaging with you or not, you know, but you know, you can just kind of test things and have a little bit more fun with it without it kind of being this public outing of, Oh, well, I know how many people engaged with that post compared to mine or whatever, which nobody else even cares anyway.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, nobody really does and then actually say like, a few weeks ago, I talked to a few Instagram experts. And they were saying that you know, like the engagement is going way down on the newsfeed, but people are still using it as like a research tool. So say someone hops on like Google, they're traveling somewhere. And they want to find like a coffee shop in that area. And Google comes up with the website. And so they look at the website, but then they, a lot of times, they'll hop on over to Instagram, and they'll look at their feed, they won't engage with anything. They don't follow them either. So you don't even know that they're coming from there. But people are using both of these tools against each other to try and like make their decisions of what they're going to do or go or eat and stuff like that.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So people are wanting multiple resources to validate the choices that they're making.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Exactly. Yeah, Instagram is one of the big ones that they turn to.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Because Instagram is so visual. Yeah, if I want to see what something really looks like, if I can hashtag that, look at the hashtag for that hotel or that restaurant or something. I'm going to see real people's perspective as opposed to the photos that that brand has published.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, so then can we go back to kind of content generation, so I'm kind of jumping all over the place. But if we go back to content generation like you're saying posts, you know, three-ish maybe times a day, and you can also take relevant content from other people and share it to your feed. So it's not always having to just create new stuff like you can find things that are relevant and educational or helpful to your audience and repurpose other people's stuff.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, definitely using like, user-generated content, like a lot of the like, the memes and the inspiration, motivation, you know, things like that people really engage with that. And so yeah, like you said, you don't have to sit there and think about all the time, but you know, maybe some of the people that you follow that motivate you or make you laugh or whatever, you know, you can just hit the share button to your stories and it just goes straight to the story that also credits them. So you know, it's kind of it's just a win win.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I like to do that with within members of my followers, like what are some engaging things that they are doing that I could share that or show examples of?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, definitely.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Okay, so also now, just because you mentioned like typing comments and responses is time consuming, but you can also now link up your Instagram and Facebook, right, so that you can respond to direct messages and things like that on the back end of Facebook.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yes, yeah, they can talk to each other. And so that saves time too. So if you don't want to, you know, go and post to separate places or respond or anything like that. You can just, like link them up together, you just have to, on both ends, link them to the other one, and then they start talking to each other, if that makes sense.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And then you can also post your Instagram Stories directly to your Facebook business page, then at that point, right. Yes.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, I do that all the time. So yeah, that's just another thing in your settings. For stories. I think it's in privacy, and you just swipe the little face pick one, and then it automatically sends it over there as well.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. And I guess we I mean, we weren't anticipating talk about Facebook stories necessarily, but I mean, do you think it's important to create separate content for both? Or do you think it's okay to just kind of repurpose and automatically share at this point?

[NICOLE BERNARD] For stories? I think it's okay. I don't know. Like, so for posting wise, I try and change it up a little bit, depending on the different platforms. But yeah, I think stories is fine, because it really is, you know, again, like we were saying, like, kind of behind the scenes, a little nitty gritty, not super polished. So it's also another just place for them to really get to know you and in nurture that relationship by seeing, you know, all of this other stuff that they wouldn't normally see other places. So, right.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I don't know about you, but I will watch Instagram stories, but I don't ever touch Facebook stories.

[NICOLE BERNARD] I know I don't really get into them either. And I don't know why.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I mean, it's just awkward. I just feel like when I look at it because I don't really use Facebook that much on my phone. Um, and so I think the way that it looks on my desktop is just like it's, it's just awkward. Yeah, it can it's like that big like a rectangle, right? Yeah. Like, it's a triangle, like a cell phone. Right. Though?

[NICOLE BERNARD] I don't know, I think just since my mind got used to doing it in Instagram, I just don't I haven't. I don't know, done it on Facebook much unless it like happens on accident, like, right.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But it's still a good placement and it's still good opportunity to potentially grab an audience. So obviously, surely is a great way to create content. And okay, so what else would you say to somebody who's scared or says I have nothing important to share on Instagram? Nobody's gonna care about what I'm saying.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, I get that one a lot. Like just in general, like in social media in general. Or they're like, I suck at social media. I'm like, well, you don't you know, just you know, people don't really think about the different topics.

I don't know. There's all kinds of things you know, you could do, you could just, like we said, the user generated. To do user generated content, if you have any blogs that are like helpful tips, you know, you could pull out one of those tips and post it on there and you know, have a call to action to go read it at your website, something like that. You could do like, have you ever done or seen people do like the stories, takeovers, those are always fun. Yeah, so you have like, some of your employees or, you know, whoever take over your Instagram, and it's just a whole different perspective. Um, and just people really like those and then they're enjoyable.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And don't you think people could even like, let's say, you've got a handful of employees that are all working remotely like it's a great opportunity to become more personal with your audience and share like, Okay, well, this is how our company is working remotely and supporting each other like tips for that or just ways that you're still you know, showing up and, and being there for your customers, even though it looks different.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally like that. That's a perfect example of how to do it. Um, yeah, it's just you know, gets to get that shows like your culture, you know, your different employees, and it just really kind of strengthens that bond that they have with you and why they're, you know, kind of following you and stuff like that. So I think that'd be perfect.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I mean, we know that people buy from brands that they feel a connection to, even if it's not the cheapest they still they want to have that personal connection. And so to me, I feel like right now is that push for a lot, a lot of businesses to show up in a more raw fashion. Authentic. Yeah, yeah. And, and not be so polished. And I think that's the beauty of stories from a branding perspective is you can have your employees all submit something to you and you can go through and review it and make sure it's all good. Like you don't mean it's not like a live where you have to worry about what they're going to say. Yeah, totally. still get something out there that hits your target audience.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, for sure. Oh, you know, it's another thing to look one of the other little engagement tools that I love to use is the countdown one. Yes. And that's great too, because also people can get reminders for when it's coming. You know, whatever it's counting down to. That's just another great way to just kind of keep that in front of them even though we all forget because there's so much going on. And so that's just another one too. I wanted to mention.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I love the countdown one. Yeah. Who doesn't like confetti? I talked about this literally, a podcast ago. So like, you know, I'm clearly very bitter about this, but my business account still doesn't have the music feature.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yes, I mine has it. I didn't have it for the longest time and then they gave it to me and then I took it away. And I don't even know why.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But yes, I'm quite bitter as well, because my personal account has it. I have a couple of client accounts that have it. You know, if for some reason you hop into stories and you're like Nicole said this and I don't have it. It's not her fault.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, I don't know why and I don't even know how to get it back either. And it's like, said something about an update and I just got a new phone. So I know it's like the latest updated version of Instagram. And yeah, that's super frustrating because that's like, super fun. Like that's such another added element that shows personality as well that I would

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, love to feel interesting that they don't have that more widespread because it's also a situation where, if you're out and about, and there's a bunch of music in the background, you can actually get in trouble for copyright.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Oh, okay. So and I mean, didn't think about that.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. So if it's through the app, then they have the rights to use that music. But I mean, I've seen people posting Instagram stories, and they're like, sorry, I got to move because the music is too loud. And if it's like more than 15 seconds or something, then you could get in trouble for using music that you don't have the rights to allow.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Okay. Yeah, yeah, you think that they would just include it then with all of us so we can give it to me.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, one other thing that I know comes up a lot is people you see people that are live streaming to Facebook and live streaming to Instagram at the same time. And I get a lot of questions about like, well, how are they doing that? It's pretty down and dirty, right? There's not really a seamless way to do that.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, I don't I have not tried it yet. Um, but yeah, I think you have to have like a computer right and a phone to do it separately at the same time. Yeah. And then who do you look at? Like Which ones? So, um, yeah, but I think it's cool. I mean, like, when I do watch people do it, you can tell they practice and they're great at it. Like, I think it's super effective. So I think that would be a great, a great option to do both at the same time. But I would just, even before that, I just get good at one before trying to do them both, you know?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. I need to do more Facebook Lives and Instagram lives. That's, you know, it's a perfect time. There's a lot of captive people right now that are looking for something to do.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Totally. And I know you can use technology to like, quote, unquote, live stream to Facebook, even though it's not live. But I don't think you can do it to Instagram yet or I haven't done it. It's not it doesn't seem as well done as Facebook.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I heard about the Facebook stuff I have not heard able to live like a fake live stream to, like pre-record, right? Yeah, yeah. Okay. I have not heard that for Instagram. I haven't either.

[NICOLE BERNARD] But only time somebody will figure it out,

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And then we'll get shut down because the API will change. I think it's been really interesting for me because like I said, I took a break from social media for like three or four months from like November to now I'm still kind of on a quasi break. And just in that period of time, I feel like things have changed and I'm way behind. And, and I share that because I don't I think it's all in my head. I just haven't been using it.

So I guess my thing is just start doing something with stories, even if you just do it once a day, four, or once every other day or a couple times a week and just start doing something.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, I agree. And just Yeah, I like anything. Just say try it, like, you know, again, set your timer to engage. And then maybe at that same time do something with a story. And if you're not, you know, comfortable doing the video, then just, you know, share somebody else's that you liked, or you know, share, like your latest posts that was about a blog or something. So just start simple. And just yeah, keep keep building on it and sharing.

But although I will say this, and hopefully people don't do this or get offended, but like if I go on someone's stories, and there's like 60 little things off the top of my head, I don't have now like you lose me by like, number five, and then I just get to the next one.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and that brings up a good point too, though. So Facebook or sorry, Instagram favors, like recency matters, right? Like Yeah, time that you're posting within your audience, when your audience is engaging, so it matters what time of day you post and then like you said, if you're, if you're posting a couple times a day, make sure they're not all like chunk together so that people can get a little bit here and there, right? Yeah, totally.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah. Like do you know one in the morning, one afternoon night or something? Just not like 20? All at once? Because then it Yeah, it's a lot of like timing issues. And then also people just we like to sit there and watch stories. But you know, I've heard a lot of people talking about the overcrowding. Most of it now on just, you know, a single person's account. So you don't want to do that either. You know, um, so, I agree with that. 100% I don't really want to see every single thing that you did today.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Exactly. I just want to know, so I'm not all right. Like it. Did you find a weird shape? And you're toast? I want to see that. But I don't want to know what kind of toothpaste you use to brush your teeth.

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yeah, totally. And that's when I like talking about you know, people are like, well, what should I post when people care about this? Like, I mean, you know, to an extent like you want to share yourself and your business and your employees and things like that. And it's not super polished, but then, you know, yeah, like you said, you don't want to share every single detail.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Right? Like I posted something The other day, that was me and the kids sitting outside, because I'm homeschooling right now. And so I just posted a quick picture. And I got a lot of comments back to me about that, because we're all a lot of us are all in the same boat. We're all doing our homeschool thing. But um, I'm not going to do that every single day and be like, because that's not who my brand is. Right? Like, I'm not a baker. Well, I'm a schoolteacher. And so I might share a few things here and there just to be real and show that like, you know, I'm a human being, and we're struggling with this, just like a lot of you are and how can we support each other, but that's not going to take over my feed. Yeah. As as who I am, like, I still want the bulk of what I do to be marketing tips, website stuff and all that good stuff. So it's important to have that balance, right?

[NICOLE BERNARD] Yes, totally. Totally. No.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Cool. Well, I think you've shared a lot of great ideas, and hopefully people will get inspired to get started and hopefully you guys will hit us up and let us know that you've started so we can follow you and see check out your stories. But any last kind of words of wisdom for pop it in Insta stories,

[NICOLE BERNARD] Um, nothing I can think of. I feel like we went over all that but um, yeah, like I love what you said, you know, and just this goes with anything just get started, you know just try a little bit here and there you'll get more comfortable it'll get less scary and then eventually you'll look back and be like, oh god, look how far I've come

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So, well and remember that on Instagram you don't have to do all the crazy dances like they're doing on TikTok. So yeah,

[NICOLE BERNARD] I have not even like I've watched them. But I'm not on TikTok and I'm I have no idea how it works. But it's hilarious. Some of the stuff that people are putting out there.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I have to tell you, just and then we'll wrap this up. But I have a 12-year-old daughter, who of course is on TikTok. And so she's roped us into it. And we have our own separate podcast that we're going to start bringing back shortly. And so we have we have a TikTok for that podcast. And I pride myself on being you know, so techie and up to date on things I can't like, I look at the TikTok. I'm like, I don't even know. She has to do it. For me. I'm like, and now I'm officially getting to the point where my kids are out teching me, but you know.

[NICOLE BERNARD] It's crazy how that happens. Like my daughter's nine. And she's like her cousin and showed her Snapchat. And this was like when Snapchat was all the rage like two years ago. And I was like, how do you even do a filter? And she was like, it's terrible. It's terrible.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Nicole, thank you so much for your time. If people want to find out more about you and how to interact with you or learn from you, how did they do that?

[NICOLE BERNARD] That'd be awesome. Well, Instagram.
It's just @nb.mktg so like whatever marketing would be short. And then my website is nb.marketing. And also Yeah, this has been so much fun. I've had a blast.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] It's awesome. And we will link all of that up in the show notes so you guys can head on over to thefirstclick.net/podcast and get all the show notes for this episode. I'll link up some of the resources for some of the things we talked about today. And, but get on Instagram stories. Let's get started. Thank you so much, Nicole.

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