When you should use Stories or the Grid on Instagram

As a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know we love a good ‘stat attack’. So, what better place to start than with this figure… there are over 1 billion Instagram users worldwide – wow!

It’s a platform that’s over 10 years old and has some of the biggest global stars and brands who use it every day. So, it’s clear to see why IG is one of the major players in the social media marketplace.

When it first burst onto our app stores, IG was a place to post beautifully shot images – from stunning sceneries to delicious dinnertime dishes. Its premise was simple but certainly effective and shows why even today it’s still a platform of choice for the world’s most engaging influencers.

However, since those humble beginnings, the ‘gram has introduced a Stories function which has proven a hugely popular addition for the channel. Users today are snapping photos, recording videos and adding quirky filters and animations as a highlights showreel for their followers.

And what a lot of people love is the fact that each story will only appear for 24 hours too (unless you create an album).

So, when you’ve got a killer piece of content right in front of you, what’s the best way to drive engagement? Here’s our advice on when you should opt for Stories over the Grid – and when you can do both…


If they’re beautifully shot and you want to add a bit of context with powerful words and hashtags, we’d tend to place these in the main gallery. That way we’re providing something eye-catching for people to engage with regardless of when it’s been uploaded.

A big tip from us is to use carousels. If you’ve got a selection of images that people will instantly double-tap or comment on, get them uploaded onto your feed like a ‘mini series’ of content.

And, if you’re like us and a bit ‘snap happy’, your phone storage is likely to be bulging with some images that don’t quite make the cut on social media newsfeeds. But, if you still want to use them in some way, place them on your Stories and bring them to life with GIFs, emojis and text.


This is an interesting one because videos do actually work on both depending on your audience. We’d recommend that for professionally shot videos or longer pieces to camera that look engaging, aren’t blurry and the camera isn’t shaking all over the place, these work best on your Grid.

For Stories, use shorter videos (as you only have seconds to play with each time) that are punchy and make people want to stick with your brand.

You can also add polls and questions to maintain engagement with your audience – we’ve seen some cool examples of this from organisations when they’re rolling out an ‘employee takeover’. It’s the perfect way to provide more of a behind-the-scenes view of your company and culture.


Many brands ask us about how to promote their blog activity. And for us, we tend to announce a new piece of content via our Stories section. It could be a simple screengrab or an image and a ‘new blog post’ GIF to accompany it. Simple!

However, this is where carousels truly come into their own on your Instagram Grid. If you’ve got an advice-led piece to promote, look at how you can break it down into smaller chunks and across multiple images. That way you can upload it all at once onto your feed as a series and users can swipe to find out more information.

To build your social media following via your brand and team of employee advocates, email: info@soampli.com or call 0845 2725990. Make sure you also connect with us via InstagramLinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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