Instagram Stories vs. Posts: What’s the Difference


Published: June 15, 2020 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
Instagram Stories vs. Posts: What’s the Difference

 Photo credit: mehaniq41 -

As more small and mid-sized businesses venture into the social sphere, Instagram is climbing the list of platforms that are proving to be successful for boosting brand awareness and even for drawing in new leads. By now, most of us are familiar with how Facebook works and may only need some help figuring out how to do paid promotions, gain more followers, or other specific tasks. Instagram, on the other hand, remains a mystery to many so we’re going talk about one of the basic aspects: Instagram stories vs. Instagram posts.

What is the difference between Instagram story and post?

Let’s start with Instagram posts. These are the photos that you post directly to your feed, with or without text and hashtags, and they stay on your profile indefinitely unless you delete them. Posts to your feed, especially when they include hashtags, are perfect for getting discovered by new people and expanding your reach. This content should be built around a marketing strategy and be cohesive in terms of the look and feel of the images to support your branding efforts. Instagram posts are perfect for getting discovered by new people and expanding your reach.

Instagram stories are a place where you can have a little more fun. They’re not long-lasting as they disappear 24 hours after they’re posted. Stories are cumulative, meaning you can add to your current story, and your latest additions will be viewed in the order they were published. Stories are where you can engage with your current followers, play around a little bit, and experiment with different approaches, including video segments.

What Goes Where?

Start by remembering that your Instagram posts are permanent (unless you delete them) and that they should always be aligned with your branding. In other words, if someone comes across a post that’s months old, it should still be valuable to that person. Some ideas to include in your feed posts are photos of your products, snapshots of your team at work or engaged with customers, or other visual content that will help people understand who you are.

Instagram stories should complement what’s being posted to your feed. Think of them as live, daily updates to keep your most dedicated followers up to speed. Share news stories, day-in-the-life videos, behind-the-scenes shots, sneak previews of new products, or similar posts that don’t need much longevity.

If You Had to Pick One

Instagram stories are generally reserved for people who already follow you and like your content and are actively choosing to seek more from your profile.
If you had to pick whether to use Instagram stories vs. Instagram posts, the answer is posts. Because of the evergreen nature of posts, you’ll get more mileage out of your efforts as you won’t have to reinvent the wheel on a daily basis. With a good hashtag strategy, your Instagram posts will work hard, day after day, getting the attention of people who are searching for those hashtags and showing up on recommended and related suggestions. Posts are the primary way that people will find and engage with your profile, and you should perfect this strategy first.

Not many people will go out of their way to watch Instagram stories. These are generally reserved for people who already follow you and like your content and are actively choosing to seek more from your profile. You can include hashtags on stories, but not many people will watch stories after searching for hashtags or locations, and you might not even appear. In other words, go ahead and include a hashtag or two, but don’t have any expectations for them. Start using stories once you have enough followers and are looking for ways to keep them.

Get Posting!

Now that you know the basics of posting to your Instagram account, it’s time to get to work. Remember, Instagram is a place for visual content with a few words and a good hashtag strategy to tie it all together. Keep your branding on-point and use your stories to supplement the hard work your feed is doing and to keep your followers connected with you every day. If you want to give it a try, but you’re not sure how to make it work for your business, or aren’t clear about the difference between Instagram stories vs. Instagram posts, let us know! Our Instagram strategies are designed to get results.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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