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Mastering social media's new tools: Instagram

Stories: Disappearing promos  

Instagram Stories—posts that disappear after 24 hours—had 250 million daily users as of August, far surpassing Snapchat’s 166 million daily users, and making IG a must-play arena for brands using the tactic. 

Piada Italian Street Food

While brands’ uses for Instagram Stories are all over the map, fast-casual chain Piada Italian Street Food has begun posting behind-the-scenes video, photos and recipe tutorials not found on the chain’s regular IG feed. “We keep our Instagram posts simple and utilize Stories to go more in-depth,” says Social Media Manager Luke Howell. 

piada lemonade promo

This summer, Piada held a contest where users who posted a photo of the chain’s blackberry hibiscus lemonade with the hashtag #piadamainsqueeze were entered to win free food. Instead of broadcasting the winners across its social media platforms, the chain told users to check out Piada’s Stories feed to see if they’d won. “We want our followers to get in the rhythm of watching Stories on a regular basis,” says Howell. “We try and set the expectation that the content we produce for Stories is different than [what] we produce for Instagram posts.” 

Partnerships: Rise of the Instafamous

For some active users, Instagram is about more than just sharing posts of daily life—it’s a business. And restaurants are setting up partnerships with popular posters—many with larger followings than the brands themselves—who have made sharing their content a legitimate gig. Operators see it as a way to reach fans interested in specific topics or target regions by tapping into an already engaged group of fans.  

Just Salad 

Just Salad’s Friends With Benefits program partners with a variety of Instagram influencers. The partnerships focus on users who promote similar beliefs or values to those of the brand. 

For example, a series of posts with a popular IG user known for her focus on health show her working out beside one of Just Salad’s reusable bowls. And during June, to celebrate and promote its Pride-themed salad, Just Salad partnered with a variety of LGBT  Instagram influencers—including a male beauty blogger and a fashionista—to pose with the limited-edition dish. 

“Starting our Friends With Benefits program was really a great strategy for us,” says Chief Branding Officer Rosalin Anderson. “It’s simple and effective.” 


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