It’s no secret that Instagram Stories has eclipsed Snapchat in use. But it’s not just social media stars using it; brands are tapping into Stories too. Among fashion brands, adoption of the feature increased 22% to 77% between 2016 and 2017, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion. We took a look at how they’re faring.

While many fashion brands share Stories, posting strategies vary widely. Some brands post daily, while others prefer explosive bursts. For example, Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff posted consistently on more than 95% of days tracked in Gartner L2’s study and maintained consistent engagement as a result, increasing post volume during special events like Fashion Week and big releases. In contrast, Ralph Lauren exemplified the other strategy, posting almost a hundred Stories on the day of its fashion show.

Although Instagram Stories launched almost two years ago, hair care brands are just beginning to turn their heads to the feature. However, 86% of brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color now embrace Stories.¬†Bumble and Bumble facilitates e-commerce the most, linking its stories to commerce 69% of the time. The brand also highlights editorial brand mentions and provides links to the publications in its stories 24 times more often than any other brand. Within the category, however, the overall approach to Stories is still rooted in experimentation, with the ultimate role that the feature will play in the consumer journey still unclear.

For brands that are using Stories, optimizing post frequency and engagement is crucial.¬†Over-posting and lack of content variety can lead to disengagement. Brands should also monitor their Story engagement closely to determine which strategies garner the most positive reception. Finally, brands should take advantage of Instagram’s new features in addition to Stories, such as the ability to include links in Stories, to keep engagement going.

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