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How the Financial Times uses Instagram Stories as a traffic driver

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The Financial Times has been steadily cultivating a following of younger, new audiences on Instagram after giving the platform renewed focus in 2016. Since then, it’s been linking back to its site through Instagram Stories, driving traffic and ultimately subscriptions.

The FT has 700,000 followers on Instagram and now posts between two and four Instagram Stories a week as a self-contained narrative based on a published piece.

The FT’s posts on Instagram are distinctive because they don’t often relate to published stories. In the last year, one of the most popular posts was about how Meghan Markle will bring a “breath of fresh air” to the royal family, with nearly 13,000 likes and 150 comments. Daily posts from the FT photo diary — in line with Instagram’s conventional style of beautiful scenes globally — do well, like this image of fighting on the Gaza Strip, with 6,000 likes and 400 comments. Sketches from the FT’s in-house illustrators and charts also see high engagement.

“Instagram’s status as a visual-heavy platform means it takes a great deal of creation and production to do well. It’s not like doing a Facebook post or tweet, where something can do well without a significant time investment,” Jake Grovum told Digiday, acting head of social media. “The nature of what works on Instagram means that it is a time-intensive platform to work on.”

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