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Changes to Social Media

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

We have recently made changes to how we are sharing Member stories on Instagram.

If you were able to join our recent webinar, you learned that we have a Social Media Strategy in place that guides our content and channel development across multiple platforms. With Instagram specifically, we have succeeded in growing our followers significantly and have more than tripled our engagement rate in the past two years. How? By making data-driven decisions.

After analyzing a full year of engagement on Hootsuite, our social analytics platform, we found that our Instagram channel has had strong engagement across the board with reels and posts, however not with stories. We learned that businesses at the end of the story loop received few views, and those at the front, the first 7, only reached an average of 1,000 views. The more stories we posted, the fewer 'completed' views.

We have also seen an influx in the number of stories shared with us. Last year, we received close to 8,000 stories from members and received 25,000 direct messages, of which 95% were story shares from non-members.

We still want you to mention us, but we will curate stories (Stories Only) with preference given to member content that meets our refined criteria.

Selection Criteria

  • The BIA will decide the number of posts shared daily to ensure the best opportunity for reach and engagement.

  • We ask you to be more selective about your content: we prefer video, dynamic range with audience response and trending audio. If you have a spectacular Reel be sure to share it as a Story and mention us.

  • If text must be included, use stickers with a call to action and make sure the font size is visible.

  • Share your best story of the day (one per member per day).

  • While we recognize that most businesses operate and post content during their business hours, we will use social media management tools to define the best times to post stories for engagement.

  • We prefer posts incorporating streetscape, beauty shots, and downtown activities.

  • Use clean images and simple, modern graphics rather than unnecessary clutter when posting photos.

  • Must be a Downtown Oakville BIA business, not an affiliated or pop-up account

What to Avoid

  • No shares of shares or shares of posts, as they are too small

  • Don't share content with Tik Tok branding, as the Instagram algorithm does not like it.

  • No menu posts; show us food and drink instead of text.

  • Don't share time specific content i.e. opening hours, daily appointments - link to your website.

Best Practices

We will give posting preference to those stories that educate, entertain, and inform.

Below are some tips on how to best meet this criteria.


  • 'How to posts, such as How to Wear a Sweater 3 Ways

  • Top tips

  • Ask a question and provide the answers

  • Highlight a referral program or points program


  • Content that entertains: fun and friendly

  • Influencer content to extend reach

  • Dynamic content, video over static imagery

  • Clever antidotes, memes

  • Contests, polls, and giveaways

  • Behind the scenes


  • Events

  • Cross-promotions

  • Actionable posts, such as 50% off, in-store events, etc.

  • New inventory or menu item

For those looking for further detail we invite you to view the recording. This half hour video walks you through our overarching strategy and provides further context. Note: Presentation begins at 2 minute mark. Password for entry is +C0q3Z9=

To help you create dynamic content you can check out the recorded workshop 'How to Creative Captivating Video for Social Media' for members" recently hosted by Camp Tech.

Password: VideoOakville

As always, reach out if you have any questions at all.

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