8 Genius Ways to Increase Engagement Through Instagram Stories
If you’re like a lot of business owners, all of the social media features can get overwhelming, to say the least! Whether you’re a social media expert or not, if social isn’t your full-time job, it can take a lot of time and effort to stay up-to-date on all of the ways to utilize it. In this article, we’re going to talk about 10 creative ways that you can use Instagram stories to increase your engagement. If you’re not on social media yet or you need to take time to build a better presence, read this blog 12 Tips For Building A Better Social Media Presence first then come back to this one.
Before we get into the tips, let’s go over some ground rules. Just like any other social media, your Instagram stories represent you and your business. So, when you’re posting on them, make sure that you stay on brand and discuss industry-relevant information. While stories can be a little more casual or informal than your other social media might be, remember that your audience follows you for a reason, and continue to provide information that is relevant to their wants and needs. If you keep that in mind while trying out some of these tips and tricks, you’ll be more likely to see positive results.
Let’s get started!
#1: Use “Sound On” Indicators
Stories are a great place to post videos or talk directly to your audience, but not everybody’s sound is always on when they’re using their phone. In the first frame of your story, put a “Sound On” caption or GIF so that your followers know that they should listen. Especially if you’re posting longer content (i.e. a two-minute video), you don’t want them to just flip through it, you want them to actually listen. So, tell them to listen (and hope that they do!)
#2: Use the Question Sticker
Instagram stories become more fun when your followers get to engage with you. One way that you can facilitate this engagement is through the questions sticker, where you ask a question or say a statement and your followers can type a response.
Here are some ideas that you can use when you post a question sticker:
- If you’re going on a trip, ask for restaurant/food recommendations.
- Ask what content your followers want to see (i.e. more videos, more blog posts, more tips and tricks, etc. → this is a great way to get some informal feedback, too.)
- Ask your followers what their favorite activity, sport, brand, etc. is, related to your business (i.e. if you sell skincare, ask what their favorite skincare products are.)
- AMA: Ask Me Anything → Let your followers have a chance to ask you anything and respond via a video or text on your stories.
#3: Tell a Story
If you’ve read any of our other blog posts, you probably know how much we loooove story-based marketing. That remains true when it comes to Instagram, too! With the stories feature, it’s even easier to use story-based marketing because you can actually tell your followers a story. You can do this through a video, through a bunch of photos with text on it, or a combination of the two.
#4: Take Polls
Similar to the question sticker, the polls stickers are creative ways to talk to your audience and increase engagement. You can make these fun and lighthearted (i.e. if you’re a cafe, ask what everyone’s favorite type of hot drink is and have four answers) or you can use them more intentionally to gather data or do promotions (i.e. do the same “hot drink” poll and then offer a discount on the drink for your Instagram followers). There are tons of ways to get creative with these…if you’re not sure how, give some popular and industry-relevant Instagram accounts a follow and see what they’re doing.
#5: Add Links or PDFs
This tip is a little different because it doesn’t apply to every account. If you have 10,000+ followers, you can use the “Swipe Up” feature to add links, PDFs, or other assets to your stories. We love this feature, but it’s only available to you if you have enough followers. Once you are able to access it, you can use this to direct your followers to a webpage, share an asset with them, or anything in between…the options are endless! So, definitely take advantage of this if your follower base is large enough, and if not, use it as inspiration to grow your followers so that you can utilize it in the near future.
#6: Use the Countdown Sticker
As you can probably see by now, we’re a big fan of the stickers on Instagram stories. The countdown sticker is another way that you can increase engagement. By using the countdown sticker, you’re building excitement and anticipation to whatever you’re counting down to. You also can use it to encourage followers to click a link. For example, you can say “5 Days Left in the 50% Off Everything Sale — Link in Bio to Browse” and use the countdown sticker. Similarly, you can use it to countdown to new content on your social media (i.e. count down to a new blog post release). However you decide to use it, know that it will build excitement, anticipation, and maybe even a sense of urgency to take action in your audience.
#7: Follow Current Trends
Keeping an eye on and following current trends is a tip that can be applied to all of your social media, not just your stories. For stories, however, current trends are a great way to deviate from repetitive content and post content that is relevant to your followers today. Especially if you have a Gen Z or Millennial target audience, following current trends is an effective way to relate to your audience.
#8: Use Hashtags
Finally, keep in mind that hashtags aren’t just for posts. You can and should use hashtags in your stories to reach a larger audience. Your hashtag strategy for your stories should be different than for your regular posts. For example, it’s probably best not to post more than one or two hashtags in your stories since you don’t have too much space for text. Similarly, you don’t need to post a hashtag in every story if you have multiple frames (i.e. if you’re posting ten pictures for one long story, it doesn’t need the same hashtag in every single picture). Do some research to see what’ll be best to increase your reach and test different methods to see what works.
There you have it!
Eight simple but effective ways to increase your engagement through Instagram stories. All of these methods will help you communicate better and more with your audience. Hopefully, they will also help you communicate in a different way than you have been before. And remember, Instagram stories are meant to be less formal, so have some fun with them!