If you’ve been around for a while, you know I love Instagram Stories! I was so excited when IG added the feature and I’m always trying to come up with ways to switch it up and connect with my followers through Stories. I’ve done a lot of testing with my own two accounts (@saltywanders + @saltyeats) and with my work accounts, and I’ve watched so many examples from other influencers and friends. There are a few things I’ve done to increase engagement and make my snapshots personal and fun, so try out a couple of these 7 tips to better Instagram Stories!
1. Post every day
I’m not the best at doing this, but when I post often, it leads to more engagement and more loyal viewers. Also, the more you post on IG Stories, the more your actual photos will be seen in the feed, so why wouldn’t you want to do it as much as possible? It can be difficult to come up with things to post every day – I get it – but it’s totally worth it. I have some ideas to get you started in tip #3.
2. Don’t go crazy
That being said, don’t post approximately 1,000 different Stories every day. I’m sure I’m not the only one who automatically skips it if I can see the bars at the top are tiny, meaning there’s a lot of different photos and videos to wade through. It’s extremely overwhelming and usually unnecessary. Try to stick to 10-12 individual Stories at the most.
3. Tell a story
They’re called Instagram Stories for a reason! I typically lose interest if a Story is a bunch of random photos strung together. Add captions, talk to your audience, and tell why you’re showing us each thing in your Story. Here are a couple examples:
• Behind the scenes of your blog, a photo shoot, or a day in your life
• Snapshots from an adventure or travel day
• Before-and-afters of your photos in the editing process
• Your latest music or book recommendations
• Details about a cause you’re involved in or something in your life you want to share
4. Switch it up
Try out different formats for your Stories instead of always doing the same thing. It’s good to tell anecdotes directly to the camera, but if you’re always a talking head, your viewers will start swiping away. Throw in some Boomerangs, still photos, and other videos to keep things fresh and fun. Instagram recently released the new poll feature, so try playing with things like that too! Here are some other tools to try out:
• Hype Type – this app lets you add music and animated text to your Stories
• Instagram’s poll tool – this can be huge to see what’s working on your account, or just to add fun questions to a Story
• Boomerang – everyone loves a good Boomerang
5. Don’t do the “new post!” thing
Just don’t. It’s not creative, and the viewers you’re annoying by doing that every time you post something new are most likely going to outweigh the very few who will actually click over to see the post. Instead, use Stories to genuinely connect with your audience, and the people who resonate and respond will naturally start seeing your posts more often.
6. Practice makes more perfect
I’ve said this before, but if you have qualms about getting on IG Stories, the best thing to do is just get out there and do it. It’s scary at first (trust me, I know) but the more you post, the more comfortable you will become. Try one of the ideas from tip #3 and see how it goes!
This might not seem like a tip to make your own Stories better, but watching others will give you tons of inspiration and ideas that you can personalize for yourself. Plus, replying to Stories will help you make connections and grow your community, which is always a good thing!
What are your hesitations about Instagram Stories, or what have you tried that really resonated with your audience?