4 Ways to Get More Engagement on Your Instagram Stories — Today
3 years after Snapchat introduced the concept of Stories, Instagram launched their own version — and it caused a huge shift in the way users interacted with social media. 500 million people were use Instagram Stories every day!
So why do people like Instagram Stories so much?
- More spontaneity: Feed posts on Instagram tend to be very stylized and curated. Stories have a more casual, spontaneous, and personal feel.
- More content (without overwhelming your followers): You can post as much content as you want on your Stories without spamming your followers’ feeds.
- More visibility: Stories appear at the top of your followers’ feeds, and a colorful circle appears around your profile picture so anyone you interact with knows you have a Story available.
- More features: Stories are made to be more engaging and have a selection of cool features Feed posts don’t have. We’ll get to those a bit later.
One thing people find confusing about Stories is that engagement with them is different than it is with Feed posts. Inspiring your audience to engage with your content is super important for brands and businesses on social media — but you can’t comment on, “like,” or share Stories. So how do they help us connect to our audience?
The answer is that audiences interact with Stories in a different way than we might be used to from other social media platforms. The key to getting more engagement is understanding how people engage with Story content, and offering your followers opportunities and motivation to engage with yours.
1. Use the interactive stickers
One great feature that’s unique to IG Stories is stickers. They do a lot more than add color and personality to your images: they can also be interactive. Polls, quizzes, the emoji slider, and questions all let your audience respond to a question or statement. The responses require only a tap or a swipe, too, making it easier for your audience to engage meaningfully with your content without needing to write a comment.
2. Keep any text short and to the point
Instagram is a very visual platform, so keeping text to a minimum is always a good idea. This is especially true with Stories. Your audience will have just 7 seconds to view a photo! You don’t want them to spend those precious seconds trying to read a lengthy text. You don’t want too much text cluttering the visual elements, either.
3. Tell a story
They’re called Stories for a reason! You want to pique your followers’ curiosity and entice them to go to the next slide rather than swipe through. Using your slides to tell a story is a great way to do this. A good story has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and starts with a good hook — something that grabs your audience’s attention and makes them want to hear the rest.
It doesn’t have to be War and Peace. Just try to arrange your content in a way that follows a logical thread or storyline.
4. Use hashtags!
Hashtags are important on Instagram because they help users find your content. Many people know to use them on their Feed posts, but you can use them in your Stories, too! Add a hashtag by inserting a hashtag sticker. You can use up to 10 hashtags on a story, but using too many will make your image cluttered. To save space, you can hide your hashtags under a different sticker or image.
Using Instagram Stories gives you an opportunity to experiment with new and exciting kinds of content — and fresh ways for your followers to interact with them. By taking full advantage of the unique features of IG Stories, you’ll have a whole new avenue of connecting with and inspiring your audience.
1. Choose two of the engagement-inducing strategies above and add them to your to-do list this week.
2. Set aside time each day to engage meaningfully on Instagram Stories – both on your own Stories & the Stories you follow.