Instagram Stories Guide: 7 quick ideas to engage with your followers

For a long time, I struggled with Instagram stories. I kept wondering what should I post because I didn’t want to post just some random pics or videos about my food and workouts. Many do that, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that either. Instagram stories are an excellent place to show more about yourself, your life, and your personality.

But still, posting daily workouts, breakfasts, night outs are not what people are interested in. Unless you are a lifestyle blogger, of course.

In general, each Instagram story you post, should support your profile and be relevant to the content you create. Whether you are branding yourself or promoting your business, Instagram stories are a powerful tool to connect with your audience on a more personal level.

The popularity of stories is enormous, so if you are not actively using them, you are definitely missing out. In 2019 Stories are at least important as your feed. Therefore, it should be your primary focus alongside your feed posts.

1. Post stories regularly

I always advise everyone to show up to their followers frequently. I admit, though, that I haven’t always followed this rule myself. Trust me, it’s still better to give something to your audience than take long breaks from posting. However, it can be challenging to create new content to post. Luckily you don’t necessarily have to publish new posts on your feed every day as doing stories is also an excellent way to stay in people’s mind.

Preferably you should post stories every day, but if you don’t have anything to say, don’t worry.

Some say you should post at least 5 stories every day. Do you really have to? No.

Although it’s good to be active and show some new content to your followers, you should never post just for the sake of posting.

In fact, it’s better not to post anything than post something unrelated to your account and with little interest to your followers.

Therefore, focus on both the quality and quantity of the stories. If you are working on something new, give some updates on what you’re currently doing. It’s an easy way to keep your followers engaged.

There are only three places you can post clickable links on Instagram. One of those is the Stories. You can’t add links to your regular posts or feed except in the bio. But luckily you can do that with stories!

As long as you have a business profile with over 10k followers or a verified account, you can add links to your stories. That’s a huge opportunity, and you should definitely take advantage of this feature.

Promoting something too eagerly on Instagram could lead to alienating your followers. If you are continually pushing something on your feed, people could get bored.

People hate ads. Well, that’s what I’ve heard. I personally love ads, especially good ones. But most people prefer to avoid ads.

You could link to your blog posts, your online shop, or use affiliate links. Whatever you would like to promote, stories are the place to do that. With links, you can lead your followers directly to the preferred destination.

However, use links in moderation. If all you do is post links to external sources, people will quickly get bored and frustrated.

3. Share yours and other’s posts

What is the first thing you do after posting a new photo or video on Instagram?

If you just start waiting for likes and comments, you are not using your time most effectively. Sure, it’s crucial to reply to any questions and comments, but there’s a simple trick you should do first.

A quick way to boost your new post and its reach is by sharing your post on your Stories. Tapping “Add post to your story” adds a clickable preview of your post to a story.

Even if your followers miss your latest post on their front page and your feed, they may discover it on the Stories. So why wouldn’t you improve the chances?

Make sure to add also a Call to Action to the post. Ask a question or write an engaging comment that gets people interested in the post.

4. Use Shopping tags if you sell products

If you sell physical products, you can add shoppable product tags directly in your stories.

Unlike regular links, any business profile that has the shopping feature enabled can use product tags. You need to have an existing Facebook product catalog to use this feature.

The shopping stickers are an excellent method to promote your products without over-promoting.

5. Behind the scenes: show what you are currently doing

Do you try to perfect each photo you post? If yes, good! Having an impressive feed is super important.As far as your feed and posts are concerned, you should focus on polishing everything you do.

But people would love to see the other side too. That’s right, I’m talking about some behind-the-scenes action.

Stories are the perfect place to show a more personal and natural side. This help to create a more personal and authentic connection with your audience

You could, e.g. :

  • Post behind-the-scenes of how you took a photo
  • Photo editing
  • Video editing
  • Blog
  • Expert tips
  • How you work: work routines.
  • Your everyday life: food, workouts, etc

6. Use interactive features

Instagram Stories is continuously updated and improved with new features.

You’ve seen all those features, right?

  • Polls: Getting to know your audience better could be very valuable
  • Questions: ask people questions or Let people ask you questions
  • Sliders
  • Countdowns
  • Quizzes
  • Chat: the latest addition. With this feature, people can ask to join a group chat which you later start.

These are all are great features that help interact with your followers in a whole new way.

7. Hashtags & tags

Just like with regular posts, you can add hashtags, tag other accounts, and locations to your stories.

And you definitely should!

What’s the benefit of using them?

You can increase the reach of each of your stories. And this eventually could lead to a growth in your following as you get discovered.

When you write a tag to your story, people can find it based on this. For example, if you have tagged a location there, people.

Conclusion

There’s a lot you can do with Instagram stories. The number 1 advantage is to be able to post content that doesn’t necessarily fit in your feed but could be valuable to your followers anyway.

In 2019 the popularity of Instagram Stories is so significant that you definitely should be active there.

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