Instagram has just been breaking out feature after feature to the platform and if you haven’t mastered Instagram Stories yet, I’m going to talk about how the feature can benefit you. Since the famous algorithm change in 2016, influencers have felt the impact of all sizes. However, whether you’re a large blogger or micro influencer, you can maximize the usage of Instagram Stories to not only boost your engagement, but have a lot of fun while doing it. I mean, have you tried Zoom yet? Hilarious.
So let’s start with the basics. Instagram Stories allows you to share the moments of your day and photos and videos taken within the past 24 hour period. Once you have completed multiple stories on your IG (Instagram), they will blend together like a slide show. Your story can be a photo or a video and can contain fun add on’s like stickers or filters. For more IG Story basics you can review on Instagram’s blog, here. You can also send me a DM on my Instagram Page and I would be happy to help you. I sincerely mean that.
I started to use stories here and there, whenever I felt I had something interesting to share, a rant to vent about or just something pretty along the aesthetic of my feed. But how could I use this feature more strategically? I decided to do a test of uploading 3-6 stories DAILY for an entire week. The results were tremendous.
Using my Instagram Insights, I was able to break down the math. After completing my week-long of Instagram Stories here are my results of my first test. My impressions increased by +50%, hitting a new record of 10,000 impressions per a day 3 separate days this week. My reach increased by +50% as well, my profile views increased by 60% shooting me into the thousands. My stories were making people stop and check out my IG profile in a big way. Website clicks and emails also skyrocketed and getting emails from new followers stating they love your content or can relate to what you were talking about in your story, now what is better than that?!
Here are my top ways to use Instagram Stories to boost your engagement.
1.Link Your Content
Clickable story links are available to business profiles with 10,000 or more followers. If this is you, your ability to drive increased traffic to your website (or to your affiliate program) has just greatly increased. Those who are interested in your story, will SWIPE UP to get to your link and once they are on your site you have the opportunity to convert them into a subscriber, reader or a purchase. Linking in stories is the ultimate feature to extend your relationship past just your Instagram feed and get your followers to take action with just one swipe.
2. Provide Real and Relative Content
A mix of real, unedited content as well as similar consistent content similar to your feed is what will keep the attention of your followers. Your followers already see your perfectly polished and curated feed permanently. Show them the real you, the ‘BTS’ if you will. Think of stories as a well to introduce the man or the woman behind the scenes of your Instagram page.
The human face is still the most desired object to look at, so be sure to get your face in front of the cam even if just for a minute. The more you, the more your followers will identify and connect. Keep it real. My highest engagement and reach days are those I am sharing witty personal opinions or a peek into my day.
3. Use Instagram Polls
Instagram Polls is perhaps my favorite new feature as it creates fun for your followers. I find myself participating in every single poll that I see on Instagram Stories through people I follow. The feature allows you to get real information and feedback within an instant.
Make it fun but also utilize the feature to ask your followers or readers directly what they want from you and more importantly, what they don’t want from you. You can also see who is responding and who is just looking. Those loyal followers who are true time and time again, comment and participate in polls and stories are the ones you want to create content for. Listen to them through utilizing Instagram Polls.
4.Keep Your Aesthetic Consistent
Perhaps you are delivering more ‘realness’ on IG stories however that doesn’t mean that you should stray too far away from your niche or your brand’s aesthetic. For example, I use the same color story I use on my blog within my stories when I am highlighting or including text. This helps the reader or follower know what to expect when they see your story and keeps it tied together.
5.Use Location Tags and Hash Tags
Instagram stories puts you in front of people in a new audience in addition to your current audience. How do you do this? Through strategic geo tags and hashtags within your stories. This is especially important if you are a local business looking to acquire new clients. Adding in your geo location is a must. On every story. You can change the size and color of the tags so that they are more discrete however if you don’t place the geo tag on your story? It won’t be in that city’s story decreasing your opportunity to be in front of new followers.
Instagramers are looking for content within Instagram even sometimes like a search engine. Buying patterns have changed. I now go to a brand’s Instagram before I go to their site. I want to see how the products are styled from a lifestyle standpoint and how I can be inspired through their content. Hash tagging your story for what you believe is relevant and will be ‘searched for’ on IG is another step you can take to ensure your stories are being seen.
6.Keep The Story The Appropriate Length For Your Audience
After a 1-2 hours of posting your story, take a look at the view counts. Did it start off strong at 600 viewers and then drop down to 300 viewers? If so you are losing your audience. Sometimes it’s the content. Don’t bore your audience. Or sometimes your story is just simply too long. Test your story lengths to find out what is the best length for your followers. Don’t let views drop off in the middle of your story. Either cut it shorter to leave them wanting more or switch up your content. Not sure where to start? Do a poll! They will tell you.
7.Recognize and Share Other Accounts
This is my final tip but so incredibly important. Instagram is about COMMUNITY. Helping, sharing and connecting with one another. Too many times I find that other influencers or bloggers are tight-lipped on their strategies or how they got a sponsorship. While I can understand not giving the farm away, helping your neighbor goes along way. I share specific metrics here about my insights to help others compare. Many will have a larger reach than I do and that’s okay! When you’re only in competition with yourself, it allows you to be a leader in your niche and help others. Shouting out fellow Igers is apart of what makes this little world of Instagram go round. The discovery of new and awesome accounts shared by YOU will go along way with both your followers and your peers.
Do you have tips to share with other influencers? I encourage you to leave them in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post please use the sharing buttons below to share with your network.
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