Instagram stories are gaining popularity fast. Stories are glimpses into your everyday life. They do not need to be curated like your feed, although some big brands are becoming a lot more intentional with their stories given their effectiveness. Stories can help you grow your audience faster than your feed as not many people take advantage of some of the features I will be showing you today.
Start building your audience on your Instagram stories today
This is the single most effective way to double or even triple your audience right away. Hashtags have their own stories (search for a hashtag, you will see its story at the top of the feed). You will notice that when you use fairly popular hashtags, your number of viewers on that particular story will be much higher. Using well-chosen hashtags repeatedly on your stories could help you grow your account. If your story comes up often enough in the hashtag story, and you offer great content, people will start noticing you.
Use a geolocation tag
Similarly to hashtags, geolocation tags on Instagram can help you instantly build your viewership because they have a story to view. Go see if anyone is posting in your geolocation.
Tag other accounts
Tagging other accounts (when your story is actually relevant to them) is a great way to potentially gain more viewers. Many accounts will share these stories they are tagged on with their own audience.
Grow your account using your stories
The features above will help you grow your audience right away, but long term growth and engagement require more than that. Let’s examine some of the strategies you can use.
Your followers will look forward to your Instagram stories. They will start getting to know you and want to know more about what you are up to. Moreover, the more consistent you are throughout the day, the more likely your story will appear at the beginning of the line in your followers’ home page.
Take your followers behind the scenes
If you are working on a project, show them what you are up. to. If you are going somewhere that is relevant to your audience, take them along. If you have a promotion or a lead magnet to share, your stories are an excellent way to tell your audience about it too.
Show your face
Showing your face and talking to the camera will help your audience connect with you. Show the people around you and your surroundings. Talk to your followers as you would talk to your friends. Explain what makes you so passionate about what you do.
Relationships are not a one-way street
Interact with your viewers and watch their stories. Comment and engage with them. People who watch your stories regularly are not only more likely to take the next step with you, but they could become fans for life.
Create story highlights
Keep your most popular stories in your story “highlights”. It’s a good way to give a quick idea to people of what your brand is about. Learn how to add stories to your highlights and create custom covers. Create a story highlight to tell your Story (what brought you where you are) and a few to cover your main topics of interest. Check my main Instagram account to have a better idea of how you can do this.
Make it fun
Check out the many sticker options
Have fun playing with all the sticker options to make your story more entertaining and interesting.
Ask questions to your audience
Using the stickers, you can have polls, and tell your audience to ask you a question. You can also ask your followers questions and have them tell you how much they like something (with the little heart on a slider).
Pay attention to when your audience is most active
Although it is true that Stories are not shown strictly in chronological order, people who interact with many stories will see them all in chronological order. You have more chances to be seen if you post at the times when your audience is most active. You can find that out using tools like Tailwind and Later to plan your posts. You can also research it on the Internet. For example, read The Best Times to Post on Instagram in 2020.
How often should I post on my Stories?
It really depends on your audience, you might have to experiment with this. I have heard some say that as long as your stories are lines and not dots on the screen (each part of the story is shown at the top of the screen by a little line, the lines get shorter the more stories you have), you are good to go. Some say you can post as much as possible because it’s easy for your viewers to skip to the next. Pay attention to the number of viewers. If you are losing a lot of them from the beginning to the end, your stories might be too long.
Also, one last point to consider, when I see a story that has too many dots, I tend to skip it. I am pretty sure I am not the only one, so don’t overdo your Stories!
Learn more about using Instagram for your online business in my Instagram Workshop: