Did you know that over 500 million people watch Instagram Stories every day?
Now that sounds like a marketing opportunity you wouldn't want to miss!
Instagram Stories were first introduced in 2016, as short content formats, separate from the IG feed, and in order to tingle the FOMO, available only for 24 hours. Sounds a lot like Snapchat, doesn't it? (awkward silence)
Picture 1. Are your followers engaging with your IG Stories?
Well, whether you like it or not, Instagram Stories have become super popular over the years – in fact, some marketers argue that this channel might become even more important than the Feed. And no wonder – they're short, can provide a lot of info in a couple of seconds, can be made visually appealing and super fun – sounds like a perfect recipe for that instant gratification we all want and need.
So, is your business making any use of it? If not – the time to start is now!
9 Tips to Increase the Engagement
It’s all about the engagement! If your audience isn’t interacting with your content, that’s the first signal that you might want to reconsider your visuals and messages. Still, sometimes these numbers are quite low though you’ve applied all textbook rules to the Stories you post. Here's what you can do.
1. Optimize Your Stories for Reach
The more people see your posts, the bigger the opportunity that you’ll gather more engagement, right? Definitely! So the first thing you need to make sure while posting is that you’ve done everything you could to reach the biggest number of people that you can. There are two things you can do – use hashtags and tag a location.
Remember hashtags from IG feed? Well, they actually function in the same way in Stories. They are used to make your post more accessible to people who aren’t following you, but instead search for content through a hashtag. IG Stories give you the opportunity to use them in 2 ways – either through hashtag sticker (which you can use only once in 1 Story) or by adding text (and in this way you can use more hashtags). In any case we wouldn’t recommend using more than 2 hashtags per Story, and if you really don’t like how they look on your Story, you can hide them under a sticker.
Picture 2. Use location and hashtag stickers to improve the performance
Adding location to your Stories improves their performance. The reason is quite simple – in this way, your Story becomes visible to people searching for a certain location who may not be your followers. Greater number of people who see your post – greater chances to gather some feedback and engagement.
2. Use Stickers to Ask Questions and Run Polls
Fun, easy and sooo inviting – this is what IG Story Stickers are like. And they're a must if you're creating a strategy for increasing egagement!
Under IG stickers you have 5 options that you should check out:
Picture 3. MOI Hamburg creates fun quizzes to encourage engagement
So if you’d like to find out more about your followers, test a new concept out, answer some questions or just have fun with your audience – these have to become an integral plan of your content calendar. All of them give you an opportunity to check who actually engaged with your profile, how many people answered and what their answers were – doesn’t it sound like an amazing opportunity to gather super useful information you can use for your future marketing efforts? That’s because it is.
3. Check your Insights Regularly
There isn’t a universal recipe for success – there are only guidelines that you have to tweak based on the feedback that you get. And you can find out that and much more in your Insights. So make sure to check them at least once or twice a week, to see how your audience is changing, which content performs the best and what you should be careful about in the future. These details matter, because the best post in the world can go unnoticed only if posted at the wrong time. Unbelievable, but true.
Picture 4. Taking a look at your IG Insights will give you a lot if useful info about your followers
4. Use Swipe Up
If your IG account has gathered 10k followers, you’ve unlocked this feature and you can insert a link to your website or tickets through IG Stories. If not – then this is a great goal to strive for. Instagram posts don’t allow links, so the only way to lead your followers to your shop or website is through a link in the Bio or through Swipe up.
5. Add Some Fun
Getting your content calendar done is serious business… but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun!
More and more brands tend to insert humorous elements, elements of pop culture, GIFs, and AR filters in their Stories – don’t be afraid to test that on your audience. Posting something quirky can have an amazing effect on your engagement rates.
Picture 5. Don't be afraid to have some fun
6. Repost UGC
Did you know that UGC is considered to be 50% more trustworthy than other types of media? User-generated content is actually word-of-mouth on social media – and that can have a much bigger impact than any of your designs. You can simply repost the content your audience tags you in, or you can make combine the posts and publish them in different themes – there are many applications that can be used to create content like this (Canva, Wave Video, different mobile apps)
7. Tag Other Profiles
If there is someone related to your industry that you’d like to give a shout-out – use the Mention sticker and tag them in your Stories! They will get a notification and they’ll be able to share your Story with their audience, which opens a whole new pool of possible followers for you.
This is a must if you’ll be cooperating with another brand on Instagram or if you’ve arranged for a partnership on a certain occasion.
8. Promote Stories on Your Feed
If you’re planning on posting a special themed collection of Stories, or a pack of Stories related to a certain topic, you can always make a static post about it on your Feed and invite your followers to check out your Stories in the caption. This is also great if you’re planning to organize a giveaway in the Stories and to build tension (don’t forget about the Countdown Sticker for that, too)
9. Do Takeovers
Your brand observed from the eyes of the industry influencer? Or your employee? Or one of your customers? This sounds interesting, right?
You can collaborate with a person, or another brand, and let them run your Stories for a day. Apart from getting interesting content, this will shed another light on your brand image and build a new audience.
Success doesn’t come overnight – this sentence can be applied to almost everything you do (unless it’s winning the lottery that we’re talking about). The good news is that with a focused strategy, good content, and some of these magic tricks mentioned above, you’re on a sure path to boosting your numbers.