Instagram … all the cool kids are signing up to it and it is fast becoming the social platform of choice because, well, it’s just not so noisy.
And it’s fun. It’s pretty. It’s engaging. It’s informative. And people are flocking to it – especially for the Insta Stories. With more than 300 million people watching Instagram Stories every day, can you afford not to be on there?
But how exactly do you get engagement and new clients from your stories?
Let me give some tactics that work wonders to increase your engagement and views by 25-50 per cent.
- Tell stories
One ofthe best things you can do as the app suggests is to just tell a story. You get a mini video option to share up to 15 seconds of your life. When you do these remember the 15 second limit and share mini bites (like 6 or so) to make up a whole story.
- Be creative
Use the gifs in the app and add some entertainment and movement to your images or videos.
Spend some time looking through the trending gifs and using them (albeit, sparingly) to add an element of surprise to your Instagram Stories.
Think about where you are using your gifs though and don’t just put them anywhere where they don’t make sense. For example, if you are trying to get people excited, find a gif of someone yelling out “yeah” or use a gif of someone dancing. Match the gifs to the words you are using.
- Use polls
You can do this for business and also your personal facts about yourself and your life. People love answering questions and polls.
For example, for business you could ask, “Do you use <add your area of expertise here> in your business?”. For us, it would be “Do you use social media marketing in your business?”. You would actually be surprised how many businesses aren’t online yet.
This tells you something about your target market and opens up lead opportunities because you can see who has said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in your insights for each story submission.
For personal, it would be something like … “I love having a morning coffee on the deck … do you drink coffee?”. This actually tells you more about your ideal clients, for example, you would know not to ask them out for a coffee!
- Use the face sticker (camera button) in drop-down menu
This allows you to add some creative flair to your stories so they stand out. You can’t pop a filter on them, but you can do a “thinking face” or a “surprised look” so it correlates to one of the messages you have shared. This is genius!
- Use the face filters too
There are filters with dog and cat faces, bunny ears for Easter, makeup, sunglasses and so many others that are changing all the time.
You can add a face filter to make your story more fun and interactive. It just adds a new dimension. People aren’t using these wisely and strategically … so match a face filter to your messaging and what you want to portray.
For example, if you are running a workshop, you might use the words “learn to use (and love)the latest in… (whatever your subject is)” and you could use the “love” face filter as you are talking and using the words “love”.
- The “type” function
You don’t have to take a picture or use a video of yourself, you can use the type function to write your followers a note. In this section, there are 4 different fonts and several different colours or colour gradients to use.
- Try a different font
There are several different fonts to try on your Instagram stories that will liven up a dull picture or make it stand out more when people are watching the stories in general.
- Add coloured background to your text
Put a coloured back on your text in any colour you like to make it stand out. Again, use this sparingly and with thoughtful consideration to what it looks like on the page. Instagram Stories gives you the creative licence of a graphic designer!
- Use the other stickers
Try the other stickers in the drop-down menu such as the location, time, day, sound on and so on.
Tap on some of them and they change colours and transparency. Just another way to have a stand-out story and get more viewers and more engagement.
- Swipe up option
If you have a verified account (only Instagram can issue this) or you have more than 10k followers you can use the “swipe up” option where you can add a link to your website, free download, book, product or service.
- Add a mention of a big brand
This will help you get more exposure and it could open the doors to new opportunities for you in the way of collaborations and partnerships. So, have a think about who you can mention in your stories. Write down some names!
- Use your hashtags too
Just because it’s a story doesn’t mean you can’t also use hashtags. These are a proven way to get your profile out there more. There’s a sticker for that too!
- Add a location for more views
If you’d like to be seen by more people add the location and place where you are currently. This could just be the suburb or it could be the actual name of the place you are having a coffee/lunch/shopping/etc! Your views will be more on this particular story if you add a location.
- Pin text to your story videos at a specific time
All you have to do is take a little video. Add text to it. Hold your finger on the text itself until an adjustment tool comes up at the bottom of your screen and then you can adjust when the text comes up in the video.
- Do a live video
Just like Facebook, you can go live on Instagram. Make sure you have something valid to say and share value with your audience. They are taking time out of their day to hang out with you, so make it worth their while.
- Try a Boomerang
Boomerangs are so much fun. They add an element of entertainment to your stories and all the cool kids are doing them. Try one and see how you go. Remember you only have a few seconds to capture the boomerang. Just keep practicing until you get the hang of it.
- Go handsfree
You don’t have to hold your finger on the record button any longer … simply go hands free instead!
- Get your super zoom on
Try a dramatic effect by using the superzoom option. It’s a new camera format that zooms right in on your story! This will work especially well if you want to showcase a product offering like a book.
- Rewind and stop motion
These are other camera options that just make being on Instagram all the more fun for your story watchers.
Rewind is as the name suggests and can be used to tell a story in itself … “Oops, wish I had a rewind button” or just as an element of creativity in your personal stories, take for example someone jumping into a pool in rewind!
Stop motion lets you take a series of images that get stitched together to use as a gif format … so you can technically create your own gif!
- Add layers
Take a picture of your story with your image and your text and then upload it as your next story. Then you can add another layer of text to it in a different colour or with a different background. This looks so effective for viewers.
- Drawing tools
You can use your own handwriting with the draw tools. Make it fat or thin, neon or plane, transparent, coloured or use the chalk effect. You can also rub out if you make a mistake. Use a combination of your handwriting to make it authentic and the text tool as well.
You can also draw shapes like circles and colour blocks to put text inside.
- Use the colour eye dropper
Make sure your stories are on brand by using the eye-dropper tool to select your very own branding colours.
- Upload templated images you have saved in your phone
These allow you to create stories that are more in line with your branding. Have a graphic designer make these up for you with an Instagram Story dimensions and then save them to your phone so you an upload quickly and easily.
- Use apps to help you look even more like a pro
There are plenty of apps out there to help make your Instagram stories look even more professional, try Hype Type, InShot and Unfold.
- Have fun and use the emojis
Instagram is the fun social media app. Try it out and have some fun with it. Your stories will be different to others and you will stand out from the pack.
Use the emojis and make them big and small to have an impact. Also match the emojis to your words and put them in various different spots on your story so it becomes more of a work of art.
Not only that but because you are unlike anyone else, people will remember you and want to know more from you. Your views will go up and so will your engagement.
Follow this simply Instagram Stories formula
- Let people know what you are getting up to in your day
- Add a poll asking them a question
- Share your product or service being creative using gifs, colour and shading
- Share something personal about yourself – image and fast fact
- Do a boomerang (makes it funny and entertaining)
- Add your location (to get more viewers)
- Mention a big brand (get more views)
- Do another video telling people what you are up to in the evening
- Use the emojis and other Insta app icons to add some flair to your stories so they are not like everyone else’s.
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- Work with our team privately
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