The most common thing I am asked about by small businesses is how to get the most out of Instagram Stories. It’s an important part of your strategy if you’re an Instagram user so it’s super important to get it right. Here are my top 5 tips to help you become an Instagram Stories pro!
1. Consistency is key
As with most other social media platforms, consistency is important when it comes to your use of Instagram Stories. There is no point putting out one story a week on a random day, or doing one Story one day then three days later a bunch of 10, then one a week after that. You will confuse your audience and they won’t know what on earth to expect from you.
Try to be predictable – if you can commit to once or twice a day then do that. If you can commit to twice a day three times a week then fine. But just stick to your plan.
2. Use the stickers!
Instagram Stories is meant to be spontaneous and fun and there are tons of cool things you can include in your Stories. When you click onto the Stories button, you’ll be presented with lots of options from Poll to Question to GIF and the newest feature DM Me. Instagram love it when you use these features – and because they are so interactive, using them makes it easy and fun for your audience to engage with you.
So rather than typing ‘What do you think of these flowers?’ and hoping they will DM you directly, use a poll to find out the audience’s favourite colour flower or if they love or hate them. Or you could include a question box so that people can type their answer directly.
Using GIFs is a great way to illustrate your content too and there’s a handy search tool at the top so that you can type what you’re looking for and VOILA!
3. Hashtags Count
Hashtags on Instagram are vital and are becoming increasingly important on Instagram Stories. It has now been found that hiding them isn’t the way to go. You can use up to 10 in written form using the type tool and one as a hashtag sticker (so 11 in total).
Make the hashtags you use in Stories more general than you would on a grid post, so try #cakelover (1.9m) rather than #cakeinstagram (163k) for example. As less people are using tags on Instagram Stories, this just means you’ll get a much larger reach.
By all means shrink down the size of the text so that it doesn’t clutter the page but still ensure they are visible and clickable.
4. Useful Templates
Depending on the type of content you are sharing, you may want to make some Instagram Stories templates that you can easily edit and download. Canva has some fantastic templates that you can make your own that you can drop images into and edit the text. You can also add logos.
For some clients I use templates to display images sent to us from customers, and to portray products. It’s a really quick and easy way to create content for Stories.
5. Location tags
It’s really important to use location tags on every story you post. You’ll find this in the stickers. Use a city or town tag – so if you’re in Sherwood, Nottingham, go a little wider and use Nottingham, or even East Midlands. If your story reaches enough people or is engaged with well, you could find yourself in the collective story for the location you tag, and therefore reach even more potential customers.
Remember to make it fun! Stories are designed for in the moment content so try to be a little spontaneous if you can. But as the great Sheryl Sandberg said “Done is better than perfect.” So have a go. You’ll get better as you practise.
If you’d like to chat more about how I can help you perfect your Stories, or your Instagram content in general, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org