When Instagram Stories were first introduced, I was pretty PUMPED, not gonna lie. I knew that they were something I could DEFINITELY get into. Honestly, I was never a fan of Snapchat and was not feeling the thought of having to switch to an all new platform. I did dabble in Snapchat (a.k.a downloaded it) but was never willing to build up an audience on yet another platform or invest time in being on Snapchat.
Enter—-> Insta Stories!
In the beginning, I wasn’t consistent with my storytelling on Stories (haha). I would do pretty legit behind-the-scenes stories that were amazing (if I do say so myself) whenever I traveled or took a trip somehwere. I remember really SHOWING UP on Instagram Stories and posting food photos, beach photos, videos, boomerangs, etc in Hawaii last year and had SO many friends tell me they were living vicariously through my stories when I got back. That feels awesome! That’s exactly the feeling you want when doing Instagram Stories, you want people to have that feeling of investment in you.
But the problem was, my main purpose of using Instagram stories was to document my travels. I even remember telling my friend one day, “I only Insta Story when I travel really—-so be sure to catch those! “
Travel stories are great, but, because I wasn’t traveling full time, I wasn’t posting consistently. My engagement would skyrocket during those intense periods of sharing, and then return to “normal” when my trip was over and the sharing stopped.
Do you see the problem with this?
I was treating Instagram Stories like my Instagram Feed and only posting when I felt I had worthy enough content to post. My stories had to be perfect and super interesting, otherwise I wouldn’t post anything at all. My inconsistent posting was making it difficult for viewers to connect with me consistently and engage with me. How can people connect with you if you’re only showing up sporadically, you know?
I also RARELY posted videos of myself talking to the camera or showed my face on screen. I remember feeling scared to show my face on camera. What if people would judge me!?
I always loved the stories that were a perfect blend of camera talking, photos, boomerangs, and videos. They seemed to seamlessley flow together and give me a sneak peek into that person’s behind the scenes life.
Do you ever wonder how people magically seem to do this?! Are they spending hours on Instagram documenting every second of their day?!
I had so many questions! Like...
How do some people put together Insta Stories that flow together so perfectly, paint such a vivid picture and seem to be so natural on camera?
How do people consistently come up with topics to talk about? I go blank whenever it comes times to film!
What if people judge the fact that I’m talking to a camera?
How do you find the motivation to keep posting when no one’s engaging?!
Have you ever had any of these questions yourself? Keep readin’!
I’ve become obsessed with using Instagram Stories for engagement in the last few months. I took a vow to post to Instagram Stories EVERY SINGLE DAY and show my face consistently, makeup or not! Talk about scary ;)
Here’s what I’ve learned:
This post is going to share my very best tips on how to use Instagram Stories to increase your engagement. Best of all, these tips will also help increase your engagement on your other social media channels and build up your email list! Win-win!
Video more your thing? Grab my video tutorial to learn how to uplevel your instagram bio!
1. INSTA STORY DAILY.
Commit to posting daily. Even if you feel that you have nothing “insta worthy” to talk about or share on Stories, do it anyway. People love behind the scenes peeks into your life! Even share the “boring” aspects of your life. What’s may seem “boring” to you, other people could find fascinating!
2. ASK YOUR AUDIENCE FOR THEIR FEEDBACK
Engage your audience in stories. Every video doesn’t just have to be you talking to the camera. And I want to talk about that for a minute. I think this is an important topic. These days, everyone is telling us that we HAVE to do Instagram Stories that show our face and showcase us talking to the camera. I agree with this and have been focusing on this more in the past few months. Building up that connection with your audience is essential to grow your business with Stories. BUT you don’t have to be one dimensional. Ask your audience questions! Use the built in tools for engagement! Ask people to DM you directly. Feel free to mix it up and do what feels right for you.
3. PROVIDE VALUE
Aim to provide value on your stories daily. Think about your ideal audience, the person that you WANT following you and engaging with you. Speak to them in your videos! Share insight, educate, offer tips, etc The more consistently you offer the value, the more you’ll find people are seeking out your Instagram Stories and watching. Don’t phone it in!
4. GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOURSELF SANS MAKEUP
If you’re doing Insta Stories daily, you will quickly find that sometimes, you are going to show up on camera without makeup, looking less than perfect. That’s okay! Who has time to put on a full face of makeup before every story? Yeah, right. Remember that consistency is what’s important here, not perfection. People will connect with what you’re saying, not how you look. Be vulnerable, that’s ok! People will relate to your authentic self.
5. FOCUS ON YOURSELF FIRST
It is SO easy to fall into the comparison trap that is Instagram. If you find yourself comparing yourself to famous bloggers, or watching stories all the time and then feeling too discouraged to even try to do your own, focus on yourself first. Get your own Instagram Stories done FIRST so that you can start connecting with YOUR audience. Do this until you’re feeling comfortable and confident with your ability to share consistently in Stories without comparing. YOUR life is interesting! Let people see that.
You can use hashtags in your Instagram Stories (and I reccommend that you DO!) These will help your Stories reach a wider audience.
7. SEND PEOPLE TO THE LINK IN YOUR PROFILE
You want to use your Instagram Stories to connect with your audience AND encourage them to follow you elsewhere. This is a great opportunity to send them to your freebie, your blog post or new Youtube video. There are multiple creative ways to send people elsewhere with Stories, but one that everyone is capable of, is directing them to the link in your profile.
9. THINK ABOUT THE WHOLE PICTURE OR “STORY”
Think about how to create a cohesive story. One-off stories are great and can be useful at times, but you want to think about your Stories in a cohesive way. How can you paint a full picture of your day, how can you share a funny story with your audience. Pretend you’re talking to your ideal follower (single person) or a close friend. Pretending you’re talking to an actual person helps make the process a little more natural (and I think it helps ideas flow more easily too!) What exactly would you say to your friend if she was sitting next to you or shopping with you?
10. PLAN AHEAD FOR STORIES AND WRITE DOWN IDEAS CONSTANTLY
Do you ever go to hit record or post a story and draw a total blank about what to say? This happens to me ALL the time, I think of amazing story ideas, craft them in my head, and then promptly forget what I was going to talk about once I’m actually on Instagram. Keep a running list of ideas on your phone to help combat this! When you find inspiring stories, write a note in your app. Take note of the kinds of stories you enjoy watching and use your notes as inspiration when it’s time for you to post!
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