5 Ways To Increase Engagement Using Instagram Stories

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We all know engagement is the name of the game when it comes to Instagram. It takes more than just uploading photos onto your feed. In 2018 Instagram has evolved tremendously. With the constant changes to the algorithm Instagram Stories is the perfect way to connect with your audience and increase your chances of your content being seen. Using stories adds more dimension to your content by showing different aspects of your life. What I love about Instagram stories is that you can let your hair down and have fun! You can be creative as you want the sky is the limit! It also increases brand awareness, communication and can drive traffic to your website. Overall stories are the way to go, when you want to engage your followers. Here are 5 tips you can use Instagram stories to increase engagement. 

1.     Using the Instagram Polls

Last October Instagram came out with a cool feature that allows you to add interactive polls to your story and it is still popular. This feature is a  great way for you to get to know your audience and to keep them engaged with your content.  When you utilize the poll feature you are able to see how your  audience voted on a certain topic. I love that with polls you can be as creative as you want with what you ask, and people really do care to answer! You can also use polls to do research. You can ask your audience what they are interested in or what they think of a certain product. This can save your brand time and energy by knowing and providing what your followers want to see. If you utilize this feature for your brand it can save you time and energy.

How to use: To use the poll feature start your Instagram Story and tap on the smile icon on the top right corner of your screen. Then hit the poll option to type in your question and customize the type of answers. You can do a simple yes or no or something that is more fitting for you. Have fun with it! 

2.     Share your Feed Posts to Instagram Stories

What am I talking about? This is a new feature that just rolled out last month where you can now  easily share your posts that is in your Instagram feed and cross promote it to your stories. Due to the Instagram algorithmwhen you post a photo to your feed only a small amount of followers will see that post. By using Instagram stories to share your posts you are easily increasing visibility which can drive more engagement, and by driving engagement you are allowing the algorithm to work in your favor. What is great about this as well is that you can share other users’ posts to your Instagram stories too. So if you are collaborating or just want to bring attention to a fellow user then this is the way to go! 

How to use: Open the post that you would like to re-share as a story and tap on the icon that looks like a plane at the bottom. Tap “add the post to your story.” It adds the post to your Instagram story and you can edit it how you would any other story. Enjoy! 

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3.     Hashtags

You can now add hashtags to your Instagram stories. Hashtags are key when it comes to creating an effective Instagram strategy because it is one of the most common ways users search for new content. Using hashtags is one of the best ways to increase brand visibility and engagement. Just like posts when you add hashtags to your stories, your story becomes searchable. Therefore you are increasing the reach of your content and attracting new and potential followers.  If somebody searches for a certain hashtag you are using you will not only see the posts in that hashtag feed but also the stories within the last 24 hours. The more people that engage with your stories the more likely it will be featured on the hashtag story. Remember to use only 1-2 hashtags per story post so that you do not over clutter your story .

How to use: Start your Instagram Story. Tap the smile icon at the top right corner of your screen. Choose the hashtag sticker. You can then type in the hashtag you would like to use. You can also add your hashtag as a text instead of a sticker. To do that just tap the text icon and type your desired hashtag. 

4.     Tag Your Location

Another great way is to tag your location in your story. This is a fun way to connect locally with people especially if you are travelling or exploring new areas in your community. Adding your location to your Instagram Stories will help you show up in more searchers and again expand the reach of your content. This increases engagement because it is a conversation starter with your followers who are interested in your destination. Just like hashtags tagging your location increases visibility and can bring in new potential followers. 

How to use: Start your Instagram Story. Tap the smile icon on the top right corner of your screen. Select  the Location sticker. If you have allowed Instagram to see your location it will generate where you are at automatically. This will make it super easy for you to share you location! 

5.     Just Show Up!  

For some of us it is easy to show up in our feed but not in our stories. It can be scary to share more personal aspects of our everyday life. I was definitely one of them. What I have learned from being more intentional with my Instagram stories is that people were more engaged with me when I shared authentic moments in my life. Things that were happening in real time. This showcased who I was beyond my business and I appeared more human (Because I am!). People were able to see me behind my pretty feed. Starting out can be hard and awkward but I want to encourage you to just show up and give it a try. The right people will want to connect with you. So step out of your comfort zone and post a story! People want to see you and all of your goodness! 

How to use: Sorry there’s no instructions, just show up and do you boo. ;-)