Biz Tips: Your Instagram Stories Probably Suck

Biz Tips: Your Instagram Stories Probably Suck

GROWTH:

Your Instagram Stories Probably Suck

and that’s fine if you don’t care about growing your profile.

Might be a little late here, but I believe I can provide some value on top of the existing best practices regarding Instagram Stories. I have been posting to Stories almost every single day for the past 6 months and I’ve been told that my stories are quite entertaining. Too bad… I’ve come to believe they are so now I feel entitled to call out some bad stories out there 👎

I want to be clear about what I said in the beginning: Anyone is free to post whatever they want 🌈 Some people’s job is managing social media, some just want to have fun and some have fun due to running their social media like a job. With that said, here are my 5 tips and tricks to ace this platform:

1. Use all Stories features

People debate all the time about social media algorithms. One thing is for sure, Instagram wants you using their features as much as possible because they want to keep you in the platform as much as possible.

It’s very obvious why some of these features drastically improve either number of viewers or engagement. Users can search Stories by 📌Location, #️⃣Hashtags, therefore it’s easier for others to find you. 👩Mentions trigger a notification to that user’s DMs. On the other hand, 📊Polls and 💌Questions make it more likely that your fans interact with your content because they don’t have to leave the Stories section to do so.

Something tells me the more features you add to your story, the richer the story is by Instagram standards, thus being better ranked in the algorithm (this one might be a long shot).

As I was speaking to the camera, I chose to add different features each time to highlight what I was explaining.

2. Think about “the story”

Well, it is called Instagram Stories isn’t it? I like to think about Stories as movie scenes. The first scene probably doesn’t tell you much alone, but neither does the last scene without all the scenes that came before it. To create “the story” you need at least 3 posts, although I would actually recommend about 4/5.

Another important component of “the story” is its context. Adding 📌Location and ⏲️Time really helps with setting up your story. It’s also important to label it with some words as to give the audience an indication on what you’re talking about and a chance to turn on their device’s sound.

This part of “the story” was about procrastination, so first I explained what I was procrastinating about, then I showed what I did so far and in the end there’s me… procrastinating.

3. Pay attention to Insights

Stories analytics is only available to Instagram Business Profiles. It’s quite easy to set up yours, but I only advise doing so if you want to take Insta seriously. Converting your profile to Business will impact your visibility on the platform due to Instagram wanting to push content of genuine people instead of businesses. Even if you don’t have a Business Profile, you can still see whoever checks your stories. That’s damn powerful!!! What other platform lets you do that?

Let’s say you do have a Business Profile, then consult your Insights once in a while. By analysing these numbers I understood that stories in which I speak directly to the camera generally generate more DMs. Another example I noticed is stories with 📌Location and #️⃣Hashtags have a significantly higher number of viewers.

Some of the available statistics for Instagram Stories (e.g. Replies, Exited). A lot to take into consideration besides the number of accounts who saw your story.

4. Be dynamic

No one wants to see 7 stories straight of you blabbing or 7 landscape photos (unless they’re reeeeally good). Some of the ways to add dynamism to your story is changing background between shots, getting closer or further away from the camera, switching it up with Photos, Videos and Boomerangs, featuring new people, adding GIFs or Stickers.

PRO TIP: If you’re speaking to the camera, try executing movements with your arm while holding the camera (musical.ly style 😎).

Recording with 3 camera perspectives to make the story more entertaining and keep viewers attention.

5. Keep it Simple

People only have about 10 seconds to see a story. Don’t overload them with too much information. Don’t put 📌Location, ⏲️Time, 🌡️Temperature, GIFs and a phrase all in the same story. Try to focus on 2 or 3 specific features at a time. I hate it when I have to click left to see a story twice because I didn’t get everything the first time. I bet you don’t do that for everyone either!

PRO TIP: It flows very naturally if you add a Photo and then in the next story repeat the same photo now with a label. This lets people take in the visuals first and then the text.

You get my point.

Is Instagram Stories a crucial part of your online strategy?
Any advice to share of your own?

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Your Instagram Stories Probably Suck 🙄 was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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