Instagram stories is kind of my jam. I love being able to connect with my followers because I get to take them behind the scenes of the Market Beautifully podcast or when I’m writing blog posts like this one. Instagram story babes are the first to know the new projects I’m working on, they get a LOT of input in the direction I’m going with Market Beautifully and they have direct access to me.
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With Instagram stories, if you create an environment where your insta story peeps are engaging with you, your posts are going to be seen more in their feed and they are more likely to like + comment on your post which means that post is going to be seen by even more people because the Instagram algorithm now thinks you are even cooler. It all comes full circle and it’s basically the best. So don’t underestimate the power of Instagram stories!
These 8 Instagram story secrets that increase engagement are based on my research from my business Instagram account @marketbeautifully and I wanted to share a few strategies that have increased my engagement over the last 3 months.
1 | Add text to your videos
Of course, you do not have to add a text block to every single video. The videos where you are talking to the camera though, I highly encourage you to add a text block with a color background. I have found that if you do not have a text block more people will swipe past your video and not even watch it. If you include a text block with a question, funny statement, or a teaser than you will get at least a 15% higher engagement rate and more people watching will reply to your story.
You would think that if you added text they would pass the video because they already know what it is about, but I have found that this isn’t true! I thought this was an interesting piece of information that may help you on your business Instagram account!
2 | Ask Questions and then Follow Up
This is simple, I know. But encourage your viewers to reply to your stories. Asking questions and then having them reply gets them in the habit of connecting with you and it breaks the barrier. It’s pretty cool. And also, you are making them feel really important by letting them in on some decisions.
For example, around the time this blog post goes live I will be wrapping up some new branding for Market Beautifully and I had my babes on Instagram stories help me choose the colors. This gets my audience involved in my brand, shows that I genuinely care about their opinion (because I definitely do!), and encourages them to reach out to me.
3 | Break it up, ok?
Spice it up with a boomerang or a picture. Or even better… add in images from where other people have tagged your account in other stories. Here’s an image that I added to my Instagram stories from Katrina Porter Designs, an interior design company, where Katrina sent me a selfie of her staff working through my program Asana for the Entrepreneur.
4 | Let’s Talk Business
You have an Instagram business account, right? So the balance between personal and business can be a fine line. You want them to know you are not a robot and you actually have a life but at the same time they don’t really care about your dog the way you do.
I would say if you are posting 5 Instagram stories a day, one of them can be personal. Of course, you do you. I’m not wanting to put a limitation on you but if you feel as if you need a guideline that is what I would recommend!
5 | Video on Video on Video isn’t always good
They say – do more video and I say – do video efficiently + effectively. Don’t post more than 2-3 videos in a row about the same thing. Most of the videos that I see doing this, half the video is of them saying “Ummm” or trying to think of what they were going to say next. Press the “x” button and redo the video until you can get your message out in at least 2-3 videos or shorter.
If you have 8 videos in a row.. Not a lot of people are going to watch the whole way through and take the time to do that. Be short + sweet.
6 | Create habit-forming stories
Listen, you’re cool. People want to say hi. So encourage them to say hi, create the habit of replying to your stories. That’s where the magic happens.
The goal of Instagram stories, in my opinion, is to get people addicted to watching your stories. You want to put out habit forming stories that people actually think about when they aren’t on the app. So get them engaged. Connect with them in the DM because that truly is where you will build relationships. Even if you only reply back once and just find something in common, do it. That will keep them coming back and you will grow your fan base a lot quicker that way.
7 | Have a call to action
For every story you put out, there has to be SOME point. If you don’t, then don’t post it. Make sure that there is some type of goal that you have for every video, every image, and every boomerang. Sometimes the call to action is just to connect with them and find another “fur mom.”
8 | Tease ’em a bit..
You got to tease them when you are putting up a new Instagram post so they now interact with your post and not just your Instagram stories (pssst.. this helps with the Instagram algorithm)
Send them on over to your latest Instagram post so you can connect with them in both places.