Instagram Stories: Your Best Tool for Better Engagement

Instagram Stories: Your Best Tool for Better Engagement

I think it is safe to say that we are all in the process of learning a new normal. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has arrived, many are dealing with disruptions to their daily routines and are struggling to reorganize their responsibilities. If social media management is one of your responsibilities, you may be wondering how to create content for your business or organization when your pre-planned events and face-to-face engagement are indefinitely postponed. 

Enter the Instagram story! This tool, introduced by the social media platform roughly four years ago, makes real-time engagement possible (from the comfort of your very own home). By 2018, over 400 million people were using and engaging in Instagram stories every day, and with new innovations to the platform made specifically for businesses, you could be using stories to create a new dimension to your online presence. Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Tell a story with pictures (and videos)
Instagram stories are sequential, making it easy to create a captivating narrative for your followers to flip through. Tell the history of how or why your organization was created, give an employee profile or offer fun facts about your business or products.

2. Use stickers for quick engagement
Instagram offers interactive stickers for their stories such as polls, questions and more. This allows you to get almost immediate feedback from your followers on your topic of choice. A list of responses is kept for 24 hours to give you a change to follow-up with individual followers on their replies to further engage with your audience. 

3. Take your followers “behind-the-scenes”
This is a great opportunity to make your business more personal and to remind your followers that you are just like them. Even though you may not be in the office, you can post videos of your “work from home” setup and show your audience how your business is operating in this difficult time. Another great idea would be to have an employee take over and have your followers see what a quarantine-day-in-the-life looks like!

4. Turn it into a competition
Turn your stories into a game and create a contest for your followers. A great way to generate engagement AND increase your following is to ask followers to screenshot your story and repost it to their personal accounts for a chance to enter a giveaway. Ask that they tag you so you can keep track of the entries (but really so that other people who aren’t currently following you can be easily directed to your page).

5. Create a highlight reel
Recently, Instagram has added another adaptation to the stories feature that allows you to save your stories onto your profile. This adds interest to your page and allows your followers (and prospective followers) to learn more about you than they would by simply looking at your regular posts. 

6. Bonus tip: Make sure that your profile is a “business” profile! 
This will give you insights to an abundance of analytics information based off of your stories and posts. You can see how many people are viewing your posts, how many people are watching your stories and how many profile visits your stories generate. If you are unsure where you are getting the most engagement or what kind of content sticks out to your followers the most, this is a great way to find out!

Stories are a great way to put out more content without cluttering your main feed. Use these tips to your advantage and get posting! 

Written By: Carlyle Griffin

4/16/2020

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