2017 has seen the rise of Instagram Stories. It is now rare to come across an influencer that’s not taking advantage of this feature. Yet this means that in order to be successful you need to stand out from an ever-growing crowd. To help you do just that, we’ve outlined ten tips that you can use to make your Instagram Stories a success.
1) Structure Carefully
Creating Stories that are easy for your followers to keep up with is essential. A great way to do this is to be structured in your approach. Instagram Stories are more than just a post, they are little insights into your day. A great way to use Instagram Stories to grow your followers is to post a short video or series of images that highlight what you get up to and what a day in your life looks like.
2) Provide a Narrative
Your Story should be easy to follow. The easiest way to do this is to post at regular intervals. Try to give your Stories both an introduction and a conclusion – and in between, try to build some suspense. This not only makes for more interesting viewing, it also provides your followers with an incentive to keep checking their phones for your updates.
3) Use Geo-Tags
Geo-tags are great. They make it easy for Instagram users in your area to discover your profile. Try to avoid using the most ‘popular’ geo-tags. Instead, look for those that may be slightly more niche. This has two main benefits. On the one hand, you have a greater chance of appearing in less fiercely contested Instagram Stories – and you will be able to stay in this Story for longer. The smaller the competition, the more probable that your Story will be shown.
On the other hand, smaller geo-tags often still appear in the biggest Stories. Say, for example, you post a Story marked with a ‘Shoreditch’ geo-tag. It may end up not only in the ‘Shoreditch’ Story, but the ‘London’ Story, too.
4) Personality and Authenticity
Stories are a fantastic way for your followers to really get to know you. This doesn’t mean that you should try and paint a picture of someone you’re not. Many of your followers will have grown with you and will quickly spot any inauthenticity. It is far more effective to stay true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your face in your Stories and to speak directly into the camera. Your followers want to see your human side. This makes you seem more real, approachable and likeable.
Someone once said that “variety is the spice of life”. Try to remember this when you’re next about to post a Story. Posting the same content time and again will cause your audience to become disengaged. Try to mix it up by varying the content, such as alternating between videos, photos, vlog-style shots or shots from when you’re out and about.
6) Analyse your Stats
Analyse, analyse, analyse. Instagram provides you with lots of different numbers. You can easily find out how many times your Stories were replayed, and which of your geo-tags proved the most popular. Use your statistics to discover which types of content performed best and which received less engagement. If you do this, you will soon discover what works and what doesn’t.
This is a very simple rule: your Story should neither be too long nor too short. If the little bar at the top of the screen is too long, your viewer will quickly lose interest. Likewise, don’t let it be too short. Instead, spread your Story out evenly during the day. This has the added benefit of your Instagram Stories remaining prominent whenever your followers check their Instagram.
8) Use Text in your Instagram Stories
Plenty of people watch Instagram Stories on the go, whether they are sitting on a busy tube or waiting for a friend at a bar. In these situations it may not be possible to use sound. In order to reach these followers, summarise your video by adding a few words at the bottom. This may even persuade your followers to watch it again later.
9) Furnish your stories with music and animated text
Adding a little music or some animated text can really enhance your Stories. Apps like Hype Type are very easy to use, yet they can make all the difference when you’re looking to post that perfect video.
10) Have fun!
It goes without saying that you should think before you post. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun! It can be entertaining to record spontaneously. Should you unexpectedly come across something interesting, then whip out your phone and start filming! Your Instagram Stories aren’t only for the enjoyment of your followers. They are for you, too.
If you would like to find out more about how to enhance your photography skills, check out our article on photography tips that will take your Stories to the next level.