Let’s chat INSTAGRAM STORIES. I’ve been active on IG Stories as I call them since the day they were introduced. My husband works in advertising, and often finds out about new and rumored features before the general public.
As an ardent student of social media trends, I had a feeling Instagram was ready to launch a Snapchat-like feature for a few months. So when Instagram launched stories, I was excited to explore this new feature.
Fast forwarding to today: Did you know 70% of Instagram users watch stories daily?! Instagram is predicting that the MAJORITY of PEOPLE will soon be coming to WATCH stories ONLY 😳Stories are now even featured in large rectangular boxes on the Explore page.
So that means YOU need to be posting stories. And by post, I mean consistently!
Instagram Story Best Practices
🍁 POST CONSISTENTLY.
The algorithm works based on people’s responses to your behavior. So if you’re posting erratically, the algorithm doesn’t know whom to show your stories to. Think of the algorithm as a child. teach them how to respond to behaviors. do x and they do y. YOU need to do your part by consistently doing x to get y (your desired result).
🎉 MAKE YOUR STORIES AUTHENTIC.
Gone are the days where Instagram is about perfection. Stories have changed that. For shoots I put on makeup, for stories I often don’t brush my hair. You can see my kid’s mess in the background. THAT’S REAL! People think, oh her house looks like mine! Oh her kid has temper tantrums too (daily!). She gets pimples too! WE ALL DO!
🎃 BE YOURSELF.
Stories are where I’m funny. Silly. Goofy. Nerdy. I’m really a huge giant nerd (hello law school grad & first time bar passer). Rip off the mask & show who you really are, the niche things that interest you and the silly thing that happen every day. Trust me, there are many other people who can relate!
☀️ TALK TO CAMERA.
Okay this may sound basic, but I’m not a big selfie person (remember, I’m almost 40 so I didn’t spend my 20s taking selfies). But I have a question for you, do you prefer your friends speaking directly to you? Of course!!! Do the same with your audience.
💖 BE INTERACTIVE.
Ask questions. Do polls or ask people to engage. People love to vote chocolate versus vanilla & it’s so easy! You should be doing something interactive EVERY DAY. When people respond to your stories, it tells Instagram that people are liking and enjoying your content. This is the clue Instagram needs to share your content with more people and ideally get you on the Explore page. Less people react to stories with DMs or emojis. But it’s super easy to respond to a quick poll or click a slider across their screen. Plus people LOVE to share their opinions. Anna versus Elsa? Sunset or sunrise? Disneyland or Disneyworld? Don’t you want to share your opinion right now on which one is your vote?
🌈 ALWAYS USE LOCATION TAGS.
I pick up a ton of followers by using my location on each and every story & it’s shared to more people in that area. Use your location on every single post. (This tip came from LaShawn Wiltz and her incredible Instagram courses that I highly recommend).
🤩ALWAYS USE HASHTAGS.
Hashtags are a FREE TOOL Instagram gives you to boost your content. I don’t know about you, but when someone gives me something for free, I TAKE IT! So should you. Use 2-3 hashtags (but not more) to get your content exposed to people who follow that hashtag or are searching it. This is especially true if you are posting about a trending event, say #FrozenFanFest on the day of the event.
☃️ CREATE A STORY.
Your story should have a beginning, middle & end. It’s like watching a mini reality show. Get your audience engaged in your story by introducing a topic in your beginning. The meat of the content is in the middle. And the end is the action item. Do this! Which one? Wrap up you story here. It can be as easy as saying goodbye, asking a question or what you should do next.
🍎 TRY NEW THINGS.
When I’m doing @whole30 I share my food. When I’m traveling I share my hotel room (to see where a baby can sleep in the room, because we all know babies sleep in the darkest and quietest place be it the closet or bathroom and I need to SEE it to plan my trip). BE YOU! Share the things you love or are passionate about. Is it coffee? Your Target or Home Goods finds? Your child’s sporting event? People relate to these things, so if you never try, you may be missing out on everyday things you already do that other people will enjoy seeing.
📚 USE CAPTIONS.
Most people watch stories with the sound OFF! I do as I am laying in bed with my kids with the lights off (no judgement people but yes I still lay with them until they fall asleep). If I can’t read what you are saying, you are completely missing me. EVERY STORY SHOULD HAVE CAPTIONS.
🐶POST THROUGHOUT THE DAY ON YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES.
I pick up my phone to watch stories a LOT. When I am in line at the grocery store. Whenever I get stuck in line anywhere to be honest. When I need a break from work, etc. If you aren’t osting throughout the day, you will miss out on having the “new” story that is being shown to people as they tune in throughout the day. Also remember your audience can be anyhere in the world. I have a large Austrailia and New Zealand audience. They are coming online at night as I am going to sleep, and that’s when I interact with them. But my London audience is online when I am waking up. NEW STORIES are shown FIRST so you want to constantly be posting new, fresh content.
🤩 MAKE A SERIES.
Just like I’m starting a new series about social media and business tips now (yay! 🎉. Although not exactly new since I used to do this regularly years ago but new for 2019!) Do daily coffee talk. Chat in line for school pick up (with your car STOPPED. Please don’t ever post stories while driving!) . Find a great unique time for you to post. Dinnertime? Sure! Whatever floats your boat!
🌸WATCH & ENGAGE
on other people’s stories!! This app is ALL about engagement. Yours included. That’s why this app was initially started and what everyone loved about it in 2014 when I started my Club MomMe account (that grew to 50,000+ before I sold it in 2015 along with my company). People forget Instagram is all about genuine engagement!
Please be careful when posting THESE THINGS. Kids in any sort of unsafe position (car seat buckled incorrectly, baby wearing too low, kids in bouncers not on the floor – I can’t tell you how many baby seats I see on stories on a table. JUST DON’T DO IT!!
Not only is it unsafe, but it sets a terrible example. Accidents can happen QUICKLY. So please make sure your kids are SAFE before you snap away. I know this is common sense but I see it everyday. A HUGE one are kids in bulky jackets in their car seats.
This is SO UNSAFE!! While I’m not the parent police, parents get VERY UPSET seeing these things and will respond and share. So please just be mindful. Best practice is to NEVER SHOW KIDS IN CAR SEATS. 4 out of 5 car seats are used incorrectly. That harness is almost always too low. So why subject yourself to criticism? Also spend 5 seconds and pull it up please please please!!
Hope this helped you! WHAT should I chat about NEXT TIME?! Tell me in a comment below👇🏻
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