Instagram Stories are now more popular than Snapchat, with over 200 million people using the feature every day. I resisted using Stories for the first 6 months. I thought, oh man, another platform to update and check. But….I’ve changed my mind. I’m into you, Stories. Now that IG has added so many cool features, I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I’ve found ways to make it a part of my daily business digital update routine. My stories typically get about 2X engagement to my Instagram posts–so the effort to consistently update is worth it.
I think Instagram Stories is the perfect forum for an online business to share posts that don’t need to live on the account forever. That being said, it’s important to make sure your Stories are thoughtfully planned and created, and remain a true reflection of your online presence. Below are some crucial tips to take your Stories from geek to chic. And at the very end of this post, I created a 30 day plan full of ideas of what to share on your IG Stories. Scroll all the way to the bottom to download the printable PDF. Cross out each box as you accomplish each post.
Consider your content.
Stay true to your brand goals. Use a consistent voice–the same one you use in your Instagram profile posts. Offer value. If you rarely post about food on you profile, don’t turn your Story into a taco stream. Offer viewers pretty much what they know you for, with a little extra on the side. Use it as a place to experiment (it disappears, after all!). But for the most part, stay true to what you’re growing on your website/blog/other social platforms. When in doubt ask yourself, it this #onbrand?
Mind your aesthetics.
Visually reflect your brand in your Instagram Story. Be consistent. Be recognizable. Use colors, filters, stickers, photos and videos that you would share anywhere else online for your brand. Find what works for you, and try slight variations of it. For example, I like to keep the focus on the photo or video I post, so whenever I add text, it’s usually small and in the corner, and I’ll underline, circle or draw a shape around it in the same glowing color throughout the Story. Viewers like consistency. It’s what helps them “get” your brand.
Keep the mystery alive.
Leave viewers wanting more. Just because Stories disappear in 24 hours doesn’t mean you’re allowed to overwhelm viewers with endless videos & photos all at once. Users will likely skip your story if it’s too long and drags on (I know I do). You don’t hang around watching YouTube videos that are slow and boring, do you? Keep your Story moving and upbeat and users will keep coming back for more.
I find the best way to engage others is to 1) make awesome content/products/services that knocks the socks off your audience and 2) actually engage with others. This means, PARTICIPATION. Watch others’ Stories, swipe up and leave comments. Believe it or not, doing this consistently helps build awareness of your brand. Think of it like commenting on someone’s blog post. Get out there and mingle!
Stories are now #hashtagable. Hashtagable, is that a word? Let’s go with it. Add them to your Story to help like-minded users find your content! Brilliant and easy, boom.
Does all this overwhelm you a bit? Don’t know where to start? Use the below printable to help you get started planning your Instagram Stories posts. Download using the link below and print. Plan posts for your online business for the next week, month, or more! When you plan posts ahead of time, they become more purposeful & powerful, am I right?
Let me know how Instagram Stories is going for you. Tag me, @sisoo_com, so I can check out what you’re sharing!