Objectively, watching Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to procrastinate these days, and with advertising inching its way in, it’s become prime real estate for brands. However, there is still a great organic (read: mostly free) opportunity with Instagram Stories, so we thought we’d dive in for a few ways to enhance visibility and improve engagement.
First, let’s talk about why your brand should use Instagram Stories.
- You don’t have to commit the image or video to your feed. You can keep your branded grid without sacrificing authenticity and spontaneity.
- They don’t have to be perfectly branded. In fact, the more authentic stories are well-organized, but not necessarily well-designed. If it’s a photo, make it well-lit and clear, but don’t worry about captioning it with your brand’s font or appending your logo.
- User behavior has changed to watch Stories all day, every day.
- You’ve got more creative license.
- With features like polls, quizzes, music, countdowns, and more, stories offer an expanded way to engage with your audience than a normal post.
Next, let’s discuss how you can improve your reach and engagement on Stories.
- Geotag your location (or the location where you want to be found).
- Use popular hashtags (& if you don’t like the look, you can hide them in the background of your image or video).
- Use polls and questions to engage your audience:
“What do you want to see more of?”
“Which is your favorite?”
“Ask me anything!”
- You can also use the “DM me” sticker if you’d like to increase the volume of responses you get from Stories (or use it for promo codes).
- Post about others & tag their brand or handle. They are likely to share it to their stories, thus expanding your audience.
- Get clever with captions.
- Write captions for videos (especially when you’re talking to the camera) so that people can still follow along without sound on.
- Try Reels if your editing game is pretty strong.
- Be concise. Keep it to 10 frames or less (unless you’re telling a hilarious story) if you want people to stick with you instead of swiping to the next Story.
- If you’re sharing directions or a recipe or a long quote, urge people to screenshot or share. Yes,directives like these actually work!
Lastly, here are ten ideas for your next brand Story.
- Sneak peek a new product/flavor/logo/space
- Pictures of your inspirations (personally and professionally)
- Podcasts you’re listening to/books you’re reading
- Local flavor (pop-up shops, food trucks or cool scenery near your office)
- Best practices
- A lesson you’ve learned recently
- Best advice you’ve been given (personally and professionally)
- Team bonding/hang-outs
- How-to videos
- Favorite brand or product recently found or purchased
Got more tips and ideas? Shoot us a DM at @matchsticksocial!