Instagram Story Techniques your Business needs to know to Increase Engagement

The most engaging content on social media platforms right now is video and the Stories feature on Instagram is growing fast with more than 400 million accounts using the Stories feature every single day!

Now that’s a lot of content!

So how do you make your own Stories stand out while being revitalised each day?

First, let’s get back to basics.

What is an Instagram Story and how do you post one?

Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories provides a place for users to post images and videos which are viewable for only 24 hours. After 24 hours the story is archived. However, there is the chance to increase its longevity by ‘highlighting’ the story or sharing as a post.

If you wish to add a story to your Instagram account (and we advise that you do) you can click the plus icon on your profile picture at the top of the main feed or on your profile. If you have already posted a story and wish to add another, go to your feed and hold down your profile image until a pop-up suggests adding another story (see image). Sharing made simple!

If you or someone you follow has an active story, their profile picture will have a pink/ orange glow.

Tip: Actions you can perform on a Story, Forward – click right-hand side, Back – click left-hand side, Pause - hold screen, Skip – swipe from right to left to skip to next users Story, Exit Story - swipe down, Direct reply via text or video – Click onto an icon at the bottom of the story.

Now you know how to post. What can you add to an Instagram story?

Instagram Stories are a great way to interact with your audience, especially if you have a structured theme for you main feed, Stories can be a place where you can let your hair down and add something different from your usual schedule. In 2018, Stories increased the amount of time spent on Instagram to 28 minutes a day and for under 25-year-olds this increased to 32 minutes.

Instagram Stories gives you a chance to be creative by designing text, gifs, sound and video posts.

There are several options to choose from for the type of video you can post: Normal, boomerang (a popular option), rewind, handsfree or for those fearless ones out there ‘live’, where your video delivers a live-feed to your audience. ‘Going live’ is great for engagement as Instagram notifies your followers you are live for real-time interactions.

A boomerang video allows you to record a short video and automatically plays in a loop back and forth, a bit like a gif but in a different video format. This can look amazing and comical if you record something moving such as jumping into a pool, this appears you are leaping in and out of the pool. Using the boomerang feature means you can be innovative to create unique, interesting videos.

Several icons can be added to your text, picture and video Stories, each with their own unique advantages. Increase reach by adding a hashtag, location or tagging another user to your Story to be possibly featured in the Explore section or have a user share your Story.

Tip: If these tags are ruining the aesthetics of your Story you can resize them smaller by ‘pinching’ the screen and place a gif or image over the top to hide the text.

Increase engagement by adding features such as polls, quizzes and questions. To make it even more eye-catching customise the background colour and add gifs.

Polls give you the opportunity to ask your audience a question to help you decide between two different options and find out your audiences’ preferences. For example, ‘Cats or dogs?’ Once your audience has voted they can instantly view which poll is in the lead!