Tip #1. Use Stickers
Instagram has some great stickers that can easily get your followers involved. Some of our favorites are AMAs (Ask me anything), polls, and quizzes.
Hosting an AMA, in particular, is fantastic because it gives your followers a chance to learn (almost) anything about you. Make it fun and interactive. You’re building your community!
If you are unsure about the next direction of your account, you could always use a poll to hear direct feedback from your community. You can get extremely valuable information through polls. You can ask what format your audience prefers (Reels, stories, carousels, etc), when they prefer you to post, what content they would like to see next, etc!
Quizzes can be anything you want them to be, but they are frequently used to "quiz" your community on your brand. We’ve seen creators get very inventive with these. Think outside the box!
Everyone likes to feel involved in something. As an influencer, you want that something to be your community. Utilize stickers to make that happen. Here are 292 Trending AMA questions you can test within your community!
Tip #2. Storytimes
People like watching stories from people they know and trust. So, if you want people to engage with your story, you need to be personable. Talk to the camera like you would a friend and let your personality shine through. The more personable you are, the more likely people are to actually watch your story all the way through.
You have probably seen a content creator do a storytime on their Youtube channel, but it can be another great way to engage your followers through your IG stories. Any interesting anecdotes relevant to your audience can be told through your stories in multiple frames. Choose topics of interest, not just you getting your oil changed (unless something notable happens). Be smart here and always have the end in sight.
Pro tip: At the end, include a call to action. Ask your followers to share any similar experiences they have had.
Tip #3. Share Posts
It might feel like overkill, but people often need reminders to check stuff out. Remember you're likely only reaching 10% of your followers in their feed, so remind them, hey, you’ve posted! Sharing your latest post on your IG story as a preview is a gentle "nudge" to get your audience to go check it out and interact. Micro and nano creators often utilize this method and "tease" their content by putting a sticker over the post details so that people get curious and go see the real thing.
Also, use your stories to reshare a best-performing post to increase engagement or to share a post from someone in your niche that has a large following, that is a great way to boost engagement and align yourself with an authority figure in your space.
Tip #4. Raise Awareness
If you have a cause you are passionate about, you can always share information on why it matters and how your audience can help. You could also chat about the newest brand obsession within your niche. Whether you are sponsored by them or not, showing your community you want them to have access to your favorite products communicates that you care.
For example, if you are a hiking enthusiast and have come across the best pair of hiking boots you have ever owned and know your audience will benefit from hearing about it, share it with your audience. Then screenshot the engagement you receive from stories just in case you ever want to pitch that brand for a paid partnership.
Again, even if you're not being sponsored, you’re creating trust within your following. They know that you’re a creator that cares to help them.
Tip #5. Use Story Highlights
Story highlights allow anyone to catch up with content they may have missed. With this one, having your stories broken into categories is a good idea. This will depend on your niche, but some examples include "AMAs." "Day in my life," "Travel," "Story-Times," etc.
Think through your regular story uploads. How could you categorize them for your highlights? What would someone scrolling through your page for the first time need to see to learn who you are and what you represent?
Tip #6. Go Live
Going live can be intimidating. What if I mess up? What if no one watches? What if I have food in my teeth and everyone sees it?
First of all, breathe. No one expects perfection! That is the beauty of going live. It’s real, raw, and authentic. You don’t have it scripted, your lighting may not be entirely on point, and it's about you genuinely just talking to your followers.
That is exactly what people want. Your community wants to see the real you! It makes you relatable and not just some content creator they happen to follow.
Pro-tip: Every time you go Live, ALL of your followers are notified! So even if you forget to advertise your Live beforehand, everyone will know when it begins.
Tip #7. Giveaways
Everyone loves free things! Partner with one of your favorite brands and host a giveaway through your stories. Make sure that all requirements are clear, and remind your audience of deadlines. Engagement will likely be high (assuming it’s a brand relevant to your niche), which benefits you even more. You only want to engage with people in your niche.
Tip #8. Day in the life of you
You might think your day-to-day life is boring, but your audience wants to see all the behind-the-scenes action. Realness on Instagram has grown in popularity (and it’s a beautiful thing) so showing your following that your life isn’t all glitz and glam is a positive.
An engaged community is a community that feels you are a person just like them, so interaction with you will be seen and appreciated, even returned. Taking your followers through your daily routine gives them a greater sense of, "This person is just like me."
Take short clips of your day as you go through your routines, errands, appointments, preparing content, and meetings. Anything that shows a true representation of you should be included!
Tip #9. Use hashtags and Locations
If you’re reading this article, you probably have some knowledge of Instagram hashtags and location already (if you don't, no stress, but read some of our other articles on how to increase your following, hashtags are discussed more in-depth). Including a niche-related hashtag increases your posts' views, follows, and engagement. The same holds for IG stories.
Don’t go crazy with the hashtags. Use 2-4; if you don’t like how they look in the story, you can hide them under a sticker or off-screen. There is also an actual hashtag sticker option, so you have a couple of choices here. Locations work the same! People can find you just by searching through posts in that location. There is a location sticker included in the sticker panel as well. Take advantage!
Tip #10. Post Consistently
You’ve heard us say this so many times, but consistency is key, especially with your stories. You move to the top of the story bar when you add to your story. This lasts longer the more you post (naturally). And remember, stories disappear after 24 hours. So posting a story at least daily gives you visibility to your audience!
Engagement is critical when it comes to creating successful Instagram stories. By using all the strategies we have listed above, you can increase the chances that people will stop and watch your story instead of mindlessly scrolling past it. As we said before, growth doesn’t happen overnight. But if you begin to implement the tactics we’ve outlined, as well as experiment with what works for your unique page and following, you will start to see more engagement with your stories! And don’t forget—if you ever get stuck or need help optimizing your social media strategy, our team is here for you!