5 ways to use Instagram stories more effectively

Sep 23

It’s no secret that using your Instagram stories will help you grow your reach, connect with your ideal audience, and help maintain and boost your brand visibility. But, if you’re not growing or connecting as fast as you’d hope from your stories, there are plenty of ways to use your Instagram stories more effectively. Here are 5.

1. Post or schedule your Instagram stories during the times your users are most active

Ok , so just as you would check your Instagram insights to see what time of day is the best time to post to your feed, you should also use the same information to determine when to post to your Instagram stories.

By posting multiple times a day and during peak traffic times for your audience, you’ll increase your Instagram story impressions and opportunities for sales and conversions.

Instead of blasting all your stories simultaneously at one time during the day, space them out for the 2-4 most active time periods your Instagram insights suggests.

Don’t have time for all that? I get it. Thankfully most of the latest Instagram planning tools come with an Instagram story scheduling feature now. I adore Plann and this particular Instagram story planning feature makes posting during peak times even easier by scheduling them for when my audience is most active.

2. Don’t just share other people’s Instagram posts to your stories, but add your thoughts and tag the creator too

Sharing other people’s posts to your Instagram stories will definitely boost your authority on relevant subject matters and no doubt give you content to post when you don’t have a ton of time to create something custom…but add these other 2 simple steps to sharing someone else’s post to your story to build more thought leadership and boost your visibility:

1. Add your thoughts to a post you share to your stories next time. Share your unique perspective on an opinionated post or share a personal story about how something speaks to or would apply to your ideal client. By doing this, you’ll bring even more value to the table for your readers and build more connectivity, relatability, AND visibility by sharing your thoughts. Which brings me to the next point…

2. Tag the actual creator of the post in your stories when you share it. By tagging the creator, they’ll recieve a notification in their DM’s about how they were “mentioned” and it will give them the option to share it then to their story which will increase the chances of your account to then be seen by their audience. #freemarketing

3. Use screenshare video tutorials to give instructions instead of text-only or instead of lengthy tutorials

If you have an iPhone open up your “Control Center” in the settings and find “Screen Recording” in the list. Click the plus button to add the screen recording tool to your control center (The same place your alarm, flashlight, etc. are typically found) and you’ll see the new tool as an option to use moving forward.

Using this feature is helpful for things like recording website launches, showing people how to sign up for your newsletter, showing people how to access your info from their phone, and so much more.  Combine both text and video to your Instagram stories for maximum impact.

4. Be mindful of your Instagram story completion rate

In general (IMHO), less Instagram stories at a time, is more. Keep your stories short and to the point and premeditate what you want people to walk away with before hopping on so that your content is understandable and most importantly, actionable.

Include text in your first video to let readers know what to expect, then they can determine right away if they should continue or exit your story. Keep track of the topic and then jot down the total number of “impressions” who viewed your first story and then the total number of “impressions” on the last story, to get your Instagram story completion rate.

The higher the completion rate, the higher the assumed interest in the topic and the more strategic you can be with your content planning. 🤗

And look, I know some of you guys have a LOT to say sometimes, and that’s cool too. Just use IGTV or hop on an Instagram live whenever you feel like you can’t condense what you’re trying to say into a few Instagram story segments so people don’t exit entirely and miss your next IG story segment.

5. Use hashtags in your Instagram stories.

Instagram allows you to use up to 10 hashtags in your stories on each story. Adding hashtags to your Instagram stories allows people following relevant hashtags to view your stories and find you even if you don’t post to your feed. 

Tip 1: Add up to 10 and minimalize the font to the smallest font size and then use the custom color dropper to match the background of your story to hide them.

Tip 2: You don’t have to hashtag every single story, but if you choose to use hashtags in your stories, I recommend just putting them in the first slide of your story because they’ll find that one and if they’re interested, they’ll continue to click through. Or if you’re ready to next-level your strategy, use different ones on each story and test to see which one gets the most eyeballs.

Need more help researching the best hashtags? Again, I’m obsessed with my Plann app that also allows me to easily see hashtag counts AND it even lets me see what hashtags my competitors use with this cool feature called “sneaky peek”, how cool is that??

Want more tips and trainings? Access our free membership community below and get mini-trainings and downloads on demand.

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