Right when we think we have Instagram figured out, it seems to make a change! A few months back they introduced stories, and now it’s something so many use to grow their reach! If you’re like me, you know it’s important learn the new changes Instagram makes to quickly adjust and increase your reach and growth!
Let me answer a few questions before giving some tips on better stories!
What are Instagram stories? They’re simply pictures or videos available for 24 hours after posting, just like Snapchat.
Why do I need Instagram stories? Supposedly, posting Instagram stories will increase your reach! The new algorithm is tricky, but I really do think posting stories will help more than hurt your content.
Why not just post those photos on your regular feed? Being a photographer, I really make it a big priority to have a consistent, cohesive looking feed! Now with stories, I can post behind-the-scenes during adventures like apple picking, hanging out with family, or videos of shooting a wedding without worrying about what it looks like on my feed but allowing more people to connect with me! I can also feel free to share even more photos, like multiple sneak peeks, or behind-the-scenes of what I’m doing on my story when I’d normally just share one on my feed! I don’t feel like I’m over-posting since it’s on my story, but allows me to share even more and connect deeper with my followers!
Hopefully this explains the importance of stories more, so here’s some tips to have even stronger stories!
- Don’t be afraid of it being just of you! If you have something to say, don’t feel vain taking a video! Your followers will appreciate your willingness to share something, or feel like they can relate more with you if you share an experience from the day. Most replies to my stories are ones where I’m just talking about random things! They’re following you for a reason, so give them a face and words to connect with!
- Go where there’s natural light! This tip comes more naturally being a photographer, but for professional looking videos and photos, taking it near a window or even in the car (not while driving ;)) will provide nice, soft light.
- Practice is key! I once heard Jasmine Star say something to the effect of “The only way to get better at posting stories is to just do it!” And thankfully you can re-take as many photo or videos as you want before posting one!
- Include a variety of photos and videos! Instead of people always knowing you’ll be sharing 20 pictures in a row of what’s on the blog, one photographer I follow will post a video of herself talking to direct people to her blog! Between asking people to head to the blog, show part of your life to people. This could include anything from a what dessert you’re making with the apples you picked, to what you’re doing in the office! People really connect more when you share authentic moments!
- Be consistent! You might think you have nothing to share, but I promise you do!! You can even make a goal of how much you want to share on your story. Setting a goal will make it easier not to post 10 things in one day on your story, and then nothing for 2 weeks!
- Direct people to your recent posts. Share on your story about your most recent post! With the algorithm, not everyone will see your posts. It’s similar to Facebook in that it’s more likely to show up if it’s getting a higher percentage of likes and comments! For instance, I might give a shooting tip to photographers on using flash. I know people might not see my post scrolling through, so in my story if I say something like “If you want to improve your reception images instantly, see my last post!”, I’ll get more traffic to it!
- Not sure what to post? Ask something about your followers! People love sharing their opinion if they think they can help! Connect with your followers. Going back to the apple picking example, ask them to reply with their favorite recipe! If you’re a photographer and not sure which image to post, post both on your story and ask them to reply with their favorite! If you’re wanting more comfortable shoes for a wedding day, ask about that! There’s also a poll feature which is really fun to use too that builds interaction with followers!
I hope these steps are helpful in stepping up your Instagram stories! It takes time and practice making them better, but I know you can do it! Your followers will feel even more connected to you, and it can really increase interaction! Don’t forget to follow my journey along here! I can’t wait to cheer you on!