With almost 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is the most engaged social media network after Facebook.
One of the main reasons for its success is that it has adopted most of the popular features of other social media networks. One of those include stories, which are image or video posts in a slideshow format that disappear after 24 hours, just like the famous Snapchat feature.
But unlike the latter, Instagram’s feature has an easy-to-learn interface, hence gaining over 200 million viewers every day, which is far more than that of Snapchat. The 24-hour time period of the feature allows you to upload any content that you would not otherwise like to stay permanently on your account feed, for example, ads, promotions, product reviews, or simply your current feelings about something.
Because of its extreme popularity, Instagram stories are predicted to be used widely in the upcoming
months as a great marketing tool to gain more Instagram engagement. The reason is that unlike normal
feed posts, Instagram stories can reach a wider range of audiences without having them visit your
profile or follow you.
Some of the ways by which you can power up your Instagram engagement stats using the Instagram Stories are discussed below:
Instagram not only allows you to add images, videos, gifs, and even simple text as your story, it also provides a wide variety of fun elements to add such as emojis, stickers, gifs, filters, music, countdowns, doodles, location tags, and hashtags, etc.
Using these features into your stories is like decorating them, i.e. people are compelled to view the stories and even engage with you through them. As the Instagram algorithm calculates the popularity of content by the amount of time spent by people viewing it, this could result in increasing your overall performance and reach.
Among the many add-ons that Instagram provides for its stories, an interesting feature is the Interactive Stickers which consist of polls, quizzes, sliders, chat and question answers. These let you ask questions from your viewers and allow them to respond accordingly.
Interactive Stickers can be used for various purposes such as gathering feedback over a product or any idea, answering questions of the viewers, or just for the mere reason to deliver entertainment to them.
An important motive behind using this technique is that the interaction done by the audience on your stories makes Instagram show them your stories more often. This way, not only do you get to build a stronger connection with the viewers, but you also get a chance to gain new followers.
Add External Links
Another useful feature that Instagram now offers to its business running users is that they can add links to their Instagram stories. All you have to do is create an attractive story that compels the audience to want to know more about the content you are broadcasting, and add the link to your website in the “Swipe Up” option.
This is a really easy yet successful way to drive new traffic to your business websites, web campaigns, blogs, or any other service having an online presence.
Unlike normal feed posts, Instagram stories are discoverable. In simple words, it means that people can view your stories while searching for keywords on Instagram. These could be in the form of a location or a hashtag.
To rank on them, you can easily add editable location tags or hashtags from the stickers menu, and even type the hashtag yourself. Whenever someone searches for that particular tag, your story will come up in the results. In this way, your content will reach a new audience without the hassle of promoting it.
You must keep providing updates regularly to keep the users constantly engaged for your business to do well. As the total lifetime of a story is just 24 hours, new stories have to be published almost every day to make sure that your content stays on your followers’ story feed. This can be difficult to manage sometimes, but using a good social media managing tool, such as SocialBu, solves this problem by allowing you to schedule your Instagram stories ahead of the publishing time.
Like feed posts, Instagram also allows you to mention other accounts in your stories by using special stickers or by simply typing out their names preceded by the “@” symbol. It also lets you share their content on your stories which include automatic links to their original posts. As everyone appreciates free promotion, you giving them a shout out would result in them most probably paying back the favor too.
The most traditional method, i.e. using the option of paid advertisements, may not really be an option for everyone but is still one of the most effective ways of increasing Instagram engagement through stories. Being sponsored makes your selected stories to show up while people are viewing the stories of their followed accounts, thus giving your content a chance to be viewed by a new audience. Also, this increases your rank in Instagram’s algorithm, so your stories might appear on the Explore page.
Instagram also offers to show performance insights of the stories to the owners of business accounts. It shows graphs for different stats like actions (replies, profile visits, etc.) taken by users on the story, number of new viewers who discovered the story, and the number of people who kept viewing (tapped forward) or just ignored (swiped away) your story.
This helps you understand the kind of content that people like, so you can decide what to post and what to avoid in the future to keep your rate of Instagram engagement rising with time.