If you’re like me, I bet the first thing you do when you wake up is pick up your phone and scroll through your favourite social media app. I mean, how can you not when there’s SO much that could have gone down in the 8 or so hours you were asleep. Personally, I like to check Instagram first as I find it allows me to engage with my followers and people I follow the most. After checking my account’s stats, I immediately start looking at IG Stories of the people I follow as well as stories of the people I don’t follow through my discovery feed, if time permits… just kidding – I always find time!

So, what is it about Instagram Stories that has people, including myself, spending hours watching them every day?

If done right, IG Stories have the power to connect and resonate with viewers and keep them coming back for more. This is obviously great for business owners because they are able to get more people visiting their Instagram account page by posting great Stories. Additionally, accounts that have over 10,000 followers, can include a link to their website so viewers can go directly there without having to access the account Instagram page first. How convenient is that?

Now that you’ve learned about some of the benefits of creating Instagram Stories, it’s time to look at 6 ways that you can create awesome Stories your customers will love to watch and ultimately, engage with and share with others, thus, growing your following.

1. Add Your Location

You probably are aware of the benefits of including your location on a regular Instagram post, but did you know you can do the same in your Instagram Stories? By adding your location, you are increasing your chances of viewers seeing your Instagram Story simply because they are browsing Stories based on a certain location. The more often you use the location feature, the better the chances of having your Stories featured on the Instagram Explore page which can of course lead to even more views and engagements.

To add your location, simply create your Story and then click the square smiley face button in the middle of the button bar located at the top right hand corner to access the full menu that will pop up from the bottom of the screen. Once you have access to the menu, click the “Location” button and add your location. It’s that simple!

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2. Tag other businesses

Yes, you read that right, I’m recommending you tag other businesses in your Instagram Stories. While this may seem odd and a distraction for your viewers, it will actually benefit you in many ways. By tagging other businesses, you’ll achieve four things.

One is that you’ll show more of your brand’s personality. For example, by posting a photo of your morning coffee at a local cafe and tagging them, you’ll show your viewers that you enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning – something that more than likely a lot of your viewers will relate to and therefore, make your brand seem more relatable.

The second thing you’ll do is show that you are committed to supporting other businesses. This is key because people want to see that the business they buy from cares about other supporting other businesses. One thing to keep in mind is that you should show support for like-minded businesses as that is what your viewers will relate to best. For example, if you sell a product that is in line with the mission of a nonprofit organization, showing your support for them will speak volumes to your Instagram viewers as it will help further remind them of your business’s values and also show that you really care about what you say you do.

The third benefit of tagging other businesses in your Instagram Stories is that you will show your viewers you care about educating them regarding other products and/or services they may be interested in knowing about. A great example of this would be if a viewer happened to take a picture or a video with a variety of products, including yours and posts it. If you repost that and tag the other businesses it shows that you want viewers to know about all the great options that exist in your field/similar fields, and who doesn’t love discovering new products that are similar to the ones they already love?

Finally, by tagging other businesses you increase your chances of them doing there same for your brand. The great thing about that is that you will get exposure to other brands’ viewers which you wouldn’t have access to otherwise, for free, and that alone is worth the small effort!  

To tag a business, simply create your Story and then click the square smiley face button in the middle of the button bar located at the top right hand corner to access the full menu that will pop up from the bottom of the screen. Once you have access to the menu, click the “@MENTION” button and add the handle of the business(es).

 

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3. Tag Customers

Similar to tip #2, tagging your customers will also serve a great purpose and help you create awesome Instagram Stories people will notice. By now, you should know that using User-Generated Content is key for creating great content people will love, and reposting a Story or post from someone who is promoting your brand online is a must! Not only will it further build the relationship with your customer, it will also provide you with free promotional material plus show other customers that you interact with your viewers which can in turn encourage them to also post pictures of your products.

To tag a customer, simply create your Story and then click the square smiley face button at the top right which will bring up the full menu from the bottom of the screen. Once you have access to the menu, click the “@MENTION” button and add the handle of the customer.

 

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4. Ask Questions and Run Polls

Asking questions through Instagram Stories is a great way to connect with viewers and there are many ways to approach asking questions. For example, you can ask an open ended question such as “Ask Us Anything” in which viewers will ask you something they want to know and then you can post your response in text form or by doing a video – it’s up to you! Furthermore, you can run a poll and ask viewers to choose between two things such as one product of yours vs. another. Perhaps you’re a restaurant owner and want to know which dessert will be more popular among customers. You can simply post a picture of the two desserts and ask viewers what they would prefer. This will show Instagram viewers that you care about their opinion and will likely implement it. Also, bonus, it is a very simple and inexpensive way of doing market research so that you know how to better cater to them.

To ask a question, create your Story, click the square smiley face button at the top right hand corner and once the menu pops up from the bottom of the screen, click the “Questions” sticker and then type your question in the box that pops up. For polls, follow the same steps and instead of the “Questions” button choose the “Poll” button.

 

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5. Use Filters, Emojis and GIFs

If you find yourself pressed for time to create a really good quality Instagram Story then filters, emojis and GIFs are your friends! You can use either to make your Story more fun and exciting which will in turn make it more memorable.

To access the filters, after creating your Instagram Story swipe left and then a series of full screen filters will pop up with fun names such as Paris, Melbourne, New York and more. To use emojis, bring up the full menu from the bottom of the screen and then scroll down for a selection of fun emojis like “SunDayFunDay”, “lit” and more. For GIFs, follow the same steps and choose the GIF keyboard and then type a keyword related to your Story and choose the best GIF(s).

 

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6. Share Your Posts

Another way to save some time but still post great content that viewers will want to see is to share your posts in your Instagram Stories. This simple but effective tip will not only help you achieve a regular posting schedule so you can stay top of mind, it will also help increase the views of your posts.

To share your post as an Instagram Story, go to your post, click the arrow on the left hand side, when the menu from the bottom pops up, select “Add post to your story”, and then the post will get added to your Story and you will have the opportunity to edit it as you’d like. Perhaps add a filter or GIF!

 

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Now that you have these 6 tips, I hope you will implement them so you can create awesome Instagram Stories people will notice! It may seem a little intimidating at first but with some time you’ll find the right process for you. That said, if you need any help, feel free to reach out here. Happy posting!

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