You know what’s sad?
Posting something on Instagram and hearing crickets hours later…
Everyone is hyping up how important engagement is with the new Instagram algorithm, but how do you get your people to actually talk back?
Do you have to bribe them with candy or something?
Sometimes it can feel impossible to start the conversation, but luckily Instagram stories can help get the party started!
It used to be that we had to wait for people to comment on our Instagram photos to increase our engagement. Now, most Instagram users watch other people’s stories and interact with them before they even look at their home feed.
Instagram stories have become a light at the end of the tunnel for those of us who want to give our engagement a boost. Come to think of it, who doesn’t want that?
Increase your Instagram community engagement with 5 tips
Instagram stories are unique in that they disappear after 24 hours. You might be thinking, “Wait, so all of my content just goes away?” Yes, but don’t let that deter you from getting started with Instagram stories.
Although your Instagram feed is always available for viewing and it’s the first thing most people will see when they find you, your Instagram stories are the perfect place for creating, well, a story!
Instagram users don’t want to only see pretty photos (although that never hurts!). They also want to experience a whole story from beginning to end. This is why it’s important to have a strategy before you start creating content for your Instagram story.
Because you only have 24 hours to make an impact, it’s best to know what Instagram story features are going to help you get the maximum amount of engagement in the smallest amount of time. We’re up for the challenge! You too?
Then here’s an in-depth look at some of Instagram’s best story features and how you can adopt them into your own strategy. Since using these features increases your overall engagement with the Instagram algorithm (your ears just perked up, didn’t they?), they are worth using in your next Instagram story.
Add a Question Sticker
This Instagram story feature rolled out a couple months ago and is already gaining a lot of traction! It’s quickly become one of our favorites at Get Found Stock HQ. Maybe you’ve already tested it out, but if you haven’t, we recommend doing so quickly so you can find a timeline and strategy that works for you.
When you choose to place a questions sticker on your video or photo, it will pop up a question box where you can customize the text above it. It can be used so you can ask a question for your audience to answer, or they can ask a question for you to answer.
We most often see entrepreneurs using Instagram question stickers to educate and entertain their audience by having them ask questions, but it can also be useful to ask questions yourself. It can act as a survey then, similar to a poll (which will we talk about later) but gives you more in-depth answers.
Once you collect questions or answers, you can keep them to yourself or choose to share select responses on your own Instagram story. Most people do the latter because it allows your followers to see how others commented on your question or learn from what other followers have asked.
Here are a few more ways you can use the questions sticker to increase your Instagram engagement like #whoa:
Host an AMA (ask me anything): Choose one day every week to answer any questions your audience may have. This means you could get questions about business, what it’s like to work in your industry, lifestyle, and anything else your audience is curious to know about. AMAs are easy to host because it only take a small amount of time to answer each question.
Choose a topic to teach on: Depending on what your niche is, it’s smart to select a topic every so often to answer audience questions on. If you are a lifestyle blogger, give your audience the chance to ask you questions about your morning or nightly routine. If you are a social media manager, your followers could ask questions about beating the latest Facebook algorithm instead. This will give your followers immense value!
Ask for audience feedback: Are you trying to validate a new product or service idea, or looking to launch a new project but aren’t sure how to position it with your audience? Asking for feedback through the question sticker could be a great way to get feedback from your Instagram followers. Maybe you want their opinions on your course sales page design, or maybe you’d rather get their thoughts on your mission statement. No matter what you need feedback on, you can use the question sticker to interact with your audience so you don’t have to wonder what they’re thinking.
There are so many more ways you can use the question sticker on Instagram, but this gives you a good foundation as you get started. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be serious! If you want to ask your followers about their latest Netflix binge watch or where they love to travel, that’s engaging too!
Ask your Instagram followers for DMs
After the questions sticker feature became widely available, there are less reasons to ask your followers to DM you. This is what many Instagram users used to do when they wanted audience feedback to a question, but now the question sticker organizes everything in one place.
Another benefit of using the question sticker is that you don’t have to clog up your DM inbox in order to get feedback, which is helpful for influencers and those with high engagement. So when would you ask your followers to DM you? It works well as a general call-to-action if your audience has questions about one of your videos without turning it into an open question box that anyone can use.
It also could work for Instagram users who want to start a private conversation with their followers rather than sharing their audience’s questions and answers on their Instagram story. This helps you get the conversation rolling so you can make more connections and further your relationships on Instagram.
Create an Instagram poll
If you want to increase your Instagram community engagement through stories but aren’t interested in the time it takes to respond to questions and messages, using an Instagram poll sticker may be your best option.
The poll sticker allows your followers to choose their best fit from two customized options. The default sticker has a “yes” and “no” option, but you can change the text to say whatever you want.
To give you a sample, here are a few things you could poll your audience about:
- What are you? Morning Person vs Night Owl
- Which title fits you best? Entrepreneur vs Blogger
- Which platform is your favorite? Instagram vs Facebook
- You can usually be found… Inside vs Outside
- Which do you prefer? Napping vs Netflix
Just have fun with it! Much like the questions sticker, you can use the poll feature as a chance to engage with your audience on serious and non-serious questions alike. Having a good blend will help you get the best feedback.
Include an emoji slider
If you thought Instagram polls were fun, just wait until you use the emoji slider feature! It was released a few months ago, right before the question sticker was rolled out. We’ve been playing and testing the emoji slider since then and can confidently say we are in love!
The emoji slider gives your audience the chance to interact with your Instagram story with the smallest amount of time investment on their part. This means that you will be able to increase how many people give you feedback with an emoji slider.
You can change the emoji depending on what kind of question you are asking. Instagram give you about a dozen default emoji options right now, but we hope to see more as Instagram rolls out their next updated features.
The emoji slider is best when used to gauge how your audience feels about a certain subject. You could ask them to show how much they agree with your opinion by using the slider to indicate their response, or ask them to rate something specific (like how their week is going or how far they’ve come in reaching their quarterly goals).
Add something fun (like music or a GIF)
While all of the other features allow your audience to give you great feedback, we want to introduce some Instagram story features that get your audience talking and laughing! Social media is more fun when we don’t take ourselves too seriously as business owners.
If you are ready to have some fun, you can experiment with adding well-timed GIFs to your Instagram story or even a music clip from one of your favorite songs. These are relatively new stickers so you’ll impress your audience by using them early.
Think about what your audience will connect most with and start experimenting. You’ll be able to see what people like by keeping an eye on your viewing stats (to see if they increase, decrease, or stay the same) and seeing if you get any DMs from followers who loved the way you used each feature.
Ready to get started with Instagram stories? Tell us about the Instagram story feature you love most and why in the comment section below. We can’t wait to hear how you’re using it!