Today we are going to talk about how to REALLY use Instagram stories to explode your Instagram profile!!!
We’ve got some sa-weet Instagram story ideas for you including ones that will grow your Instagram engagement and encourage you to get creative with your content!
But first, let me ask you a really quick question:
Are you using Instagram stories for your business?
Are you using them as an additional way to communicate your brand? (Okay, that’s technically a second question….)
Instagram Stories is one of those things that some people don’t really use or understand so they just say “to hell with it”.
They DO use it BUT use it completely inappropriately.
Instagram Stories is definitely something you should be working towards using successfully. Instagram Stories are used by over 500 million people every day, with one-third of those being businesses – that’s a lot of people ready to see what you’re sharing!
So, you know you want to use your Stories? But what kind of things you do put on your Instagram story?
Easy Instagram Story ideas
Okay, let’s get down to it! Here are our top Instagram Story ideas for your business account:
1) Share relevant content and make it “pretty”.
What you choose to share on Instagram should still be relevant to your audience.
What I mean by this, is that people come to Instagram because they want to be inspired. They loooove seeing pretty images, so if you choose to share an image via Stories, make sure the photo is still aligned with your brand.
Not sure how to make your Instagram Story posts pretty? Grab our free Instagram Story templates over here.
2) Share videos.
This is a great way to humanize yourself and share a part of your day that is still aligned with your business. For example, if you’re a pastry chef selling wedding cakes, this a great way to show your craft LIVE in PERSON!
Instagram‘s algorithm (like Facebook) prefers video. So, if you’re sharing video content, Instagram will get it seen by more people and you’ll get more impressions on your Stories!
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3) Go behind-the-scenes.
Another great way to connect with your audience is to take them behind-the-scenes of your everyday life (as long as it’s relevant). Just be sure to be as real/authentic and on-brand as possible.
One person I can think of who does a great job at this is Rosemary Watson. I know I’m definitely always looking to her for inspiration when it comes to Instagram Story ideas! 😉
4) Use Story highlights.
One of the downsides to Instagram Stories is that they are only visible for 24 hours. So, if one of your followers doesn’t log into their account and scroll through all of the Stories from everyone they follow, they might miss it.
This is where one of our next Instagram Story ideas comes in: use Story highlights!
If you’re sharing something super important or relevant e.g. an offer, you can save it to your Story highlights so that it’s not lost after 24 hours and people can still view it.
Story highlights can really help you to tell your brand’s story. If you’re wondering what your brand story is and how you can get better at telling it, check out our free Instagram course where we dive deep into this!
5) Include hashtags.
Did you know that you can use hashtags in Stories as well as your grid posts? You can add up to 10 hashtags to your Stories but try not to make them look cluttered. To do this, you can shrink the text down so it is really small or even hide them behind stickers you are adding to your Story. Hashtags in your Stories work in the same way as regular hashtags in making your content more discoverable.
The most common mistake I notice business owners make when selecting their Instagram hashtags is choosing many that are oversaturated with millions of posts. These don’t give their post the opportunity to “trend” as they are too popular — it just gets lost in the mix! Try out a tool like flick.tec to help you find the perfect hashtags for your content every time!
6) Ask questions.
This is another great way to connect and engage with your audience. If you are just posting images or text statements, then people aren’t really going to engage with you. But if you are asking questions, you are giving people a reason to send you a DM with their reply. Once they are in your DMs you can really build those connections!
7) Use Story polls.
Polls can be both fun and useful in your business.
Asking your followers fun questions like “Do you prefer tea or coffee?” or “Should I wear yoga pants all day?” add a personal, human element to your account. Whereas asking your followers “Do you prefer text content or audio content?” can help you make decisions in your business that you know your audience will love!
8) Try out the quiz feature.
This is another really fun feature that you can use to mix things up a bit in your Stories. We all know that people get bored if you’re just posting the same types of things over and over again.
Ask your followers fun questions about yourself, like:
“Which of these things did I eat EVERY day as a student?:
- a. Peanut butter,
- b. Chips,
- c. Carrots,
- d. Oysters”.
This really adds an element of your personality (which is a big part of your business branding) to your account and helps your target audience really connect with you.
9) Engage your audience in a Stories chat.
The chat feature allows you to create a group chat in your DMs based on whatever you are sharing in your stories. So, let’s say your Instagram Stories are all about your most effective email marketing strategies, you can ask your audience to share what works really well for them in the chat. Then the people who join the chat and share and chat about their own strategies.
Want to know how to engage your audience in posts? Click here to read more about how to get more comments on your Instagram posts!
10) Include your location.
Lots of people actually use Instagram to search for local businesses and attractions. When they search for a location, the posts that have tagged that location will show up, including Stories. Like with using Geotags in your feed posts, this feature will help your discoverability and reach.
The main thing is to implement these Instagram Story ideas and to do them consistently.
I know that the average business day can sometimes feel overwhelming and posting an Instagram Story is the last thing you want to do. That said, it’s a surefire way to not only keep your audience engaged but a way to share more about yourself and your business.
It’s the perfect way to make and strengthen those real, human connections that you’re making with your audience.
Want to get booked out through Instagram?
If you’re ready to learn how to:
- Make personal and meaningful connections with your community;
- Grow your audience (without any spammy tactics!!);
- Market your business on Instagram in a way that turns followers into fans & paying clients;
- Avoid the biggest Instagram marketing mistakes (that I made when I first started );
- And, how to generate more leads, more clients, and more income from Instagram!
- PLUS all of this is tailored specifically for your service-based business!