It’s time to start thinking of Instagram stories as a way to increase your follower count. Instagram reports that there are half a billion daily users of Stories, which is a lot. So if you’re not already using Stories to their full potential, now is the time to start doing so. So in this article, you’re gonna learn how to create Stories that increase your reach, boost engagement, and get you more followers.

What is an Instagram story?

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know what an Instagram Story is.It is a disappearing post on your profile. It’s gonna appear as a bright circle around your profile photo. It’s gonna stay there for 24 hours unless you decide to add it to your highlights. Apart from the massive growth potential, Instagram Stories are a super easy way to create, offer an authentic way to connect with your audience and the fact that Stories are temporary make them the perfect testing ground for new ideas.

How to post an Instagram story

To post an Instagram Story, you’re gonna wanna follow these steps. 

-First, tap the plus icon at the top right corner of your screen, this is gonna be next to your notifications and messages, or you can swipe your screen to the right.

-Select Story from the options of what you wanna create. Take a photo or record a video, or you can swipe to access your camera roll to upload a photo, graphic, video, or Boomerang  

-Edit your photo or video using Instagram’s various editing options. 

-Tap the Your Stories button to post your public Story or the Close Friends button to send only to a specific group if you do have this setup, and that is it.

So that’s the easy part. Now the hard part is creating content that people are gonna wanna keep coming back for. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some pro tips to help you blow up your Instagram following.

Use highlights

So when a new visitor comes across your profile, having highlights is a really great way to showcase who you are and what you are about. So whether you’re running a business or maybe you’re a content creator, you can actually use highlights to quickly give your audience an overall picture of who you are and what you do. So, for my business people, you might wanna include FAQs or maybe you wanna include testimonials and maybe some other how-to content.For my content creators, you might wanna include categorical highlights include behind the scenes highlights so that your audience can actually know you on a personal level.Sharing highlight content that’s useful and entertaining is a really great way to turn a viewer into a follower.

Do takeovers, So you can collaborate with other brands and other content creators to do a Story takeover. A Story takeover is when you appear in others’ Stories. So you can do this by paying for those Story slots. You can do this by exchanging Stories, as long as you do have a very similar follower count. So the way that this works is you would produce exclusive content, send the videos over to your partner, and then they would post it. But you wanna make sure that you are including a call to action and that your handle is there so that your followers know where to find you. This tactic actually used to be a lot more trendy a few years ago, but nonetheless, it still works and it’s still a really great tool to connect with other brands and other content creators, and it’s really great to start those relationships, and of course, this is gonna help you boost your follower count.

Create a shareable content

So you’re gonna wanna make your stories go viral. The more shareable your content is, the more people you reach and the more followers you are gonna gain. So how do you actually make shareable and more viral content? what you’re gonna wanna do is you’re gonna wanna ask yourself, what is the job that the content is gonna do for my followers? Is it gonna inspire them? Is it gonna make them laugh, teach them something, or impress them with something interesting? Or you can think about it this way. What would you share with your friends? If I look back at my own DMs and see what I’ve shared with my family, for example, it’s always something that’s relatable and usually something that’s hilarious, and it’s definitely something that I’ve never seen before. So try not to simply repost other people’s content if you really do wanna gain a loyal and engaged following.

Try to start off with a hook that captures curiosity or generates an emotional response, because people go through Stories so quickly, so you definitely need to create something that jumps out right away. If you don’t wanna stress every day over what you’re gonna be posting, consider treating your Instagram Stories like a TV network.

So you can make scheduled programming for the week or even reoccurring episodes that happen on certain days. Planning themes in advance is gonna help you create more addictive content for your viewers.

Run a giveaway via Stories 

Offer your audience a prize in exchange for them sharing your content. Also, make sure that in order to enter the giveaway, they must be following you, and this is gonna be a really great way to grow because your audience essentially acts as your own team of marketers. Sharing your content helps you reach a new audience that you didn’t have access to before, and this can really grow your follower count exponentially. Now, if you’re wondering, what can I give away, you’ve got tons of options. If you’re a business, you can give away a physical product. You can issue a coupon code. If you’re an influencer, maybe try teaming up with a brand to give away some products. Lots of brands are looking for influencers to market them on their behalf, so this would be equally beneficial for both of you.

Use Instagram Story features

You can increase your exposure and your engagement by using features like Instagram Stickers. Use question stickers to talk directly to your audience, and you can overlay a question sticker onto your photo or your video. You can just ask your audience for their opinion or maybe you can let them ask you if they have any questions.

GIF stickers and music stickers are another way to spice up your Instagram Stories. And honestly, don’t take yourself too seriously, just have fun with your audience and that should help increase some engagement.

Instagram Geotags

Now, if you’re trying to reach more people locally, you can use geotags. By regularly tagging your location in your Story when it is relevant, Instagram will show it to people who are checking in on that particular spot. 

Post consistently

So posting consistently is gonna be key to growing on literally any social media platform. Instagram rewards you for keeping people on their platform longer. When it comes to how many Stories you should post, try planning for one to seven times per day,  Any more than that, and your engagement will fall off. Now, if that sounds like a lot to you, don’t worry, no one expects you to invest half an hour on a post that’s not gonna be around after tomorrow, so forget about perfect lighting and just keep things authentic. But the more that you post, the more your audience is gonna interact with your Stories, and the higher up you will actually appear on the Stories feed.

Run Instagram Story Ads

If you’re looking to bring even more attention to your Instagram account, try running a little paid spend behind your highest performing Stories.

If it already has high engagement with your followers, you can bet that it will likely resonate with people in a similar niche. A Story Ad, if you’re not already aware, is gonna appear between users’ organic stories. So while you can use your Stories for anything, since you’re paying money to promote your Story ads, you should be creating them with a specific goal in mind. So run content that will increase followers or maybe make a sale.

Increase sales with Instagram stories

Instagram Stories also offers a massive opportunity to drive traffic to your online store. So if you have an Instagram Shop, you can link to products from your Stories, and this is a really great way to make it easy for your customers to make a purchase with you. You can even take advantage of Instagram’s latest feature, shopping on Explore, which makes reaching new customers so much simpler than before.

Thank you for reading,

see you soon.