I'm not saying I'm the queen of Insta Stories, but I don't mind if you do. ;)
I love everything about Instagram (minus the algorithm), and Stories are no exception. My fave thing about Insta Stories is that they are so damn FUN. I am a creative at heart, so whenever I can find a new way to express myself, count me in.
Instagram Stories are so, so important for engagement. My actual Instagram posting can be—ahem—sporadic at times, but I try (optimal word: try) to post on my Stories each day because they are such an easy and effective way to engage with my Instagram audience.
I get asked questions about my Story curation DAILY, so here I am to spill ALL the juice:
10 Ways to Make Your Instagram Stories Lit
- Mix media— I'm talkin' pics, videos, gifs, stickers, text—ALL OF IT. I love using a variety of media in my Stories because it makes them engaging and actually interesting. Who wants to see 32 pictures strung together with one lame filter and nothing more? No one, that's who! People crave visual INTEREST. It's time to shake this puppy up! (Do not ever, under any circumstances, shake a real puppy. I MEAN IT.) Gifs are one of my favorite elements to add in my Instagram Stories. They majorly rev up the humor, which I think is a great thing.
- Use other apps— My personal favvvvoritttttte app for Stories is Unfold hands down. It costs a couple bucks to download, but's totally worth it for how often I use it. You can create sleek collages that are a mix of photos and videos. For a couple more dollars, you can purchase the FFI pack, which will give you access to Polaroud-esque frames and film strip layouts. I'm also a huge fan of Huji. (The main blog picture was edited with Huji) It's the app all of your favorite Instagram models are using to give their photos that glowy vintage look with the random light bursts. You know the ones.
- Play with text features— Mixing different types of text in a Story really elevates the overall vibe. There are five font options in Stories right now, and you can add colored text backgrounds to most of them. I also like to write the text sans background, then add a "brush stroke" behind the text with the pen tool. It gives a hand drawn look that's uber chic. Sometimes, I also like to draw behind only half of the text I've written to give the Story some dimension.
- Experiment with the background colors— So a question I get fairly often is, "How do you make your Instagram Story background a solid color?" Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. You can upload any image from your phone with the little box in the bottom left-hand corner of the Story screen. Once you do this, click on the pen tool, and select the color you want your background to be. (If you want a custom color, you can simply click then hold down the color that is the closest to color you want, and a color selection tool should pop up.) Once you've chosen your desired background color, simply click anywhere on the screen and hold your finger down until the entire screen is populated with your chosen background color. If you want a transparent color image, just make sure you select the "marker" tool (second tool from the left) before you hold down on your screen to fill in the color background. Voila!
- Use the eraser tool— This step is particularly useful if you want to entice viewers to visit a new post on your Instagram profile. I usually take a screenshot of my Instagram grid, then do a colored background overlay (as mentioned above). Then, I "erase" most of my grid photos so that only my new post is hidden. How ... mysterious.
- Make your grid POP— This one takes some practice, but it is by far my most-asked Insta Story question. When you access your Instagram feed, you will need to click on one of your individual posts. Hold down the photo you want to showcase until it "pops up" on the screen. What you'll ultimately want to do is hold down the image with your thumb while you simultaneously take a screenshot of the image. Be patient. I got it on my first try, but we can't all be me ;)
- Hashtags and tags— Did you know hashtags actually work in Stories? The easiest way to get your Stories viewed by more people is to use the hashtag feature. You'll have to experiment with which hashtags garner the most results in Stories, but I have found successful hashtags that doubled and tripled my Story reach. It's also important to tag other relevant individuals and brands in your Stories. This will help you get reposted from other accounts and, therefore, increase your reach. I say "relevant" because you don't want to come across also spammy and gross. Getouttaheya.
- Use video— Mini-vlogging and using other videos in your Stories will instantly make them more engaging. The more time users spend on your Stories, the better it is for your engagement. If you just post a bunch of photos in your Stories, people are more likely to click through them than watch them until the end because they're just images. Videos are a different story. (haha, get it??)
- Boomerang, Stop Motion, Superzoom— These are my faaaave Story features. I honestly don't think I will ever get sick of the Superzoom option—it cracks me up every time. Stop Motion videos are also a favorite, and you can't be a basic bitch without Boomerang—am I right? All of these features can make your Stories a little more "ha" than "blah." Variety is the spice of life after all.
- Make your Stories interactive with polls— I know; I know. I'm alllll about some interaction on this list, but the whole point of your Stories is to get people to watch them, right?? I do my famous (infamous?) Fries vs. Guys polls on Fridays, and they always garner a fun response. I also poll my audience about upcoming blog posts and Instagram content. The possibilities are endless, y'all!
What's your favorite Insta Story "hack?" Do you do any of the above?? Tell me in the comments!