Unsurprisingly, one of the topics that we get asked about most by our members is Instagram! Most of us know by now the power that the platform can have and the money that it can help creators to make. So, it’s no shock that our Glow Getters want to know how they can harness and grow the platform, to get as much out of it as possible.
Whilst we would never recommend putting all of your time and energy into the ‘gram (and neglecting the platforms you own like your blog and mailing list), we do think that it can be a great tool in your influencer arsenal!
And, in 2020, one of the best ways that you can build a relationship with your audience is through Instagram stories.
That’s why we wanted to sit down and chat you through how you can actually get people watching them! Based on our experience, here are our 6 steps for how to get more views on Instagram Stories.
Step One: Use hashtags
We talk a lot about hashtags in the hub. We’ve seen first hand the power that they have in terms of building impressions, with some of our members seeing even triple growth in the number of people that are seeing their posts.
This is true of grid photos, but the same principle applies to Instagram Stories. When someone searches a hashtag, Instagram shows stories in that category right at the top of the page. It’s a total goldmine!
Unlike grid posts which you can use up to 30 hashtags in, Instagram Stories are limited to 10. Just as we would recommend for grid posts, make sure that the hashtags you use are relevant and try to pick ones that are varying sizes: Some that have a tonne of posts using them and some that are a little less popular. This will give you the best chance of reaching as many people as possible.
The good news is, you don’t even have to have these hashtags visible on your story. Simply pinch them until they’re so small that they “disappear” or hide them behind a sticker.
We have a constantly growing database of hashtags for a range of different niches in our “Grow Your Instagram” resource bundle. To gain access and see the same brilliant results as our members, join our waitlist.
Step Two: Tag your location
In the same vein as hashtags, tagging your location gives you more potential for being seen by people that don’t follow you. Any time that someone checks out a particular geotag on the ‘gram, there’s a chance that they will be shown your Instagram stories.
Whilst we’re not claiming that this will make a massive difference to your views, every new pair of eyes counts and could be a future follower or fan!
This tool is particularly brilliant for tagging locations that are related to your niche: If you’re an eco blogger and hit up your favourite low-waste shop, tag it! If you’re a fashion creator and you’re at the opening of a new shop (or any shop for that matter), let people know about it!
The people likely to be looking at those locations are probably interested in what you discuss.
Step Three: Always add subtitles
We asked in our exclusive member Facebook group what some pet peeves were in regards to Instagram Stories. And by far the one that came out on top was this:
Most importantly, you should be making your platforms as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. Captions are a big part of this that you shouldn’t neglect.
On top of that though, think of how many people watch stories on silent. Whether they’re on trains, among friends or even at work (been there, done that), if you’re talking in a story and not captioning it, they won’t know what’s going on! They will most probably skip it, likely meaning Instagram will suggest your stories to them less in the future.
Whether you hand-type your captions, or use a caption generator app, just make sure you’re not speaking into the “on silent” void.
Step Four: Get interactive
If people interact with your post in some way, the engagement rate on your Instagram Stories will go up. Whilst it’s not possible to pinpoint exactly how Instagram’s algorithm works, many people suggest that the more your post is interacted with by an individual, the more your future posts will be shown to them.
With this in mind, give people a way to engage!
Whilst showing off your morning coffee is all good and well, people probably aren’t going to be gagging to send you a message about it. Get creative and encourage people by asking questions (“what’s YOUR Starbucks order?”) and by using the dedicated viewer-engagement stickers that stories provide: Polls, countdowns, sliders, chats and quizzes!
All of these will keep people interacting as they watch, which is only good news for you and your views.
Step Five: Keep your audience engaged
We’re not talking about your engagement rate now. We’re talking about actually creating content that keeps you at the front of people’s minds when they hop on the app or, even better, as they go about their day!
To do this, make sure that you are creating content that is relevant to your audience. If you’ve established your niche – you totally should have, by the way – try to post within that. Since stories are the most “casual” option on the platform, it can be tempting to share anything and everything, but this isn’t going to be the content that your followers are likely to connect with.
So, really think about whether what you’re sharing is adding value to their lives.
On top of this, showing your commitment to the people that follow you can be a great way to build this connection further. That’s why we’d recommend posting to your stories about 5 times a day, to keep people coming back for more.
Step Six: Create Shareable graphics
Finally, encourage your followers to share you with the world!
One of the best ways to do this is by posting “shareable” Insta Stories graphics. These can be anything from quote cards relevant to your niche, “This or That” games or even “fill in the blanks” pages for people to print screen and type over.
Either way, ensure that the graphics are in your branding and that you write your username on them, just in the case someone shares it without tagging you.
By utilising these graphics, you can hope to see a boost in followers and, as such, a boost in Instagram Stories views, too.
As you can see, the key to seeing growth with your stories is to ensure that they are consistent, engaging and that they are showing up on Instagram in as many places as possible through tagging! That way, not only will you get more eyes on them, but those eyes will hopefully convert to more followers that are relevant to you.
Like most things as a creator, it’s a process and a learning curve. However, by utilising all six of these steps, you’re bound to see a boost in the number of people watching over time.
To learn more about nailing your online presence, check out our freebie resource library, for tips on everything from crafting an about page, to which affiliate programmes you need to be using!