How to Create Winning Instagram Stories
Hey there Instagram star! Stories may seem like a simple way to share life with your followers, but after talking with friends, followers, and clients, it can actually be quite overwhelming for some and understandably so. If you're a blogger, business, or story teller in general, creating winning Instagram stories is much more than just snapping and sharing. Interested in learning how to create simple but effective Instagram stories that tell your brand story? Keep scrolling, loves!
Create Series & Utilize the Highlights Feature
Who would've thought Instagram stories would allow you to create weekly segments for your followers? Is it too much to say that you're basically television?... Er, maybe. But when you know your favorite account will be doing their weekly "WCW" or "Fashionable Fridays", it creates such a similar feeling as tuning into watch The Bachelor (we know what you did, Arie). That is power and something you should be taking advantage of. It shows consistency within your brand and gives a cultured vibe to your page. Examples: Fashion Flash Back Fridays, This Week's Badass Babe, Our Top Products of the Week, etc. Don't forget to utilize the Highlights feature as well. This allows you to save important story slides that are relevant to your overall brand. For example, I have two highlights announcing my recent re brand and IG handle name change. This will help any confused followers of mine if they're unable to find my old handle.
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Get Artsy & Interactive
When it comes to monetizing your social media, utilizing stories is a great way to get started. Just published a new blog post you worked super hard on? Share the crap out of it on your story. Have a BIG sale going on? Make sure to share that in a way that makes them want to swipe up or click the link in your bio. One way to get interactive on stories is through the artistic features. Get creative with the drawing, GIF, sticker, and emoji features. Accounts that nail this: Ban.do, The Style Club LA, Ali & Ariel, and Bloguettes.
Share the Boring Stuff
When I ask clients or friends why they don't post on their IG story, the number one response is that their lives aren't exciting enough. I cannot tell you how okay it is to have "boring" Instagram stories. While they may not be fun to watch at first, it will soon be seen as life sharing and your followers will eventually start to know about you and the simple little highlights of your life. You don't have to be the outgoing blogger who is on the set of an awesome shoot every weekend. You are more than welcome to be the funny young woman who just graduated college, who is applying for jobs left and right, and who just tripped over her dogs leash while taking him on a walk. Share your obsession over Starbucks. Tell them all about the day you had shopping with your Grandma. In my opinion, there's never too much or too little to share on Instagram stories. So long as you're being your true self and being honest about the "gist" of your life!
Re-posting & Inspo Sharing
There is no shame in re-posting valuable, relevant material. If you're a hard working entrepreneur, re-posting Jenna Kutcher's quotes and captions is a great way to stay in the loop and share what inspires you. It shows your audience that even though you're a wickedly smart entrepreneur, you still look to other pages for help and inspiration. It's also a great way to share what you're learning. You know those stats you screen shot after reading the latest Later.com article? Shaaaaaare, queen!
Snap Now, Post Later
Not everyone has time to post to stories, especially if you want to be in the moment of whatever you're snapping. The best thing you can do here is take photos while you're at the event and share later. For example, I had the pleasure of attending a tomato gardening & cooking class last week. It was such a beautiful little event that I really wanted to snap photos but also give the group my undivided attention. Many of the photos I took were posted an hour or two after the class ended. This allowed me to enjoy my surroundings and really pay attention to what and how I was posting on my story later on. It also gave me a chance to really talk up the tomato class and draw attention to the photos I shared! If you attended a lengthy but Instagram-worthy class or workshop, snapping photos that you intend to share later will make sure you don't miss out on the knowledge you probably paid for!
Share Your Smarts
People have a thirst for knowledge and they want you to share your smarts! There are certain accounts I look to for certain things. Social media tips? I'm heading straight to @julssolomon. Beauty trends and updates? Hello @glossier. If you have a business page or have something you're knowledgeable in, constantly share your best tips and tricks with your audience. It shows that you're there to help them and instantly add value to your page!
When it comes to creating winning stories, you must recognize your strengths and weaknesses. If you hate doing video, be sure to share via photos or interactive series. If you love taking flat lays, use them as a background to your text. If you constantly get comments on your tips & tricks, keep sharing them! The best way to learn what works for you is to start - no matter how boring or exciting the material might be. All in all, tell a story and SHARE!
This post is not supported by Instagram - just my tips for creating effective stories :)