Let’s talk about Instagram Stories.
As I’ve been planning for the May Marketing Challenge, I’ve realized people aren’t making the most out of Stories. I haven’t talked about it EVER which is really shocking because it’s an underutilized tool and you can even consider it as the secret weapon in your marketing strategy.
Maybe you’re using Stories here and there, maybe you’re not using them all, or maybe you’re using them but not to their full potential. Guys. There is so much to gain from using Stories.
So I decided I needed to have an episode about all the different ways you can use Stories.
Stories are just one way to use Instagram. There’s also Reels and carousel posts and image posts and static posts. Man, putting all that out there just made me realize that there is so much going on Instagram right now! So I sympathize with you if you feel overwhelmed and not in the mood to learn another Instagram strategy.
But the good news about Stories, and what I’m going to talk about today, is that you don’t have to create new content just for Stories. You’re just tapping, talking, and typing.
And it’s going to improve your marketing right away! Here’s how:
1 – Show up Daily
A lot of people only show up on Instagram when they need to sell or have a new product or class launching. And that’s why a lot of people struggle with showing up on Instagram and posting, because they don’t want to feel salesy.
But of course you’re going to have a hard time selling and feel awkward doing it because you don’t have an AUTHENTIC relationship with your followers. It’s awkward to sell because you haven’t shown up at any other time.
This is where Stories come in. They create a connection and a two-sided relationship so that when it comes time to promote your new product/classes, it won’t feel like you’re just on Instagram to get sales. Don’t have to create content everyday, just show up as you do what
You show up by talking about everything – your family, your embarrassing moments, your behind the scenes, your meals. And it might feel like nobody cares, but they do! People love a good story, a good movie or TV show to watch develop, and they love to feel included in that. They don’t just want the commercials. Who would ever prefer the commercials over the actual TV show? That’s basically what you’re providing when you show up on Stories.
And at the end of the day, the content doesn’t matter just as long as there’s some connection point for your followers. Through telling your authentic stories DAILY, you create relationships.
2 – Get to Know Your Community
If you’re one of those people who just doesn’t like social media, I promise you will hate it less if you get to know your followers and give them an opportunity to connect with you. Don’t just post and ghost. Stick around after you post, have DM conversations, like and engage story replies. Have that back and forth relationship, that two sided friendship, online and give them an opportunity to be a part of your community. Because then it can turn into an online family.
3 – Don’t Just Post Pretty Canva Graphics
I think that we don’t use Stories to their fullest because we tend to overcomplicate them. Stories don’t have to be pretty. It can just be words and you talking to the camera. Really, truly.
Stop worrying about having pretty Canva graphics because nobody’s reading it and it’s not interesting, real life. Graphics do have a time and a place, but we MUST mix it up. You have to get your followers interested rather than just giving them a pretty graphic with a ton of information. Why would they even stop to read your information if they don’t know they want it yet?
We focus so much on the graphic when it’s the least important thing. Get them interested first, then use the pretty Canva graphics afterwards to provide the details. Engage your followers, speak to pain points, tell stories, understand what they need and want before we give them the information.
4 – Use Captions and Summarize Slides
Ninety-nine percent of the time I don’t have my sound when I’m clicking through Instagram Stories unless I see a summary that intrigues me. And I bet you’re the same way.
If you’re posting a talking Story, take the time and write out a small summary to hang out the duration of that slide. And the same with photos or other posts you share. I never just post a photo to my story. That doesn’t make people stop and think. I’ll quickly write out why I loved a certain graphic that I’m sharing or give background to a carousel I posted earlier.
You have to give context and a caption everytime you share a post, graphic or story. Remember to include words, not just photos and videos.
5 – Use Engagement Tools
These are the emoji slider, polls, question box or questionnaire stickers. Just like you use call to actions at the end of your captions to engage your followers, you use engagement stickers to engage followers on Stories. When you do this, you’re including your followers and allowing them to speak back to you. You’re facilitating that two-way relationship and getting to know your community.
6 – Show Your Personality
Share. Your. Real. Life. Self. This goes back to #1, and telling a story so when it’s time to sell, you have connections and aren’t coming off as salesy because you’ve already been providing value to the people you love.
7 – Show Your Face
This also goes back to #1. If you’re not showing your face, your page has no personality that your followers can connect with. Your page just seems empty. Showing up on Stories with your beautiful face helps your followers know who you are and allows them to connect with you even though they’ve never met you in real life.
And this is REALLY easy. You can post selfies of when you’re at dinner or out with family. You can of course do talking videos, in fact I encourage it!
8 – Share Posts and Reels with Context
This is kind of like #4 but I thought the whole context thing was so important, it needed its own tip. Whenever you share a post from your feed to your Stories, make sure you provide the background story and include an engagement sticker to keep people from just skipping by.
A lot of people are just using stories out of obligation but you need to show up and be genuine, with your face and with words and engagement tools and your personality. With context and not just the one-and-done. I hope this gave you more excitement about using Instagram and some fresh ideas to try with Stories this week!
And before I go, I wanted to make sure you knew that another round of group coaching is opening up! I’m getting ready for next month, so reach out if you’re interested and I’ll give you all the details.
Listen to the full episode here:
Kylee started Kylee Ann Photography 9 years ago, and has since grown from a one woman amateur show to a full associate team. We shoot 50-75 weddings a year, and thrive on kindness and service. After a year of teaching Intro to Photography at the local technical college, she discovered that helping other entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up! She hosts semi-annual Kylee Ann Sleepovers all over the US, speak at conferences and teach online courses about running a small business and marketing.
May 10, 2022