Better late than never, right?
After yesterday’s whopper of a post, I didn’t really feel up to the challenge of cranking out another 500-1000 words… so I stuffed my face full of popcorn and binge-watched the new show LA to Vegas. BTW it’s hilarious – highly recommend.
But never fear: I’m still here with a new Blogging Basics post. Yay, I know. This week’s topic? An effective Instagram Stories strategy for bloggers (and influencers). This is the strategy I’ve used to double my Instagram Stories viewership over the past three months – I hope it works for y’all as well as it has worked for me!
What I’m Wearing:
Shirt: Ann Taylor / Pants: Ann Taylor / Shoes: Sole Society, c/o / Bag: Senreve / Sunglasses: Ann Taylor
Earrings: Sugarfix by BaubleBar, c/o / Pink Nail Polish: Essie, c/o / Navy Nail Polish: Essie, c/o
I have to admit: when Instagram first debuted its Instagram Stories functionality, I didn’t immediately jump on the bandwagon. And I definitely think the fact that I waited so long hurt me in the long run.
As with everything else on Instagram (and Facebook, for that matter), the algorithm rewards those who post regularly. For Instagram posts, that means posting at least once each day at the exact same time every day.
You might have noticed that I recently began posting on my Instagram each day at noon. And my average reach has almost doubled in under one month. Sure there are days (like today… ugh) when that reach doesn’t lead to as many likes as one expects, but the reach has increased nonetheless. So, in the event that any of you benefit from this post, here is my effective Instagram Stories strategy for bloggers!
Effective Instagram Stories Strategy for Bloggers
Effective Instagram Stories Strategy: Post regularly
Instagram rewards those who engage with the platform regularly and predictably. If you post regularly, Instagram will put your story at the front of the list for more people. Which means that more people will watch it. Which then translates to Instagram putting your content in front of even more people.
While creating your effective Instagram Stories strategy, I recommend starting off by figuring out at how many Instagram Stories your followers want to see from you each day. It might be one or two stories each day. It might be five or six stories each day. For me, my followers seem to want to see somewhere before five and eight stories each day. That’s the amount at which I receive the highest level of engagement, before people start swiping away. If you take off a day or two, no worries… just don’t make it a week.
Effective Instagram Stories Strategy: Mix it up
The best way to keep your audience engaged is by varying up your content. Use photos, videos, Boomerangs. I try to post one poll a day with which my audience can engage. You can even incorporate GIFs to mix it up even more.
If you want to incorporate professional photography, do so sparingly. As an influencer, you are your brand… and your followers want to see you come to life through your social media channels. The stories with which my audience engages the most are always the ones in which I’m the most real. The videos of me going on weird tangents about clowns while doing my makeup. The ones of me naming my zits.
Turns out, my followers like to see me being my friggin weirdo self. So I let my freak flag fly (at least once per day).
Effective Instagram Stories Strategy: Create some sort of a content schedule
This is stage 3 of my effective Instagram Stories strategy and – to be honest – I haven’t exactly tackled this one yet. One of my favorite bloggers, @lizadams from Sequins & Stripes, does a weekly “Cooking With Liz” Wednesday night segment on her Instagram Stories. Her most loyal followers tune in each week to join her in cooking one of her favorite dishes. Not only is this a fun activity through which she can engage and connect with her followers, but her followers also end up posting about the dishes they make and thus potentially turning their own followers onto Liz’s Instagram and blog.
Another one of my favorite bloggers, Kelly from Kelly in the City (@kellyinthecity), regularly posts during her daughter’s naptimes. She even calls the segments “Naptimes with Kelly” (or, if her husband joins her, “Naptimes with Kelly & Mitch”). Her followers know that a few times each week in the mid afternoon, Kelly will be on Instagram Stories, filling her followers in on what’s going on in her life.
Don’t cook / don’t have a napping toddler? You could turn Sunday afternoons into your try-on session time. Or each week after your favorite show airs, you could hit Instagram Stories with your key takeaways from that week’s episode (just don’t forget to warn your followers about potential spoilers!). An effective Instagram Stories strategy might even include a Wednesday night Wine Wednesday, in which you go on video, taste-testing various wines and answering followers’ questions.
I truly have no idea if doing a regular Instagram Live will offer the same benefits as creating an Instagram Stories content schedule. My friend Nita of @nextwithnita loves Instagram Live… while I [truthfully] kind of hate it. If you’ve seen positive results from using Instagram Live, please let me know!
Do you have any other tips for creating an effective Instagram Stories strategy? Or do you want to see anything in particular on my Instagram Stories in the future? Let me know in the comments below!