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How to Master Instagram Stories: A Guide for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs

Aug 20, 2018

Ahhh, Instagram Stories. You either love them, or you hate to love them, but either way you still find yourself endlessly watching, interacting and swiping up. However you feel about them, one thing is clear; Instagram Stories are a great tool for entrepreneurs and bloggers.

Related: 50 Must-Use Hashtags for Creative Entrepreneurs to Boost Your Instagram Engagement

Why Instagram Stories are so Powerful

Personal Connection

Instagram stories allow you to connect with your audience in a way that your pretty and curated in-feed content doesn’t. People can get to know you, see the behind the scenes and really start to form that know, like and trust factor that’s so important. Stories allow for people to see you not perfectly polished all the time, which seems scary, but is actually great because it makes you relatable and helps you build those personal connections.

Interaction

Instagram has given us so many amazing features on stories that allow our followers to interact with us in really cool ways. You should absolutely be using the story features Instagram releases. Pro tip: Instagram favors accounts who use their new features! Ask your followers questions, create polls and sliders, add fun gifs and more. Plus, when people interact with your stories, they will start seeing more of your content. Win, win.

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How to Master Instagram Stories: A Guide for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs on South and Palm Blog

Direct Links

If you have 10,000 followers you can add direct links to your story with the swipe up feature. This is the easiest way to get your followers to your links without making them navigate to you profile to find your link. However, if you don’t have 10k followers, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to direct people to your links, swipe up is just the most convenient, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best!

Communication through DM’s

Communication through DM’s with your followers is the best way to grow a loyal fan base and following. Think about it…. Don’t you love when you reply to a story and the person actually takes the time to reply back to you? I know I do! Especially when it’s a big account or an account I’ve been admiring. People love human connection and it’s more important than ever now when it comes to building a business and brand.

How to Utilize Instagram Stories for your Business or Blog

Free Video Training: How to Utilize Instagram Stories to Grow Your Following

Use the Features Instagram Gives You

Interaction is key. We want our followers to be interacting and engaging with our content. A great way to do this is by using the features Instagram gives us. Instagram loves when we use the features they spent so much time building!

  • Create a Poll 
  • Ask a Question
  • Create a Slider
  • Have Viewers Swipe Up

Take the Conversation to your DM’s

Tell people to slide into your DM’s – seriously! This takes the conversation off of stories and allows you to connect with each individual. It doesn’t have to be an all day DM fest, but a quick hi, some words of encouragement or a fun tip are great ways to build the trust of your audience and turn followers into fans and fans into buyers.

Take your Followers Behind the Scenes

People love to see what other people are doing on a daily basis – that’s why social media was created in the first place! So take your followers behind the scenes, show them a day in the life, give them glimpses of what it’s like to be you and what is happening in your business. People love story, relate-ability and connection.

How to utilize Instagram Stories for your business or blogClick To Tweet

Tag Away!

You can still use hashtags and location tags in your story! This is a great way for your content to be seen by people who don’t follow you because there’s a chance it will end up on the story of the specific hashtag or location you tagged. This is a very underutilized feature in my opinion but also a very powerful one. Pro tip: You can hide hashtags behind stickers or gifs so your story doesn’t look like a cluttered spam fest!

Share Updates

Let your followers know when a new blog post has gone live or there’s a new podcast episode up. Tell them when you have a new product, course or service for sale. Let them know what’s happening in your business because they may not be seeing your in-feed posts or they may need another touchpoint to get them to take action!

Use Story Highlights to your Advantage

Your story highlights should showcase the best of your business. Highlight products, services, client testimonials, freebies, affiliates, etc. Showcase your favorites posts, podcast episodes, blog posts, Youtube videos and more. Your Instagram profile is like your homepage and your story highlights are like your tabs. What do you want people to see right away? What’s going to make them click follow, head to your website or click the link in your bio?

Free Templates: Instagram Story Highlight Cover Templates for Canva

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