Would you go up to a complete stranger and ask them to marry you? Perhaps more to the point, would you expect a complete stranger to want to marry you? Probs not. But if you got to know and like each other over time and you fell in love… Well, then BOOM! You’re engaged! Congratulations!!
It’s kind of the same thing when it comes to engaging your audience via Instagram stories. (See what we did there?). Wink wink. Your audience needs to get to know you over time so they can get to like you and fall in love with you and stay! We want you all to be getting engaged dag-nam it!
So… how do you get someone to fall in love with you online? Let’s start out with some failproof and foolproof steps.
Be yourself. Whether you’re posting stories for you or your business, get clarity on your message and why you need to share it. Tell your stories using your unique voice and be true to your brand’s personality each time. Perhaps there is a specific font you use to write on your stories that lets people know it’s you, or a consistent colour scheme, custom gif or call to action. Whatever it is, your audience will start to know and trust you once you are being completely true to your brand and voice so experiment, test and try things out, and once you find it, go for it!
Consider others. Your audience may not be in the same headspace as you when you share your story, so be sure to invite them into your experience by providing context, rather than leaving them feeling like they are just on the receiving end of your life 24/7. You can achieve this and gain rapport with your tribe by telling them the 5 ‘W’s of journalism and adding a call to action: Who, what, when, where, why and (CTA) How they can get involved. For example:
“Hi I’m Ally from Plann, and I’m writing a blog for you right now from the Plann HQ in Sydney Australia, about how to create Instagram stories that keep your audience engaged. Click the link below to read it!”
Actually engage with your story viewers by getting them to be interactive. Stickers are a great way to get a conversation started! This helps give real-time interactions that will help you hone your approach and find out in more depth who you’re actually speaking to via the feedback they provide. We love the Q&A feature which encourages your viewers to send in personal questions and then notifies them when you reply. Also, the poll feature lets people vote with a yes or no response to something specific, that you ask them. Super fun and connective.
Give direction. Believe it or not, people often like to be told what to do (by people they like that is). This allows you to get away with instructing your viewers (in a helpful way, of course). A common instruction for when you have more than one still image as your story sequence is; “Tap for more”, because if they don’t tap fast, each story will appear for up to 7 seconds if it’s a still image, and 15 seconds if it’s a video and ain’t nobody got time for that! This way, you’re valuing your audiences time while still communicating a message. Winning. Your people can simply tap the screen to move through the entire story sequence faster AND you’ve connected to them with instruction. Engaging and thoughtful.
Last but not least, we love the following fast five facts for stories that are certain to get us stuck until the end watching every dam time they post:
1. FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.
2. INSPO. Inspiration is always a must!
3. EDUCATION. Teach your followers something useful, that they didn’t know, and add value. Do it again and again and you’ll have a loyal following rather than fans.
4. Entertainment. Because scrolling’s not goaling. Most of the time.
5. Community. Feeling like you’re part of a tribe is one of the best things about social media. So keep it up communes.
And if all of those things do not get you engaged to your audience by the third date, joking, but really, by the six-month mark, then perhaps you need to rethink your strategy to target your posts to get you that much closer to your dreams of your followers saying “YES”.