+ PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE & CONTENT (this goes for any posts on socials)
Have a plan. Social media has changed so much even just in the past year or so, with lots of talk around 'algorithms' and how often you should or shouldn't be posting.
As a small business owner on Instagram or 'influencer' etc., unfortunately you are competing with so many other accounts to be seen and it can be hard to have a stream of engaging content everyday whilst trying to run a business, work or just have a life.
The best way around this is scheduling your content weekly for what works around you. Maybe spend a few hours one day creating all your content for the following week so you know when and what you're posting, rather than posting any old rubbish as a 'filler' or not posting at all.
Plan your content in line with your brand and upcoming events such as holidays, celebrations, etc. If there are certain days that you know you want to mark, create the content in advance so that when they day comes you're ready to go.
+ USE ENGAGEMENT TOOLS SUCH AS POLLS, TAGS & QUESTIONS
You'll all have seen the 'extras' you can add to stories, so use them. Whether its running a poll for fun, or for some market research for yourself, go for it! Start those conversations, get you know your following.
Ask your followers questions, using the 'QUESTIONS' OR 'QUIZ' tools. Use locations, hashtags and mention (@) people.
Add music, who doesn't love some music, even if it's just a little tune. It might just keep people a sec seconds longer on your stories.
+ ENCOURAGE DM'S & RESPONSES
As above, you can encourage or prompt responses through the story extras, but, you can also use this effectively by giving your follower some information and asking them to 'DM' you for more info or to get involved. From that you can then build relationships and connect with other accounts.
Another way in which you can do this is by sharing your feed posts to your stories and asking for engagement. For example, 'Comment on our post with your favourite colour option' or 'tell us what you're up to this Sunday'. There are literally so many ways in which you can gain responses, so have a play around and see what happens.
+ SHOW YOUR FACE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE SO PEOPLE CAN PUT A FACE TO THE NAME
We say 'every once in a while' because there are opposed opinions on this one, some people feel that whatever your brand is, that you should 'show up' on stories, give everyone a tour of your house and divulge all your personal information, whilst others are put off your brand if it's 'all about you', so find that happy medium, whichever you're comfortable with, or just experiment to see what works for you.
+ STAY IN LINE WITH YOUR BRAND WHEN DESIGNING CONTENT
There are so many apps that you can use for free to create content for your socials super easily. Stay in line with your brand in your colours/style so that your followers will be able to identify your brand out of a see of stories when tapping through them.
This is also the perfect opportunity to showcase your products, show people what you as a brand are about and show that professionalism - You don't need a whole Marketing team or a graphic designer to create content.
Adobe Spark & Canva are two of my personal favourites.
+ USE 'ACTION' PROMPTING PHRASES
This is a great tool, people may say they don't like being told what to do, but, in certain forms, it plants a seed in the viewer's mind that they're potentially missing out on something if they don't follow your action prompt. (FOMO)
For example, if we are reviewing a business, we will always say 'GO CHECK THEM OUT!!' or something similar. We are then directing you to do something, whether you do or not, is of course your choice, however, polite action phrases have been said to boost engagement, whether that's heading to your profile, website or shop, prompting a response, giving you a follow 0r heading over to your most recent post.
This can be done via voice recording/video, text or even GIFs, e.g. TAP HERE.
We hope this has been super helpful, given you an insight or inspired you to get planning those Insta stories. Stay tuned for more business & social tips from Spotlight Society on our blog & socials.