If you’ve ever listened to this podcast, you know that I love Instagram. I love teaching you how to use Instagram, I love interviewing guests about Instagram strategies, and I love using Instagram personally.
I have tons of episodes on Instagram that you can go back and listen to, but today, I want to take a bit of a different route. Today, I want to talk to you about how to create Instagram Story ideas for business.
IE 250: Instagram Story Ideas for Business
Let me start by asking you a question- when you do Stories on IG, are you telling a story, or are you scrapbooking?
If you aren’t sure how to answer that question, stay tuned!
Before we dive into the content, have you grabbed my free IG Engagement Guide? If not, you need to do that right now! Engagement is what matters on IG, and you need to have your account set up to increase engagement with your audience. So grab your free guide, and let’s get started.
The 4 Pillars of Instagram Content
Back in episode 237 of the podcast, I told you all about the 4 pillars of content you need to create for Instagram. As a reminder, those 4 pillars are-
As we move through this episode, I want you to continue to refer to those 4 pillars. And if you aren’t sure how to create those specific types of content, go back and listen to that episode because I give a lot of ideas on how to do that.
How to Consistently Create Instagram Stories
Back in November of 2019, I did an episode on how to create Stories for Instagram consistently. But keep in mind, this was pre-pandemic, and the world was a different place. Social media was different.
My strategy in that episode was very fragmented. At the time, I gave you a lot of ideas on sharing the behind-the-scenes of your life throughout your day.
That strategy is what I am now referring to as scrapbooking.
It’s sharing many different pieces of your day or your life, but it’s all disjointed. There is no storyline. Now, if you aren’t being consistent in creating Stories yet, that is a great place to start. It gives your audience a chance to get to know you and to build a relationship with you.
But if you are already being consistent in creating Stories and you want to see your engagement increase, it’s time to level up your strategy.
Creating a Storyline in Stories
Scrapbooking in Stories creates a mishmash of information about you but it doesn’t tell your audience a story. A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
A story isn’t so much about the behind-the-scenes of your day; it’s more of an incident, a specific situation.
If you’re somewhere, tell them why you’re there, what you’re doing, and how it’s going. If you’re creating content on your blog for your audience, tell the story of what gave you the idea, what you’re doing to get the information, or how the photoshoot for the post is going.
How can you take something that’s happening in your life or something you’re doing, and create a Story for IG about it with a beginning, middle, and end.
For a great example of what I’m talking about, check out Phil Palen’s highlight on his hot air balloon ride. He created a fantastic story that drew us in and got us invested in how it would turn out.
Share Yourself in Your Stories
The great thing about creating storylines is that you can step outside the “business box” and share more of your true self. You can inject some personality and some real life.
Let me give you an example of how I do this.
You all know that I am a business coach. I share how to work with brands, give IG tips, and teach bloggers how to scale their businesses. But one day recently, my daughter came home from school and started begging me to do a TikTok dance with her.
Now if you know me, you know that I don’t do TikTok dances. It’s not who I am. End of story.
However, for some unknown reason, I decided to do this with her and make it into a story. I started the story by sharing how we have chosen not to allow our girls any social media until they are 18. So I asked her how she knew about this dance if she didn’t have TikTok.
And I recorded her telling me how she knew about it (from friends), and then I shared a poll so that my audience could vote on whether or not they thought I would get up and do this dance with my daughter. (And by the way, some of y’all know me really well because a lot of you said, “Heck no! You’ll never do that!”)
As it turns out, her desire to engage with her old, uncool mom won the day, and I did do the dance with her, which she recorded, edited, and shared with me.
The last part of that Story was me asking my audience if they thought I was good enough to move on to America’s Got Talent. I did another poll for that question.
The purpose of that Story wasn’t business-related. At all.
The purpose was to show a storyline from my real life as the mom of a middle-schooler who doesn’t always want to hang out with me, but on this day, she was engaging me in something that was important to her. She was asking me to have fun with her.
It increased my engagement with my fellow moms who are either in that same life stage with their own middle-schoolers or who see it coming. It allowed me to share how our family handles social media with our kids.
Use All the Features of Instagram
As I shared that story of doing the TikTok dance with my daughter, did you pick up on how I used the features IG offers to weave throughout the Story I was creating?
If you go back to episode 184, I share more about using the features IG offers to get people to talk to you. I especially love the Poll feature for creating engagement with my audience,
Your goal for creating consistent Story content on IG should be to increase the engagement with your people. The Poll feature is the best way to get your audience into your DMs where you can have a conversation with them.
When someone responds to your poll, you can swipe up on that Story to see who voted which way. And you will see a tiny airplane next to their name that allows you to jump directly into their DMs.
To use IG features to their full extent, send a DM to each person who answered your poll. You don’t have to create a new conversation for each person; just have a question you’re going to ask your people who voted one way and a question for the ones who voted the other way.
All you’re doing is using the Poll feature to continue the conversation.
How You Win the Algorithm
Everybody is fighting the ever-changing algorithms of social media. How can you get your content seen by the audience you want to attract?
You do it by getting into their DMs.
When someone engages with you in their DMs, Instagram understands that you are friends and that this person wants to see your content. So IG will begin to show that person more of your content higher in their feed and closer to the front of their Stories.
Not only does it help you with the algorithm, but it also gives you more ideas for content based on the way your audience votes. When you ask them questions, and they answer you, you learn more about what your audience wants, and you can create the content to solve those problems or answer their questions.
The other great thing about this is that it makes your audience want more content from you. Now that they know you can provide them with the solution to their problems, they will automatically look to you for those solutions, which increases their engagement even more.
This Works for Any Niche
In the episode, I gave a specific example of how a food blogger can use this strategy of creating a storyline for your IG Stories.
But it will work no matter what your niche is.
People want to be told stories. They want you to share a part of your life or a project you’re working on, and they want to see it start to finish. They want to participate and give you their opinions.
If you share a photo of a finished project, that’s a fragment of the story. It’s just one snapshot, and it’s what you would put in a scrapbook. But if you share the project from start to finish, that’s a fully developed storyline.
Do you remember the days when people commented on blogs? If you want to create that kind of engagement with your audience, you can do it through IG Stories.
And if you take my advice and try this method, be sure to tag me on IG, and I promise you I will come comment and engage in your Story and any features you use.
If you listen to this podcast but never take action on what I share, you will not grow. So don’t be a perpetual student who never takes action. Try these things and see if you don’t increase your engagement!
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