Instagram stories are a completely unfiltered way to use Instagram. It’s for behind the scenes content, quick reviews, life updates, small snippets and it’s completely casual and engaging.
Remember the Snapchat days (they are almost over). When you would post anything and everything about your life because of how intimate it felt? You knew you were only sharing your content with close friends and people you were comfortable with. It was completely unfiltered, casual and unedited. When Instagram stories were first introduced in August 2016, no one knew what to do with it because it resembled Snapchat. It was used to post edited pictures and write funny, quirky, engaging captions. If you look at regular the Instagram feed now, it has changed. People are investing in their captions and are becoming more authentic with their audience through their captions. Although this allows us to get to know people more, there is so little you can learn about a person from edited and orchestrated pictures and a caption.
This is where Instagram stories come in. Instagram stories are a perfect way for you to share your unfiltered shots, thoughts, process, experiences and anything else without editing it too much or thinking about the quality. It allows for more authenticity so your audience can feel like they know you. You can think of it as a Vlog or behind the scenes of your favourite Instagrammers life.
How Can I Use Instagram Stories to Engage with my Audience?
Within Instagram stories, there are a lot of features like: the poll, quiz, the voting meter, and question stickers that you can use to engage with your audience. Instagram stories are not meant to be edited, planned or professional. In fact, the Instagram stories with less planning and editing get the most engagement and views. This is because your followers want to connect with you and engage in conversation without feeling like it needs to be professional, or that other people will see it like in the comments.
Right now, we see bloggers and creatives using their Instagram stories to promote products with the swipe-up function. We are seeing more of this because it’s quicker to swipe up on a product you’re are interested in.
If you want to use Instagram stories effectively, take advantage of it by thinking of your audience first. Your feed is already tailored to your own standards when it comes to lighting, editing, and planning. Give your audience a chance to connect with you by showing them you are still human and engaging with them in your stories so they feel closer to you.