With its many features, personalized content, and endless inspirational material (from painting to sports to fashion), it’s no wonder why Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites out there. But while the ability to post about practically anything on your story (and have it disappear within 24 hours) is great, it can also be confusing. Should you put a ton of effort into making your study sessions look aesthetically pleasing, or should you take yet another #wokeuplikethis selfie? Let’s briefly break down how Instagram traffic works. The key is to entertain your current followers while attracting more traffic to your page (if that’s what you’re after), so in most cases, the more thoughtful the content, the better. Here are 10 Instagram story ideas to keep your followers engaged.
1. Draw Attention To Posts You Admire
Sometimes, you can amp up your story without ever even mentioning yourself or your own posts. If you’re following any accounts with inspirational, beautiful, or hilarious content, simply click on the “send” icon underneath the post and add it to your story (we speak from experience: it looks so much better than taking a screenshot and posting that). Instagram automatically picks up the most prominent color in the post, so when you put it in your story, you’ve got a nice background without even trying. Plus, by re-sharing the post with the method stated above, your device should automatically tag the original poster, and you may even get a shout out or two from a) fans of that person’s work or b) the person themselves.
2. Try The Poll Feature
One of the best pieces of conversational advice out there is to ask lots of questions about the other person. People love to talk about themselves! With the poll feature, you can put a few questions on your Instagram story while pairing them with cute or relevant images (you can download images for free on Unsplash). This feature’s great because no one can resist answering funny questions like, “Would you rather spend a week in Honolulu or a year in New York City?” and you get to see what they actually say. Plus, if you’re lucky, an old friend may DM you their answer and you may end up re-connecting.
3. Share Songs Or “Playlists”
Music is one of the biggest things we bond over, and most of the time, we’re happy to hear song or album recommendations from friends. One great thing you can do with your Instagram story is use the music feature to add a sample of a song you like to your story posts, so your followers get a kind of immersive experience of the kind of music you like. If you’re feeling really savvy, you could even make your own story templates (or fill out a couple from Canva) and recommend four or five songs to make a “playlist” (your first slide could read something like, “Classic Rock Songs for #casualfriday”).
4. Type In A “Quote Of The Day” (Or Something Similar)
Under the “create” feature in your Instagram story icon, there’s a specific template for quotations (which look great in the typewriter font). Share any quotes, sayings, or even verses you may admire, as well as captioning who said them. You can also tag the person who first said the words (if they have an Instagram), add a sticker or gif (just don’t overdo it) or add the hashtag “quote of the day”. Next step: consciously remembering to add a new quote every day…
5. Share Your Creative Process
Just master a killer song on the bass? Post consecutive clips of you rocking out to it. Love to shoot and edit your own photos? Show your followers how you do it! At its base, Instagram is a platform in which people can share their creativity, so if your personal hobbies extend beyond that which can be captured in an IG post, share your process in your Instagram story. Don’t want proof of your project to disappear? You can save parts of your stories with the “highlight” feature (the little heart that appears on your story at the bottom of the screen).
6. Tell A Few Jokes
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and in today’s digital world, it may be just the thing to refresh followers from countless mall selfies (no offense to the ones who partake in them). It may seem a little nerve-wracking to put your own jokes out there (as opposed to re-posting someone else’s), but with a little practice, you may be surprised to find out how clever you are. Don’t know where to start? Try looking at a few popular meme templates (such as the ones on imgflip) and see if you can put your own spin on one, or even try captioning a funny picture of your pet. Just try and keep it relatively clean and non-controversial (better safe than sorry).
7. Use Boomerang For Action Shots
There’s no way to sugarcoat it- the boomerang features is way overused. That being said, it can still be very entertaining in small doses. If you save the boomerang options for action shots (such as throwing a frisbee or jumping off a diving board), the final product can turn out really cool.
8. Post Reviews Of Books Or Movies
As long as you keep them candid and warn everyone about spoilers, in-the-moment reviews (ie having just finished a great book or walked out of an epic movie) are a great way to connect with your followers. Pro tip: people often don’t actually listen to Instagram stories, so make sure to tag something relevant in your first part of the story (such as the name of the movie you saw) or add stickers (like “story time”). Also, by typing out the important points in your review (you can do this after you film your clips), you can be guaranteed that no matter if your followers heard you or not, they got the 411 on the most recent Avengers movie.
9. Share Spontaneous (Not Forced) Moments
One main problem with Instagram users is that they’ll post so much of their current endeavors that they either forget to just live in the moment or they’ll seek out fun experiences solely for the purpose of posting them as they happen. To avoid falling into habits like this, take only a couple of photos when the moment is right (as in, it’s a quiet afternoon in a coffee shop) and add a location if you want to (this helps whatever business you’re at, too).
10. Use Re-Postable Templates
Lots of Instagrammers (like the Sunday Chapter) have lovely blank templates that are free for anyone to use. Simply take a screenshot of the template (it’ll be something like “My Life In GIFS”), fill it out, and post it. Don’t forget to include a blank version of that same template in your story, so others can fill one out too!
What do you usually put in your Instagram story? Did you get any new ideas? Tell us in the comments below!
featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/xZM5sAsuib0
Anna Livia is a Junior Communications student at John Paul The Great Catholic University. Her hobbies include reading how-to guides on being an adult, exploring the many pockets around North Country (San Diego) and attempting whatever new pasta recipes appear on Pinterest. She hails form Los Angeles but aspires to live in Houston one day for a career in Magazine Editing (not to mention the low housing prices). Her perfect afternoon would include cats of any kind, hot cider, and Malcolm In The Middle.