9 Hacks That’ll Improve Your Instagram Stories & Get You More Followers

Learn how to become an influencer and how to make money on YouTube & Instagram on the new MagicLinks YouTube channel!

Instagram Stories started out as a novelty when it debuted in August 2016, but it has quickly become a HUGE component of both brands’ and influencers’ overall social media strategies. Read on for our 9 top strategies for improving your Instagram Stories!

(P.S. The Instagram Stories images in this post’s cover are, left to right, MagicLinks creators Daquana White, Maggie MacDonald, Tasha Farsaci, and Amy Macedo, who all do an amazing job of using IG Stories to connect with & grow their channels!)

1. Livestream Routinely

Set up a routine where you go live on Instagram Stories to your subscribers on certain days + times (i.e. Try New Things Thursday, Fashion Fridays, Sale Sundays, etc). Your fans will start tuning in each week, so they don’t miss out on this exclusive content. React to fan comments during the livestream, too.

    Pro Tip: Going live can also boost you to the first circle icon on fans’ Instagram news feeds, so it’s a quick way to get extra views.

2. Use Polls + Questions to Engage Fans

We’ve talked about this in depth before, but it’s worth repeating. Using the poll + questions features is FREE market research into what your subscribers want from you, and a fun way to up your engagement rates & bump your posts in the IG feed.

3. Optimize Your Content for Sound

Adding voiceovers or music to Stories engages your viewers, so pump up the volume – and add that all-important “Sound On” emoji!

4. Create Transparent Overlays

Use transparent overlays + the eraser tool to create eye-catching, professional-looking Instagram Stories, no editing apps required. Here’s how:

  • Take a photo
  • Select the transparent pen tool
  • Choose a color
  • Hold your finger pressed on the screen
  • Overlay the new layer on your original photo
  • Use the eraser tool to cut out specific areas of the overlay for a custom effect

5. Experiment With Stories Formats

Boomerangs, stop motion, rewinds, superzooms… Use them all! Having just ONE format of Story in your feed becomes boring, quick. You should strive for consistency overall in your color palette, content theme, etc, but switching it up a bit is fun for both viewers and creators.

6. Make Use of Colorful Text, Emojis, Stickers, GIFs, and More

Instagram is constantly uploading new fonts, stickers, and more to Stories, so use them! Keep the colors/feeling similar to your regular Instagram page’s overall aesthetic, but have fun: IG Stories is a great place for less edited, more off-the-cuff content.

    Pro Tip: The Location tag is a great way to tag brands + locations, which ups your engagement rate in the Instagram algorithm.

7. Add Hashtags (5 Or Less, Please)

Research shows that, while IG allows up to 30 hashtags per post, average interactions per post drop significantly when 5 or more hashtags are used. Hashtag with caution!

8. Engage With Other Instagram Stories

Instagram calculates your engagement rate + priority in followers’ feeds on a number of factors, including how often + how you engage with other followers’ content. Comment on Stories, tag other users in your Stories, etc, and your content might get bumped up higher.

9. Save IG Stories to Highlights Reels

You’ve spent so much time crafting awesome Stories – why have all that hard work disappear after just 24 hours? Create highlights reels for different topics (Shopping, Livestreams, Travel, etc) for your bio page, and add to them every time you upload a new Story.

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