Despite my objections to Instagram Stories, they are here to stay. In fact, Instagram has effectively killed Snapchat Stories. Instagram is constantly improving their platform, and their focus always seems to be on great content and genuine engagement. It seems that Instagram rolls out changes to their algorithm almost every month. These changes are immediately obvious to a wide variety of users – especially business oriented accounts – because it can negatively impact their current engagement. So where does this leave the common photography professional?
Instagram has become so powerful and influential within the photography industry because it’s a popular way to showcase your best and current work. Many photographers have worked very hard at creating a visually appealing and highly curated feed in order to attract their ideal audience, but with every new iteration of the Instagram algorithm, it seems that the hard work of many photographers is going largely unseen by both current followers or prospective followers.
That being said, Instagram Stories is one of the easiest ways to gain more engagement on your Instagram Feed. And here are some tips to help you do that:
Share Great Content
One of the most frustrating things about the internet is that you often only find general answers to your problems, but no specific solutions. An obvious answer that we see all the time is that you need to have great content. But what constitutes “great content” and how do we know that it will work for Instagram Stories? Here are a few ideas that tend to get better engagement:
- Behind the scenes photos that correspond to a recent post on your feed.
- Videos or photos that show a personal side of your business, brand, and personality.
- Photos or videos that expound on a current project being highlighted within your Instagram feed.
People expect a story to be told, so make sure that your Stories make sense within a chronological timeline.
Use Stories to Build Momentum
Since a ton of users are using Instagram Stories more than actually looking at their feeds, using Stories to build momentum and point followers to a new post on your feed, website, or blog is a great way to gain engagement on more than just your story. Consider making posts that “countdown” to new content that you’ll be sharing on your Instagram feed or website. Or consider playing games with your audience and offer exclusive photography services. The ultimate goal is to entice users to become clients, so make sure to include content with a call to action.
Use Polls, Location Tagging and Hashtags
Tagging other users or collaborators and using hashtags can drive up engagement and bring in new followers on Instagram Stories. Make sure you’re not only tagging people but locations as well. Just like individual user Stories, hashtags and locations also have Stories that people can watch, and when you tag a location in your Story, it will show up on a location-specific Story for people to discover you and your content. This will help you gain even more engagement and make your stories interactive and fun.