Back in 2016, Instagram introduced a new algorithm, removing the chronological feed and largely shifting the priority to engagement rates above all other metrics. This created ripples across the platform, a bit of frustration among users, and admittedly, confusion among brands who worked hard to build their audience base. Switch to 2018, and although the Instagram algorithm constantly changes and updates, there’s no arguing that audience engagement is still the name of the game.

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It’s your most important metric, more important than your follower count or number of likes per post – which, although still highly relevant, are often referred to as “vanity metrics”. And when it comes to boosting engagement, the Stories feature is going to be your best friend. Luckily, there are also tools such as Storrito to offer various features which will help you overcome certain obstacles and create even more enticing snippets. So without further ado, here are some actionable tips on how you can use Stories to boost audience engagement.

Use @Mentions

There’s no engagement without community – that’ what Instagram is all about. So be an active member of the community and get in touch with other brands, followers, or influencers. Don’t leave it to comments and DMs only – mention them in your Stories! You can give shoutouts to other brands and show your appreciation, connect with influencers, or share user-generated content in your Stories – just make sure you use that mention sticker. This will not only boost engagement and help you connect with your audience or industry members, but it’s also a great way to widen your reach. If you choose to create your story on desktop with Storrito you’ll still have access to this engagement-boosting feature.

Run polls and Q&A sessions

Instagram rolled out some great features which can help you facilitate conversation with your audience. These are the poll stickers, swipe meters, and the most recent feature which is a gold mine for engagement – the questions stickers. Swipe meters and polls work great when you want to survey your audience. For example, you can ask them how much they like a certain new product, feature, or even post you’ve just rolled out using the swipe meter or poll sticker. And no worries, by signing in to you’ll be able to utilize these features from desktop as well.

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You can also run Q&A sessions in real time using live video or with the help of the questions stickers. Ask them whatever you like, regarding their interests, your brand, or topics which are hot at the moment, and encourage them to ask you questions as well using the same feature.

Add a geolocation

Adding a geotag to your Story is a great way to engage local followers. Geo-tagged posts make your business easily searchable on Instagram, but when it comes to Stories, this feature will help you raise interest and facilitate conversation. Make sure to use it when you’re attending some special event or venue! You’ll find plenty of people asking about the place or sharing their own experiences from it.

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Share each new post to your Story – with a little extra!

When you post something new to your Insta feed, whether it’s a photo or video, make sure you click the “share” button right afterwards. This will direct you to share the post to your Story, and by doing that, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your feed. You might have noticed that the majority of brands and bloggers on Instagram always do this. That’s because Stories have the power to grab attention and they’ll also help you overcome the difficulties of gaining visibility which the algorithm poses. Add some pizzazz to your Story with gifs, emojis, text, or hashtags to make them more interesting and entice the viewer to pop over to your feed – and comment on your post.

In order to reach success on Instagram, both with the platform’s algorithm and your niche, you need to cultivate an engaged community. You need to always be there, facilitate conversation, grab your audience’s attention, elicit quick responses, and get in touch with other influential figures within your industry. Stories are a crucial tool for helping you achieve all this and they work marvellously with audiences. Best of all, you can now create them on your desktop with Storrito and time them effectively to boost your views and get maximum engagement. Let us know what you think!

Written by Angelina Harper.