Instagram Stories hit the scene in 2016, and show no signs of slowing down as we roll into 2019.
The platform lets brands share quick updates about their products and quickly engage with their audience without creating an entire Instagram post.
And they work. As of June 2018, 400 million Instagram users use Stories daily, up from 300 million users in October of 2017.
Since that time, Instagram has added tons of new features that are sure to increase engagement and attract more users in 2019. This means that it's more important than ever to be on Instagram Stories.
To help you jumpstart your Instagram Stories efforts, we'll show you 8 Instagram Stories best practices in this article. These range from the best types of content to post to growth hacks, giving you a well-rounded look at Instagram Stories optimization.
Make your Stories interactive with polls and more
Over the years, Instagram has expanded its library of interactive Stickers. Some of these include interactive Q&As, polls, and sliders.
Use these when appropriate to gauge feedback from your audience or otherwise collect opinions. Not only does this give you insights about your audience, but it gives your followers a reason to interact with your posts.
Use hashtags when appropriate
You can hashtags to your Instagram Stories using the hashtag sticker or by simply typing it into a text sticker. Adding a hashtag to your post will give it a shot at appearing on the hashtag's Story that can be viewed when searching for said hashtag.
While not all posts will be added to hashtag's story, it's worth a shot to possibly get your content in front of thousands of new eyes. Add appropriate hashtags when appropriate and watch the engagements roll in!
Tag your location, too
Like hashtags, locations have their own Stories, too.
Tag your Stories with their appropriate location, and your post may be added to the location's Story. Again, this can open your content to a huge new audience, so it's worth a shot (especially in dense areas!).
Run Stories ads
Instagram Stories ads put your content in front of a new and well-targeted audience. Just build-out the Story you want to promote, and it will be shown to a targeted audience of your choice as they flip through Stories.
You can even add links to your Stories ads. When added, users can swipe up on your Story Ad to be taken to your product or service's website.
Cross-post your Stories to Facebook
Here's a little known growth hack: you can cross-post all of your Instagram Stories directly to Facebook Stories.
Just build your Instagram Story as normal, click the send to button, and tap the sharing options button at the top of the screen.
From the slide-up window, select if you want to turn on Facebook Story sharing for all posts or just this one.
Then, tap the blue share button to the right of the sharing options label—and voila! Your Instagram Story will cross-post to Facebook Story, further expanding your reach.
That's all there is to it!
To make your life easier, turn on cross-posting for all of your Instagram Stories. Then, you can create Stories in Instagram but keep both of your audiences updated. Nice.
Share time-sensitive deals and more
Create FOMO—or, fear of missing out—by sharing time-sensitive deals and specials to your Instagram Story. Do this enough, and your audience will know to check your Story frequently for deals.
Make sure your followers see your Stories
But before you share your awesome deals, make sure you notify your existing audience! When you're first posting Stories, don't be afraid to put a "check out our story" in your posts. This will drive your audience to your Story and ensure maximum reach.
Re-share user generated content
Actively monitor your business' Story mentions and re-share the best content with your audience. This encourages your audience to make Stories about your products, creating a free micro-influencer marketing campaign of sorts.
And hey, it's free content too!
Re-sharing tagged Stories is easy. You'll receive a DM with all messages that you're tagged in. On top of these DMs is a small Add This to Your Story—click this, and you can re-share the Story to your own Story.
And there you go: 8 best practices for Instagram Stories in 2019. Use these tips to make better Instagram Stories that get more engagements and make a lasting impression. In the comments, let us know how you optimize your Instagram Stories for maximum engagement.
Need an awesome Instagram management tool? Try Social Report today.