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10 Unique Ways You Can Connect and Engage With Your Audience Using Instagram Stories

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
  • There are 500,000,000 people per day watching Instagram Stories. It keeps you visible and it shows the authentic, human side of your business. Ultimately, it builds a sense of community.
  • You need to be using Instagram Stories to be tell stories – the clue is in the name!
  • You need to ask yourself who are your audience and what do they get out of your content?
  • Instagram Stories is a great place to get personal, showing your personality and your personal side. Whilst you don’t have to share everything, showing a bit of your personal side is great. Remember, people buy from people.
  • Don’t just sell your products, show behind the scenes too. Show what goes into it and how you created your product and service. This means you’re not necessarily selling your products, but you are regularly reminding people that they’re there.
  • Instagram is a great place to educate your followers and show them that you are an expert in your field. Whether it’s a blog post or an interesting podcast you have listening to, people need to see why you are the expert in your industry.
  • Takeovers are a great way to promote your product and service without personally talking about your product yourself.
  • Using apps that have layouts and designs, you can create beautiful curated images to share on your Instagram Stories. Great apps to use include Story Art, Unfold, Story Luxe and Story Lab.
  • Instagram Story Polls are a great way to get people engaged, even if it is as simple as asking ‘do you prefer cats or dogs?’
  • Using the Instagram Stories Question sticker is a great way to get people’s opinions on your business, your products and your services. You can ask people for inspiration or get them to ask you questions about your business.
  • Using Instagram Stories to be creative is a great way to stand out from everyone else.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

If you’re wondering why you should be using Instagram, it is the second largest platform when it comes to social media. There are over 1 billion users, it is owned by Facebook and it is one of the best platforms for engagement.

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS
  • Why Use Instagram Stories – 03:27
  • Three Mistakes Businesses Make When Posting Instagram Stories – 04:53
  • Tip #1: Get Personal – 06:00
  • Tip #2: Create Product Stories – 09:07
  • Tip #3: Educate Your Followers – 11:06
  • Tip #4: Story Takeovers – 12:02
  • Tip #5: Use Instagram Quizzes – 13:32
  • Tip #6: Use Curated Images – 15:20
  • Tip #7: Instagram Polls – 16:34
  • Tip #8: Instagram Questions – 18:00
  • Tip #9: Go Live – 20:10
  • Tip #10: Get Creative – 21:58
LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY'S EPISODE
  • Download ‘5 Easy Ways to Get People On Your Email List’
  • Download ‘Your Webinar Blueprint’
  • Download ‘How To Create A Highly Converting Sales Page’
  • Episode 77 with Mary Hyatt
  • Episode 73 with Dill Takes Photos
  • Story Art Apple
  • Story Art Android
  • Unfold Apple
  • Unfold Android
  • StoryLab Apple
  • StoryLab Android
  • StoryLuxe Apple
  • StoryLuxe Android
Transcript below

 

Speaker 1: (00:32)

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast and thank you so much for joining me here. Again, I hope you're having a great week. So this week I've got lots to fill you in on in terms of Instagram stories. I did a talk recently over in Cyprus and I did it all about Instagram stories and I thought I would share some of the content with you because if you follow me and you know me, you know I love Instagram and I love Instagram stories. Not only do I like doing Instagram stories, but also I watch a lot of other people's Instagram stories. I can find myself losing several hours in a day, which is not good, but it's a great resource. I've got some great tips for you coming up. Before we jump into that, I want to remind you that I've got some really, really good things that you can download.

Speaker 1: (01:19)

If you head over to my website to teresaheathwareing.com and on that home page I've got three different things that are really going to help you grow your business. The first one is all about how to get more people on your email list, five easy ways that lots of people miss. The second one is if you're doing webinars and you want a really good webinar blueprint on how to present a Webinar and then sell, so that one's going to be really good for you. And then finally, sales pages. So obviously when we're trying to communicate our product or service online, you might not think you're doing it via sales page, but it is the same principle as doing a sales page. So that download really is a great one. It gives you the key things I make sure I include in a sales page so that you can have a really effective page that hopefully converts people.

Speaker 1: (02:10)

So do make sure you go download those. I've got some other exciting stuff coming up soon in terms of another live masterclass. You know how I loved doing a masterclass? That's going to be in the coming weeks. Obviously if you get one of those downloads and you're going to be told about the master class as well when it comes out, so you'll be the first to know. Okay, let's talk about Instagram. Like I said, if you follow me, you know I am a massive fan of Instagram. I think it's a great platform and I particularly love stories just because they are so easy to do and they're just sort of the most authentic way of showing yourself on social media or one of the most authentic ways. So today I want to take you through 10 creative and unique ways in which you can use Instagram stories to connect and engage with your audience.

Speaker 1: (02:57)

Now just in you didn't know. Let me remind you why Instagram's good. Because if you'll set that thinking, Instagram's not for me, or you know, why should I even consider it that? I want to remind you that there's over 1 billion users that is the second largest platform out there. It's owned by Facebook. It both wanted the best platforms for engagement.

 

Why Use Instagram Stories

 

But Instagram stories in particular, why are they so good? So did, there are 500 million people per day watching stories. It keeps you really visible. So on your Instagram app, at the top of your feed is the stories. So basically it's your face or your logo, whatever, with a ring around it. Say, look, she's done a story. So it really is visible cause you're right at the top of the page and it shows the real you. It's so good at showing the human side of you because it's much more authentic because it tends to be much more real.

Speaker 1: (03:54)

It allows users to connect with you, which is great. And it does build a sense of community. So if you like following someone and you'd like their content, then what you're gonna do is you're gonna make sure you see their stories and you're going to feel part of their community and it has a higher engagement than in the feed. So you'll find that I don't post every single day on Instagram. I'd like to, I just don't necessarily get the time. However, I do do stories pretty much most days because the engagement now is way higher and a story than is on the feed and it hasn't been on production. You don't need the fanciest things to create an Instagram story. You can literally just do it with your phone. So I'm going to give you 10 creative and unique ways that you're going to be able to use it so you can connect with your audience.

 

Three Mistakes Businesses Make When Posting Instagram Stories

 

Speaker 1: (04:41)

However, before we get started, I wanted to tell you about three mistakes that lots of businesses make when they're doing Instagram stories. Mistake number one, they're caring more about perfection than value. Now I'd like to say that there is times I might fall into this mistake. So I might be sat there thinking where has that rhyme and mega is a bit funny. A background needs to be improved a bit. And I'm worried more about that than necessarily what I'm going to say when I get on there. And lots of businesses do this, lots of people do this with their own social media. They are literally concentrating on looking great and then not thinking about, well what am I actually going to go on and say when I'm on it and is it going to add value? Mistake number two, they're sharing without a strategy. So they're literally sharing anything and everything or sharing really sporadically and then not necessarily thinking about the strategy behind the thing that they're sharing.

 

Tip #1: Get Personal

 

Speaker 1: (05:38)

So that's the other thing, cause obviously the whole point in any of these things is to have a strategy because obviously otherwise what's the point in doing it? So then onto mistake number three, they are not telling stories and they, the clue is in the title, it's an Instagram story or a Facebook story. So the whole idea is that you should be telling stories. These shouldn't be random stories that you're putting up that aren't going anywhere or meaning anything or doing anything. So try and imagine about how you tell stories. You want a middle, um, not a medal that was ridiculous. You want a beginning, a middle and an end. So you want those three in order. So are you telling a story when you're going on there or are you literally just putting up a post? So like I said, I just wanted to kind of cover off those things.

Speaker 1: (06:27)

And also one final thing before we get started, I want you to ask yourself, who is your content for it? Who is your audience and what are they getting out of your content? So if they're not getting anything value wise for them, then they're not going to come back and keep watching and listening. So you've got to be thinking, what am I giving my audience by showing them this or sharing the story with them? Okay, now we're ready. So number one, get personal. Now, like I said, one of the greatest things about Instagram stories is the fact that you can come across so authentically. And one of the things that you can do on there is show your personal side. Now how much of that you want to show is entirely down to you because some people will be more comfortable showing not much and others will be happy to share everything.

Speaker 1: (07:17)

And there's no hard and fast rule. It's not like I'm sitting here saying, you must put your children on there and your pets. I'm just saying if you can show a bit of your personal side, then great. So for instance, you might want to share, you know, doing things at the weekend with your family or your dog or going out for dinner or just a hobby of something that you'd like to do. And the reason that this is so good is people like to see the personal stuff. They remember the personal stuff. And it's not just for personal brands or people. So even big businesses can create a much more personal side of their instastories by maybe putting their team on their or their staff or showing behind the scenes. So don't think just because you're a big brand or are you work for a big brand that they can't do that.

Speaker 1: (08:02)

So some of the reasons why getting personally so good or showing some of your personal side is people buy from people. So people like you or don't like you and never a more likely to engage and wants to buy or not buy from you. So, and if they can't see you, then how can they make that judgement ? It obviously makes you more human. So there's an element of trust when I can see that you're turning off on Instagram stories every day or I can physically see you and he you and see your office or whatever, then there's a whole lot more trust there because it does make you more human. It helps to tell the story. So people and faces and speaking is a much easier story to tell. It shows your culture and your ethos. So if you are in a bigger business, it gets that across the, you can see kind of what it's like behind the business and it creates a conversation starter.

 

Tip #2: Create Product Stories

 

Speaker 1: (08:52)

So again, sometimes stories really easy to react to and respond to. So it's a really good conversation starter. Okay, number two. Now you tend to be the been good at number one or number two, but not many people are good at both. So number two is product stories. So sometimes I find that some instastories are literally sales sales, sales are sale and some are all personal stuff. And you need a mix of both. But what I want you to think about with your product stuff is I don't necessarily want you to just be selling your product stuff. I want you to maybe be showing behind the scenes showing the details, what goes into it, what's good about it, you know, kind of In-situ depending on what obviously your product or services. So you're trying to show your product or your service in a way that doesn't feel like you're literally going buy my stuff today.

Speaker 1: (09:42)

So try and mix it up a little bit. And again, otherwise you're not telling people what you're doing so you're not actually selling or they're never actually going to buy because they don't see that. They just see the personal stuff. So you do need to tell people what it is you do. Obviously it gives a product insight, which is great. So if you're doing behind the scenes stuff or demonstrating it, then that's great. Behind the scenes of the creation. It's also a great place to address objections. So for instance, you know how, let's take one of my products. So I've obviously of course as an academy online, and someone might say to me, you know, Teresa, I don't have time to do your academy. I want to do it, but I just don't have enough time in the day. So that's an objection as to why they might buy.

Speaker 1: (10:26)

So for instance, if I didn't insta story saying and talking about, you know what the beauty of my product is, it's that you can pick it up and put it down whenever it's that you can go at your own pace. It's that it's always available for you. It's Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. So you're able to address some of those objections before they've even really got into it. So that is definitely a really good one to do. Also, if it's a physical product, they can see what they get and you can film it and you can share around and it can be really interactive. Okay. So like I said, the first two tend to be the ones that everybody, you either do one or the other and not many people necessarily do them both. So I want you to think about them. The next one, number three is I want you to educate your followers through your instastories.

 

Tip #3: Educate Your Followers

 

Speaker 1: (11:09)

This is a great place to show people that you're an expert at what you do. So for instance, you might put up a blog post. You, I obviously promote my podcast through my instastories. So I will create specific videos that are insta story shape and I'll put that in if you're doing a masterclass. Again, I've done that many times. Um, if you are doing a challenge, so put those things across to say, look, I know what I'm talking about. Also, it doesn't even have to just be your stuff. So if I've been listening to a podcast or a book and it's amazing, I might insert a story about that saying, if you like what I do, you might like this too. So those are really, really good ones too to have a look at as well.

 

Tip #4: Story Takeovers

 

Number four, story takeover. Now I don't know if you've ever thought about doing this, but story takeovers are really, really good.

Speaker 1: (12:00)

So this is where you get someone else to take over your Instagram story for the day. Normally it's a day, and you could use either an influence that if you were working with influencers, you could use an employee, you could use a sort of member of the team or someone a bit different. And what this tends to happen is, especially if you're using an influencer or someone who uses your product, the chances are they're going to tag themselves in these posts and you're going to be doubling up in terms of your reach. Well, hopefully doubling up and if they've got a bigger audience than you, than even better. So the idea is they will go on your account saying, I'm trying out this or I've done this and I'm doing that, and you know what's great about that? It's like if we say we've got a good product or service, it's not half as convincing as to when someone else says, oh, they've got a great product or service.

Speaker 1: (12:51)

So for me, this is a really, really good way of really promoting your product on service without you feeling like I'm doing the selling because someone else is using that going, oh, this is called because it's this, this, this, this. The other thing, again, it shows that human side, because obviously you tend to have the person on camera and if you're not confident going on camera, then takeovers might be a great one for you and then it can promote your product and service. And I said it's a really, really nice way that it can do that. Okay. On to number five, we're getting through these quite quick.

 

Tip #5: Use Instagram Quizzes

 

Name onto number five: Quizzes. Man, quizzes are great. Obviously, you know the standard quiz, you swipe up where all the features are. You can click quiz, you can put in a question and you can obviously choose your options and then they can pick which option is the one that they think is your answer.

Speaker 1: (13:41)

Now that's obviously the standard way in a bit of nice interaction there. However, I want to give you a couple of ideas. Well, one idea is that you could always ask a question about your expertise, your area of expertise, a stat or a fact that might surprise people. So for instance, you know, did you know I'm making this off the top of my head as always, did you know Instagram is owned by Facebook? And if they say no, then I could always go back to them. Go yet. And do you know what their advertising tool is the same and it's amazing. You know? So it might be a really nice way to open up and have questions about your business. I follow one lady who does nutrition online. And again, you could do quizzes around, do you know how many calories are in this or which would you say is healthier, this, this or this or which gives you more vitamin C this, this or this.

Speaker 1: (14:28)

And again, it's a really nice way that if they get it wrong that you can start a conversation. The other thing that was brilliant that actually we talked about last week on the episode of Mary, episode 77 was her strategy in terms of starting conversations with people. So she used a quiz, and I won't go into it too much here because you can go back and listen, but she used a quiz and instead of the quiz being answers, she was asking a question, I want to feel, uh, feel more feminine, find my voice, stop pretending or feel more alive. And she had them choose which one of them they felt they were. And then she started the conversation and she sold out a coaching programme with ease because of their strategy. So definitely go listen to that one. Okay, so the next one, number six is curated images.

 

Tip #6: Use Curated Images

 

Speaker 1: (15:18)

What do I mean by curated images? Well, basically these are images that you have put together that are styled. Now you don't have to be a designer. What's so wonderful about this is you're going to be able to have apps on your phone where you drag in a few different images, put a bit of text in it, and it designs this lovely design for you. And the reason this is quite a good way of engaging people is obviously that it is a different look. So sometimes it can get a bit boring if you're literally taking a photo and it's just full screen everything. One of my team members, Kirsty writes my show notes, I've talked about it before on the podcast. She's a travel blogger and she obviously travels a lot, takes lots of photos and it would become, I'm not saying it would be boring, don't like Kirst's going to listen to this thinking, oh thanks very much.

Speaker 1: (16:06)

Now I'm not saying its boring, but obviously what's good for Kirsty is that she can use one of these apps, shove several photos into one story and get quite a lot across really quickly. So these can be really, really useful. So I've put a few and I will obviously link to them in the show notes. So Story Arts is a good one, Unfold, Story Lab and Story Lax. So all of these have templates. You literally drag in images and change the text. So go check them out. We'll link up to them in the show notes.

 

Tip #7: Instagram Polls

 

Number seven, polls. They polls are a really creative and fun way in which to survey your audience. So for instance, there was an example that I find from Donna Moritz who has socially sorted and she's put, tell me, are you creating video on Instagram? And her answers were, heck yes and not yet.

Speaker 1: (16:56)

And again, it'd be really interesting that if they're saying not yet, that she then clicks that and replies to all these people saying, hey, you might want to see this. And she could possibly forward them a link to something where they could download something. So it's just another option to kind of do a real quick survey. Do you know what? It's so unintrusive to the person who's clicking that. It's almost an hour, a bit second nature. But if I see a survey, I'll respond to it. So again, it's really, really good. And again, things like big misconceptions in your, in your business. So let's go back to that healthy food example. So you could have, which one do you think of these as more calories and when they hit the wrong one, you can respond saying, yeah, I know, you know, blah, blah, whatever. So that one's a really nice one.

Speaker 1: (17:40)

Simple. The other thing that you could do is not necessarily all work stuff. You could just do it just for fun. So you know, you could do a whole, do you prefer this or do you prefer, I saw her posts the other day actually, that's like capsule dogs. They personally, I wouldn't do that. That's just not my style. However, if you want interaction and engagement, those sorts of things can be really, really good engages.

 

Tip #8: Instagram Questions

 

So things for fun can also be really good and have a picture of the two things and the two options. That can be a really fun way to get a bit of engagement on the page. Okay. Number eight. We've got a few left questions. So now you obviously have the questions tab, which you can ask a question and your audience can type in the box to reply. So this is really, really good.

Speaker 1: (18:25)

Again, that engagement, all this two way conversation is awesome. So for instance, there was a guy on the Internet who was playing the piano and on Instagram playing the piano and his question is what do you want to hear? And people would respond and he would play their song. Now obviously that's just a bit of fun and a bit different, but you could have product decisions, you know, what colours should this be or what feature do you want to see next? Also, if you are in the knowledge industry, so you're selling your knowledge, what are you struggling with right now? You know? So for instance, again I keep going back to this healthy food one. If she put that in terms of how you struggling with to eat healthier, you know, I might put in down, I'm no good at planning or I can never think of meal ideas.

Speaker 1: (19:08)

And again, that's a great lead magnet for her to then come back to me and go, do you know I did this great thing, 10 slow cooker recipes and suddenly there I have tens local recipes or whatever. So again, it's a really good one to kind of get a bit of insight into your customer. What's your favourite, whatever. So again, if you have a platform, so let's take Kajabi, I've been working with Kajabi, I can link up to them in the show notes because they are awesome and I do need to do an episode on them, but I've been working with them and let's say they ask the question, what's your favourite feature? All their audience could be telling them a feature that they don't even think about. Like because these systems have so many features and things that they might be promoting it based on one thing where actually all their audiences like, no, no, no.

Speaker 1: (19:53)

This is awesome. Content suggestions. Again, you'll know if you followed me for a while, I've asked for things like questions and answers. Ask me anything. I try and get you guys to contact me and say, this is what I want an episode about. So questions are really, the opportunities are endless on questions.

 

Tip #9: Go Live

 

The other one, number nine is go live. Now I know there's lots of people out there who are going to be like, ah, I don't think so. Now it's not for everyone, but if you do do it, it can be really effective. So take the example from Jasmine Star.

(20:29)

Jasmine, every single week has a live show called coffee and conversations. Now, when Jasmine first started doing this, people weren't showing up because they didn't know that she was doing it and our audience probably wasn't as big as it is now. And it took a while.

Speaker 1: (20:45)

Well, not a while, but it takes time to basically make sure that people know you're going to be doing it consistently. And now people know every single week doesn't it goes live. But not only does she go live every single week consistently, so people are showing up, but she invites, you can share your live and have someone as a guest. So she brings people on live with her. And they ask her questions. So for instance, if you take someone like jasmine to try and get a direct question answer from her would be so hard because obviously she's really high profile. However, every week you could go onto her Instagram and try and get on and get a direct question. So this is great. Really good strategy. Also, don't forget I had Jasmine on the podcast. She was amazing. One of my best episodes ever. I love, honestly, I love her so much.

Speaker 1: (21:34)

She's so, so awesome. Episode 51 so we'll link up to that in the show notes, but yeah, go check that one out. She was awesome. So live is really good on, but again, consistency is key. And I know that some people, that's the tricky thing, but yeah, definitely go check that one out. Check out going live.

 

Tip #10: Get Creative

 

It's a really good strategy for engagement number 10 so the final one has to be left for getting creative and for deal. Now, if you heard Dill's episode on episode 73 and I hope since that episode you've gone and checked him out, if not deal takes photos on Instagram. That's his account. I'll link up to it in the show notes. He's so creative, I can't tell you. And basically he videos on his phone and then clips them all together and puts a little music behind it. But it makes his Instagram stories some of the most fascinating that I've ever seen.

Speaker 1: (22:27)

Like literally some of the most interesting stories. They're so engaging. I love them. So do go check out Dill. So you know what I mean? Cause it's very hard to explain to you on here and his episode off. So we talked a lot about it and how he does it. So that's a great one. Like I said, episode 73 do, do, go check him out. But getting creative and doing something a bit different and you know, not just recording straight into the story but recording and then cropping bits together. It could be a great way to engage your audience. So, and I should have said this at the beginning, but I'm going to set you a challenge and I really want you to do this and I really want you to tag me in so that I can share your Instagram stories of my audience so I can get you some more exposure.

Speaker 1: (23:13)

But I am going to challenge you that you must do one of the 10 things and ideally it's one that you don't normally do. So obviously if you are constantly doing polls or you know going live, then obviously that's not the one I want you to focus on. So I want you to pick one of the ones that you've never done before and try it out and see if it works. And if you get a bit more engagement. So I'm going to remind you of the 10 either a personal post showing something that is more on the personal side of product, post education, post story takeover, quiz, curated images, polls, questions live or be super creative and create a video which you then upload. So like I said, please tag me in. I want to see that you've done this. And I'm going to share it with my audience. So I really, really hope that helps. It certainly inspires me to do some different things cause there's someone there that I don't do. So I'm going to, perhaps when this episode comes out, I'm going to be doing some of these just to help you along, but please tag me in so I can share it. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode. I will be back next week until then, have a wonderful week.