How to Use Instagram Stories Like an Expert and Get Great Engagement

By  | Oct 04, 2021 10:47 (edited)

Keep Your Instagram Stories Short and Valuable

Make Your Instagram Stories Stand Out

Encourage Engagement with Direct Messages, Mentions, Polls, and Questions

Instagram is an invaluable tool to connect with the audience. Approximately 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand or influencer on the social media platform.

However, brands or influencers that do not take advantage of the Instagram story feature are missing a key opportunity to engage with their followers further because more than 600 million Instagram users are watching Instagram stories on a daily basis. 

This makes the urge to create an Instagram Story that is able to encourage users to watch, share, and participate. It is different from adding a great photo or video to your Instagram feed. Here is how your brand can captivate audiences and make the most of this Instagram feature. 

Keep Your Instagram Stories Short and Valuable

Put a lot of important information but keep its message concise. Let your audience get all of the information clearly. There are a few questions that you need to keep in mind every time you want to make Instagram stories:

Is this ultra-specific?

Put very clear instructions for actions and add product images that can help you deliver your message as clearly as possible.

Is this useful – can your audience see the value in your Instagram stories?

While you deliver your message clearly, give some value to it. Give your audience something that they can get from watching your stories. For example: knowledge, tips, tricks, and so on.

Pro Tips:

  •     Avoid using too much text for it can confuse your audience, or worst case, prompting them to swipe away.
  •     Focus on placing your information toward the center and bottom of the screen.
  •     Do not excessively use text that emphasizes benefits over features of your products or services. Avoid the appearance of being spammy. 

Make Your Instagram Stories Stand Out

Put more effort into how you present your stories. Make sure all of the story elements like backgrounds, colors, fonts, emojis, and images represent your brand well. Ensure your audience that when they see the story, they will recognize your branding.

Add the gist of your message as text on the story, you do not have to caption your stories word for word. Captions will make every dimension of your stories stand out. 

That way, your audience, who’s scrolling through, can fully understand and receive the value of what you’re saying. It is because most people who are casually scrolling through Instagram are not watching stories with their volume up. 

Perhaps they are out and about, and they are not listening to the stories. If you are only talking to your camera through the Instagram story, you are losing a huge percentage of people who are only flipping through Instagram.  

Encourage Engagement with Direct Messages, Mentions, Polls, and Questions

Direct Messages

A level of loyalty and intimacy that is not easily replicated in any other platforms can be cultivated through Instagram stories.

Story and direct message offer a seamless transition to a deeper connection with your audience. To generate more Instagram engagement for your brand ,you can use Instagram stories to share your experience and ask people to direct-message you. 

Besides that, you can also ask your audience to share their own experience that is related to your stories through direct messages. 

Respond to as many people as possible while doing this, even if it is only a double tap to show that you like it or a thumbs-up emoji to let them know you see their response. 

When an audience responds or reaches out to you in this way, it also signals to Instagram from an analytical perspective that you should be higher in their algorithm. Your account ought to be featured at the top of their news feed and in the stories bar.


Beside using direct messages, you can also boost engagement with mentions. For example if someone hashtags or mentions your brand in their post, consider re-sharing it in your story and mentioning them. 

When you do this, your audience will know that they are seen and heard. Other users who are seeing your stories will also know that your products or brands are liked by many. 

This Instagram engagement is another way to signal that your Instagram stories matter to your audience and informs the algorithm that your account ought to show up higher in their news and stories feeds.


Another unique feature that Instagram has is polls. Polls is a great way to not only get the audience more engaged with your Instagram story, but it also provides an excellent way to see what your audience is interested in. 

However, using the polling stickers on Instagram to ask difficult questions that might be hard to answer is not recommended. Use polls for asking things that only require a quick answer. 


The other useful Instagram story feature is the interactive question stickers. These stickers can be added to your stories to allow your followers to ask their questions directly to you. Or you can also use question stickers in reverse — to ask your audience questions which they can answer. 

The responses will come through your Instagram notifications where you can see a list of all of the questions or responses as you go and see how many people have viewed your story. Each question or response you receive can be publicly shared in a new and different story. 

You can either respond individually to different answers or screenshot the entire list of answers that people have given you and share them.

Using this approach, you can slowly increase your Instagram engagement.


There are a lot of features available in Instagram stories that can take your Instagram account to the next level. However, remember to test what you’re doing. See what resonates most with your audience and optimize it. 

At the end of the day, always remember that Instagram users do not come to social media platforms to get sold to - they come to connect, socialize and learn new things. Ensure your content is engaging and the audience gets what they need.

To measure your Instagram engagement and get some inspirations for creating engaging content, you can have a look at related articles about 5 Instagram Analytics Metrics You Must Know and How to Create A High Quality Instagram Content.

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