How to use Instagram Stories for Engagement

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Date September 2, 2019

If you’ve been on Instagram for a while you have probably used some of the ‘Story’ functions; when used correctly Instagram Stories can be a great way to gain followers, grow your account and boost Instagram engagement. However, you’ll need to know how best to use them from a business perspective. If you want your stories to help build your following or increase engagement keep reading!

One of the best things about Instagram stories is that people actually watch them! In fact for many users, it will be the first thing they do when opening the app. Paige Thelan, who works in tech communications at Instagram has confirmed that Stories are “similar to the feed”. They can be ordered based on which moments you’ll care about most.

Instagram engagement

The order is determined based on a number of signals, including

  1. 1) the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content;
  2. 2) timeliness of the posts,
  3. 3) your relationships to the person posting.

This means that to get your stories at the front of someone’s story bar you need quality content! Make sure you are posting content your audience will actually be interested in. The easiest way to do this is to follow a set theme between what you are posting on your feed as well as what goes on your story. Of course, the way we use each feature varies. Therefore the content should vary in order to keep it effective. Stories can be great for Live videos or capturing something at the moment. Content that might not belong on your feed but is still worth sharing! 

Reaching a Wider Audience


Within Stories, there are some great features that can help you make your content reach a wider audience. One of these is of course hashtags!

To add hashtags to your post you can either use the present button or just write your own as part of the text. If you do choose to write them as part of the text make sure they are underlined. This way you know it has registered properly as a hashtag. Why are hashtags useful? Well, when users are on the hashtag category not only can they explore posts that have been tagged but also Stories. This means that your potential audience could see your story and if they like the content click through to your profile. Not all stories you post on the hashtag will appear for everyone so keep trying. You can also get involved with any viral hashtags where appropriate so that you if you do end up being featured on that hashtag your post is seen by potentially million!

Location Tag

Another great feature you can use on Instagram Stories is the location tag. For many businesses, this will be a really effective way to get yourself seen by a potential customer. Especially if you are a local business! You can only tag one location per story. However, you can post as many Stories as you like so if you really want to tag multiple locations then you can just put a few Stories up, one with each place you want to tag. 


Besides from features that help you get seen, there are several different ways you can use Stories to interact with your audiences which will increase your Instagram engagement such as Polls, Rating bars, Questions and Quizzes. By posting one of these stickers, which are found in the sticker section, you can increase your engagement rate and get to know your customers/target audience better. Personally, we love a good poll as it’s easy for your followers to get involved since it takes virtually no effort. 

Get Creative

If you want to be more creative with your story posts you can add all sorts! GIFs, stickers or even do your own doodles over the top. Whatever, you fancy doing on ‘the gram’ make sure you keep it focused for your target audience and on-brand with your business! Enjoy and have fun with it. Remember if you want help with your social media we can help! 

Can Your Story help you? Looking for help with your Instagram engagement or other social media/website marketing? We offer Social Media marketing , website design and Search Engine Optimisation so if you need to get more out of your website marketing efforts get in touch today.