How To Use Instagram Stories To Get More Followers

by Megan Grant
RgStudio/E+/Getty Images

Who else is having a blast with Instagram Stories? It's just one more way to share spectacular photos and videos with your loyal audience. But since this new feature is a bit different from traditional posts, how can you use Instagram Stories to get more followers? Good news: There are several tactics that could very well help you grow your following.

Normally, I'd hashtag the heck out of a post, add a gorgeous filter, and cross my fingers for my follower count to climb, but stories are a bit different. You don't have the same opportunities to network, so you have to get a little more creative. But isn't that the fun part — personalizing your page to fit your style? This means you have to be putting together slideshows of top notch images — and there are for sure a few guidelines you can follow. In general, these guidelines can be summed up with one overall rule: Don't post ugly stuff.

That's not necessarily a ton of help, I know. If you need a little more clarification than that, here are some helpful hints for the next time you create a story to share with your Insta buddies. Post quality content that's fun and engaging, and you won't be able to keep people away.

1. Follow A Theme

What do a potato, a chihuahua, your left foot, and a fruit fly have in common? Nothing, so don't put them together in one story. Similar to how social media experts have suggested that your page as a whole has a theme, your Instagram story should have its own theme as well. Maybe you make a story sharing your morning make-up routine, your trip to a fancy restaurant, or your sweat sesh at the gym. Heck, you might even use that theme to create something kind of like a webseries, only on Instagram instead of on YouTube — think daily installments that tell an episodic narrative over time. One thing is for certain: If you stick to a theme, you're going to attract people who share your love for that theme. And the followers will come.

2. Make Sure Your Story Has Faces In It

People like pictures of people. So much, in fact, that photos with at least one face have a 35 percent increase in likes, according to one social media scientist. So no matter how many pictures you want to throw in of your dog or your flower garden or your coffee drink, make darn certain you toss in at least one selfie. People will flock to your page to stare at your gorgeous mug, and that includes your stories.

3. Use Color And Light To Your Advantage

Instagram posts that are brighter and richer in blues, grays, and greens have been found to perform better than super saturated posts that are dimmer and full of yellows, pinks, and oranges. Keep your story luminous and vibrant, and all eyes will be on you. You might even go back to tip number one and make a color palette part of your theme.

4. Nix The Filters

I've always thought filters were the answer to everything. Dark circles under my eyes? Filter. Pesky breakout? Filter. Pasty skin? Filter. But it turns out I was wrong. According to social media scientist Dan Zarrella, Instagram content with #nofilter actually performs the best. So even if you have a photo from the last 24 hours that was already filtered, stick with the original; indeed, stories can be built using what you might consider "outtakes" from your day. (The idea is that if you don't want a less-than-perfect shot sticking around, but still want to share it, put it in a story — it'll disappear after 24 hours anyway.) An entire story put together from these outtakes can make for a delightful behind-the-scenes, literally unfiltered look at your life.

5. Be Committed — Post Regularly!

This is a good rule of thumb for social media in general. You definitely want to avoid going MIA. If you do, your last post gets buried in everyone's feeds, people start to forget about you, and then you'll be sad. The consensus seems to be that one post a day is the sweet spot. Since stories are ephemeral, you might try posting one regular photo to your profile grid and one story per day. Variety is the spice of life, right?

6. Always Remember: Quality Over Quantity

This is kind of the exception to number five. If you're due to post an Instagram story, but you don't really have anything interesting to say, then skip it! It's better to go a day without sharing a story than to post a slideshow of your latest eyebrow waxing (although I'm sure that's fascinating, too).

Images: RgStudio/E+/Getty Images; Giphy (6)