I know that a lot of you are experiencing a low record of Instagram story views. And I want to start by talking about where a lot of that is honestly coming from. The first main thing that that's coming from is over the course of the past two years, there have been phases of a lot of button spam accounts that have artificially inflated story views and created a normal that isn't actually normal for most people's accounts. That is the first reason why it feels like your Instagram stories are at a record low. Another thing that has ended up happening, right is people are not as interested due to the fact that people are consistently posting the exact same things on stories all the time. And so people have not felt incentivized to go and sit down and watch stories. People nowadays are mainly consuming TikToks, Reels, and YouTube. So, that's dragging a lot of attention away from your content.
However, there are some things that you can do that can drive traffic back. But I want to put a giant disclaimer on here because Instagram Stories is a great tool. But Instagram Stories does not grow your account. It doesn't grow your audience. Instagram stories serve as a tool to continue to nurture and continue to stay close to the loyal evangelists within your community. So, when people are focusing on Instagram stories, and they're upset that their account isn't growing, it's because Instagram stories do not contribute to that in any way.
Another thing to keep in mind with Instagram Stories is most of the people watching them are honestly just nosy. They aren't necessarily watching Instagram Stories for the goal of conversion. Another reason people think Instagram story views have dropped is because of spam-like activity due to the wider availability of the link sticker. Now I know when we switched from the swipe up to the link, there was a lot of apprehension to that. People got very used to swiping up and they enjoyed that activity. You’re swiping across, and then you're swiping up. So it is a little bit of a disrupter. And it breaks up how people consume stories. Honestly, I prefer the swipe up to the link.
But another thing that's been happening with the increased availability of the link is that you don't need 10k. A lot of people are overusing the link more than they actually need to, even before the Link button was available to literally every single account on Instagram, the conversion rate was not that high. And I've explained that to people many times because there've been people who I've worked with who have felt that the reason why their offer isn't selling or it's not converting is that they didn't have the link sticker. And I promise you with every fiber of my being that that's not true. Having a link sticker is not going to get you more sales, you have to actually know how to sell in order to make more sales.
Instagram Stories is not the conversion tool that it was in 2019-2020. Instagram stories really have changed.
So, what are some of the best tools that you can utilize on Instagram stories to get the most benefit out of it which is to stay top of mind with the most loyal members of your audience, keeping in mind that most of your story watchers are just people creeping, being nosy and wanting to know what you're up to?
Create a Game Environment
One of the best things that you can do is to create a game environment on your Instagram stories. It is essentially making Stories fun and interactive. One of the easiest ways that you can do that is the old school, “this or that '' style of questioning because people love voting. People can vote on what outfit I wear to the party tonight, or vote for which suitcase color I'm going to buy. People love having an opinion. And they love feeling like their viewpoint is actually influencing something that you are doing, whether their opinion is actually influencing something that you're doing doesn't actually matter. I recommend all the time when you are making a decision about something or you have an opportunity where you could ask people's opinion, that is a great tool to get more interaction on your stories. And the more times people are clicking on your stuff, with the exception of the link, the more often they are going to be seeing your stories.
The next thing that you want to be doing for Instagram stories to make it a little bit more fun is you can use multiple slides to create a game or a series, something that we have been doing on Ybanez Media and we've been testing this pretty exclusively for a few weeks, and every time we do this, our story views double (as of right now, we have over 25% of our followers watch our stories, which is actually very, very high).
On average, you anticipate a single, like a single-digit percentage of your followers is actually watching your Instagram Stories. Usually, it's much, much closer to between three and 5%. We're at 25%. And granted, that account is under 1000 followers, it's still smaller, but I'll share with you exactly what we've been doing.
So, our amazing social media strategist, they have been working on creating a series such as how well do you know our team, or they would use the quiz feature to essentially quiz your knowledge, or guess which person we're talking about based on these clues. And so using the quiz, as an actual quiz, is great. You can also utilize the quiz sticker feature as a way to also get votes in polls where you want more than two options. Now, you don't always have to put a disclaimer right in stories that there is no wrong answer. But if your audience isn't used to using the quiz feature as a poll, you might want to put a disclaimer that there isn't a right or wrong answer. You just want to know their vote. So you can condition your audience to get used to this.
Tap, tap, tap
Another strategy is that we created a square that had four little squares in it kind of like a mini checkerboard pattern. And on each of them, we said, what do you need to receive today. We did happiness, joy, a good money mindset, and something else I can't remember. And then we let people know to tap once to get support with blank tap twice, tap three times, tap four times. And so based on what they needed, they would go tap tap tap three times, and then they would get a quote or something that relates to joy.
Sneak Peak of a program or launch
There are different ways that you can also incorporate a game that way, that is also a really great way to reveal either a sneak peek of a product that's launching or something that you're coming up with. Think of how you can get your audience excited for a launch. Excuse me almost coughed a little, get your audience excited for a launch by making it a game. Making things fun, and interactive are some of the best ways to get traction on Instagram stories.
Some of the things you want to be avoiding. Now, this was a trend a few years ago, and that is doing the same exact routine on Instagram stories every day. And you even heard me talk about this, right? Because people love to know what to expect. But this is where it's changing. People are so choosy with how they spend their time. And if they don't feel like they're taking anything away from your Instagram Stories, then they're not going to watch them. So rather than showing your morning cup of coffee or your exact same workout every day, I recommend changing it up so that you can create scrolling pattern disruptions on your stories. So people are much more likely to stop, watch and pay attention.
Something else that you can do on stories. This is a little bit more like my marketing PR background is you can literally play into the fact that people are nosy so you can build up to something on your Instagram stories. You will not believe what's about to happen. Something huge is happening. So that way you can build up hype with the people that are nosy so you really want to think about this right? If you want to have a strategy behind your Instagram stories you have to be honest about what is the outcome that you want from the actions that people are taking on your stories. Do you want to get a bunch of attention? Because maybe you're about to sell something, there's an example of a marketing strategy, or do you want to gamify it and make it fun because you want your audience to spend more time with you consume more of your content and build a stronger trusting relationship with you. So those are just two examples of strategies, that Instagram Stories can play a vital role in helping you produce the outcome that you want.
But again, at the end of the day, we can talk about gimmicks like not posting for 24 hours in this and that, but at the end of the day, those are buying into the principle that I just talked about that people are nosy, so sure, you can do that. But again, like all things, if you do it too often, it stops having the effect that you actually want it to have. So use Instagram Stories as a tool. But also, think about how you can build a stronger relationship with the people who are in your audience.
Another tactic to get more views on your Instagram stories that no one talks about is actually being social: watching other people's stories, responding to their stories, connecting with them, engaging with them, recognizing why they're showing up. Those are also really great ways to allow your story bubble to come to the front.
And then of course, if you want your story bubble to come to the front more often, go live on Instagram more often.
I love Instagram stories but don't lose sleep over it. Don't worry about how many people are watching your stories because it will always fluctuate and remember, a lot of the time our numbers were artificially boosted by spam bot accounts. So take it with a grain of salt.