Instagram Stories: The Secret to Building a Community

These days, social media is how you keep up with the lives of friends, family, and those strangers that you oddly have a vested interest in. If you are an avid Instagram user, you are probably familiar with Instagram stories. If you are unfamiliar, they are shown as little circles at the top of the feed page. 

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Stories are a series of 15 second videos that are unedited and can have text, stickers, and filters added to them. These stories disappear after 24 hours and are a fantastic place to build a community.  Stories are a place for more genuine and unfiltered content. For example, many people post videos of themselves talking about their day, their kids playing, their trip to a store, and so much more. 

Although stories may seem insignificant, these small moments are what helps your audience connect with you and find things they have in common with you. This casual space is one of the easiest places to show up for your audience. Since there is no video editing involved, you can just pick up your phone, record anything in your life, and post it! 

Another advantage to posting on Instagram Stories is that it’s much easier for your followers to see your content. Your stories pop up on the top of their feed page and keep you in the forefront of their mind. If you show up consistently on Instagram Stories, your followers will be waiting around to see every new thing you post! 

Let’s dive into how to use Instagram Stories to your advantage and how to have a great presence. 

Making Stories that Captivate Your Audience

When creating Instagram stories, make sure to have good lighting and hold your phone as still as possible when recording. If you don’t want to hold your phone, feel free to prop it up on something near you, and start recording! 

  • When recording stories, greet your followers with a “good morning” or “happy Wednesday!” In addition, talk about things going on in your life!
    • What your plans are for the day
    • Ask your followers what they think of a topic or situation and add a question box sticker so they can respond to your question
    • Any life updates like your kids’ accomplishments at school, upcoming vacations, etc. (Make sure you are comfortable sharing this information!)
    • What you’re planning on making for dinner

Another important part of creating a community through Instagram stories is showing up consistently. If you post every day or every other day, your followers know what to expect and will show up consistently for you too. If you are sporadically  posting stories, your followers likely won’t see your stories. 

If there are stories that you want followers to be able to see even after 24 hours, you can save the stories to a highlight. First click your own story in the top left corner. Then click “Highlight” in the bottom right corner of the story you want to save. This will add your stories to your profile indefinitely and allow your followers to see them. 

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Lastly, look at Instagram Stories as the closest thing you can have to a real conversation with your followers. Respond to any messages that are sent to you regarding your stories, and most of all be authentic to yourself and your hobbies and likes. Try out stories and see how easily you can build community with your followers! 

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