How to tackle Instagram Stories

In the wise words of Kylie Jenner,

We don’t particularly consider ourselves to be Kardashian fans, but there’s no denying that Kylie has a point. When Instagram launched their Stories feature, we were stoked we no longer had to hunt down a person’s ominous Snapchat username and be busted for viewing things twice.

Sure, the filters weren’t as great, and it opened up a whole new level of vulnerability to the platform, but from what we’ve witnessed, it’s been a great asset for both casual users and businesses alike.

Instagram was initially seen as the ‘behind the scenes’ of brands, but since its evolution from casual snaps to money maker, the balance between candid and curated has been shaky to say the least. Stories brought balance to the Force – er, app – and a new way for users to explore the day to day of businesses and celebrities.

This may be great and all – if you’re not camera shy. For those of you who loathe public speaking or would rather break a camera than pose for it, even the thought of using Stories may take you back to the days of unflattering uniforms and sweaty palm cards.

So what do we do? It’s clear that Stories isn’t going anywhere, and neither is Instagram, so how do the shy and introverted still champion this app without feeling fake or self-conscious?

The process can be a little complicated, and of course will vary depending on your type of business, but there is hope! And cheeky tricks! And a glass of wine waiting after you bravely say your piece to the camera!

Trick 1 –  Go ‘behind the scenes’

Humans are curious by nature, and love nothing more than knowing what other people are up to (especially strangers). It feels weird to write that down, but it’s true. We know that when our favourite accounts post a story, it’s a chance to see some new designs or discover a great coffee shop, or learn about an upcoming project. This kind of content usually doesn’t require any speaking. A cute snap of a latte here, a flash of a computer screen there and voila! You’ve just shown your customer what you’re getting up to today. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or planned out, as long as it’s relevant or interesting then go for it!

Trick 2 – Show your processes

This follows on from above – realistically, your followers aren’t going to know how many hours go into a project, or how you design a logo. They can’t mind read how you like to wind down, or where you find inspiration, which is why you should SHOW them. People appreciate the little things, and if a paying customer sees that you’re dutifully working on their project, you’ll be cementing your work ethic in their eyes.

Trick 3 – Embrace the ‘Days’

Sure, as if you haven’t seen them! We’re talking the likes of ‘Moodboard Mondays’ and ‘Follow Fridays’ and any other day a brand has dedicated to a weekly series. This is an easy way to not only plan your content, but it gets your followers excited to see what or who you’ll be revealing each week.

Trick 4 – Host a Q&A

Okay, so this one may require some speaking, but only if you’re feeling up to it. Alternatively, finding a neat background to slap some text over will do the trick. Ask your followers to submit their questions via a post in your feed or your DMs, and then at a chosen time, simply answer them! Yes, it’s really that simple and it’s a win-win. Your audience will get to know you/your business a bit better, and you get to stroll around knowing that you’re dominating in the social media game.

Trick 5 – Utilise the poll feature

You’d be surprised at how many people are addicted to Instagram polls. And why wouldn’t they be? All you have to do is click one of two buttons, and you’ll see instant results. Polls are quickly becoming the easiest way to get information out of your followers. Do they prefer this top or this top? Do they prefer general sales or exclusive discount codes? The opportunities for data are endless, as long as you don’t abuse it.

There’s definitely more than 5 tricks out there, but that’s enough to get your prepared for the transition from novice to Stories guru.

And one last thing – those little shots are only hanging around for 24hrs (unless you choose to highlight them), so if you feel self-conscious or unsure remember you can either delete them or they’ll disappear soon anyway. Just make sure to swap accounts before you head on a night out – just in case.

Until the next brew,

Team Rust


Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash


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