Many businesses have started posting Instagram Stories on a regular basis, as they should! Over 500 million people use the feature every day. Because this content disappears after 24 hours, its style and format are usually more casual than a traditional social media post. This can be off putting if your company is trying Stories out for the first time and you’re used to presenting yourself very professionally online. Take a breath. It’s okay, and actually recommended, to show your company culture and prove your authenticity on social media. Stories are a great place to do this because the content is ephemeral.
Plus, there are many aspects of Instagram Stories that can help you loosen up in a way that will encourage engagement, which is kind of the whole point of having a social media presence. One thing that businesses don’t experiment with enough are Instagram Story stickers. Don’t let their name fool you. They’re not all just silly GIFs and emojis. When used strategically they can not only increase engagement, they can also help you drive traffic to your Instagram page and even your website, thus increasing overall brand awareness and business.
Below is a list of our favorite stickers and the reasons why you should try them out. The first set of suggestions might seem familiar to you. This is because they’re features social media marketers already take advantage of when posting to their Instagram feed, but stickers have allowed the same value to be gained from posting Stories.
Using one of these stickers makes your Story appear in the public feed of that location, which will likely lead to users other than those who already follow you seeing your content! They’re particularly good to use if your business has a physical location, like a store or restaurant. Users who are searching for specific locations on Instagram are likely in that area or are planning a trip to that area, which makes them hot prospects. Because location stickers help with reach and exposure, you should try them out in a variety of ways, such as tagging your business, the town your business is in, other places when you’re on the road, and other businesses you want to connect with. If you’re holding an event you could even post promotional Stories in advance and use a location sticker to inform people of where it’ll be.
If you work with or share content from another brand on your Story, you should shout them out by using a mention sticker. This not only gives them credit, but they might not even see the nice things you’re saying about them if you don’t use a proper mention. This is also true if you’re posting user generated content. It’s important to thank your fans when they create content that promotes your brand, especially if they’re relatively well-known influencers. These days, if you get tagged in a Story, you can easily repost that content to your own Story. If an influencer does this because they’ve been mentioned in your Story, it will greatly increase your reach.
Like using a hashtag in the caption of a photo you post to your feed, using a hashtag sticker in your Story allows people who are searching for those specific topics to find you. This is also a great way to promote any branded hashtags your business has created, which is particularly important if you’ve associated a hashtag with a campaign and you are posting related Stories. Hashtags are one of the social media tools that thread campaign content together into a complete package. Your Instagram Stories can be a part of that with the use of this sticker.
These first three sticker suggestions help your Stories reach more people. They’re all classic techniques that have been made user-friendly for those looking to incorporate them into a story and they help connect and create communities that share similar interests. This next group of stickers are great for encouraging engagement.
Poll stickers allow you to post a question to your followers. Once you post a Story with a poll sticker, viewers who’d like to participate in the poll and answer your question can choose to tap on one of two possible answers. This is a great way to get feedback! The interaction is easy and appeals to those who love instant gratification. Don’t forget that since this is part of a Story, the poll will automatically end in 24 hours. After that, be sure to not only look at the results but to share them so that the poll participants can see them too and know that they’ve been heard.
Honorable Mention: Emoji Slider
These stickers offer similar benefits as Poll stickers do, but instead of giving viewers the option to vote between two options, they can drag a slider left or right to respond in a more nuanced way.
Questions stickers were designed to prompt users to submit questions to the account who posted the Story. It’s like a Q&A format because you can respond publicly to what users submit to your Story, although you can also respond via direct message if you feel that’s more appropriate. With question stickers though, don’t be afraid to get creative and switch it around! You can change the text to ask a question yourself instead or prompting others to question you, too. This is a fantastic way to engage and collect feedback because users can type out a whole sentence and give you unique information instead of having to choose between one of two specific answers. Using questions stickers the traditional way shows you’re approachable and transparent. Using them in reverse shows you’re creative and want to hear from your followers. Try telling the first half of a knock-knock joke or asking a trivia question and seeing if anyone responds with the correct answer. You may be surprised by how much fun you have interacting with your audience!
Honorable Mention: Quiz
This is another great way to turn your Story into a little interactive game. You ask a question and give viewers up to four different multiple-choice answers. Very fun!
Although these are our top used stickers, there are plenty more that hold value! Countdown stickers allow you to share a date and time on your Story, so they’re perfect for events or sales. Users can even share the countdown and save it so they’ll receive a reminder when time is running out. If you’re in eCommerce, then you’ve got to try shopping stickers. These allow accounts of any size to link views through to a website where they can purchase something they’ve seen in the Story. Maybe you’re a non-profit; try the donation sticker! One of the most recent additions to stickers says, “DM Me,” and provides users with a frictionless path to sending a direct message.
There’s a whole plethora of stickers out there. Some may be useful to you, and others not so much. Strategize and decide which to try, then go for it! If you hold back, you’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your reach, increase engagement, and get some insight into what your users think about your services or products.