The Art of Instagram – 7 Ways to Drive Engagement using Stories

Instagram Stories are a big deal. Yes, they are! You don’t think so? Well, not until you discover that the feature attracts more than 500 million users every day. Even more impressive, an estimated 2 million users are now buying Stories ads.

The biggest question, however, remains – how can you use Stories to boost engagement? Keep in mind that the level of engagement plays an integral role in giving your brand the attention it needs to grow. Here’s how to do it;

Polls, Questions, and Swipe Meter

Instagram continues to unveil new function for Stories including polls, the swipe meter, and questions. The ripple effect is that you can survey your followers and ask them critical questions using polls. That way, you can determine your audience’s favorite products and how they use them.

The swipe meter, on the other hand, enables you to ask your followers what they think about something. The idea is to help you gauge how much your audience loves (and values) your products or services.

And then there’s the questions feature. This one provides an “ask me anything” format that you can share with your followers in a click. When used correctly, the three will help improve the level of interaction with your audience and allow you to develop a solid content strategy.

Swipe up

You must have seen some of your followers talk about something on their Stories and then leave a casual “swipe up” to see more.  For starters, this is Instagram’s way of rewarding users who’re actively building an audience on the platform. And guess what, it is an excellent option for anyone how wants his/her audience to check out their posts more often and in large numbers.

At the moment though, you can only access this feature if you have more than 10,000 followers. Still, you can buy likes for IG as a tactic to grow your audience. Remember, a person is likely to follow you if your content has lost of likes or shares.


Yes, you can use hashtags in your Stories. In fact, industry insiders encourage it. So be sure to include a hashtag that you have the highest opportunity to rank for in your feed. The only thing you need to do here is to use popular tags only if they’re relevant to what you’re posting. You can double your viewership with this approach. Try and see what happens!


There is no problem talking about another person or brand in your Mentions. The function allows you to add other peoples’ content to your Stories as long as they have mentioned you. The long and short of it is that mentions enable you to include posts by more prominent brands into your Stories, thereby making you more visible to a bigger audience.

See Post

Of course, you can leverage the power of Instagram Stories to drive traffic to your feed for new photos. You only need to click the “share” button after you upload the image. Then, a feature that asks you to “add post to your story” will pop up. Click on it, add your copy, polls, hashtags or GIFs, the same way you would with any other video or picture.

Post Everyday

You are not going to boost your level of engagement using Stories if you only post once every month. Make sure that you upload content every day to keep people interested in your brand and what it has to offer. See, the red circle on your profile gives a potential follower or customer the urge to click and look inside. And, the more the clicks, the higher the engagement.

Be Creative

The level of competition for attention on Instagram is super stiff. Do you know what this means? Well, it implies that there is no time for mediocrity. Your audience wants to get value from your posts, so make sure that you’re giving it to them.  On top of that, don’t be afraid to fiddle with shadows, font types, GIFs, background music and pinning text.

In other words, have fun and make the most of new features. Also, update your apps consistently.

Final Thoughts

Any serious business or brand is on IG. The numbers are mindboggling to ignore. Even then, you need to up your game if you want to make meaningful gains on the platform. Be on the lookout to know what’s happening and how it can help expose your brand and increase your influence.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.