If you’re only posting to the Instagram feed, you’re missing out on a lot of engagement. Ignoring Instagram Stories is a detrimental move for your account—let alone all the potential leads you could be getting.
Stories help you get more engagement on your feed posts, help you get closer to your audience through DMs, and they let you experiment with more raw, authentic content. They also let you seamlessly poll your followers and plug links.
But there is an art to posting Stories. And to help you master that art, I’m going to show you six ways to get more views, DMs, and clicks to your Stories.
#1 – Start the day off with an engaging Story
First up, start your day off with an engaging Story—something that will get DMs, likes, interactions, or engagement. The success of your day’s Stories heavily depends on your first Story.
If you start with a re-share, a “just listed,” or something nobody cares about, it will harm your Story’s performance for the next 24 hours because people will click through your Story, telling Instagram your content sucks for that day.
You want to post something that gets people to react—polls, quizzes, something polarizing, a picture of your ass, an extreme political position, or a question that makes people DM you.
Don’t actually do the political position thing. Also, never start the day’s Story with a link. I always start the day with a funny text convo, a crazy real estate pic, or a question that forces people to DM me their answer. It’s a genius tactic.
#2 – Tell a story
Tell a story. Instagram Stories are called stories for a reason. Telling stories in multiple parts chronologically, while keeping people hooked, is an excellent way to build engagement.
If you have a video of yourself touring a house, followed by a throwback pic of you at a Shakira concert, followed by a “rest of the house” tour, you will lose and confuse people. This isn’t a Quentin Tarantino movie. Keep it simple and chronological.
I highly recommend going into Create Mode and creating a teaser/hook slide to your Story, where people have to click to the next story to get the content of what you’re actually talking about.
For example, say something like, “Want to hear a quick story about the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done at a showing?” Do that in Create Mode, throw a poll on there, then talk to the camera.
“So, one time I pulled up to the house and accidentally accelerated through the front door and killed everyone inside.”
There’s your Story. Start it with a hook.
#3 – Post Stories throughout the day, not all at once
If you’re not telling a chronological story where the slides seem to follow each other, space your Stories throughout the day.
Let each one settle and marinate a little. And then post your next one. This re-engages the algorithm and your followers and allows you to keep setting up digital real estate signs in people’s heads throughout the day.
#4 – Add closed captions if you’re talking—and other stickers to force engagement
Just like when you post a Reel, don’t forget to add captions in Stories. Seventy percent of Instagram users scroll through Instagram with the sound off, so if they see a video of you talking to the camera and doing something insane, people will click away. So use the closed captions sticker.
Use stickers like polls, quizzes, and questions to force engagement. Rarely will people scroll by a poll without voting. So, poll your audience on housing styles, bathroom decor, or whether they prefer In-and-Out or Shake Shack, which, for some reason, is very polarizing right now.
#5 – Let your Story from the previous day expire completely
This one’s a little secret from the pros. Let your Story from the previous day expire completely and start fresh. That way, the day’s new Story can re-trigger the algorithm with something fresh as it forgets about the dog shit you posted the day before.
#6 – Tell people to watch your Story in the caption of your feed post.
If your feed post relates to your Story, or vice-versa, use this as an opportunity to plug your Story in the caption.
For example, if you’re posting listing photos to your feed, you could say something like, “Hey, check my Story to see the backyard,” or “Check my Story for the showing details.”
I recently did this with a FSBO, who accidentally uploaded a picture of his own balls to Zillow. I did a feed post that said, “Check out my Story for the actual photos.”
Then, right after that Story, which had enormous numbers because people wanted to see his balls, I went to Create Mode and plugged our link in an email newsletter to piggyback off that story’s momentum, which is another genius move.
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