Instagram Stories sticker poll

How to use Instagram Stories stickers

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Instagram just announced that 500 million people now use its Stories function every day.

 

It’s a staggering number. 100 million more than were using it in June 2018, and 314 million more than are using Snapchat in total, and the soaring popularity of the temporary photo and video sharing function proves that anyone who’s serious about growing their influence on social simply can’t afford to not get on board.

Every day, Stories are becoming more polished and interactive, as Instagram introduces new functions, and one of the most commonly used Stories tools is stickers.From emoji sliders, to polls and GIFs, these added extras can help you interact with your followers in fresh ways, and boost engagement – if, of course, you know how to use them correctly.

In this post we’ll cover exactly that – let’s start with the basics.

 

Hashtag Sticker

What it is:

Hashtag stickers on Stories work in the same way as they do in captions, dropping your into a grouping of similarly tagged content – though only if Instagram thinks the post is strong in both quality and engagement.

Why you should use it:

Hashtag stickers provide the potential to reach thousands of Instagrammers in your region and/or within your industry with similar interests. They can also help reiterate a brand message, threading together a campaign.

Location Sticker

What it is:

The location sticker enables users to tag where they are, and when clicked, this tag takes the user to other photos and videos posted from the same location, as well as displaying it on a map.

Why you should use it:

Imagine someone’s following a restaurant account because they’re thinking of paying it a visit. If they follow that location link to all of the amazing content you and your customers have posted there, it might be the final persuasion they need.

Tagging a location can also help to boost your Story’s discoverability. Instagram users can search a specific location and see a compilation Story from all the other Story posts by users which include that location sticker. If you can get your local business in there, you might earn yourself some extra visits.

Mention Sticker

What it is:

The mention sticker enables you to tag another Instagram user in your story. When clicked, the tag takes the user to that person or business’ profile, and Instagram notifies the user that you’ve tagged of the mention.

Why you should use it:

Instagram recently made it easier than ever for users to share Stories in which they are mentioned. That means that if you tag someone, they’re likely share your story with all of their followers too, increasing your reach.

In addition, it can also be a great way to share user-generated content. If you ask your customers to tag you in their stories, you could get some great authentic content to share on your Story feed.

GIFs

What it is:

A wide selection of moving and static graphics you can overlay on to your image.

Why you should use it:

Instagram Stories is a great way to showcase the fun, whimsical side of your brand personality, without interfering with your carefully curated feed. GIFs make it easy to add some humor and interest to otherwise conventional imagery.

Remember, to keep the interest of your followers, you should be offering them value at every opportunity, and a moment of entertainment definitely counts.

Music Sticker

What it is:

library of songs, categorized by ‘popular’, ‘moods’, and ‘genres’. Listen to previews, pick a track, then select the exact part of the song you want playing during your Story.

Why you should use it:

Like GIFs, music can add another element to your Story to set the scene, add emotion or convey personality. The music you choose can help your followers identify your brand personality, while it also gives you a rare chance to set your content to music, without any rights issues.

Poll Sticker

What it is:

An interactive feature that can be customised, enabling you to pose any question to your followers, and giving them two options to choose from. They tap their chosen answer and the results are delivered to you.

Why you should use it:

It gives your followers an easy and instant way to interact with you, beyond the traditional likes and comments, which can help to form deeper connection. Not only can an instant poll from your customers prove useful in making product decisions (hello instant focus group), but it can also show your followers than you care about and consider their opinions.

Question Stickers

What is it:

A prompt for your followers to ask you question. The sticker box shows both the prompt you’ve typed – for example “Ask us anything” – and a box for your followers to type into. Their response gets delivered directly so can answer, again via Instagram Stories.

Why you should use it:

Q and A can really galvanise your followers, and give you some insight into the type of things they’re most interested in. Whether you answer directly as a brand, or use it as another way to showcase your ambassadors, the Q and A can become a piece of content in its own right.

A fashion brand for example, could use a stylist to answer style questions and suggest outfit solutions, shoppable from their answers.

If you plan on hosting an Instagram Live session, it can be helpful to gather some standby questions ahead of time. Increasingly, brands are also using this function to collect data for their ‘frequently asked questions’, or just for general feedback.

Countdown Stickers

What is it:

A sticker that counts down to a date and time that you set.

Why you should use it:

It’s the perfect way to build momentum around a product launch or event, while the option helps you maintain this interest too, since your followers can subscribe to your countdown event (which then sends them a reminder when the time is up).

They’re also able to share the countdown with their own followers, boosting the reach of your message. The sticker can be used for a function, as well as for fun – for example, letting your followers know the deadline for weekend delivery slots.

Emoji slider

What is it:

This sticker is a question, followed by a sliding scale with a emoji attached, giving your audience a chance to communicate how much the like or dislike something by placing the emoji.

Why you should use it:

It’s a fun, and fast way to ask: “What do you think of this?” It’s a similar premise to the poll, but thanks to the element of gamification, your followers might find the interaction even more irresistible. It’s worth trying out both with your followers to see which they respond best to.

Shoppable tags

What is it:

First appearing in feed, shoppable tags can now be added to Instagram Stories also. When clicked, the tags display additional product information, including links to an eCommerce page where they can make a subsequent purchase is desired.

Why you should use it:

These tags are one of the most eagerly anticipated Instagram Stories features for brands, because they provide a smoother alternative to the current ‘link in bio’ process. By giving potential customers an (almost) frictionless path to purchase, at the moment you have their interest, you decrease the chance of losing them on the way – and increase the chances of making a sale.

 

Try to consider your Instagram Stories content as a strategy in its own right – thoughtful use of the functions (including the new ones which are being rolled out on a regular basis) can provide brands with significant opportunity and insight, which shouldn’t be wasted.

With growing concerns about the Instagram algorithm limiting the visibility of posts in the main feed, Stories provide a valuable alternative option in which to reach your audience.

 

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