With the Instagram algorithm so all over the place nowadays, stories are more important than ever. It’s the main place where you can update followers 1:1, with less worry of it getting lost in the feed.
Although not all followers will see your stories, the majority will see your stories more often than posts, especially if you post to your stories more than once a day.
So I’m going to share some of my top tips for using Instagram stories effectively on Bookstagram.
How often should you use your stories?
This is different for every person, and the main factor should obviously be however many times you feel comfortable (and have time) to post.
As a general benchmark, I normally try to post 5-10 times to my story each day (bear in mind that those will often be polls) and that tends to increase my views.
However, the average slides per day for brands in 2020 was only 3. The most important thing to remember is that it’s the quality of your stories and the relevance to your audience (and brand) that matters the most.
Bookstagram story ideas
Now we’ve covered why stories are so important, here are some (specifically Bookstagram) story ideas for every day of the week.
Polls are my favourite types of stories to make because they are active- they require followers to interact. This encourages followers to pay more attention to your stories (instead of just scrolling past) without too much effort.
Some of my favourite polls to run on Bookstagram are author/series this or thats, favourite book covers and bookish polls.
You could also use polls to ask followers for their opinions. For example, ask them for post ideas or the types of photos they’d like to see, or get them to recommend your next read.
Just like with posts, followers are genuinely interested to hear what is going on in your life. Of course, you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to, but it can be really helpful to remind followers that you’re a real person with a real life.
Sharing more personal updates really helps to make your account feel less transactional. After all, building trust is one of the most important things for growing on social media.
Pretty much everyone on Bookstagram enjoys reading (or they wouldn’t be there!) and they want to hear about what you’ve been reading and which books you would recommend.
Some of my most viewed stories are just sharing updates on books I’m currently reading or ones I have recently (and asking my followers to do the same).
Behind the scenes
These are especially fun if you can take videos, or share parts of your life/photo set-ups that you might not usually.
This lets followers see a side of your life they won’t usually through posts, and will help to build up a more genuine connection!
Plus, BTS clips are just so much fun to watch; they’re almost just like youtube vlogs (which are constantly growing in popularity).
BUT, if you’re filming videos or updates where you’re talking, make sure those slides work for sound off or on (by adding captions). Not only does this make stories much more accessible, 60% of stories are actually watched without sound on.
Reviews/ bookish opinions
Share those juicy book opinions! Tell your followers the books that make you grind your teeth and your worst pet peeves (like turning down the corners!).
Sharing some controversial book opinions is a sure-fire way to draw more people to your stories (and likely get lots of followers resharing them to join the discussion!).
Providing value to your followers will look different depending on the type of account you run. For Bookstagram, it’ll mainly look like recommending books, sharing Bookstagram/photo set-up tips and just being there to chat.
I love sharing my top tips for taking photos (this could be as a BTS photo shoot or just a list of tips) with my followers, a large proportion of whom are Bookstagrammers themselves.
Cute days out
This isn’t so applicable right now, but when we are able to go out again, show your followers!
If you live in a particularly pretty place or are visiting somewhere bookish (e.g. the Bronte museum), take some photos, or share some videos of the day!
I enjoy watching these types of stories so much, because I get to live vicariously through other accounts, especially in different countries.
Extra tip: add stories to highlights
Hopefully you now have a whole host of ideas for what to share on your instagram stories.
My final point isn’t another idea, as such, but a quick tip: add stories to your highlights. Instagram highlights are a really easy way for new people who land on your account to get a quick feel for it.
I try to group my highlights into the things that I focus on the most (basically, what I want people to associate my account with); things like reading wrap-ups, writing, bookmail, blog and behind the scenes.
Do you sometimes struggle with knowing what to post on Instagram stories? Are you going to try out any of these ideas? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or you can connect with me directly on any of my social medias.