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Let’s have a moment of real talk – why are you bothering showing up on Instagram so regularly? Is it because you want the world to know every detail of your life, or is it because you want to build an irresistible personal brand and turn casual interest into paying customers?
(Spoiler alert – the correct answer is the second one.)
What that means for you, is that your focus should be on creating strategic content that attracts engagement NOT on designing a perfectly symmetrical and/or colour-coded grid. That’s no use to anyone.
One of the most effective ways to create that engagement is to share regular Instagram Stories, particularly now that Instagram is releasing more and more options to help inspire interaction on every frame. First, we had the polls sticker, and then the emoji slider, and then they brought out the questions option (and that’s what I want to talk about today).
Instagram’s questions sticker allows you to both collect responses to your own questions and give your followers the opportunity to ask YOU questions. It’s pretty handy for helping you create more content that really hits the spot and get to know your people better (and we all know this business malarkey is a relationships game). There are no limitations here – think about how you can make your Stories a bit different… naturally, I’m sharing a few tips to get you started:
15 creative ways to use the questions sticker in your Instagram Stories
*Note: to see the responses to your questions, go to the Story and swipe up. You’ll see all of the answers you’ve received, and will see a button to share them in a new Story.
Ask me anything
Example: Ok guys, ask me anything!
Asking this type of question gives your followers the opportunity to feel like they really know you. They could respond with business related questions or personal ones, both will help you to build a stronger personal brand.
Q&A on a specific topic
Example: What questions do you have around getting more engagement on Instagram?
This type of question is particularly handy if you want to become known as an expert on a particular thing. It’s also perfect for priming your followers before launching a paid offer relating to that topic.
Content idea generation
Example: What are you struggling with today?
Collecting pain points in the words of your audience will help you to create content that really hits the spot, whether that’s more Instagram posts, an article, a freebie, or a paid thing.
Example: I’m looking for some fiction to take away with me this weekend, any recs?
This type of discussion opener is a great one for building stronger relationships with your people because you’re making them feel as though their opinions are of value to you. It takes away the distance of a teacher/student relationship and makes them feel more connected.
Feedback on a particular idea or resource
Example: I’m thinking about creating a video series of my top productivity hacks, interested?
It should be obvious why this one is a good idea… sometimes we all get carried away with ideas that seem like a good plan to us. Hearing from your audience about whether they’re interested or not will help you decide if that particular project is really worth your time.
Example: Whose Instagram Stories do you watch every single day?
I’ve long been a fan of crowdsourcing content – offering expert opinions on a particular topic can be powerful (and it’s a great way to connect with like-minded influencers). With a question like this, you could collect responses and turn them into a killer blog post or Instagram series, just don’t forget to tag the person you reference.
Example: What’s your favourite thing about my podcast?
We all know that testimonials are great to have HOWEVER it’s easy to become blind to them if you’re just sharing beautifully templated reviews all the time. That’s why I recommend using Instagram Stories to collect some snippets – it’s just a more fun, dynamic way of sharing the love.
Example: Tell me why you’d love to win a spot in the Content Arsenal.
Instagram Story questions are a great way to capture responses to any pop-up giveaway you decide to run. Just remember that people will only be able to enter for 24hrs unless you save the Story to one of your highlights.
Get to know people
Example: What are you working on today? OR What’s your favourite kind of cake?
There are two reasons to ask this type of question. firstly, it’s nice. It will make your people feel less alone. Secondly, it gives you insight into your customers. It helps you to see how they spend their time and what they love – these details can all be weaved into some seriously hard-hitting copy down the line.
Act like it’s a multi-option poll
Example: Would you rather I share my top idea generation hacks in a podcast, here in my Stories or via email?
Learn about their tastes and how they prefer to consume your content?
Example: What song instantly makes you feel fearless?
Musical questions are great for conjuring emotion, and much like the reading recommendations, they create a real bond with people. I’ve used this one a few times and create some killer playlists as a consequence (check ’em out here).
Ask for advice
Example: Trying to find a better way to track my expenses, any tips?
Again, this type of thing turns it into a two-way relationship rather than just your broadcast medium.
Example: Let’s hold each other accountable! What are you working on today?
I adore this type of question, particularly when I’m doing something insane like working all night or over the weekend. It makes you feel less alone, like you’ve got someone in your corner… and if you can make your followers feel like that, they’ll love you for it.
Example: What do you want to know about the Content Arsenal?
These questions work really well when you’re in the midst of promoting a paid offer. You can find out from the horse’s mouth EXACTLY what those objections are, and then you can address them. It might also give you some ideas for tweaking your sales copy.
Co-create with them
Example: Would you prefer 5 minute video lessons or 30 minute masterclasses?
When you’re making structural decisions about an e-course (or any other kind of offer really), let your people have some input. If they feel like it’s exactly what they’ve asked for, they’ll be more likely to buy. Plus, you’ll have a little list of people primed to hear your pitch.
The reason that using questions in your Instagram Stories is so powerful is this: you’re making it EASY for people to interact with you, and people want easy.
If you’re looking to get even more engagement out of every single Story, I have just the thing for you. The ever-inspiring Alex Beadon (who joined me on this episode of Your Biz, Your Rules and is often described as “the Instagram Stories Queen”) kicks off a fun, free, 5-day challenge on October 8th.
Double down your DMs is exactly what it sounds like – everything you need to amplify the number of direct messages you get from your Stories. If you want a strong community of passionate, engaged fans… if you want to feel confident that you’re sharing the right stuff with the right people… if you want to start seeing bottom-line impact from your social media activity…
Hey! I’m Daire – writer, editor, all-round content weaver. I help business owners stand out online by channelling their personalities into everything they do. My dream is to show you that you can have an inspiring, insightful, INTERESTING online presence (and that you can use that to attract the best and brightest buyers into your orbit).