6 Instagram Story Mistakes to Avoid

By: Molly Crockett

There’s no denying that Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and averages over 500 million users active on the platform every single day. Of course, Instagram Stories, while a relatively new feature, has taken the world by storm, and with 1/3 of the most viewed stories coming from businesses, your page needs to be utilizing this feature to its full potential

Instagram Stories offer a fantastic way to interact and engage with your audience, as well as being a great marketing tool. However, in order to be successful, they require some thought. If you want to maximize your potential and improve your outreach and engagement, be sure to avoid these 6 Instagram Story mistakes.

Instagram Story Mistake #1 – Inconsistency

Regardless of whether you are posting content on Instagram Stories or any other social media account for that matter, it’s important to ensure that your image remains consistent across all your accounts. Take time to carefully consider your brand’s aesthetic and make sure that you follow through with this on your Instagram Stories as well.

For example, consider the color schemes you use and whether they are in-keeping with the rest of your brand image. It’s also important that the tone, look and feel of you content is maintained. Another important aspect is whether the use of stickers and emojis are appropriate for your brand.

In some cases, it makes sense. Here’s an example of a brand using a sticker to generate orders.

Finally, take account of the regularity of your posts and reflect this in your Stories as well.

Hand in hand with being consistent with your branding and your online ‘voice’, you need to make sure you’re consistent with when you’re posting. If you’re posting once a month, or even once a week, this isn’t enough time for people to get used to your content, and you’ll keep popping up and slipping out of their minds.

However, if you’re posting every other day, both on your Stories and your main page, you won’t be overbearing your followers with content, but you’ll be posting enough that you’ll become integrated as part of their daily lives. Thus, there’s a much higher chance of them engaging in your content, and therefore motivating growth for your page.

The best way to approach beating the woes of social media inconsistency is to create a schedule. With this schedule, you’ll be able to plan exactly what you’re going to post and when, so you don’t need to be thinking on the fly. The more organized you can be, the more time you’ll be able to focus on creating content and making it to the kind of quality you want to be sharing with your followers.

In short, imagine you’re scrolling through another brand’s story and you see lots of story entries with different colors and different designs, so much so that you’d be hard-pressed to believe they’ve been posted by the same page. This is the kind of inconsistency you want to avoid with your own page.

Instagram Story Mistake #2 – Duplicating Content

It can be tempting to duplicate content, particularly if there is a specific product or campaign that you are trying to promote.

“There are times when reposting can be useful, for instance, if you are running a specific promotion, offering discounts or giveaways,” says Shane Bradley a business writer at Paper fellows and Australian help. “However, if you’ve already created a post about it, avoid simply duplicating it to use on your Instagram Stories. Instead, try to find new and creative ways to reuse the material. For example, you could use a teaser video or behind-the-scenes images in your Stories to entice viewers to read your post.”

There are times when reposting can be useful, for instance, if you are running a specific promotion, offering discounts or giveawaysClick To Tweet

Instead of duplicating your material, try repurposing it. For example, let’s say you share an image of an infographic that details information on conservation work regarding a local forest that you have a page for. You can then repurpose this information into story content, say by giving tips on how to keep the forest safe and secure, as well as how to help protect the animals and wildlife.

Again, be creative and try to think outside the box as much as you can. Even if you’re posting a video on your main page, why not trim and edit the video to make a teaser, which is then content you can post on your story. As you can imagine, there are plenty of ways to go about this, but the trick is not to simply post and repost the same content on both areas of your page.

This is boring, uncreative, and will actively push people away from what you’re offering.

Instagram Story Mistake #3 – Using Too Much Text

In short, avoid overloading your Stories with too much text. Remember, Instagram Stories is primarily a visual medium. Instead, aim to use text to add context and keep it short and to the point. It’s worth remembering that you only have about 10 seconds per frame, so overloading the frame with text is unlikely to engage your viewers.

Imagine you’re scrolling through your own Instagram Story feed and you come across a visual Instagram story with an image or a video, but then a huge amount of text. Are you going to sit and read it? Probably not.

However, it’s important to note that this does fully depend on your Instagram page and what you’re trying to achieve. Some pages, especially poetry, written word, and self-development pages, do get away with having just stories full of text to read. Remember, users can hold down the screen to freeze the story so they can stay on it as much as they like, as well as this movement minimizing the features, such as the share button and reply bar.

If you fit into this category, feel free to use text-based stories, but remember to use a tag or a bit of text that says ‘hold to read’, so your content is not just skipped over. However, for a lot of IG pages, stick to using mainly visual materials, such as images and videos, and then minimizing the text as much as possible.

Instagram Story Mistake #4 – Telling Multiple Stories at Once

One of the most common mistakes that people make when first starting to use Instagram Stories is to try to promote too much at once.

“Think of Instagram Stories as just that, a story. That means that you need to have a clear, consistent narrative that people can easily follow and engage with. The most effective way to do this is to focus on one story or topic at a time. It will reduce the chances of your Stories becoming disjointed and will help increase engagement,” says Christina Bushee, a project manager at Essay roo and Oxessays.

Stories only last 24 hours maximum, so there’s no reason why you need to try and cram everything in. One of the main tricks to growing your social media pages is to post consistently, so there’s no reason why you need to overload your customers with lots of different stories. Instead, be patient and cover one story per day, or at least multiple stories covering the same topic, and then posting any other stories the following day or later in the week.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes people make is posting inconsistently, as we mentioned above in the first point. Create a schedule and pace yourself. Aim for long-term growth over short-term gain.

Instagram Story Mistake #5 – Failing to Optimize Your Instagram Stories

There is a special art to master when it comes to creating Instagram Stories. Sure, anybody can make them, but it’s easy to see those who know what they are doing, and those who don’t. In many cases, there’s a fine line as to what classes as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ story.

Of course, you’ll need to find out what works for you and your business or page. Your branding and your own voice need to shine through, but there are still some points to consider that apply to Instagram Stories across the board. Some basic tips you can think about to get you started include;

Make sure that you optimize your Stories, just as you would with your posts, to increase your chances of featuring on the “Explore” pages. Some simple ways to do this include making sure that you use a geolocation tag, as well as up to three relevant hashtags. Emphasis on the relevant because while it can be tempting to use tags like ‘follow4follow’ or other popular tags where you think you’ll grow; these spams tags won’t provide much benefit in the long term.

TOP TIP: You can hide your tags and hashtags to maximize your screen space by shrinking them down as much as possible using the pinch motion on the screen, and then hiding the hashtag behind the reply bar. This way, your post will still register with these hashtags, but

Additionally, if you are working with any collaborators, ensure you mention them. When tagging, check that the text is clear and big enough so that viewers can click on the tag easily.

But you can take things further than this. Look at the way Instagram Stories are designed. At the bottom of the page, there’s the ability for someone to write you back a message as a reply to your story, or the icons to share with a friend at the top. Make sure your story design is optimized in a way that means the key aspects of story aren’t hidden behind these features and obscured.

Don’t forget to double check your posts for spelling and grammar. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is putting a spelling mistake into your content and letting it slide. Since there’s little text on the screen, these errors stand out and it really ruins the reputation of your business aand IG page.

Instagram Story Mistake #6 – Repeatedly Publishing in The Same Format

Keep your Instagram Stories interesting and fresh by mixing up your media. Publish content in different formats, alternating between videos, images and even surveys. This will help prevent your content from becoming predictable and repetitive.

Whenever possible and reasonable, try to make the content interactive and involve your audience. Surveys and voting systems are great examples of this. Also, make sure that you keep up to date with the latest resources on Instagram to ensure that your Stories keep attracting attention. You might want to consider using a template to help make your content more visually appealing.

Many of the best pages will also alternate between their own page created content, and then curated content sourced from customers and followers. For example, an author may repost their follower’s stories of them posing or showing off the fact they have bought their book. This is a great way to stay connected with followers and having content to post on your story.

Don’t forget to check out your competition and see what they’re up too. People tend to swipe through their stories quickly and will only stop to pay attention to something if it really catches their eye, so think outside the box with the content you’re creating. Be creative, be relevant, and catch your follower’s attention. Make your content irresistible to watch.

Avoiding Instagram Story Mistakes

Instagram Stories offer a fantastic way to connect with your audience. Make sure that your content is consistent, in-keeping with your brand and fresh. Use a variety of publishing formats to keep viewers engaged and make use of tags. Keep your stories focused and above all, remember to make them visually appealing.

By following these simple steps and avoiding these Instagram Story mistakes, you’ll succeed in making your Instagram account more successful and engaging. With higher engagement on your stories, you’ll be able to grow your following, actively promote your products or services to a wider fan base, and help your business become increasingly successful.

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