Instagram Workshop For Hosts - Part II: Instagram Stories

We show you how to get your followers to interact with you with a few stickers in your Instagram Story. We will also explain the bucket list and its benefits and show you our favorite app for creating Instagram stories.

In our first Instagram workshop in 2020 we showed you already some Instagram tricks. We explained mainly basic Instagram terms and how to use different features. If you want to have another look at this basics workshop: Here you go.

Instagram Story – What is it about?

In this workshop we will focus on the Instagram story.

In short, the Instagram Story is a feature that allows you to create a slideshow of images, videos, gifs and/or text. After 24 hours, the images in the slideshow disappear automatically. A snippet (a sequence) lasts 15 seconds. It is a good way to invite your followers to join you virtually. You can tell them what’s new or take them virtually on a walk to the beach or to your pool. It is a very powerful tool with many possibilities.

The stories are also a good tool for reminding your regulars of your beautiful place and for arousing curiosity and interest with potential guests. And the best thing about stories is: You won´t need professional interior photos. Tell your story with your mobile phone snapshots which is even more authentic as your followers will have the impression a friend is showing them their holiday pictures. This authenticity gives your future guests the impression they are not traveling into the unknown, but that they already know you. Furthermore, it comes quite handy that you can also share short-term booking slots with your followers via your Instagram story.

Instagram Story – Why Should your Followers Interact with you?

No one really knows how the Instagram algorithm works. However, we know for sure that interaction with your followers in your story is one important factor. If your followers interact with your story, Instagram assumes that you offer interesting content and shows your story to more users. Even your posts will then be shown more frequently to followers who already interacted with your story. This improves your overall reach, i.e. you will reach more followers.

In this workshop, we would like to show you how to interact with your followers in your story with the following stickers: The survey (yes/no), the slider (rating slider, emotion barometer, mood slider, voting scale or emoji slider), the quiz and “questions”.

Many Interactions with your Story – how to

To start, open the app on your smartphone. And then…

  • Tap on your profile icon at the top left to open your Instagram story
  • The Instagram app camera opens. You can choose between different functions: To take a picture, tap the button in the middle briefly once, to take a video, stay with your finger on the button.
  • If you want to use a picture or video you have already taken, tap the gallery symbol at the bottom left and your photo album will open. By the way, you can also get there by simply swiping upwards.
  • Once you have taken or selected a picture, tap the emoji symbol in the top right-hand corner. You will find a selection of different stickers (Fragen = questions, Umfrage = survey, Schieber = slider, Quiz = quiz):

⇒ The Survery

With the survey sticker your followers can take part in a decision with just one click. Which do you like better? Pool or the sea? Or you use a classic “yes or no” question. For example, you could ask: “Which is better? Red or blue tablecloth?” or “Are you going to go on holiday to Italy this year?”. This way, you give your followers the feeling that you care about them. And if the results are not to your taste – after 24 hours the story will have disappeared anyway.

This is how it works: Type your question and then insert the two possible answers into the two white fields. Instagram suggests “yes” and “no” by default, but there are other answers possible with up to 21 characters. You can even insert emojis instead. After voting, your followers will be shown the overall results. You can see the votes in your story statistics and post the result together with the decision in your story. This is fun for your followers and will catch their attention.

⇒ The Slider

We simply call it a slider, but the following names can also be found: Rating Slider, emotion Barometer, mood Slider, voting Scale or emoji Slider. It is a very easy way to create an interactive story.

Here’s how it works: You can use the slider to ask a question, but not a classic yes-no question, it’s more about an opinion. You are giving followers the opportunity to show a reaction publicly (equivalent to “a like” for one of your posts). After moving the slider your followers will be shown the average voting/slider movement. You won´t need many words (which is also very handy when you want to interact with an international community). Sometimes even a picture or an emoji does the job. Users can slide the emoji back and forth. By doing this, they show you how funny or cute they rate your content. You can choose the slider emoji from a wide variety of emojis and you can also customize the color of the sticker.

⇒ The Quiz

The quiz sticker will arouse the playful instinct of your community. As in “Who wants to be a millionaire?”, you can ask your followers a question with up to four different possible answers. Instead of with a million, the correct answer to the question is rewarded with a digital shower of confetti. In any case, the correct answer to the question is revealed after just one click. In this way, you can convey interesting facts about your surroundings or your house in a playful way. For example, you can ask which lake in your area is best for swimming with children, show a picture of a town and ask your community to guess the name, or ask your community for the name of a shell you found on the beach. Afterwards, you can use the opportunity to inform them about your guided beach walks…

Here’s how it works: The sticker can be inserted in a picture or video just like the others. Write your question in the “guess …” field. For option 1, write the first answer. When you fill in the second line, the third line opens automatically. In this way, you can enter answer options from A to D. To indicate the correct answer, tap on the letter. The field tapped will be highlighted in green as the correct answer.

⇒ Questions

With the question sticker you can ask your followers open questions, ask them about their wishes or invite users to ask you questions about your accommodation. In contrast to the other stickers, this one requires more effort for your followers. They don’t just have to click, but have to write something. This is why there will be less reaction than with the other stickers and you should therefore ask a very exciting question.

Here’s how it works: You probably already know how to insert the sticker. Tap on the box to change the color and the text. You can also adjust the position and size.

A few weeks ago, for example, we asked for book tips for Sonja´s holiday (by the way: “Midnight Library” turned out to be a very exciting book!). We then published the results for everyone so that our followers could also stock up on their holiday reading. Or we ask our users for tips for a region.

And how do you get to the answers of your followers? You will find them in your “insights“. Simply tap on the number of followers in the bottom left-hand corner of your story snippet. A page will open showing you who has viewed your story. If you tap on the small bar chart in the top left-hand corner (with an eye next to it), you will see all the responses. By the way, you can also reply to the users who have replied directly via this page by PIN. You can also select individual answers and respond to them publicly in your story. Or you can take a screenshot of all the answers and post it in a snippet with a nice photo as background. And when your story is already gone after 24 hours , just go to “archive” (you will find it in the top right-hand corner when you tap on the lines). You will find your old stories there.

In the following video we will show you “live” how to use the different types of stickers:

Bucket list (so that your posts are not only liked, but also saved)

Another factor for the algorithm and your reach is how many followers saved your posts. In addition to likes, followers can also save your posts from your grid in the app. You will find this function below a post – it is a small flag on the right. You can also store the saved post in different folders. For you it would be a jackpot if you ended up in the folder “next holiday” as your followers will find you quickly when booking their next holiday.

However, saved posts have also another advantage for you: When someone hits the flag to save one of your posts Instagram concludes that your content is appreciated by the users and shows your content more frequently to followers. So, by the means of saved posts you can also push your reach.

By the way, you cannot see who saved your Instagram post. But you can see how many people have saved it (assuming you have a business account).

But how do you get your followers to save your posts from the grid? As this function is not known to everyone, we simply explain the process in our story from time to time.

⇒ Explaining in your story how to save your posts

In your story, you can ask your followers to save the feed post to their bucket list.

This is how it works:

  • Find the image in your feed and click on the small plane below (the third symbol next to the heart and speech bubble).
  • Select the top line “post to your Story”.
  • Add the following text: “Do you like this post? Do you know that you can save this by first clicking on the image and then on the little flag below the posting in the feed?
  • It helps if you add a sticker with “tap here” or “click here”. You can find this sticker by tapping the emoji or gif field and entering “tap here” or “click here” in the search field at the top.

Unfold – Our Favorite Design App for Instagram Stories

For nice Instagram stories, apps are a good choice. On the road, the Unfold app is by far our favorite. With the free version you have less access to templates, text tools, fonts and stickers, but it’s enough to spice up your story. In the following video about our favorite app, we give you a little insight into how it works. However, we recommend to just try it out yourself.

If you don’t want to start right away, here comes a short explanation in text form:

  • Once you have installed the app, you will be presented with various templates in the “discover” section (note: most of them have a small plus sign. This means they are only available to premium users).
  • If you click on the big “plus” in the bottom right corner, the formatting selection appears – choose “story”.
  • Then tap on the plus. At the bottom you will find a small slide bar. Tap CLASICO for an overview of more than 20 free templates. Select one and insert your photos or videos.
  • Double-click on the text field to add a text. Font, size, and color can be easily adjusted.
  • The little pencil will give you options for background, stickers etc.
  • When tapping the small eye you will see how your story looks like when it is finished.
  • Tap the big plus in the middle to open another template.
  • To save your snippets in your gallery tap the arrow symbol in the top left-hand corner.
  • When you want to post the snippets, simply go to the gallery, and select the Unfold snippet. Add music, gifs, stickers, markers, tags and more and post it in your story.

(A little extra tip: In every premium template collection you can usually find one template that is for free. For example: I like to use the first template from Paper 01).

We hope we were able to shed some light on Instadark with this workshop and could also show you that creating stories can be fun. And: It is also fun to have many different virtual encounters like that! The Instagram community is mostly a very nice and polite community.
And since it’s already a tradition, we’ll be preparing another workshop for you next year (Instagram or perhaps even Facebook which is more helpful than many might think). Feel free to send us your wishes!

This workshop was written for you by our Instagram lady Antonia. She looks after our Instagram account and posts your pictures and stories if you tag us.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please send an email to me.
Yours, Antonia from the Little Travel Society

[email protected]