How to Use Instagram Stories to Engage Your Audience (+ 4 free templates!)

I don't know how closely you view your analytics, but you may have noticed that not all of your followers even see your new Instagram posts when they scroll through their feeds.

Because only a fraction of your followers see your posts, an even smaller fraction will engage with them.

Why is this?

Well, the Instagram algorithm shows your new posts to your followers who engage with you the most. For example, if someone is consistently liking and commenting on your posts, Instagram will be sure that your new posts are at the top of their feed.

This is great for keeping your loyal followers up to date with your content, but it also means that followers who haven’t engaged as much with your content in the past may not see your posts at all.

You want to re-engage those followers so that your new posts show at the top of their feeds as well.


Here are two ways to use Instagram stories to get more engagement on your Instagram posts:

 Share your post to your story

Have you seen the new story feature that allows you to share your posts straight to your story? Users can tap on the picture of your post in your story and go directly to the post

  • Go to the post you want to share

  • Tap the airplane icon underneath the image

  • Select ‘add post to your story’


instagram stories

Announce new posts via your story

Another way to let your followers know that you have a new post is by screenshotting your feed and covering the new post with an emoji, sticker, or GIF. This lets your followers know that you have a new post, but doesn't show them what it is, so they have to go check it out!

  • Take a screenshot of your feed

  • Create a new story with the screenshot

  • Select the sticker icon at the top right corner

  • Choose a sticker to cover the new post

  • Select 'add post to your story'

instagram stories

Now you know two ways to drive users from your story to your post!

Once they engage, they'll be more likely to see your new posts on their feeds because Instagram will recognize that they've engaged with your content!

Another way to encourage engagement on your stories is by using the sticker feature.

Note: Instagram rolls out new features, so don't be surprised if you don't have all of these features yet. It can take months for accounts to get new features, so you'll just have to be patient!

These are the three stickers that drive engagement on your stories, thus driving engagement on your posts!

To use stickers on your stories, create a story or upload a photo, then click on the smiley icon in the top right corner.

instagram stories

The three circled stickers, poll, slider, and questions, allow your followers to easily engage with your stories!

Below are examples of the three different options.

instagram stories

Slider: allows you to ask a question and get a visual response of how much your followers love it/agree.

Poll: allows you to ask a yes or no question, or a question that has two possible answers.

Question: allows your followers to answer your question. You can then share their responses!


Using Instagram Story Templates to engage your followers

instagram story template

What’s an Instagram Story Template? It differs a bit from the features mentioned above because this is not actually a built-in part of Instagram.

It is a graphic that is meant to be uploaded to your story that includes spaces for you to fill in (or circle) your answers.

With Instagram being a predominantly visual platform, using story templates allows you to showcase you personality and more information about you, your blog, or your business.

You can highlight these templates on your profile so that your new followers can see them, even if they were uploaded weeks ago.

It’s also a great way to get your brand out there, because each time someone uses your template, your name will remain on the bottom (see images below). This only happens when you create the stories yourself and are able to credit yourself on the bottom.

In the InstaCrush Membership, we have created several templates that are completely editable and that allow you to put your own name on the bottom of the story!

instagram story template

We’ve also created some free Instagram Story Templates for you to download and post to your story! Tag us, we’d love to check out your answers!


instagram stories