9 Instagram Stories Tricks to Get Better Engagement

By Mike Metzler

May 23, 2021

This blog was originally posted on
Conviva Acquired Delmondo in November of 2018 and has become Conviva Social Insights.

Instagram’s algorithm works in a way that the more often you engage with someone’s story and Instagram profile, the more frequently they will show up in your feed post. Using Instagram’s interactive tools and features is a fantastic way to get more people to interact and engage with your story. It’s also a great long-term strategy to increase your Instagram Stories engagement rate. That said, one of the biggest challenges is that it only works if your user-generated content is good. Suppose the type of content you feature doesn’t have a clickable link or overuses certain features. In that case, people will tune out and skip the entire story. One thing that never fails to capture people’s attention is if you show them something new.
We want to show you a few tips, tricks, and techniques on how you can use the native features in Instagram Stories to show people something they haven’t seen before.

1) Panoramic

When you begin to think of the left and right side of the screen as tap back and tap forward buttons, a whole new world of possibilities begins to open about Instagram engagement within your Instagram Stories. One of our favorite creative techniques is using them to view a panoramic.
The first thing you need to do is take a panoramic picture on your phone like the one below. Once you’ve taken your panoramic picture, break it up into multiple slices as in the second picture. When complete, you should have about 7 to 8 individual pictures. Upload them in order of left to right. When complete, encourage your target audience to tap on both the left and right side of the screen for a unique Instagram Stories experience that can make you feel like “you’re there.” This is an excellent way to increase your audience engagement over time. They see one of your panoramic photos once and keep coming back for more!

Panoramic view of a UFC stadium

Panoramic in Action!

2) Split Screen Voting

The Instagram polls feature is one of the most commonly abused interactive features.

We all know the ones… “SHOULD I EAT THIS DONUT” “YES or DOUBLE YES.”

Pardon us while we swipe next.

However, when the feature is used correctly, it can be tremendously engaging video content. One way to ensure your polls are a success is to design your Instagram Stories around the feature rather than the other way around. When making a poll, you should design the video content or picture as a split screen to clarify people’s voting choices. Additionally, try to stay away from “Yes or No” polls and opt to give people choices between two outcomes or activities.
Red Bull’s social media team created the “Would You Rather, Strange Sports” story. This was a masterclass example of using polls to make one of the best Instagram video stories we’ve ever seen.
The first frame of the story starts with three eye-catching videos stacked on top of each other with the question “Would You Rather” layered on top. Each frame was designed to put the poll feature in the middle and the last frame linked to a longer video story. Every frame of the story commanded your attention. And, if you were particularly interested in one video, the last frame of the story gave you the ability to find more information.

Compiled Ig Stories For Split Screen Voting

3) Use Color Matching

Unlike Snapchat, when you are drawing in Instagram Stories, you are given the ability to match colors with an eyedropper tool. This tool can help you touch up images, match your font to colors already in your image, and, if you’re Matt Fogarty, make mind-blowing optical illusions using only the draw tool. Together this is guaranteed to get people tapping back to watch again.
For people looking for tips on how to achieve a similar look, Matt had this to say:
“My advice for anyone trying to blend or hide art in their stories is to plan out their shot, shoot the video, so the start and end have similar lighting. This will help ensure that all of the time-consuming color matchings look consistent throughout the shot.
Another tip is to avoid using solid black or white when drawing in Instagram Stories. Black and white aren’t often found in the real world; thus, they sometimes spoil the aesthetic when used. So, if you need a bright or dark color, try color matching the dark and light colors from your original video rather than using the swatches. “



View this post on Instagram


Compilation of my Instagram story creations. Thanks for all the support.

A post shared by mattfogarty (@mattfogarty) on

4) Get Creative With Your IG Fonts

Few things can change the visual and tonal direction of an image, like the perfect font.  Using the right font, or a mixture of fonts, can take an ordinary image and give it life, passion, and personality. And while most people are aware of Instagram’s multiple font options, few brands utilize them on the scale of the UFC. The UFC has one of the most talented social media teams concerning IG fonts. Each bit of text they use has been perfectly planned to elevate the moment being showcased. Randy Faehnrich, UFC Senior Manager of Social Media, had this to say:
For us, curation is everything. IGS, in our opinion, is a platform that gives the user an intimate experience with the ROS on fight night. Our UFC shows are run tight – timing is everything. From athlete arrivals to preparation in the locker to the walkout and eventual walk back, we have people set up in positions to capture content at the right time. To add even more pop to the:10-:15 second piece of content, we use IGS Fonts to give context in an aesthetically pleasing way – whether it’s with a specific athlete, the city or venue we’re in, etc. Mix & Match your fonts, play with shadowing effects and color schemes – anything that’s going to reflect the piece you’re portraying.

It’s easy to get lazy, add text to a picture and not look back. These are just regular posts that your target audience would skip over. Please spend a few moments thinking about how the text can tell its own story, like in the images below. You’ll find your images become instantly more shareable and begging for a screenshot. They look like they’ve been created by one of the best graphic designers.

UFC's Instagram Top Stories Compilation Using The Right Font, Or Mixture Of Fonts

5) Get Tapping

Whether you like it or not, people are tapping through your Instagram stories. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Yes, it could mean someone taps through your story without looking at it. Since you can swipe to go to the next regular story automatically, there is a good chance it means they are actively watching. Research from our Instagram Stories Benchmark Study suggests that more than 70% of the people who view your stories are tapping through them. Use that guaranteed promise of physical interaction as a way to get your target audience to engage with your content in a good way. To take advantage of this, we recommend using tapping to create a game or to view a stop-motion story. Furthermore, you can test the story’s success by seeing if the “Taps Forward” metric increased compared to other stories you have made.
Bud Light Created A Game On Instagram Stories Using Tapping To Help Deliver The Bud Light To Your Friend.

Bud Light created a game on Instagram Stories using tapping to help deliver the Bud Light to your friend.

6) Hide Links In Your Stories

There are a myriad of reasons to use Instagram Stories’ tagging feature. The most popular reasons would be to drive traffic back to your account by tagging yourself or driving traffic to someone with whom you are collaborating.  To do this, all you need to do is use the “@mention” feature when in Instagram Stories mode. None of this is groundbreaking, but did you know you can still click on mentions if they are behind stickers or gifs?
Next time you try tagging someone, place their username behind a sticker or gif and ask people to tap the sticker instead of the username. You’ll be surprised by how many more people end up clicking through when you gamify the task. To see what we are talking about, view the image below.

Series Of Instagram Screenshots Demonstrating How To Hide A Clickable Link With A Sticker



This same trick also works when adding IG Posts to your Instagram Story.

Compile Shot Engagement Tricks You Can Do When Posting Ig Stories



7) Use stickers and lots of them!

Once you’ve got all eyes on your Instagram Stories posts, now’s the time to increase your engagement rate further with stickers. Having stickers in your video stories encourages your audience to take action from your posts. Whether you’re using a countdown sticker or question sticker, you’re asking your users to engage in the form of answering a question, sharing their opinion, or taking part in a quiz. You may even be using the stickers to tease a series of upcoming blog posts or something else on your main Instagram page. Regardless of what it is, using stickers is a fantastic social media marketing tool.


8) Businesses can use carousel posts to reach their target audience

Instagram Stories carousel ads are one of the most brilliant social marketing strategies currently on the market. Carousel posts or ads make it easy for businesses to highlight their products and tell a more in-depth story using multiple images or videos.

All users have to tap on the “expand story” tab to view more cards or images. The number of cards shown to the users is personalized and differs to optimize performance. Users may see one card or three before being offered the option to “Expand Story” and view all ten cards or the whole story.
Using carousel posts with Instagram Stories is a fantastic way for a company to engage its consumers and elevate its business profile.


9) Learn what Instagram Stories content your audience relates to most and when

One of the biggest challenges of increasing Instagram engagement is knowing what video content you post appeals to your target audience. Instagram Insights is the company’s analytics tool designed to help business owners learn about what types of content perform best, allowing you to tailor what you post. Instagram Insights makes it incredibly easy to compare content, measure different aspects of your campaigns, and learn how individual posts are performing.

Once you’ve evaluated your information on Instagram Analytics, you can use one of many social media schedulers on the market. These apps will remind you to post on Instagram Stories at the optimal times for your users.

Instagram Stories has been incredible when it comes to adding new features. With over 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day, the potential for this app seems to be endless.  If you have creative and new ways to use Instagram Stories, contact us on Twitter, we’d love to hear from you.

Looking to experience Instagram Stories success with insights to engage and monetize your audience? 
Request a free trial today of our Instagram Stories Analytics!