How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences

Ilfusion Creative
4 min readFeb 26, 2021
How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences

There’s no better way to connect with your audiences than through a good story, and Instagram is making it easier for brands and individual creators alike to boost engagement with audiences through Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories and Why It’s Valuable for Businesses

Basically, Instagram Stories lets you share photos and reels for 24 hours; after such time, the story disappears — although you have the option to view your story privately in your archive.

Instagram describes Stories as another way for audiences to “share all the moments of your day [stories], not just the ones you want to keep on your profile.”

As such, IG Stories is a valuable tool for brands that can help you:

  • build brand awareness
  • strike meaningful conversations with audiences
  • cultivate a sense of authenticity
  • drive sales and conversions

With over 500 million people using the feature, and with 1 billion stories each day, IG Stories provides a fertile ground for businesses. In fact, it has been found that 62% of IG Stories users report that they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it on their Stories.

5 Tips on How to Effectively Use IG Stories to Boost Engagement

If you’re not familiar with using IG Stories, you can refer to Facebook’s detailed guide here. How do you make the most of IG Stories for your brand? Here are a few tips:

1. Ask questions

Instagram Stories has three features that allow you to creatively ask your followers questions:

  • Create a poll/quiz — Select the “Poll” or “Quiz” sticker and simply type in your question and options to choose from.
  • Create a slider gauge — Select the “Slider” sticker so that your audiences can gauge their response (drag the slider) to your question.
  • Prompt audiences to ask any question — Use the “Questions” sticker to start your own AMA (ask me anything) session.
How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences

2. Mention someone or a business

This is similar to giving a “shoutout.” Mentioning someone adds authenticity to your story, as it makes audiences feel valued and heard.

Simply type @ followed by the username of the person or business name you want to mention, or use the “Mention” sticker. You can mention up to 10 users per story.

There is also another option specifically for businesses. Select the “Support Small Business” sticker to feature any business you choose.

How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences

3. Add a link and/or product stickers

As mentioned, Instagram Stories is a great way to drive conversions and even sales!

If you have more than 10K Instagram followers, you have the option to add direct links to your stories (“swipe up” link). Simply add the “Link” sticker to your story.

For those with under 10K followers, you have two options:

How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences
Screenshots from @snugshack and @finerrings

4. Strategically use Highlights

Although stories on IG are meant to last for 24 hours, “Highlights” allow you to extend their shelf life, giving them more reach and, most importantly, visibility.

Highlights are hand-picked stories (whether those currently live or already archived) that you get to feature at the top of your profile. For businesses, strategically choosing which stories to feature on your profile provides new ways for audiences to discover more of your content.

You can choose whether to feature new products you launched via stories, your current promo, free content, etc. Be sure to have an eye-catching Highlight Cover to make it more appealing, like how Zalora did with their highlights:

How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences

5. Post creative IG Stories content

There are many many content ideas you can do for IG Stories: behind-the-scenes content, new products, new offers/deals, etc.

The great thing about IG Stories is that you can be as candid and creative as you want — although it doesn’t have to be super polished and curated as what you’d usually do for feed posts. A few things you can do:

  • Add GIFs
  • Mix and match different fonts and sizes together
  • Use other sticker options such as the “Location,” “Music,” “Countdown” and “Join Chat” stickers, to name a few.

NASA did a good job in creatively using IG Stories:

How to Use Instagram Stories to Effectively Engage with Audiences

Wrapping It All Up

Instagram Stories provides so many free tools that you can use for your brand, and the wonderful thing about it is that Instagram is constantly adding new features to make it all the more engaging and fun!

Learn more about social media marketing by heading to our blog at!



Ilfusion Creative

Ilfusion Inc. is a full-service creative agency located in Fort Worth, TX with talents in web, design, video, social media and marketing consultation.