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Update 1: I used a couple of these Story Hacks in my own Story yesterday talking about this exact email (watch the story here) 

Update 2: That story reached 19K people, got 600 DMs, and added 300 people to my email list…  in just 7 hours (I’ll update these after 24 hrs)

Update 3: After 24 hours that story officially broke the 40K view club with 40,832 views and over 700 Email addresses added.

Your Story game is on life support.

Your views are down. 

No one watches your Stories.

And no one answers your poll stickers.

But how can that be when there are over 500 Million people on Stories every single day? And other people are driving tons of Sales through Stories?!

Let’s fix that today.

First off, I hate to break it to you — Stories are not for growing an audience. 

But they’re really really good for lead generation and nurturing content to existing followers.

Now, only about 2% of your audience will see your Stories on any give day (seems low, right?)

However, it’s natural for your reach to drop as you gain more followers.

Here’s a breakdown of Stories reach based on follower size.

Here’s what the Average Story Views would be based on that data above in 2023.

Follower Size Reach Rate Story Reach
1,000 Followers 4.80% 48 people
10,000 Followers 2.50% 250 people
50,000 Followers 2.50% 1250 people
100,000 Followers 1.60% 1600 people
200,000 Followers 1.60% 3200 people
1 Million Followers 0.90% 9000 people

How Stories Are Ranked (According to Instagram)

  1. Viewing History — This looks at how often you view an account’s stories so we can prioritize the stories from accounts we think you don’t want to miss.
  2. Engagement History — This looks at how often you engage with that account’s stories, such as sending a like or a DM.
  3. Closeness — the relationship between the viewer and author

TLDR; They use those ‘Signals’ to push your Stories to people who are most likely to interact with them.

Why? Because it keeps viewers on Instagram longer instead of closing the app or heading to a competitor like TikTok. Then they can sell ads against that attention, make more money, and grow their company. 

Reverse Engineering For Successful Stories

Ok, so knowing what Signals they look at and how they rank them, we can now reverse engineer it and work in some bad ass Story Hacks (that actually get results)

We have 3 goals to balance as an online business owner

  1. Don’t cheapen our brand with hacks and tricks
  2. Get the most attention by bending the rules in our favor
  3. Showing up and serving our valuable audience. 

11 Story Hacks That Will 5X Your Story Views

Story Hack #1: Start fresh with a Poll Sticker

This works to increase engagement out of the gate. When your first Story performs well, Instagram will push your next Story.

Watch the Reel: View on Instagram

Result: More engagement = More Views

Story Hack #2: Use Layered Stories

Don’t use big blocks of text. It will make the viewer immediately say “I’m not going to read that”. Instead, break up that big block of text into 3 story frames and make it easy on their eyes.

Watch the Reel: view on Instagram

Result: More attention = More Stories watched

Story Hack #3: Reply to the people who do react with your Stories

This is doing the manual work of replying to people who engage with your Stories. This plants seeds for your future community (and stories) success.

Watch the Reel: View on Instagram

: More replies = That person is more likely to watch your Stories the next time.

Story Hack #4: Find a theme and post it daily

Humans like when things are familiar. Finding a theme that works and then using that repeatedly will help users stop from tapping through your Stories and pay attention to what you just shared.

: Familiar theme = Less skipping past your story = More Story views

Story Hack #5: Don’t use link stickers (use a DM instead)

Instagram doesn’t like it when we link out to external websites (i.e Competitors to watch your latest YouTube or to sell your Digital Product) But the way around that is to invite them to Reply to your Story. Then you can follow up with them, share a link, or automate the conversations with ManyChat.

: More engagement (replies) = More Story Views

Story Hack #6: Tell them to engage

Encourage users to heart the story, reply to the story, or answer the poll sticker. The viewer doesn’t want to think, so do the thinking for them and tell them what to do.

Watch the Reel: View on Instagram

: More reactions = More Views

Story Hack #7: Turn on Story Replies

Using a service like ManyChat, you can save yourself a ton of time by auto replying to anyone who engages with your Stories.

Result: Increased Engagement = More Story Views and Future Story Success

Story Hack #8: Stop sharing posts to stories

Instagram ran tests on the type of content people most Interact with, post reshares were low on the list. Avoid these if your goal is to increase views.

Result: Engagement will increase because Story quality increases = More Views

Story Hack #9: Use a Reel Cover over a Reel

This hack is debatable, but if you disregarded Story Hack #8 and want to share posts to your Stories, whenever you share a Reel in your Stories, you can add an image and cover the Reel, forcing the user to click on the Reel watch it. In theory, just by the user watching your Reel, they’re more likely to engage with it.

But it also double dips on increasing Story engagement.

Result (in theory): Increase in engagement to click on the Reel = More Reel views, more Reels engagement, and more Story views

Story Hack #10: Use reaction stickers

Reaction Emoji Stickers are a clever way to get people to react to your Stories without telling them to. The stickers presence alone invites them to tap on it, it’s debatable how much juice this gives you in the Stories algorithm, but none the less, it drives more engagement.

Watch the Reel: View on Instagram

Result: More engagement = More Views

Story Hack #11: Use Close Friends

Close friends is a cheat code (and an entire community hack in and of itself) but for Stories, if you see a green outline in the Story bar, or when you’re thumbing through Stories, it adds a bit of FOMO and exclusivity to the Stories making you want to find out why this story is for close friends only.

Result: Exclusivity and FOMO = More engagement

The Recap

Deploy these 11 Story Hacks and watch your Story Engagement go to the moon 🚀

  • Story Hack #1: Start with a Poll Sticker
  • Story Hack #2: Use Layered Stories 
  • Story Hack #3: Reply to the people who engage with your Stories
  • Story Hack #4: Use a consistent theme
  • Story Hack #5: Don’t use link stickers
  • Story Hack #6: Tell them to engage
  • Story Hack #7: Turn on Story Replies
  • Story Hack #8: Don’t share posts to stories
  • Story Hack #9: Use a Reel Cover
  • Story Hack #10: Use reaction stickers
  • Story Hack #11: Use Close Friends

See ya next week!


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