Photograph by Susie Lowe for The Pink House X Sofas & Stuff
5 things we learned from Emily Murray (aka The Pink House) about creating the perfect Insta-story…
1. You need to be thinking one step ahead to keep people’s attention
Gone are the days of posting pics of your morning latte on stories, if you run your own brand, then your stories need to have just as much value as your posts. Stories are an extension of your brand so they need to emulate the same branding/colours/tone of voice that your feed posts do, albeit with a slightly more irreverent feel.
Emily says: start treating stories as a mini-documentary about you and your brand (you’ll realise after a while how much fun this is!)
2. Storyboard it out
Your story needs to flow if you want to keep people watching, so you really need to think about how to tell a story with it, rather than just posting stuff randomly. It’s like turning the pages of a book, so using suspense techniques like tap-to-reveal, or starting your story by giving an intro on what you’re about to get up to will really help your viewers invest in your story and keep watching.
Emily says: When I’m promoting something brand-related on stories, I try to plan the storyline of what I’m going to say in advance so that it tells a proper story and people want to watch it to the end!
3. Make it work for sound-off users
Most people watch stories on the bus or maybe while watching TV, which means they’ll usually have the sound off. It’s so important to subtitle your stories with a brief summary of what you’re saying so that you don’t lose viewers – it also helps tell the story!
Emily says: One of the cleverest things I’ve seen a brand do with a collab was give their influencers an overlayed subtitle box filter that they could fill in with their own subtitles on stories. It meant that people who were watching with the sound off could still understand what was going on, and that totally changed my outlook on how stories work.
4. No one actually plans to sit down and watch Insta-stories
You know that feeling when you realise you’ve been in a bottomless hole of watching other people’s Insta-stories for ages? That’s because something in their story caught your attention, and kept you wanting more. Stories are something we tend to go on as a quick distraction, but the right story can suck you in and keep you watching for way longer than you planned – so its got to be immediately captivating!
NBBS says: Facebook HQ recently said that in the next 2 years, pretty much all of the views on your account will come from stories rather than direct profile visits – so make them count!
5. Make it interactive
The algorithm tracks engagement on stories just as it does on your posts, so the more people are interacting with your stories, the better. Using tools like polls, stop-motion, GIFs and highlights will all build engagement on stories, meaning you’re more likely to show up on people’s explore feeds. Think about creative ways to incorporate these into your story (or should we say mini-doc!).