Like storytelling, social media helps us build relationships. In the blog post, Facebook: Is Creative Storytelling Possible Using Social Media?, we shared five creative ways to tell stories and build relationships using Facebook. But is it possible to tell stories and turn the strangers we meet on social media into comrades using Instagram, too? Yes, and here’s how.
5 Creative Ways to Tell Your Story Using Instagram
1. Tell a short story in your captions
No one will dispute that high-quality images are important when posting on Instagram. But sharing a short story in the form of a captivating caption with an image can intrigue you to read the whole story. Airbnb does it well. Take a look at how they use beautiful photos with captivating captions to tell interesting short stories with each one. Here’s one of their stories.
Try your hand at sharing a short story about the next photo you post. Use at least four sentences to write a captivating caption. Instagram has a limit of 2,200 characters and truncates captions after three lines of text with an ellipsis.
2. Tell a visual story with your profile
Herschel Supply Co. uses several posts to create one huge image on their profile. This is a creative example of visual storytelling on Instagram.
3. Curate user-generated content (UGC)
Curating user-generated content is a great way to grow your followers and encourage engagement. But what is “curate user-generated content”? Simply, it is sharing short stories from your Instagram community through photos on your profile.
It is also creating a branded hashtag for a story you want to tell and encouraging your followers to post a photo with it on Instagram. TOMS does this every year with its One Day #WithoutShoes campaign.
Curate user-generated content on your profile. Encourage your followers to post a photo with your branded hashtag and promise them that you will re-post the best ones or send a small gift to the person with the best photo. It’s one of the best ways to get to know your community on Instagram.
4. Tell a short story using video
Use videos to tell short stories. Great stories can be told in seconds, and Instagram allows you up to 60 seconds to tell a short one. Visit Nike’s profile and take a look at one of their many video stories.
Create a short-story video about your company. Share its history, its vision, or how it serves others. Use these four tips to make it a successful Instagram video:
- Focus. Stick to the point.
- Tell your story with on-screen captions (like Nike did).
- Expand the story by using text captions in addition to your video story.
- Experiment with both square and landscape videos. Square videos are more popular than landscape videos.
5. Post a series of stories
When you hear Instagram stories, think Snapchat Stories. There is no limit to the number of Instagram stories you can post in a day. You can share a lot of content with just ten stories a day.
You can use Canva to create great graphics, mix photos with videos of yourself, or turn a blog post into a series of stories. That’s pretty creative, right? Remember to use the recommended dimensions for an Instagram story, 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels high.
There are countless ways of telling stories on social media, but here are five you can use to tell short stories on Instagram. Have you been inspired to tell your brand story creatively using Instagram? Which of the five ways mentioned above are you inspired to try? Share your inspiration in the comments below.