Where are your IG Stories views going? Find out.
Have you noticed a recent drop in your Instagram Stories views?
You're not alone – in recent weeks, Instagram Stories views have dramatically decreased for a ton of accounts.
But before you panic: this could be a good thing!
Why Your Instagram Stories Views Have Suddenly Dropped
If you take a look at who watches your stories, you may have noticed a lot of accounts watching your stories that either don't follow you or happen to all be located in Russia.
Earlier this year, Instagram confirmed it was aware of an influx of fake views on Instagram Stories. The cause of this was people paying third-party bot services to "view" millions of stories on their behalf, in a bid to increase their exposure and grow their following.
Back in August 2019, Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that they were attempting to crack down on this new bot activity, and "also said that in the coming months, it would introduce new measures to reduce such activity — specifically from Stories."
Fast forward three months later, and it seems like Instagram's crackdown on fake stories views has finally arrived, with many accounts noticing a dramatic decline in their stories views.
While this can be a short-term blow to your brand metrics (and maybe your self-esteem too), this is an excellent move for the long-term. Why? Because fake bot views don't contribute any value to your business.
The lack of genuine engagement from these views could even harm your Instagram algorithm ranking.
So while a dip in your numbers may be disheartening, it's an excellent opportunity to tap into your new, genuine audience and start boosting your engagement.
That's the updates and here are some tips to improve the quality of your IG Stories.
How to Increase Instagram Stories Views #1: Review Your Analytics
You can't grow if you don't know!
Instagram growth starts with understanding your Instagram analytics, and it's no different for stories.
Since many factors can affect your day-to-day success, testing different types of content and Instagram Stories features can help you identify trends, monitor "wins," and help you create a fine-tuned Instagram Stories strategy that truly resonates with your audience.
So first things first: check your Instagram Stories analytics to see if you've noticed a general decrease in impressions or reach (aka your views!). Do you notice any trends? Look for things like the type of content (lifestyle, product, UGC, etc.), editing style, or days of the week.
When you have a strong understanding of what content performs best, you can double down on this while scaling back on the types of content that don't perform as well, helping you both get more views and keep your followers happy!
Instagram only keeps your stories analytics for two weeks in the app, so it can be helpful to use an Instagram analytics platform like Later to help you keep track of all your data and notice long-term trends.
How to Increase Instagram Story Views #2: Add Relevant Hashtags & Locations
When it comes to increasing your reach organically on Instagram, hashtags and location tags are hands down one of the best ways to do it!
And Instagram Stories get their own dedicated space at the top of a hashtag or location search result page — so if you're not adding hashtags to your stories yet, now is the time to start.
Adding a location can help you increase views because as people search for locations, they'll be able to scroll through the stories attached to that location too! This works exceptionally well if you have travel or food-related content, where people would want to check out a location on Instagram before they arrive.
You can add as many as ten hashtags to each Instagram story, including one clickable hashtag sticker — and they should always be relevant to your content and target audience.
To optimise story hashtags, consider the subject matter in your story, target audience, and the volume of posts for each hashtag.
Avoid using super-popular hashtags with over a million posts, as your stories will quickly get buried by incoming content — minimising your exposure.
Instead, opt for hashtags with between 10k-50k posts. This should indicate that there's some activity around the hashtag, but not so much that it will instantly drown out your content.
And if you're worried about how hashtags will impact a carefully crafted aesthetic, fear not! There are a few hashtags hacks to make them seamlessly fit in with your post, or be hidden completely!
For example, you can make your text-based hashtags smaller (just 'pinch' the text) and hide them under a GIF or sticker.
DESIGN TIP: Don't make your hashtag text too small — if it becomes illegible, Instagram won't pick up on it, and it's unlikely your post appear in any hashtag searches.
You can even blend your text-based hashtags into the background of your Instagram Stories! Just select the colour picker tool from the text option and choose a colour that perfectly matches your Instagram story background.
This works particularly well if the background is a solid colour, so if you're using an Instagram Stories template for example.
With just two taps, your hashtags will blend into the background — and be 100% searchable!
Increase Instagram Stories Views Tip #3: Consistently Post Instagram Stories
It may sound like a pretty basic tip, but consistently posting can be one of the simplest ways to drive up your Instagram story views.
The more consistently you post Instagram Stories, the greater chance you have of reaching your audience as they tap through their stories feed throughout the day.
As with each new story, you'll be bumped to the top of your followers' feeds — creating a positive snowball effect for your content exposure.
Use your analytics to find what times of day that people are mostly online and post then for even better results. Some of these popular times are;
5:00pm - 7:00pm