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Image / Editorial

What makes the perfect Insta-story


by Erin Lindsay
25th Oct 2018
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Busy Philipps is the woman of the moment. Her new memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little details her life’s journey as an actress, a mother, and more recently, a burgeoning social media star. While Philipps’ biggest acting parts were arguably in Freaks and Geeks and Dawson’s Creek in the 90’s and early 2000’s, she has kept her star shining in a thoroughly modern way – being ace on Instagram. Her daily diary-style vlogs on Insta-stories have captured the hearts and eyes of millions, and her signature “You guys” opening line has cemented her as an online friend with a sunny disposition to her followers. Her success got me thinking about the power of the Insta-story – when it goes well, and, equally, when it goes bad.

Philipps is a pro at a good Insta-story, and it’s a craft that’s hard to perfect. But if you’re invested in taking to the vlogging world, here’s what you need to do.

Be personable – but not fake

It’s nice to watch someone’s Insta-story who’s relatable – but this is something you can’t really fake. If you try to treat all your followers like your best friends when your hearts not in it, it’s going to come across a little false. Be friendly, be bubbly, be interesting, but don’t try and force it. Engage with your followers, have conversations and get to know them better. Then it will start to feel much more real.

Warts and all

Instagram is notorious for being a bit of a mood-killer, in that you’re always looking at everyone else’s highlight reel of life and comparing it to your ups and downs. Spoiler alert: nobody’s life is perfect, and everyone has just as many bad days as they do good ones – it’s just that these aren’t very Instagrammable. Break that chain and show your real self to followers – Busy does this well by showing her workout routines. She’s sweating, she’s panting, she doesn’t look her best – but it’s real, and this is what people will appreciate.

Tag tag tag

People who watch your Insta-stories will want to know where that dress is from, where that great-looking brunch was eaten, where that fabulous hotel is. People love recommendations, so don’t hold out on them. Get tagging – the stores, the restaurants, everything. Your followers will love you, and the tag-ees will love you even more.

Be yourself

Mammy’s advice is always best! So many influencers follow the exact same formula for their Insta-stories. Be a bit different, and bring your own personality to the table. It will help you to stand out and give you a point of difference from everyone else. Similarly, if every fibre of your being is telling you that Insta-stories aren’t for you, trust that. Vlogging isn’t suited to everyone, so don’t go for it if it’s not your bag.