How to Utilise the new ‘Questions’ Function in Instagram Stories

If you’ve scrolled through Stories over the past week, chances are that you’ve been bombarded with people either asking questions or inviting you to ask them a question. It’s been lots of fun to dig a little deeper and find out the answers to all those burning questions that you’ve always wanted to ask the people that you follow, but does this feature have any longevity or will we all become bored of Q&A’s before August?

If you haven’t utilised this feature yet, it’s easy. Simply upload a photo to Stories as usual, select the smiley face icon in the top right hand corner and select ‘Questions’ from the menu. You can then choose to leave the automatic ‘Ask me a question’ text or to ask a more specific question. To view the questions you have been asked (or the answer to your question), swipe up on the Story and find the responses with your statistics for that post. Tap on a response and select ‘share’ to answer publicly in a separate Story. One of the best features of this functionality is that, although users can see who asked them a question, when they share the response it emits the user’s name, retaining privacy.

The real question is, aside from opening up your Stories for your followers to ask you questions that have been preying on their minds, how else can you use this feature? Should you, as a brand or an influencer, be asking questions in your Stories and what should you be asking?

What should I ask?

Although most people are currently inviting their followers to ask them anything, this isn’t the best way to use the new functionality. Instead, we recommend subtly using Questions to conduct a little market research for your brand. People are currently actively engaging with this feature, so now is the time to ask a few questions about your brand, your products or services or your content.

If you’ve been considering adding new product lines or offering a new service, ask your audience if this is something they would be interested in. If you’re feeling unsure about your content, ask your followers what they like best on your feed. Ask what people would like to see more or less of, or what they would like you to blog about. You could even ask questions to your audience to determine their demographic, like how old they are or where they live.

For example:

- What colours would you like to see this dress in?

- Would you be interested in signing up to an e-course?

- Do you prefer outfit shots or lifestyle images?

- Is there anything you’d like to see more of on my feed?

- What would you like to read on my blog?

Save in your Highlights

If you are opening up your Stories for your followers to ask you questions, why not save the responses in a dedicated Highlight so new followers have a place where they can find out more about you or your brand. This could also cut down on repetitive direct messages from people consistently asking the same questions.

As time progresses, you could invite your followers to ask questions themed around specific topics (your home, your wardrobe, your travels, etc.) and save a Highlight for each subject. Rather than simply sharing your response with a photograph, you could use the front-facing camera to record videos answering the questions or share short videos demonstrating your answers (such as a home tour).

Continue to be Curious

New features usually spark an initial buzz but can sometimes fade into the background as people get used to them. This new feature is so useful for both brands and influencers, that it would be a real shame if it doesn’t continue to be used. Consider making a weekly slot in your content calendar to ask questions on your Stories and remember to jot down the responses if you have been conducting market research or receive any answers that may be useful at a later date.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you ask!

Words by Emma Lavelle.

Image by @fieldnotes for Converse.