HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM STORIES?
Now you are up to speed with how to create a successful Instagram account that will have real clout and that will really grow your audience, it’s time to think about how you’re going to integrate Instagram’s latest and most exciting new features.Stories will be shown for up to 15 seconds before moving on to the next one. So how exactly do you use Instagram Stories? Instagram is quite a simple tool, which is actually one of its strongest selling points. However, by adding Instagram stories, it has added a lot more functionality and the UI doesn’t quite lend itself to this yet. Suffice to say that it is a little less intuitive than a lot of the other functionality, which may even have contributed to the slight slowing of new user adoption – is it less easy to pick up and play now?Whatever the case, this article will walk you through it, so you’ll be good to go!
To get started…
1. First, right click on the plus icon that is found at the top left of the home screen. This will be next to the other stories and it will say ‘My Story’ next to it with your profile images.You can also click on the Instagram icon above and to the left, depending on your version and your region. You can also launch this by just swiping left from the main feed, or by swiping right from the homescreen (like I said, not entirely intuitive…).
2. Now tap the circle bottom that is found at the bottom of the screen in order to take a photo. Or you can tap and hold if you want to record a video.
3. From there, you can then edit the photos or videos as you normally would in Instagram, or you can draw or write on the screen just like you would if you were using Snapchat (there are a LOT of similarities here in fact…). To add filters, you simply swipe across it and there will be seven to pick from (less than usual, though we suspect more are on the way).
4. Badges again work like Snapchat and allow for a little more editing in your images. A cool trick that some Instagram creators are using is to use the polka dot image in order to create thought bubble effects.
5. You can also tag people in your stories using the @symbol as you normally would. They will be alerted in Instagram direct and can then check out the story.
6. Tap ‘Done’ to save your story and then tap the check-mark button the share it.
Note that your stories will work a little differently to your regularly pictures. Remember, these will only last for 24 hours, so if your followers miss them, they will disappear. Other option is to ad them to the highlight. Instagram Stories give you the option to add an action for swiping up – if you have over 10,000 followers, or if you have a verified Instagram account. That will then take the visitors to a linkof your choosing. This of course has huge potential for directing traffic to a website, or directly monetizing your Instagram following
Remember: your stories will appear at the top of the homefeed and will be indicated by a red ring circling your profile picture. Users who want to view your stories can then click on that image and will be able to sit back and watch the slide show, or swipe through images in order to speed it along.
Instagram Story Ideas
- QA let people know you better
- Behind the scenes photos also work very well for stories and can be a great way to build anticipation for something. Got a new video in the works? Then why not post a photo of you filming or editing the video?
- Sequential photos – seeing as stories work like a slideshow, there are some fun effects you can pull off by uploading a few photos in a sequence. How about a few photos that show something you’re cooking getting created?
- Photos that wouldn’t be particularly attractive but that nevertheless fit your brand also work.
- You can also add photos that supplement the other photos you’ve taken. For instance, if you have taken 10 photos of the same activity, then you won’t want to flood your account with them. Choose one or two for your grid and add the rest to your story.
- Stories are also a great place to shout out to another creator if you want to do a cross promotion!
- Jokes and funny asides also work great here
- Asking questions and interacting with others
There’s so much to unpack here that in all likelihood, you’ll probably need to do some more reading and experimenting before you find a set-up that works for you.the most important thing is your value proposition and your brand. You need to be consistent with high quality images that speak to your audience and that make them feel something.You don’t really need the best quality camera in the world, or even paid ads. You just need a message and a strong brand identity. Couple that with consistency and patience and the momentum will come with time.