I love Instagram and have spent many an hour curating my feed to provide inspirational and educational content to help support social media learning. This is a time-consuming aspect to my business social media but is a worthwhile part of my social media content work.  But I have found my head turned by Instagram Stories, as I do think they provide some more of the more fun topical content for your brand.

The growth of Insta Stories has been huge, with over 500million daily active users and this is likely to continue to grow. They are areas of social media which allow fun content, encourages organic engagement and allows your profile to jump the queue to be seen on Instagram.

If you have never accessed stories, I would take some time to view some of your pages, your Instagram favourites and see what styles of stories you like, what makes you stop and view, what doesn’t interest you and you continue to swipe?

Once you have done some expert social listening then you can start to look at developing your own content.

How to do Stories?

You have to go back to your Insta home page and click on the camera icon in the top left-hand corner, this will access the stories options.

Instagram is always changing and specifically Stories, at time of publication they were the following options:

Create function – providing your opportunity to add text, stickers, colours, different fonts etc

Further along, you have the more recognisable filters which are more suitable for personal profiles.

Adding polls, questions, chat options etc are all available from the button at the top of the page, this is the fun part, to add interactive options to your story.

One of the options you have here too is to add your location, this is easy to include by adding @xxx, this can be added to your story, you can tag in other businesses or interested parties by @nameofbusiness etc  (currently supporting small businesses is a sticker worth adding too – June 2020)

Top Tip: Don’t go too close to the right-hand edge as if people click on elements here, they may well accidentally skip to the next story and don’t go too low, as it might add your interaction in the bin!

You can also add hashtags to your stories to make your story more searchable. These can be hidden or visible.

For hidden hashtags, you can add all the ones you need them to make them really small and change their colour to blend into your chose background colour scheme, or hide them behind a suitable sticker or gif. This may tidy up your story so it doesn’t look too cluttered.

You can add up to 10 hashtags to each story.

Once you are happy with your content for Story then let it go!

The story will be visible on your profile for 24 hours. You might think this is the best thing since sliced bread so you may want to be sure you can keep it on your profile to showcase to your viewers. This can be done by saving to highlights. These are often found in Instagram profile, here are examples of mine.

social media, Instagram, highlights, instagram stories, Sue Thompson, Catch Designs, Stokesley, North Yorkshire

Once you are in your story you can click on the small heart at the bottom of the page and add it to your highlights. Selecting the one that it is the most relevant for, again these can be set up to fit your business. These always look the most professional if you can add some branded highlight covers to they look brand consistent. These are easy to produce in third party tools such as Canva.

To add your highlight covers, hold down the highlight button, go to edit highlight and add your designed cover here, (thee can be downloaded and added to your camera roll) Easy eh?

Need some further support to develop some Instagram Stories, then please get in touch today, call us on  01642 712817 or email us at [email protected]. Take a look on our website for other Instagram inspired blogs for you to read.

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