How to Use Instagram Stories

How to Use Instagram Stories

If you want to dramatically increase your Instagram engagement, and build a stronger relationship with your audience, then you need to step it up a notch and include Instagram stories in your content creation.

Instagram stories are great because they allow you to add a small image or short video to your profile for a limited time – only 24 hours. This means that you can add content that is limited, exclusive, and ‘in the moment’ so that your audience can get to know you better – it’s kind of like a behind the scenes look at what’s going on beyond your profile.

In saying this, though, like with everything else on Instagram, getting the balance right is important. This means that you shouldn’t be trying to share every single moment of your day through your stories. Just choose a highlight reel of what you think is interesting and post this.

They definitely shouldn’t take over the volume of content that you upload to your feed – they’re just a temporary insight into your brand or life.

Navigating and Watching Instagram Stories

If you’ve completely updated your app to include Instagram stories, you should see this when you go onto the app:

stories recently uploaded

See how there is a bar at the top where you can see profile pictures of the people that you follow?

These are the stories that they have recently uploaded. All you have to do to view them is click on their profile picture. If you want to go quickly through their story, tap on the screen while you’re watching it.

If you want to skip their story and move on to the next one, swipe left. If you want to send them a message about their story, click on the ‘send message’ option. If you don’t want to watch their story anymore, click the ‘x’ in the top right-hand corner.

Making Your Own Instagram Story

From the comfort of your home feed, you, too, can also start creating Instagram stories. All you have to do is swipe right, and you can open the camera for your Instagram stories. Another way to do it is to visit your profile picture and tap on it.

From here, you can flip your camera by clicking on the dual arrow icon. If you want to record a video, all you need to do is press and hold the center button. If you want to take a photo, try clicking on the center button, and swipe up to find an image you want to include from your camera roll.

instagram story example

Downloading and Uploading Instagram Stories

Once you have taken your video, or you’ve got your image, you can click on the little checkmark or the ‘send to’ button to add the content to your Instagram Story.

Click on the ‘x’ button if you want to get rid of the content and start fresh. Click on the pointing down arrow to download the content to your camera roll.

Customizing Your Instagram Stories

Before you share your story with your followers, there are a number of different ways to customize it.

Let’s check them out:

  • You can click on the ‘Aa’ icon if you want to include text in your story. Once you’ve written your text, you can hold it down and drag it to wherever you want it to be on the screen. If you want to make it larger or smaller, just pinch it.
  • Click on the marker icon to draw something, from which you can choose whatever color you want it to be. You can make the brush bigger or smaller with the scale on the left. To draw with the brush, hold it down and drag it. Lastly, if you wish to include a color filter, swipe left.

choose the sticker icon

When you’ve got it looking great, all you have to do is click on the ‘send to’ button, and you’ll be able to share it with your community.

Instagram Story Analytics

If you want to check out who has been watching your stories, you can open a story, and then simply swipe up to see the analytics.

number of interactions in instagram stories

Within this section, you can see how many people have watched each part of your story. You can also go to the profiles of the people who have viewed your story by clicking on their username. If you want to, you can even download your story to your camera roll and delete sections of it too.

Managing Your Instagram Stories

From the analytics page, you can also customize you who want to be viewing your story and who you want to be sending your messages. This can be done by clicking on the cog icon at the top left-hand corner of the screen.

story controls

You can also get to these options by going to your profile page and finding the settings cog.

From here, you can click on ‘story controls.’ Among the features that we’ve talked about, you can also block users from seeing your story and customize who you want to be able to message you through your story, too.

Final Thoughts

Instagram stories are a great way to connect with your audience – but sometimes you need a bit of a boost to get them in front of more people.

With companies like Stellation Media, you can make this happen. The biggest takeaway from this article is that Instagram stories only last 24 hours.

This means that your audience only has a limited time to see it – otherwise, they’ll miss it. This type of urgency is great for increasing your following and making more content that is exciting and exclusive.

Make sure to always look out for your analytics, so that you can spot any trends, and work out what your audience likes to see the most of. Lastly, have fun – Instagram Stories are all about connecting with your community!

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