26 August 2016 11:45
Instagram stories – are they the next big thing?
Whether or not you are in the ‘Snapchat’ or ‘Instagram’ camp, there is no denying that Instagram stories are a cool new feature! And here's why....
They’re quick, instant and let you share creative messages and ads with your Instagram audience! You can also browse other people’s
stories with a simple tap and as much as you like– bonus!
Before we move on… what is an Instagram story?
allow users to share photos & videos with their audience, which will
disappear after 24 hours & won’t appear on the user’s standard profile grid
or in the standard home feed.” Instagram stories bring Instagram to life!
Don’t worry though – all that you love about Instagram still
remains, such as the beautiful photographs, the high engagement levels and the use of numerous hashtags – but Instagram stories give another quirky way to
share your content and get your message across!
If you already have an active audience Instagram stories
should be a feature you jump on! Your audience are there and ready for your
content – give them more! Share lighthearted, snapshots into your business as a
way to continue to build relationships and get your brand or service firmly
cemented in their minds.
tip - *Don’t worry about ‘spamming’ your followers with your story updates,
they choose to view your story so only those interested are looking AND each
element of your story deletes 24 hours after you post anyway! Just go for it.*
And, quickly, before I move on to our top tips I can’t do a
blog on Instagram stories without mentioning Snapchat! Yes Instagram stories
are very similar to Snapchat stories
– and actually, Instagram have admitted this! They know this and know that
their audience will also LOVE them! Maybe Instagram actually has the upper hand
here… Instagram is MUCH easier to use than Snapchat, especially when you are
starting from scratch, Instagram sees higher engagement levels and as of July
2016 Instagram users were more than double that of Snapchat. Instagram also has
made their story feature very accessible – it syncs to your Camera Roll and walks you through all of it’s feature. Only time will tell…!
So, how do you
make an Instagram story?
- On the top left hand corner of your home screen on
Instagram you will see a plus button. You can click this or you can swipe left
from your home screen. Either of these options will let you start creating your
Here you can tap the circle to take a photo, or hold it
down to film a 6 second video!
Content can either be ‘live’ such as the above OR you can
access slightly older pictures & videos from your Camera Roll by dragging
down on the top of your screen instead of hitting the circle to take a live
picture! Introtweet tip - *You can
only access pictures & videos that are on your camera roll from the last 24
hours. Be quick!*
Once you have created or chosen your Instagram story you
can edit the picture or video by adding text, doodles using the pen buttons or
by adding emojis.
Introtweet tip -
*The third pen is a Neon Pen – try it out, you’ll love it!*
Once you’re ready to share click done & then click the
tick to publish your story!
Don’t stop there! Make sure you keep adding to your story
so it plays out to all who watch so a slideshow of a day in the life of your
Lastly, now you have the beginnings of a story, go &
check out others! Instagram stories are showcased at the top of your home feed
in little circle avatars. Click on them – be inspired, learn & react! If an
Instagram story teaches your someone, showcases something cool or makes you
laugh – click on ‘send a message’ & tell them! Currently you can only send
a message from a story & not comment but I’m pretty sure this will be in an
Now you understand a
little more about Instagram stories, here are our even more of our top Introtweet Tips to make sure you get the most
out of them for your business!
- Update your Instagram stories frequently so you are
always at beginning of the suggested stories at the top of peoples home feeds!
As already mentioned you are not spamming your audience as they have to click a
separate avatar to view your story – go story crazy!
You can add filters to your story pictures & videos
by swiping over it. At the moment there are only a few filters to choose from
but I am 100% sure this will update very quickly! Maybe even branch in to the
world of crazy Snapchat-style filters – who knows?
Make sure you use the text & paint tools to add
humour & context to your story! This is a guaranteed way to increase
engagement. When you first glance at this paint section it looks like you’re
limited to just 9 colours, but swipe left & hold down on your favourite
colour to see every colour from the rainbow to draw with!
Use Instagram stories to share mini tip videos, a
behind-the-scenes glance into your business, exclusive deals to your Instagram
audience – the list is endless!
If you want a post from your story & its beautiful
artistic text & doodles, to stay around forever, click on the three little
dots in the bottom right hand corner of the photo & share it on to your
standard Instagram grid!
Have a play with Boomerang – a looping video app –
which helps you create some really cool video content.
Easily check out who is viewing your Instagram story by
opening your story & looking at the bottom of the screen. Click on this
number & you will see the Instagram accounts who have viewed your story!
Don’t worry, only you can see this number so don’t be shy about sharing!
Anyone can see your Instagram story – think of the
amazing potential for your business! Maybe, to begin with just have a play
around with different types of stories, but also really consider how you can
use these new feature to advertise, display & promote your business!
You can hide people though… if you need to. Go into
your Instagram settings – click story settings & you can choose certain
accounts to hide from, if you need to!
Lastly, be spontaneous, be creative & have fun!
Relax & post away without fear of what you re posting & over sharing
with your audience – the content will only be online for 24 hours & then it
disappears forever (unless you decide to share it on your feed, of course.)
Blog supplied by Laura Brown, founder of Introtweet. Introtweet specialises solely in social media, providing short-term booster services, continuous management and bespoke 1-2-1 training for businesses.