Boost your Business Easily with Instagram Stories
If you haven’t tried using Instagram Stories as a business tool, you should. Instagram stories have revolutionized the way online marketing is done. Since Instagram launched this Snapchat-like feature back in 2017, the patronage to this powerful feature has grown tremendously that today, 500 million users use it daily. So if you want to set your business up for success, jump on the bandwagon and get started with Instagram stories now.
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories allow users to share images and videos to their profile to share snippets of their day with their followers. These photos and videos will not appear on your profile grid as permanent posts, however, since they are meant to disappear in 24 hours. If you post multiple photos and videos, they will appear as if like a slideshow and will look like you are telling a story, hence Instagram Stories! Check out my stories here on my Instagram account.
Where are they found and how to navigate through them?
You can find Instagram Stories at the top of your homepage feed. From there you will see pictures in circles; those are the profile pictures of the users you follow who published Instagram Stories. You can click on those photos to watch the stories they have shared. A pink and orange highlight on the circle means that you haven’t seen that user’s published story.
Once you clicked on one you can do the following:
- Tap the screen to swiftly browse through their story
- Swipe left to skip to the next person’s Instagram Stories
- Swipe right to go back to the previous user’s Instagram Stories
- Tap on the ‘send message’ button to send a direct message to the publisher of the story
- Click on the arrow button on the lower right to share the story to other users from your contact list
- Tap the ‘x’ button to exit out of Instagram Stories and return to your home feed
Publishing your own Instagram Stories
To create your own Instagram Stories simply follow these steps:
- From your home feed, you can either tap your profile picture with the plus button on the top left or swipe right your screen. Doing this will launch your Instagram Stories camera.
- Tap the circle on at the bottom of the screen to take photos. Tap and hold the circle if you want to record a video instead.
- To share existing photos or videos from your gallery, swipe up on the screen or tap the photo icon at the right side of the screen. Photos and videos from your gallery will have a date stamp on them, but you can opt to remove it.
- You may opt to customize your photos or videos by adding text or drawings. An assortment of editing tools on the right side of the screen will be available for you to do that.
- Tap the SAVE button to save your story in your gallery
- Tap Add Your Story button to publish your Instagram Story.
- You can directly share your story to your friends by tapping the Send To button at the lower right.
Keep repeating the steps and you’ll be able to create a slideshow in your Instagram Stories. Each photo and video you add will be posted side by side. If you do not want to go through all that repetitive hassle, you can choose to upload multiple photos in one time. Simply tap the photo icon at the right side of the screen, just like when you are uploading a photo from your gallery. Once in your gallery, select all the photos you want to include; you can only choose up to 10 photos so pick the best.
Customize your Instagram Stories
As you may have noticed, there is an option to customize the photos and videos you include in your story. If you’ll ask me, you should do it because, why not? Customizing your stories add a little bit of a flare to your photos and videos, and it’s more fun that way. Remember, Instagram Stories are meant to be in-between moments of your day. They are mostly casual in nature, and nothing spells casual better than a customized wacky post.
To customize your Instagram Stories, follow these steps:
- Tap the ‘Aa’ button to open your keyboard. Type whatever fun text you want to include in your story.
- TAP, HOLD & DRAG the text to place it on the area you prefer
- PINCH OUT or IN the text to increase or decrease its size
- Tap the Pen button to launch the drawing area
- Choose the color of the drawing pen by selecting your preferred color from the bottom
- Choose the brush stroke style be choosing one of the options at the upper screen
- Customize the size of the brush stroke by sliding up or down the scale on the left
- Draw on the screen using your finger
- Tap Done when finished
Aside from adding text and drawing, you can further customize your story
by including filters, emoji, and stickers. To add filters, just swipe left the
screen after you’ve selected a photo or video for your story. Doing this in
succession will move you from one filter option to the next. Tap Done on the
upper right once you’re done choosing and publish your story.
The sticker option, on the other hand, can be accessed either by swiping up or by tapping the peeling square smiley on the screen. Once you click it, you can choose from the many filters, stickers, and emoji available there to jazz up your story even more. You can try adding hashtags by inserting a hashtag sticker and let your story be shown to more users. Or you can include Poll stickers to encourage interaction and engagement from your followers. The combinations are endless, really, you just need to channel your fun side and creativity into it.
Newly Launched Stickers Catered
The Stickers feature in particular recently had new powerful additions
that marketers and business owners can fully exploit to their advantage, such
as the Countdown Sticker, Question Sticker, and Music Sticker. Instagram also
added recently the animated GIF feature which eliminates the need to use other
third-party editing tools. Clearly, Instagram Stories is becoming a timely and
well-positioned tool for marketers out there.
Add Questions Stickers to prompt your followers and other users to ask
you questions. This is such an interactive feature which promote engagement
from your followers. To do this
- Choose the Questions Sticker from the Stories options tray
- Type in the question you want to post
- Drag the Question Sticker where you want it on the screen.
- Publish your Story for everyone to see
Here’s the step by step guide to replying to your follower’s questions:
- Your followers can send you
questions by tapping your Question Sticker and then typing in their own
question for you.
- Their questions show up in
the viewer’s list of your Instagram Story
- Pick which question you
want to respond and then Tap it.
- Type in your answer as a
Text Sticker on the new Story that will pop out and then publish it.
Add Music Stickers to play a snippet of a song to your story.
Incorporating the right song to your Instagram Story can make your brand
message all the more relevant and memorable. With thousands of songs in the
Music Sticker library, you will never run out of options. This feature surely
is worth the effort.
To add a Music Sticker do these steps:
- Tap the Music Sticker from
the Stickers options tray
- Pick your desired song by
browsing different genres or top charts. You can also use the search option if
you already have a particular song in mind.
- To ensure it’s the right
song tap the play button to listen to a preview snippet
- Scroll through the song and
select the perfect part snippet for your Instagram Story
You can use Countdown Stickers when you want to post about a countdown
to an important event, for example, a product launch, special discount sales,
event reminders, and notifications, or even a simple teaser. To put a countdown
sticker in your Instagram Story, follow these steps:
- Tap the Countdown Sticker from the Stickers options tray
- Type in the name of the event you are counting down towards
- Input the date of the event
- Change the color of the countdown box by tapping the small rainbow
circle at the upper center
- Press Done to finish
Once your Instagram Story is published with a countdown sticker, your
followers or anyone who views it will be able to sign up for reminders. If they
tap on the countdown sticker, a screen will pop up where they will have an
option to be notified when the timer ends. They just have to tap on the Remind
Me button to receive the notification. Moreover, they can also share the
countdown event to their own Instagram Story. When the countdown ends, a notification
will be sent to those who subscribed. The notification will consistently appear
in the user’s notification to let them know that the countdown has ended and
the event has started.
You’ll be able to see all those who subscribed for a notification of
your Countdown Story on your own notification tab on Instagram. This will give
you an idea who and how many are interested in the event.
Why use Instagram Stories for Business?
As you can see, creating Instagram Stories is fairly easy and straight forward. Once published, a pink-orange circle will appear on your profile picture to let your followers know that you have just posted a story. And it will keep on popping in your follower’s feed for a period of 24 hours until they decide to view it. Genius, right? That’s how powerful this Instagram feature is. It essentially guarantees your business increased engagement from followers.
From a business standpoint, there are numerous benefits you can get out of Instagram Stories. Social media engagement is a core tactic in every online marketing strategy. And utilizing this Instagram feature is a surefire way to attract audience and reach out to more customers. If you want to know more about how Instagram can boost your Business, check out my article here.
Moreover, people in today’s social media era are looking for more
personalized and real-time content. With Instagram Stories, you can post live
videos and start real-time engagement during live events to encourage people to
attend. For audience who are far away, Instagram Stories becomes a platform to
bring them closer to your business, providing them with an opportunity to
experience what you have to offer from the comfort of their home.
So what are you waiting for, start posting those Instagram Stories now!
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