What’s not to love about Instagram Stories? As for us, we’ve said goodbye to Snapchat a long time ago and focused on all the exciting new features Instagram has to offer. Why? Because it’s a powerful tool to engage, you can go all-in creative (and crazy) with emoticons, music and drawings, it adds authenticity to the content and it’s a potential way to beat the algorithm madness.
Instagram Stories is the perfect way to take your followers on a tour and tell them the story behind the (pre-produced) photos on your Instagram feed. With so many features, it’s easy to get lost. That’s why we focus on the features that will help you grow your business.
Let’s start off with some great examples of people who actually excel when it comes to Insta-Stories. They know how to rock, they know what they’re doing. Make sure to follow Megan Ellaby (@meganellaby), who masters the art of storytelling and mixes existing photos with live shots perfectly. Sarah Mikaela (@srhmikaela) for instant inspiration and Courtney Trop (@alwaysjudging) for clever insights. Please note: verified users have more ‘special’ options on Instagram Stories.
So, we’ve got our inspirators. Here are 8 tips that will help your business grow on Instagram Stories. Let’s go!
1. Link, link!
As you’ll probably know, you can mention someone in your story by using the text tool. You type @, immediately followed by their username. You’re allowed to mention up to 10 people per story. Any person you mention will receive a direct mention saying they’re mentioned in your story.
Adding links to your story is even more perfect for businesses: you can link to a story you’ve written or a product you’re selling. Do note, only verified accounts are able to add links to their story. It’s a feature that’s being tested. Fingers crossed for this feature for everyone soon.
2. Print screen
Instagram Stories allows you to upload from your camera roll, which makes it possible to fiddle around with print screens. We’ve seen this a lot lately and as dull (and slightly annoying) as it might sound, it really does the trick. Make a print screen of your Instagram feed and cover the last added photo by using the brush tool. Hot news! You’ve just added a new photo. It’s a clever trick to get followers back to your profile, especially when you’re trying to conquer algorithm.
3. Question time
Asking questions is the perfect way to create interaction and show that you’re involved and interested in your followers. We’ve seen people asking for opinions (should I write about this?) and even selling things (‘I’m selling my latest Gucci bag, would you buy it?) Make your story creative by playing with colorful typos.
4. Make it funky
Miss your good old Snapchat filters (ahhhw – the licking dog face)? You can save your snaps and send them with Instagram Stories. Problem solved.
Another great way of adding a creative sparkle to your Stories: play around with the brushes and create self-made made background patterns (did anyone say leopard print in pretty pinks?) you can use for text messages. Pro-tip: press and hold screen with any brush to create a solid background. From there, you can create any pattern you like. Be smart and save your pattern for the next time.
More? You can also turn your own face into a sticker (!). It’s easy: go to the sticker section and then tap the sticker with a camera icon. The camera will open and you’re able to take a selfie. Tick on your selfie to change the border to a circle, square or make it fade.
5. Add music
Spruce a story and add some background music to your video! Open up any music app on your phone and play a song you like. While it’s playing, open up Instagram Stories and record a video. The music will be playing in the background.
6. Playing around with pinned stickers
Cool feature: Instagram allows you to place a sticker in a specific location within a video. You pin a sticker by tapping and holding it after placing it in the video.
7. Hide/send from/to specific users
Stalker alert! Is there someone around you don’t want to see a story? Click on your profile > Story Settings > Hide story from (and choose who you want it hidden from). Easy does it. You’re also able to send your stories to specific users.
8. Simple design tricks
– The color palette is bigger than you would probably know. Acces the full-color wheel by selecting one of the basic colors from the color palette and pressing on the color with your thump, and then by swiping upwards.
– Shadow your text (yassss color blocking!) by creating two layers with the same words but in different colors. Shift them until they overlap.
– Pretty & fun: expand the thought balloon emoji by pinching it with your fingers and add different (and smaller emojis) in the balloon. A hamburger, some fries, and avocado… That’s on my mind!
– Add a color accent by expanding emoticons. Like the pig emoticon for a nice pink, or an orange. Expand the emoji and move to one of the corners to create a visual ‘fog’.
My Instagram edit secrets
Like this kind of stories? I did a video on the apps I use to edit my Instagram photos. I’ll show you step by step in this video below (note: the video is in Dutch – sorry non-Dutchies!).