Don’t blink! Okay, they do not disappear that fast, but Instagram Stories do allow you to share photos and videos that will vanish after 24 hours. If you haven’t started using Stories for your business, now is the time! Not only do Stories allow you to express your creative side, they are phenomenal at boosting your overall engagement, growing your brand, directing traffic to another website and more!
Module Outline and Objectives:
What are Instagram stories and how do you create them
Who will see your Story
How to add interactive stickers, text and more
Where to check your Story analytics
Creative ways to use Stories for your business
What are Instagram Stories?
Appearing in a bar at the top of your feed, all Instagram users are able to share a “Story”. A new Story is highlighted with a colorful ring around it.
Viewing a Story is easy! Just tap on the profile photo of someone and their Story will appear full-screen and will include the content they have posted to their Story in the last 24 hours.
You are able to go back and forth between Stories, skip to the next person, and more. However, unlike a post, there are no comments or likes.
You also have the same ability to create your own Story.
If you are creating Stories with another app or program, the ideal dimensions for an Instagram Stories are 1080px wide by 1920px tall. An aspect ratio of 9:16.
Your story views are affected by your privacy settings. If your account is set to private, your story is only visible to your followers.
You can add people to your Close Friends List by tapping the Green Icon with a White Star. When you add people to your list, you can share stories with just them.
How to Create a Story
Step 1: Tap the “Camera” icon in the top left hand corner, or Swipe your finger from left to right.
Step 2: With the Story camera now open, you can take a Photo or record a Video using the white button in the middle.
How to add content from your camera roll
Rather than taking a photo or video directly through Instagram, you can use a photo or video from your camera roll. Simply Swipe Up to view your camera roll.
You can also add multiple photos or videos by tapping the “Folder” icon.
From left to right: Save an image or video, add a Filter to your face or environment, add Call to Action, Stickers, Drawing Tool, Text tool.
How to use stickers
After you take or use a photo or video you can add “Stickers” to add additional elements to your Story.
Simply tap the “Stickers” button (a smiley face in the shape of a sticker). Once you do that, Instagram will open up all of the available stickers for your account.
Side Note: Instagram rolls out updates periodically and different account have different access to stickers. Always make sure to have the latest version of Instagram.
Here are some of the available Sticker options and how to take full advantage of them:
To add a location, tap the “Location” sticker and then choose a location or search for a location.
After selecting your location, tap the newly created Sticker to change its color.
We recommend choosing a micro location (park, restaurant, office, etc.) as opposed to a larger location (city name, state). Why? You have a larger chance of other’s viewing your Story if you are not mixed into the same crowd with 1,000s of location tags.
Adding a poll is an interactive way to ask a question and see the results from your followers as they vote. Once someone votes on a poll they will see which option is in the lead. If they review your Story, the will see the latest results.
Add emojis, change up the standard “Yes” or “No” options and get creative!
Adding a questions sticker allow you to ask your audience a question and receiving a reply, or you can allow your audience to ask you a question.
Once a user answer the question, you have the ability to re-share the story. Similar to adding a photo from your camera roll, once you re-share a question, you can add more stickers, text, colors, etc.
The quiz sticker allows you to ask a question and choose an answer. A user will see if they got the answer “right” if the selection turns green!
Have an event coming up? Releasing a new blog or podcast episode? Hosting an open house this weekend? Use the countdown sticker to create a countdown and give your users the option to get a reminder.
Similar to the location sticker, tap the color wheel at the top of the screen to change the color of the sticker.
You can also add Time, Weather, GIF, Slider, Donation stickers and more!
Adding Hashtags and Mentions to your Stories
You can add up to 10 hashtags or mentions onto your Story by selecting the appropriate stickers, or clicking the text icon and writing them up.
Sneaky Pro Tip: Add hashtags to your Story and HIDE them. Why? It’s annoying to have too many hashtags covering a photo. Since hashtags can be searched and discovered, adding them into your Stories gives you a greater chance of being seen by more people. Just type the hashtags and minimize them. You can also put them behind a sticker!
How to check who’s seen or interacted with your story
Take advantage of the stickers you post. For example, posting a poll is great, but you have to take it one step further.
Once your story is posted you have the ability to view how many times your story has been viewed, who has viewed it and if they interacted with the sticker.
You can do this in two ways:
Option 1: When watching your own story, Swipe Up then click lick the “Eye” icon to see this data.
Option 2: Go to your Profile and tap the “Clock” icon. This will open up your archive where you can select a Story that has already been posted.
Side Note: If you do not save your Stories to your archive you will see the following message prompting you to do so in order to see future posts in your archive.
Creative Ways to use Instagram Stories
You don’t know what you don’t know. If your audience doesn’t see you do something they don’t know you are doing something. Meaning, show them all of the hard work you put in for them.
Your feed should resonate a more polished brand with a consistent theme. That’s not the case with Stories!
Showing a glimpse into your day personalizes you and adds authenticity to the content on your profile.
Take a viewer on a behind-the-scenes tour of an upcoming listing.
Document everything you do, behind-the-scenes, to show your audience #WhoYouHireTrulyMatters
Space out your content
Since the Instagram Algorithm prioritizes relationships, interest and timeliness, you want to always appear at the top of the feed.
Rather than posting everything at once, break up your content and take your viewer through a story from beginning to end. Doing so will keep your profile picture and name showing at the top of their feed.
Instead of posting a photo or video to your story, you can go live to interact first hand with your audience.
Once live, your viewers can also ask questions and you can share their response on the screen.
If you’re not familiar with this technique, essentially, another brand will “take over” your account for a specific period and share content.
You can allow a member of your team to take over and post their behind-the-scenes life in the day of X (assistant, marketing coordinator, showing agent, etc.) This is just another way to show how much value you bring to the client.
Encourage 1 on 1 communication with your audience by prompting them to send you a direct message.
This increase in communication will also increase your engagement rates and ultimately, allow the Instagram Algorithm to work in your favor.