Hey Bookish People,

As promised, today we’re going to talk about Instagram stories. I’m excited to talk about this part of Instagram because there’s so much you can do with them and a large part of Instagram is either using or viewing stories. Instagram stories have 300 million daily users and if you’re trying to expand your audience then that is a lot of people to ignore.

Today we’ll cover some of the basics of Instagram stories. To get started just click on that camera icon in the upper right hand corner of your Instagram app.

What kind of content can you post?

  1. Pictures– You can either take one through the Instagram app (when you open the story feature) or you can use a photo you’ve already taken by clicking the little photo square in the bottom right hand corner. My personal preference is to use photographs I’ve taken out of the app. This allows me to make sure it looks the way I want without extra steps and I can take a full photograph or a square one. If you take square photographs (which I recommend for cleaner Instagram posting) you can pinch that image into a square on Instagram stories and give you a visually appealing post that gives you extra room for text or stickers. beacg
  2. Video– I like to post video on occasion but only about once a day. Again, this is a personal preference because in my own experience if I see a person with 12 videos in a row on Instagram stories (unless I REALLY like them or its of a puppy), I’m likely to just skip the entire story sequence. I’m not very interested. Do post video because it makes your stories interesting or highlights something you’re talking about but do post mindfully.
  3. Live video– You can also go live on Instagram. I’ll admit that I haven’t used this feature yet. I have a goal I want to meet before I go live for the first time and I’m hoping I’m close. There are benefits to Instagram live that make it worth using. Your users are notified when you go live, which is a great bonus for getting eyes on your content and keeping your name on your audience’s mind. On the other hand, much like video, I think it can be abused. Go live with a topic in mind, keep it short, and make it worth people’s time.
  4. Text– You can either lay text over pictures and video, or Instagram has added a feature that allows you to post just text in your Instagram stories. I don’t use this feature very often. I can certainly see where this would be useful but I keep a selection of floral/plant pictures on my phone to use as a pretty background for text posts. Experiment with this feature and see how it works for you and your brand.

You’ll find that there are other options to posting on your Instagram story but I think that these are the four main types of posts you’re likely to use. Now we’ll talk about essential additions to your post. Instagram stories have stickers that you can use to dress up your post and to make it easier for people to find you. Once you have a picture/video selected and up on the screen you’ll see a row of options in the upper left hand corner. Click on the sticker that’s closest toward the middle of the screen.

Photo Jun 19, 6 47 27 AM

  1. Location– Tag either your city or a specific location (restaurant, park, movie theatre) to help people find your posts. Some people browse through Instagram stories by city tags and it’s an easy way to get seen by more people.
  2. Hashtag– Hashtags are just as important on stories for visibility as they are on your main feed. Use the hashtag sticker to display the most relevant hashtag on your post.
    • Tip: If you want to include more hashtags then you can do so by using the text feature. Click on the Aa icon and start typing. Type up to 30 hashtags (even though I wouldn’t advise using that many) and then pinch the text so that it gets smaller. You can pinch it so small it won’t be visible on your post but you will get the benefit of visibility from those hashtags.
  3. Mentions- If your story is featuring another person or a brand then tag them for the same reasons you would in a post.
  4. Stickers- Have fun with all the sticker options that Instagram has to dress up your pictures.

Again, those are the bare basics of Instagram stories. Start there and explore the other fun features that Instagram has to offer. If you’re looking for ideas about what to post then check out this older post. Tomorrow’s post won’t be as basic but I wanted to make sure that we had a foundation to build on. Follow the blog to learn more about Instagram stories tomorrow.

Happy Creating.

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2 thoughts on “The basics of Instagram stories

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