sweater: Free People; Shorts: Jcrew; Ring: Cartier
To be completely honest, I initially was not a fan of Instagram Stories. I was set in my ways and a lover of all things Snapchat. I finally adopted using Instagram Stories (over the past 4 months) on the daily and I find myself checking Snapchat only once a day. After launching my blog, I realized how important Instagram Stories are to connect with your audience and to promote your blog and new posts.
Working in social media (for about 5 years) has its perks! I’ve learned so many tips and tricks over the years and have had access to talk to people that work at Instagram and Snapchat. I’m sharing tips and tricks that I have learned over time so you can master Instagram Stories like a pro.
Change Your Account to Business Profile
This is a must for all bloggers and the first step you should take once you launch your blog/business account. Having a business profile has many perks- it allows you to promote your posts and put money behind them (so you can reach a larger audience) and it allows you to see insights and post performance. Why is this important? Insights show you who your audience is, where they’re primarily from and when are they most active. This can help influence when you’re posting as well as what type of content is performing best with your audience so you can keep posting similar content. You can also see metrics around your Instagram stories and see viewers, impressions and how many people swiped away. Bonus feature- if you are on your home page and click the insights tab (indicated below- the three bars), you can see performance on your Instagram Stories for the past 14 days!
To activate your Business profile, go to your home page on the app, click on the settings gear and scroll down to”Switch to Business Profile.” The app will then ask you to connect your Facebook Page to activate your setting. (You cannot turn on Business Profile if you don’t have a brand Facebook page)
Hack the 24 Hour Rule
If you’re familiar with Instagram Stories, you know that you can only upload content that has happened in the last 24 hours. If you want to post a photo that you took a week ago, you’ll notice that it doesn’t show up in your camera roll in the app. Well, here’s a hack to solve that! Photos are super easy- if you have an older photo saved to your phone, just take a screenshot of it and then it should appear in that “last 24 hours” camera roll on IG. Videos are a little bit more tricky since you have to do it on desktop. If the video file is originally on your phone, air drop it to your desktop to avoid compressing the file and losing the quality of the file. Once it’s on your desktop, open it with Quicktime and allow it to play. Next, on the drop down File menu click on export and rename the file. Exporting the file changes the timestamp 🙂 You can then send the file back to your phone and you’re ready to post! If you prefer to use an app and avoid all these steps, you can download the app MedaData or Later.
Add a Geotag to Increase Awareness
Geotags in Instagram Stories are similar to using hashtags or geo locations when posting a photo to Instagram. Use the sticker feature, click the geotag sticker and add your location. By adding a geotag to your IG story, it adds that specific frame (photo/video) from your story to a larger story which then gets your more views. For example, if I’m in California hiking Runyon Canyon then I’ll add the Runyon Canyon geotag to my story which then my story can be part of the larger Los Angeles story causing more people to view it. You never know who will click on your profile and become a follower!
Avoid Adding Text Overlay on Specific Areas
The worst place to add text on your Instagram Story is on the top left corner or on the bottom of the photo/video. The reason is that your username always appears on the top left of the frame so it would make it very difficult to read the text or click on it. The reason to avoid the bottom of the frame is because that’s where the “send message”/swipe up messaging appears on your story. Always take photos/videos keeping in mind text placement, for example don’t take such a close up photo because then the text will be blocking part of your image.
Have you ever seen some Instagram Stories that have a lot of text and you don’t even have time to read it all? Well first of all, I recommend not adding a lot of text to a frame as you want to make sure people read it and you keep a clean look. BUT if you are viewing someone’s story and want to stay longer on a frame, just press down on the story and it pauses it as long as you keep holding it down.
Unlocking More Colors
Tired of the same default colors? There’s a way to unlock a whole spectrum of colors! Click on the text tab while in Instagram Stories and at the middle of the screen you will see all the default colors. Select one color and hold down for 1-3 seconds, then you’ll see lots of options to choose from!
Make Text Smaller
Isn’t it annoying when the text gets all chunky and turns into one big blob? When you’re adding text, click on the left side by the colors where theres an “aA” symbol. Adjust the the size of the text as you wish and you can even make it fit all on one line to give it a cleaner look and so it’s not so chunky.
Download Someone else’s Instagram Story
It’s pretty simple to download your own story with the save feature, but have you ever wanted to download someone else’s story besides taking a screenshot? Why would you want to do that, you ask? Well maybe you saw a tutorial that you want to save or you were featured on a brand’s Story and want to save it for your records. Screenshotting a story might cause the quality to decrease and if it’s a video there’s no way of saving it. Well, I have a solve for you! The downside is that it has to be done on desktop BUT it works! All you need is chrome and to download this extension. It allows you to download other people’s stories as well as view stories on desktop.
Share Blog Post with Scrolling Video
This is a little bit more complicated than the rest of the tips I shared but it’s totally worth it! Have you ever seen bloggers share in their story their newest blog posts and it scrolls as if you’re viewing their site on desktop? All you need is your iPhone, MacBook and lightening cord. Connect your phone to your computer and open the QuickTime program. Click the File menu, scroll down to New Movie Recording and select iPhone. Start recording your actions on your phone and you’re good to go! Save the file and airdrop it to your phone and you’re all set! Remember your video can be anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds max!
Turn Live Photos into a Boomerang
Have you ever taken a live photo and wondered how you could use it as a video file (boomerang) instead? If you have the live photo feature activated, there’s a solve for this! Upload the live photo to your Instagram Story and then tap and hold down. Viola! It’s now a boomerang!
That’s all for now! Hope you learned something new to take your Instagram Stories to the next level! What’s your favorite Instagram hack? You can follow along with my adventures by following my Instagram account here.
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Joline Lootsma says
Thanks for the help, I had no idea! 🙂
Nate Kidd says
I am new to Instagram and only started using it a week ago. I am glad I found this article on Instagram stories. I can see the power this can have on my blog. I also appreciate you discussing how to setup a business account. This will help me tremendously.
Great tutorial! I don´t know much about Instagram stories, your post was very helpful with all the details and photos. Really helpful!
I am totally clueless about the stories on insta and even after reading it here am not geared up for it. it just sounds so so comlicated for my poor tech retarded brain! I guess I am just happy posting pics!! 🙂
Ruth Rackley says
Thanks for all the information. I’ve been intimidated by Instagram stories but you’ve given me some insights that make me want to give it a try. Thanks!