How to Use Instagram Stories to Create Micro Content
Woah, is that a bird, a plane…or Snapchat? Nope it’s Instagram Stories! The latest Instagram feature has definitely sparked some controversy due to the similarities it shares with Snapchat. These 10-second videos or static photos show at the top of your followers’ feed and disappear after 24 hours. Don’t let this feature just pass you by; here are the tips and tricks you need to know, plus some awesome ways to how to use Instagram Stories.
Create Your Story
Navigate to your home feed where you’ll find a small plus icon in the top left of your screen, next to the Instagram logo. Click the plus and you’ll be taken you to the recording screen. Here, you can take photos or videos with the button at the bottom of the screen. Bonus tip: Have you taken an awesome picture and want to share it out? Just swipe down on the record screen and select that photo to share it out for 24 hours.
Upload Images or Videos
Want to upload an existing photo or video to your story? When in the capture screen, swipe down to reveal assets from your device. This is great if you’re reusing photos or videos across networks. Note: you’ll only be able to choose photos or videos you’ve taken within the last 24 hours!
Tip: If you want to use an image that’s older than 24 hours, screenshot it on your phone and it’ll be saved as a whole new image, ready for upload.
Make Your Photos Snazzy
Instagram stories lets you add text, emojis, filters and your own doodles to your photos and videos. To add text or emojis, simply select the “Aa” icon, or add your very own drawings use the pen tool. There are three different pen tools to pick from: thin, thick and neon. Both the pen and text tool can be found at the top right, after you take a photo or video.
There are three different filters you can choose from to make your photos really pop! Just swipe left to pick your perfect one (or the one that makes you look the best!).
Save or delete your video
Do you have an awesome story that you want to keep forever? After you record, click the bottom right icon with the arrow. This will save the image or video right to your camera roll. Likewise, if you already hit send, you can click the ellipsis in the bottom left to delete or save your video.
See who watched your story
Want to see who has viewed your story? Just swipe up while viewing your story. Here you’ll find a list of followers who took a peak. While you’re there, click on a viewer to navigate to their profile and watch their stories, too!Tip: There is no way to “like” a story, so keeping an eye on your viewers is a great way to measure your success.
“Comment” on a Story?
Although there is no way to like a story, there is a way to “comment”… well almost. If you see a story you like, you can send the user a message. Just open the story, choose “send message” in the bottom left corner, write your comment and hit send. When the user picks up their message in their Instagram inbox, they’ll see the related story and can message you back from there.
Check Out Other Stories
You can view the stories from people you follow at the top of your home feed. Just click on their profile photo to see their story. You can also view someones story from their profile. If their profile picture is illuminated, click it to view their most recent stories.Bonus tip: If you have your account set to private, only your followers will be able to see your story.
Block Your Story
Don’t want those pesky people to see what you are up to? Not to worry. Instagram allows you block certain followers from viewing your story. Simply click “story settings” in your main settings, then “hide my story from”. Here, you can select any follower (or followers) you would like to block from your story.
Here are some awesome ways you can use Instagram Stories:
1. Share Micro Moments
Sharing photos on Instagram tends to be reserved for bigger moments. No one wants to cloud their followers feeds with hundreds of photos of selfies, cats and whatever else. That’s why these stories are great for sharing micro moments, and as many as you want! For example, share a good morning message with your followers, a joke, an affirmation, even a quick check in or an awesome thing you are seeing!
2. Mini Tutorials
With only 10 seconds a video these tutorials have to be speedy, but don’t let that worry you because it is easy to create a string of videos. If you see something great, why not share it. The best part is you can advertise it on other social urging people to go follow your Instagram.
3. Behind the Scenes
Doing something great at work that you want to share? Give it a try! These are great to engage followers, as well as put them on a personal level. Taking notes, making lunch, getting an awesome program ready, give your followers an exclusive look- just for them!
4. A Day in the Life
What does a day in the life for you look like? I bet your fans and followers are wondering! Why not give them an inside look to what you do in a day. This is a great inside look to you and your business, it is perfect to build your brand and create relationships with your followers. Think of this as a quick vlog, they are big on Youtube, why not make them big on Instagram?
So, How is This Different From Snapchat Stories?
Ok, there are some slight differences. As you know, Snapchat will let you know when someone has screenshot your story. Not only that but Snapchat also has extra features, such as face filters and geotags!
So what’s the benefit, why has Instagram created this? As far as I can tell, it certainly is appealing to the older demographic. Right now the majority of Snapchat users are between 13 and 38. But those younger tend to use the app (and like the app more). Instagram stories allows users, who already know the platform, to get in on the fun as well!
What do you think of Instagram stories? Let me know in my Facebook group The Social Proof Collective