In early August 2016, Instagram Stories appeared on the social network Instagram. The updated functionality allowed users to add their stories, which “live” only a day after publication. This is their main difference from regular posts.
In a short time, stories have gained enormous popularity – 150 million users have used the tool in 5 months since it appeared, and every fifth publication of “Stories” leads to sending a direct message to the author.
Today Stories is an effective tool for promoting commercial and personal accounts (read about Instagram promotion). We will tell you how to use them 100%!
How to work with stories on Instagram
How to make a story
To add a new story to the social network, you must be using the latest version of the app or a version older than August 2, 2016. If you’re using an older version of the social network, update it in directories like Google Play, Play Market, and others.
You can add “storizas” on the main page with news feeds. It opens automatically when the user logs in to the app. At the top of the screen are the stories published by other users – those to whom you are subscribed. To add your “Stories”, tap the icon with a plus sign – “+”. You’ll be taken to the add menu.
In the add stories menu you can take 3-4 photos or select them from the device memory or record a short video. The functionality of Instagram social network is somewhat similar to SnapChat – in it you can also add funny masks or captions to the stories, as well as use filters. Once you’ve styled your story, click the “Your Story” button, then the “Done” button.
Note – before you publish, you can set privacy settings, for example – to hide your story from some users who have subscribed to you, or to show it only to “Favorites”.
How to add multiple Stories
After publishing the first story in 24 hours, the plus sign icon will disappear. But you can add more photos or videos without it. To do this, after publishing the first story, go back to the news feed by clicking the “home” icon at the bottom left of the screen. Then click on the camera icon at the top left of the screen.
Several added Stories will be shown to your followers in order automatically. You can also toggle them by determining which photo will be shown first.
How to tag people in Stories
Tagging people in Stories is similar to adding user mentions in publications or comments. When you’ve added a photo or video to Stories, go to edit mode. Tap the “Aa” icon at the top right of the screen to add text. After that, enter the “@” symbol and start writing your username. The system will show you followers with similar names, and you can select one of them.
The user’s name will appear in the published Stories with an underline, and he or she will receive a notification in Direct. Anyone who has viewed your story will be able to go to the mentioned user’s profile – it will open when you click on the name.
How to add a hashtag and geolocation
To add a hashtag, use the history editing features. Tap the “Aa” icon at the top right of the screen and enter the desired hashtag. Use the “#” symbol first, then start writing the hashtag itself. For it to be active in the story, select the desired hashtag from the ones the system shows at the bottom of the screen.
You can also tap the square smiley icon at the top of the screen and select “#hashtag” in the menu that appears. You don’t need to enter a “#”, just write the word.
To add geolocation to your story, first take a photo or record a video. Then go to edit mode and tap the first icon with the square smiley face at the top right of the screen. You’ll see a menu of adding stickers, hashtags, and times. Select “location” and specify geolocation, following the on-screen prompts.
If you want to add your location, post it to Facebook first. The two social networks are linked – once you add a new location on FB you can select it on Instagram.
How to add highlighted Stories
Among all the stories posted, some can be placed on the main profile page. To do this, click the icon with a heart and the word “Highlight” at the bottom right of the screen. Add a new album title or save it to an existing album.
In the attached stories, you can post important information about prices, answers to frequently asked questions, master schedules, and more.
How to add a caption
To add a caption to the story, click the “Aa” icon in the edit mode and start entering the necessary text. It’s not supported yet, but you can use spaces to separate multiple words. But the social network offers a wide range of fonts and colors – you can write each letter in a different color or choose a convenient font that matches the filter. You can also add emoticons to your text.
To move labels around the screen – for example, to rotate them diagonally – tap the label and start moving it until you reach the desired result.
How to add a link
To add a link, in history editing mode, find the link icon at the top left of the screen and tap it. After that, enter the address to the desired page on the site. Don’t forget to add a caption on the story itself that subscribers can learn more from the link. To follow the link, they’ll need to swipe up next to the “More” caption when viewing Stories.
Note! Only users with more than 10,000 followers can post links to Instagram Stories. If your account has fewer readers, then place an official Instagram ad and set it to show in Stories.
How to save Instagram Stories to the archive
Stories, although shared for 24 hours, have recently remained in the profile forever. They are saved in the archive – the user can re-post it or share it with friends. All published Stories are automatically archived when the 24-hour publishing time expires. You can disable automatic saving in the settings. To do this, go to your profile by tapping the far right icon at the bottom of the screen, and go to the archive by tapping the clock icon at the top right of the screen. Click on the three dots, select “Settings” and turn off automatic saving.
If you want to archive a story you’ve already published, open it and click “More” at the bottom. Select “Settings” and enable the “Save to Archive” option.
How to add a poll
When publishing a story, tap the square smiley icon – third from the right – at the top of the screen. Then select the “survey” option. Enter the question and your answer choices. Only two options are available on Instagram at this time. You can leave the standard answers – “yes” and “no.” You can’t change the colors of the words, as in the usual functionality of adding captions.
Instagram stories from your computer
The functionality of the social network Instagram from a computer is very limited. However, users come up with ways to bypass the bans. For example, from the computer you can not view the stories of other users, even through the official app or Instagram website. But you can download a special browser extension – for example, Chrome IG Story for Google Chrome. It allows you to view all the Stories. They look a little different than in the mobile app, but each story can be viewed if you click on it.
To add an Instagram story from your computer, you can use one of three ways:
- Download an iOS or Android emulator for your PC or laptop operating system, such as – Nox App Player for Windows. It will allow you to install the mobile app on your PC and use all the features available to mobile device users.
- Download the official Instagram app for PC. Its functionality is almost exactly the same as the mobile app. However, there is a serious limitation – when adding a story, Instagram “sees” only images stored in the camera album.
- Use another service that allows you to post to different social networks. For example, the service SMMPlanner. It will not only allow you to add Stories, but also assign a certain time of their release, which is quite convenient.
How to use Instagram Stories for promotion
Add polls to some Stories. This will affect audience engagement – the more responses collected in a poll, the higher your subscribers’ engagement level will be. With an updated smart social media feed that ranks profile posts with a higher engagement score, this is a good place to start for promotion. The more surveys you post, the more additional users, by hashtag and geolocation, will be attracted by the storied posts.
Don’t forget that your target audience shouldn’t be “overwhelmed.” Find the optimal number of stories with surveys. For example, publish them 2-3 times a week. Also, do not forget that visuals are very important in Instagram. So get users interested from the first seconds of the story: add a bright picture or an intriguing introduction to the video. Also, don’t “stretch” the questions too much – it’s better to use short sentences and short answers. Subscribers respond better to mini-questions because they don’t take too much time.
Announcements can create intrigue and increased attention to your account. Tell the story that your company or you are planning to release something new. For example, mention your music video in passing. That way, followers will periodically check in on the page, see new posts and perhaps comment on them. This, too, will have a positive impact on engagement rates, hence allowing you to promote your account faster and more effectively.
In announcements, give valuable intriguing information so that users are really interested in the novelty. It’s also advisable to give an exact release date for new products – for example, say that a full video tutorial will be out within 24 hours or a week from now. Otherwise, some users may unsubscribe because of the long wait. Or use another feature – live streaming on Instagram.
Mention in the story the contest you’re running to get more attention. Choose the contest format itself based on your target audience. For example, quests are popular right now. However, in order to organize them, it is advisable to create several accounts, think through the plot, and properly design each stage. You can choose as a winner the one who was the first to pass the quest – to find a way out of it – or a random participant who completed all the tasks.
You can also hold a contest with mutual marks or simple marks. For example, ask contestants to take a screenshot of your story with a mention of the prank and publish it in their Stories, tagging your profile. This will expand your audience and help you attract new followers. You can select a winner using a random number generator: count up the notifications in Direct and give the prize to the person whose mark in order corresponds to the random number received.