How to Use Instagram Stories Like a Boss and Boost Your Engagement

We've already shared Why You Should use Instagram Stories for your Small Business, and now it's time to go into the how. It's no secret that Instagram Stories has absolutely exploded since it's launch in 2016, and it has since overtaken snapchat and pushed Instagram into being the most used social media platform of all. 

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How To Post in Stories

First off with the basics. You can post in your stories by tapping your profile photo. This will bring up a menu where you can choose from the following modes:

Normal

The default option is the "normal" setting, where you can take your own photo using the big button, or tap the square to the left to choose an image you've taken previously. You can also use the buttons to turn on flash, hold down the middle button to take video, flip your camera view or use a fun filter.

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Live

Next to the Normal mode is Live mode. Here your followers will be notified that you are going live, which means that they can only watch what you are posting in real time. Live mode can be used to make announcements, for give aways or flash sales - or simply to interact with your followers. 



Music

The newest feature to Instagram is Music Mode. Here you can search through popular music chosen by Instagram, clip the part of the song you would like and have it playing over your video clip or photo.

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Type

If you would just like to post just text and not a photo you can swipe all the way to the left. This will bring up an option for you to type your text, choose your background colour by hitting the circle on the bottom left, change the text font by tapping the bar at the top, add a text backdrop colour by choosing the sparkly A on the top left and change the text alignment with the furthest button next to it.

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Boomerang

Boomerang is located to the right of the Normal function. Just like the Boomerang option when you make a post on Instagram, Boomerang will take a series of quick images to make an animation. 

Superzoom

Next to Boomerang is Superzoom. Instagram now has 20 options for Superzoom, so it's no wonder it is the latest craze! This GIF should sum it up for you.

via GIPHY


Rewind

The next mode is Rewind. This is just like taking a normal video, but it will then reverse it for you.  

Hands-Free

The last mode is Hands-Free. By using a smart phone tripod you can create videos without having to hold down the record button - this is great for longer videos, tutorials or for when you need your hands to show something. 

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Story Features 

Once you have created your content, it's time to get a little creative and add some more elements. 

Pens

You can use the pen tool to draw on your images, highlight things and use your creativity. You can change the colour of your pen at the bottom, change the size of the brush at the left side and choose which type of marker to use at the top.

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Stickers

By clicking on the square smiley face icon next to the pen tool a variety of stickers will be brought up. Here you can do many things, like tag a product or add a gif along with simple silly icons.

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Hashtags

You can add hashtags to your content by using the type tool at the top right or by using the hashtag sticker. This will help others find your stories, even if they don't follow you. You can tap the sticker to make it rainbow, or normal.

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Mentions

If you are doing a shout out or posting a photo of someone else you can mention them by also using the type tool or @mention sticker and tap the sticker to make it rainbow, or normal as well.



Poll

Using the poll sticker you can ask your followers questions and hear their opinion. This can be used in a fun way, or for getting useful inside knowledge.
You will see the results in your notifications after 24 hours, or by viewing your own story while it's live and taping on an option to bring up current results.  

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Answer Questions

By choosing the questions sticker your followers will have the opportunity to ask you any question they would like by typing into your sticker when viewing your story. You will see their questions by going to the same place where you can view how many people have seen your story (bottom left corner when watching your own story back). When you see a question you would like to answer, tap on it and it will open a new story post for you. 

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Product Tag

If you're like us and sell products on Instagram, you can tag a product with a sticker for easy check out, just as if you were to tag a product in a normal post. Your Facebook business page would have to be linked up in order to do this. 

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Like Meter

You can use the "like meter" sticker to gauge what your followers think of things. They can interact with the sticker by dragging it to a certain level to share their opinion. You get the results the same way you would for a poll sticker. If you would like to change the emoji from the heart eyes, simply tap on it and other options will come up. 

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How to Share

When you are ready to share your content, you can save it to your phone by clicking the downward arrow button, add it to your story by clicking the circular button next to it or send it to someone privately using the larger "send to" button.

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Using Instagram Stories at first can seem daunting and like a lot to learn, but you will find that the app is very intuitive and easier to grasp than you think. Have fun, experiment and soon you will be creating Instagram gold like a boss. 

We'd love to hear from you on InstagramFacebook or Pinterest or have your images featured by using the hashtag #giveityourbestshot

 


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