Everything you need to know about Instagram Stories 

May 15, 2020 | Sarah Pitout
Instagram Stories are a revolutionary feature added to the Instagram platform in late 2016.

Instagram Stories allow you to integrate videos, photos, music, text and emojis into a visual story that can be viewed by your followers as a slideshow in Instagram. 

There really is no better time than now to start utilising Instagram Stories. This guide will cover everything you need to know about creating engaging Instagram Stories to share with your friends and followers. 

Insta Stories in a Nutshell

Instagram Stories are a feature on Instagram which function similarly to a slideshow. Unlike a traditional post, Insta Stories give you the freedom to incorporate videos, photos, music, emojis, text and more into your posts to create engaging, interactive content. 

Instagram Stories are available for a limited time period – 24 hours – and offer a great way for businesses to share ‘in the moment’, more personal content to help potential clients get to know your product better. 

In summary, Instagram Stories:   

  • Function like a slideshow
  • Are available for 24 hours
  • Great for more personal content
  • Incorporate images, videos, music, emojis, filters, text overlays and more!

How to Post Instagram Stories 

If you’ve never done it before, posting an Instagram Story might seem daunting. It’s actually very easy and can become quite addictive. 

Good to know: 

Instagram Stories have an aspect ratio of 9:16. The perfect dimensions are 1080px wide by 1920px high. But don’t worry if your image or video isn’t the perfect size – Instagram will automatically shrink or crop it for you. 

Step by step posting an Instagram Story: 

  1. Open the Instagram App and go to your Profile. 
  2. Tap on your profile image – top left. 
  3. Select a photo or video from your Camera Roll by tapping on the small square photo in the bottom left corner of the screen. Scroll through and tap on a photo or video to choose it.
  4. Once selected, you can add filters, music, stickers or emojis to personalise it – or simply leave it as is. 
  5. Tap Send To > Your Story to share your photo or video to your Instagram Story. The Story will then be available to be seen for 24 hours.

Saving Instagram Stories to your Highlights

Highlights is an awesome feature that allows you to ‘save’ your Instagram Stories in folders for more than 24 hours. Highlights serve as different ‘photo albums’ where you can organise your content to be viewed by interested customers who visit your Instagram Profile in future. 

You can create as many Highlights as you like and add as many Stories as you want to each Highlight. Highlights are a great way to showcase the best of your business in a succinct series of informational slideshows that customers can select. Checkout an example below: 

Reposting an Instagram Story 

‘Reposting’ is a fantastic way to share content created by other people – customers or clients usually who have tagged your Instagram Profile. When you get tagged in an Instagram Story, you will get notified in your direct messages. The notification will say “@username mentioned you in their Story.” Underneath it will give you the option to “Add This to Your Story.” Once added you can customise with text, emojis etcetera and add it to your Stories. 

The ‘Swipe-Up’ Feature on Instagram Stories 

The coveted ‘Swipe-Up’ feature you might have seen on Instagram Stories is only available to Business accounts with over 10,000 Followers. The feature allows you to direct viewers to a URL of your choosing – a great option for businesses selling services or goods on their website. Great motivation to grow your following online. 

Do you have further questions about how to best utilise Instagram Stories for your business? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team via email at hello@focusonline.co.za

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