A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Stories

Every business now is venturing into marketing on social media. One of the sure fire ways to engage and communicate with your followers and potential customers is to use Instagram Stories. Did you know that people tend to view Instagram stories more than what is in the feed? Yes, it’s true. Your goal? To stay on at least the top 10 of your followers’ homepage.

If you haven’t used Instagram stories to connect and be discovered by your followers and potential audiences, then there’s no better time to start using it but NOW. You’re missing a lot, TBH!

Why use Instagram Stories?

1. It increases your brand’s visibility and exposure. More and more people view Instagram Stories and prefer watching videos rather than photos because it’s more personal and quickly builds a connection.

It’s personal because you get to share maybe a BTS, or a raw, unedited short clip of your business or your life.

2. Some of the content that is not relevant or doesn’t make the cut on your feed goes here. Sometimes it’s better to post on Stories because it can be a bit restrictive, especially if you have a well-curated feed.

3. Videos can also be available for 24 hours only (You can still access past videos on your archive, BUT you can also save those featured on Highlights (more about it later on). Since the video is only viewable within 24 hours, your customers or followers who don’t want to miss a post from you will try to view your story.


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I have come up with putting up a beginner’s guide to Instagram Stories. Shall we start? Let’s go! 

I. Types of Instagram Stories (format)

Type – post a text or a question or a quote
Live – an in-the-moment type of all because your followers can watch and communicate with you live
Normal – either take photos or video using this, just click and hold the white circular button for 15 seconds; option to save it for later or post it right away is available
Boomerang – one of the many creative types; video goes back and forth
Superzoom – zoom in on whatever you’re trying to film; has different subtypes like heart, fire, bummer, TV show, Dramatic, Beats, Paparazzi, Surprise, Nope, Bounce
Rewind – short clip you filmed will show backward
Hands-free – pretty much like the normal video but no hands required; click the button to initiate the start of filming

II. How to create an Instagram Story

Choose any of the types listed above either your take a photo or a video.

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If you are filming a video, you have the option to add a filter to it right away (you have lots of option like:
Retrofilm, Blossom, Motion Blur, VCR, B&W Film, Chromatic Delay, Charcoal, Bunny, Heart Eyes, Subtle, Puppy, Noir, Chromatic Pulse, 16-bit, Heart windows, Sunglasses, Neon Valentine, Eyelashes, Fisheye, Kaleidoscope, and more (LOL)

You have the following options to add or do anything on your photo or video:

1. Download, add filter again, link, stickers, turn off the volume, use either a paintbrush, or type a text/caption.

2. On the lower left part, you can post it for your followers right away and post it to your Facebook story too or choose close friends (yes, you can choose who you will send it to few people)

3. You can click send to (located on the lower right corner of the page) and send to a specific person or Your Story or Close Friends Only

III. Adding to Highlights

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When you go to someone’s feed, you will see small little bubbles right after the bio. Those are called Highlights. That’s where you save past videos for your followers or potential followers to view. It’s like a video diary of some sort.

Some people choose to be simple and add one color (usually their brand color) or several sets of color or even a written text or to be more creative an icon depending on what category they created. It can be TRAVEL, FASHION/STYLE, LIFESTYLE, FITNESS, etc. Some also breakdown their travels via countries or places like Taiwan, Singapore, Bali, etc.

IV. Adding Highlights cover

To make the Highlights more aligned with your brand, you can also put a COVER. It will make your feed more cohesive and stay on brand. Check my Instagram account here:

Steps on adding cover:

1. Go to the story, click the heart inside a broken circle that’s on the lower right corner.

2. That will add it to a whichever highlight you like to save it to.

3. To set a cover, go to the highlight then look for the 3 horizontal dots on the lower right corner.

4. Choose the Edit Highlight

1. On the upper part of the page, there will be an option to edit the cover, click on it

2. Click the image icon to choose from your gallery directly

3. Once done, you can align the text or icon in the middle, click done on the upper right corner.

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V. Scheduling Instagram Stories

Oh, yes, you can do this! If you are a business or running a blog and doesn’t have the time to post at the moment or you have a campaign that’s due on a specific time frame scheduling using apps will surely be your best option. Doing this will save you a lot of time. I use the app Later, which has finally added this feature!

You can also share if you have a new blog post, an upcoming sale, etc.

Here’s an example of a free plan from Later.

VI. Adding your NEW POST/Photo or video on Instagram Stories

You may see a lot of people sharing their new posts on their feed to their stories as a way to attract their followers to check out their feed.

1. Click the photo or video you want to share
2. On the lower left part, click the third icon that kind of looks like a paper airplane
3. The first choice would be Add Post to your story > Click on it
You have the options to: add filter, link, stickers, or add caption depends on your mood.
4. A lot of times, people will use a sticker NEW POST (type on the search box) and use it to hide the photo so followers would click on the photo/video to view it.
This is helpful to drive engagement (comment or likes)

VII. Resharing tagged photos/videos

One of the cool ways to engage with your followers is to share their tagged content to your feed.

Go to your homepage, click the airplane icon to see messages (this is where you will see tagged Instagram Stories.
Open the message, and on the top of the story, you will see Add This to Your Story
Click on it then share it right away or add a text thanking them for sharing. You may also add stickers to make it fancier.

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VIII. How to use Instagram for your blog or Business

Whew, that was a long post, but I hope you learned something from our beginner’s guide to Instagram Stories. If you haven’t tried it yet, then use this guide and start posting!

Want to save this for later? Pin the photo to one of your boards so you can check this Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Stories.

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