What’s the Story with Instagram Stories?


With the popularity of Instagram continuing to grow, many new users are starting to feel a little more adventurous and ready to make the leap from simple Instagram posts to using the Instagram Stories feature. If you are not familiar with HOW to post an Instagram story, you find this easy 4-step guide here.

If you are on the fence about WHY you should be using Instagram Stories, here are the reasons that it’s a good idea for you and building your platform:

> Stories are a great place to EXPERIMENT. Because they disappear in 24 hours, posts to Stories do not need to be perfect in composition, color or branding guidelines. You can test some new content ideas as well as try out the constantly upgraded features*. Also, you can get a sense of what your viewers most respond to. (*If you are starting out – keep it simple with hashtags, handles and locations; or step up your game with GIFs and filters!

> Stories provide a great opportunity to UP YOUR VIDEO SKILLS. Again, think of Instagram Stories as a place to PRACTICE doing videos – either short form or long form, selfies or videos of other people, places and things.

> Even though they “disappear” in 24 hours, Stories CAN BE DISCOVERED and SHARED by others who are tagged in your stories. I see influencers repost others stories where he or she is tagged, again great way to let others do your marketing for you.

> If you want to keep your story on your Instagram profile, you can always add it to HIGHLIGHTS or POST it directly to your feed. Think of your Instagram Stories as “rookie content” that when it does well can get promoted to your main feed or your profile.

> You can actually get your followers to ENGAGE with your stories. Not only can viewers reply via message or emoji, they can answer your “polls” and “ask you questions” using the myriad of features. (If you have teenagers, they have mastered most of the newest features – ask them for help!)

Think of Instagram Stories as a great opportunity to share with your followers a more casual, personal behind-the-scenes access to what’s going on in your world. It doesn’t have to be the buttoned-up, beautiful and perfectly branded posts that many have come to expect from Instagram feeds.

Need some inspiration? Here are several people who I think do an great job of using Instagram stories:

  • Ann Handley (Chief content marketer, Marketing Profs): @annhandley
  • Jessica Gordon Ryan (Chief Influencer, GimletStyle): @gimletstyle
  • Monica Kang (CEO, Innovators Box): @hi.mhk

If you want to go deeper with Instagram Stories, check out Jen Lehner’s amazing new “Create Your Branded Story for Instagram Stories” guide here.

If you have been interested in trying Instagram Stories, consider an Instagram Story Challenge. Try posting stories everyday for a week! If you tag me (@sheesalt), I promise I will reply and repost and encourage you to keep up the good work.

Share your Instagram handle in the comments below. And feel free to ask any questions you might have about Instagram Stories.