Are you feeling inspired by last week’s examples of how to rock your Instagram Stories? From captivating your audience with puppies to sharing your office vibes with a larger audience, there are SO MANY ways you can grab attention and keep your followers engaged.
This week we’re walking you through every step of how to compose your own Stories. It’s time to go on an Instagram adventure!
How to Tell Your First Insta-Story
This is a special moment. It’s officially time to tell your first Instagram Story! Let's get into the real nitty-gritty so you know exactly how to do this thang.
Find Your Story
The first step to telling any Instagram Story is to get to the right place! Pull up Instagram, and let’s go over your options.
You can get to Stories by either clicking on the camera in the top left corner of the main feed, clicking the little circle icon with your profile image on the top of the main feed, or clicking on your profile image when you’re on your Instagram profile. All of these options will pull up a camera interface, where you’ll probably either immediately be treated to a live feed of your own face, or your surrounding areas. Let’s now review all those little icons that are now on your screen:
- Gear - top left corner: This takes you to your Settings! You don’t have to worry about these, but they’re a good thing to initially check to make sure they’re set how you like them. This is where you can choose to hide your story from someone specific, allow message replies and sharing, share your Story direct to Facebook, and save your Stories to your camera roll.
- Arrow - top right corner: This will get you out of the Story interface and back to your feed!
- Lightning in circle - bottom left corner: Tap this to turn your flash on (circle is filled in), on auto (little A), or off (circle is empty).
- Big white circle - bottom middle: This is where the action happens and you’ll either capture a photo (tap once) or a video (tap and hold).
- Two arrows in a circle - bottom and second right: Which way do you want your camera to face? Tap this to switch it up.
- Smiley - bottom right: Here are where all those fun similar-to-Snapchat filters live. Whether you want to be an adorable pup, look galactic, or shoot hearts all over your image, this is where those effects are. Some effects will give you different options depending on which way your camera is facing, so try switching it up!
You’ve probably also noticed the text at the bottom of the Stories screen with “Type," “Live," “Normal," etc. as options. These are all of the awesome ways to switch up your Stories experience from simply taking a photo. Ready to get creative? Here are all the options:
- Type: Here you can type just a message, and mix up both the type of font (options at the top) and color of the background (options bottom left). This can be a great way to hype up announcements or break up your Stories with some text explanation.
- Live: 3... 2... 1... You’re Live! You guessed it: This option goes into a Live stream, where it’ll notify your followers that you’re live. This can be a good way to take your audience inside an event with you, share some breaking news, capture a potentially viral moment... just keep in mind that although you can delete it afterwards, you might not be able to erase it from anyone's memory, so keep it quality.
- Normal: This is your safe space with normal photo and video. If you want to post a picture you’ve already taken, you can also just swipe up and choose from your pictures on your phone.
- Boomerang: You know those super fun looping Gifs all over Instagram? You can make them on Stories too. Hold down the button to capture a six-second loop and watch the movement on repeat. This is a fun way to add some creative movement to your Stories, especially if there's any confetti around!
- Focus: Focus finds a face and focuses on it, blurring out the background for a super profesh look. This can be a good way to focus the user on who’s talking, without being distracted by background chaos.
- Superzoom: Have you ever thought the main thing that’s missing from your life is the ability to dramatically zoom in on something? You’re in luck with superzoom. Tap the screen to pick something to zoom in on and hold the button to unleash the magic. This is a fun way to be silly and add some personality, as there are different zoom options with background music and filter effects.
- Rewind: Rewind stays true to its name and plays videos backwards!
- Hands-free: Hands-free gives you the option to record videos... hands-free, meaning you hit the button once and it starts filming. If you like to record yourself at yoga class or the gym, this one's for you.
Make It Stand Out
There are even MORE ways to customize your image and video after you take them. Once you’ve captured your Story, you’ll see new options on the screen: X (cancel the story), Save (to your camera roll), Your Story (to add it to your Story on your Instagram profile), and Send To (to send it to someone specific). But we’re not focusing on those icons right now; we’re living in the top right corner, where the toys are.
- Smiley face sticker: This is where all the engaging fun lives to spice up your Stories! You can add your location, mention a user, add a hashtag, add a Gif, add a poll, add questions, add stickers… There are lots of types of content to add on top of what you've recorded or photographed, so start playing. Check out this article on some of the best features of the past two years of Stories. We love the poll sticker to ask your audience a question, the questions sticker to encourage your audience to ask you questions, or the emoji slider for a fun way to gauge your audience’s reaction.
- Pen: You can draw all over your Story with various colors and instruments. Try scribbling around to see what you like best.
- Letters: Overwhelmed by all the other ways you can add text to your Stories? Here you can add a phrase, sentence, etc. and switch up the colors and type of font; it's clean, it's reliable, and it lets you focus on what you're saying.
One important thing to keep in mind is you can always touch and drag an element to a trash can icon at the bottom of the screen if you end up not liking it!
Post and Monitor
Now that you’ve composed your beautiful Story, hit the “Your Story” button to add this to your Story. H'ray! Achievement unlocked!
Once you’ve added your Story it will remain live for 24 hours. You can check on the responses you’ve gotten by clicking on your Story icon (remember the circle with your profile image in it, from the beginning?) and swiping up to see everyone who has viewed it. This is also where you’ll see everyone’s answers if they’ve engaged with a poll, question, etc.
One of the best things about Stories is that they’re quick (and there’s no way for other users to see how many people have engaged with them), so be creative and experiment with options to see what gets responses and reaction! If your goal is to boost followers, also look for shares of your story by users to their friends. We can't wait to see what you create!