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How to Use Instagram Stories in Business

Have Instagram Stories completely taken over from Snapchat?

The content sharing app, which has utterly taken over the social landscape, changed the game with the release of this feature. Although you’d think everyone and their Mother knows how to use it, you’d be surprised by the amount of people I have spoken to, in business, who aren’t utilising this to grow their brands—and those who actually don’t even know how to use it at all. This one is for you...

How to Use Instagram’s Stories Feature

  1. Tap the camera icon on the top left of your device.

  2. You’ll see a white circle in the middle our screen. Tap that to take a picture. Alternatively, click the gallery icon in the bottom left corner. You can also swipe up for recent images or video on your device.

  3. Once you’ve selected the image, swipe left and right to use Instagram’s filters.

  4. Once you’re done, click the Your Story Icon on the bottom left of the screen, and hey presto, it’s done!

Size Does Matter!

When posting to Instagram Stories, ensure the content is 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels tall. If you don’t fancy taking the time to resize your content outside the app, try pinching the image to change the size of it. Another handy-dandy feature. Thanks Insta!

The Devil’s in the Detail

The team at IG knew we would want those little extras to spruce up our content, making it all the more engaging with our tribes. You can do that with the following add-ons:

  • Type: You can use this to add text on a coloured background to share updates with your followers.

  • Live: if you want to go live with your tribe, use this to speak to your audience right there, in-the-moment, allowing them to comment in real time. It’s great for Q&A sessions. You can also save these to your grid for later.

  • Boomerang: This is one my favs for creating a looping video.

  • Superzoom: This uses a humorous sound effects: Paparazzi, Dramatic, Surprise, when dramatically zooming into the subject of the image.

  • Rewind: This records a video, and plays it in reverse.

  • Hands-free: This one records a video without you having to keep a hold of the record button.

Turn Your Stories Into Highlights

Yes, there was one downside to using Stories; they disappeared after 24 hours. Not anymore. With Instagram’s Highlights Reel, Stories can live on for as long as you like. When saved, these highlights will live on the top of your profile, so followers, new and tenured can view them. To save a Story, tap the heart icon on the lower right side ofg the Story screen. Boom! Highlights make a great space for:

  • Creating content categories: fashion, music, travel, grooming

  • Show off your followers. Use this space to add user generated content.

  • Showcase new products and services, you can also add a Swipe Up to link in (if you have over 10,000 followers, that is).

  • Advertise a sale

  • Shout out to others in your industry

Analyse This!

Using analytics in marketing is a non-negotiable. You need them to figure out your customers’ behaviour and movements to better understand how to communicate with them. Instagram has a pretty snazzy Insights section to utilise on their app. Measure engagement, views, click throughs and bounce rate to see what’s working and what completely sucks. Head to the Your Story, then click on the number of viewers in the lower left side and click on the Insights Icon. There, you’ll see a page with your engagement figures for each i.e. who clicked or swiped on and who abandoned ship!

So, whether you’re new to marketing, or an old soul looking to upgrade your campaigns, ensure you add Instagram Stories into your next campaign.


What about you. Have you seen Instagram Stories work for your business? How do you connect with your tribe over social. Don't forget to check out my Instagram Stories at The Bearded Irishman.


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