Instagram is no longer a social platform that brands can ignore, with over 700 million monthly active users this platform is only going from strength to strength. And not only can Instagram not be ignored but nor can their Instagram Stories. This Snapchat-like feature is now even more popular than Snapchat itself! With over 250 million Instagram Stories monthly active users, brands need to incorporate this into their social media strategies but not only that, they need to do it well (stats as of April 2017).
We’ve compiled a list of 8 features you can utilise in order to stand out from the noise.
1. Upload Stories Older Than 24 Hours
Instagram Stories won’t allow you to upload imagery more than 24 hours old and this can be a real pain. Not to worry though, here’s a sneaky little trick you can adopt today.
- Download the free Later app
- You can then begin adding photos to your media library from your desktop computer or smartphone.
- Access the media library from your mobile device and tap the ellipsis button in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select “save to camera roll.”
- By saving the photo from your media library to your phone it will save it under the current time and date – sneaky right?
- You can now start a new Story and select the saved image from your image picker. Easy as pie.
2. Add Colours To Your Story
We’re all familiar with changing the colour of font within Stories, however not everyone is aware of just how specific you can get with your colour selection. This is particularly useful for businesses looking to stay on brand with their colours.
- Type your caption by clicking the ‘Aa’ icon in upper right-hand corner.
- Select a colour from the palette below and hold down your finger for 1-2 seconds.
- A colour slider will now be available and you can slide across to custom choose whichever colour you wish!
3. Add Solid Colour To Your Background
Useful if you want a blank canvas to share text or drawings as opposed to images.
- Select the pen icon in top right-hand corner and then choose a colour from the palette below.
- Once a colour is selected, simply tap and hold your finger on the screen for 1-3 seconds or until your screen is filled with colour!
4. Zoom In & Out With One Finger While Recording
This can be handy if you want to focus or zoom on one particular element and only have one hand free, far easier than pinching and zooming 😉
- Tap and hold your finger down to begin recording.
- Using the same finger, slowly scroll up and down the screen to zoom in and out – voila!
5. Hands-Free While Filming
Another one to make filming that bit easier. Pretty straight forward and isn’t necessarily ‘hands-free’, however it can be handy if you’re shooting something a little awkward and don’t want the stress of holding down the capture button (we know, first world problems).
- Open the Instagram Stories option by swiping right on your home screen.
- Scroll through your options at the bottom where it says ‘Normal’
- The option at the end is ‘Hands-Free’ – simply select, tap and go!
6. Add Drop Shadows To Captions
This one can look really cool and add a little pizzazz to your Story.
- Write a caption by selecting the ‘Aa’ icon in top right-hand corner
- Type up your caption and choose a colour.
- Write up the exact same caption again by selecting the ‘Aa’ icon a second time.
- Select a different colour for the second caption.
- Layer the second caption on top of the first only slightly off-centre to create the drop shadow effect.
7. Add Your Location
A very simple feature but also a very effective one. Stats show that Stories with a location added to them receive 79% more engagement than of those without.
- Open your camera to Stories.
- Select the sticker button at the top of the screen.
- Choose the ‘Location’ icon on the top row and simply type in your current location.
8. Download Your Stories To Your Camera Roll
Whilst Instagram Stories are made to disappear after 24 hours, sometimes you’re just not ready to let go and want to save the memories. This can also be useful for brands if reflecting back on previous posts.
- Open your current Story by selecting your profile icon in the top left of the Instagram homepage.
- Swipe upwards which will not only give you the option to save your Story but it will also show you who and how many followers have viewed it.
- Select the save icon (downward facing arrow in a circle) and there you have it, your Story is saved!