How To Use Instagram Stories for Brands, Businesses & Personalities / by Molly Hawkins

Instagram stories are certainly a hot topic for anyone trying to dominate the real time social media game.  With enhanced features that provide both the brand and the users added value, Instagram has found a way to enrich the way you tell your brand story, without disrupting your primary profile feed.  Below we've outlined a few high level tips & considerations for you and your team if you are thinking about dipping your toe into the Instagram Story Pool!

  • Pre-Production: Map out the timeline for your “story” narrative, plan your copy, imagery shot-list and aesthetic in advance. Their should be a “charter” for the story plan, something that each individual story should accomplish, fans should instantly “get it”.
  • Content: Nature of content should be differentiated from your regular feed. It should feel like a “peek” behind the curtain and add value to the experience for your fans. Is it relevant to your audience?
  • Format: Both photo & video are optimal for stories.
  • Framing: Always shoot in “Portrait” Mode, that means vertically. Leave room for copy, tags, graphics if necessary.  *Do not ever letterbox horizontal photos or graphics to fit the story.
  • Audio: Be aware of the audio in the environment and make sure it adds to the story.
  • Length/Timing: They can be up to 15 seconds but use an appropriate amount of time to tell your story, there is no hard and fast rule for this.
  • Filters: While adhering to your brand guidelines, be playful, utilize the native to show channel competency and relate to users within Instagram in the language that they know.
  • Stickers: When relevant, as it fits within your brand guidelines, use new stickers, filters and geolocation treatments as it shows your competency within the channel.
  • Tagging: When possible ALWAYS tag featured profiles by tagging their profile, as well using relevant hashtags.
  • Text & Copy: While adhering to brand guidelines, try to add context with brief text.
  • Links/Call To Action: Any opportunity to provide a meaningful call to action, do so!
  • Save/Exporting Your Work: Learn from your work, share with your team, save your stories!