OK, I admit it! I’m coming to this IG Stories party fashionably late, and holding up the wall for a while so I can adjust to the faster-paced scene.
Getting up to speed with these things can take me a minute! But if you’re like me, once we get over our stage fright, we’re ON IT!
You may already get the gist of what IG Stories is and how it works, but just in case, let me catch us both up!
Instagram Stories in a Nutshell
IG Stories let you post a photo, series of photos, or short-form video. Videos can be up to 15 seconds long, but if you want to post something longer, you can use a third-party app like this one to break a longer video into 15-second segments so you can post them all.
Once you post a Story, it stays on your profile for 24 hours.
These are meant to be candid, casual, and representative of what’s happening in real-time, as opposed to being planned ahead (but as my husband says, I’m probably the least spontaneous person on the planet, so I like to fudge that just a bit – more on that later).
Of course, businesses have already picked up on how fantastic IG Stories are to promote their brands in quick bursts. Not surprisingly, you can purchase an IG Story as an ad that will be shown to hundreds of people you target. But if you want to save a little money, you can, of course, post Stories to your interior design business’ profile for free while still making them strategic to your brand.
How Do You Create IG Stories?
This part is easy!
Just like regular Instagram, you pretty much have to create IG Stories on your phone (although more and more third-party software platforms are developing IG Stories-planning capabilities. So as per usual for social media, everything might all change soon). This means the better your phone’s camera, the better quality your IG Story will be. It’s way more appealing for your Stories’ audience if you use candid iPhone pics and videos, as opposed to your IG feed where you might rely more heavily on pro images or produced videos to keep your feed looking prettier and more polished.
Here’s the step-by-step for creating an actual IG Story.
- Head over to your Instagram profile on the app
- If you’re making the video or taking the pics right then and there, simply tap the camera icon in the top-left hand corner of the app. Your camera will pop up.
- Tap on the circle quickly to take a photo or hold down on the circle to create a video (remember the 15-second limit).
And… that’s it. No post copy to write; no hashtags to research (although you can use hashtags in Stories to some extent – read about that here). It’s a little too simple for my overthinker brain to process!
If you want to put a little more thought behind what you post, just like I do, then take pics and video of little things you think might make good Stories and save them on your phone. When you’re ready to post:
- Open your IG app and tap your profile picture in the circle at the top left of the screen on the home page OR on your profile page – either will get you there.
- If you still have another Story up from the past 24 hours, you’ll need to tap the profile picture circle at the top of that screen, as well, to open up the post-creator screen.
- Tap your camera feed at the bottom left of the screen and select the photo(s) or video you want to post.
Of course, if you want to have a little more fun with your Stories, there are a ton of customization options that can also help you promote your brand and interior design business.
Create a Unique Look
There are a ton of ways to customize your Stories to create a unique look that exemplifies your brand’s personality.
For example, you can add stickers, text, or a filter on top of your video to give it its own flavor. While Instagram provides a ton of options here, you can also design your own stickers, overlays, and templates with apps like this one. With these graphic options, you can tell a story in an ultra-creative way that static images and written descriptions on your Instagram newsfeed can’t.
And since – unlike your IG feed – your Stories won’t last forever, you may feel more freedom to experiment. See what you like and what your audience responds to. Oh, did I mention your audience can engage with you on IG Stories by tapping the “Send Message” field at the bottom of the screen and either tapping one of the Quick Reactions emoticons there and/or by sending you a DM? You should engage with the Stories others post in this way, as well, for a 2-way social experience.
Of course, knowing HOW to create IG Stories is one thing, knowing WHAT to post is something else entirely! In next week’s blog, I’m going to be talking about the kinds of content that you should be posting to your Instagram Stories to get the best bang for your buck! And on top of that, it will be fun too!
If you’d like to talk more about creating a comprehensive content plan for your interior design business (one that can include IG Stories), then feel free to contact me today. As popular as Instagram Stories are, they should only be one piece of how you market yourself online and the kinds of content you want to promote. If you’d like to talk about creating some fantastic interior design copy that will catch your audience’s attention, you can schedule a call with me immediately!