08.08 2018 10:48h


Why you should be making the most of all the features
Instagram Stories, Instagram, Stories, Stories Features, Social Media, Social Media Tips, Instagram tips

Finding it hard to keep up with the latest and greatest features of Instagram Stories?

Throughout the past few months, Instagram has been rolling out new Stories features left, right and center. It's tough keeping up with all the updates and figuring out new ways to incorporate them into your content strategy.

A while back we rounded up 10 things you didn’t know you could do with Instagram Stories.

We've listed ten more features below, and why you should be making the most of them within your Instagram Stories (especially if you want to create topnotch Stories content like a pro influencer).

It doesn't matter if you're a brand, influencer or regular Insta-fan check them out and let us know your favorite Stories feature (and how you make the most of it) in the comments.

1. Ask A Question

Bored and want a fun way to boost engagement? All you need to do is select the Question sticker from the tray, and type up a question or a prompt.

After posting it, your audience can immediately start replying. You can then view all the responses and reply accordingly in a follow-up Story.

Warning: This Instagram Stories feature is not anonymous. If you find yourself wanting to answer another user’s question, be aware they will know it was you that asked.  

Why should you be using this feature? It’s an easy way to boost engagement and interaction with your audience. Everyone loves to feel like they’re part of a conversation, so start asking your followers questions asap.

2. Conduct A Poll

Can't decide between red velvet cupcakes or blueberry muffins? Don’t stress. With the Story poll feature, your followers can provide you with direct feedback.

Simply select the polls sticker and type up the two options for your audience to pick from, and voila! You’ll soon have your answer.

Why should you be using this feature? Marketing research! Story polls are one of the easiest ways to obtain information about your audience.

It’s a simple way of finding out what your followers like – and don’t like. Whether you’re an influencer or a brand, this is one of the most valuable Instagram Story features the photo-sharing app has to offer.

Try doing a series of poll Stories in a row, for a survey-like effect.

Psst! Looking for poll Story inspo? Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin (@jenatkinhair) is a pro at making the most of this feature. Check out her Stories if you’re stuck for ideas.

3. Add In A Gifs

If you’re looking to spice up your stories, you can now adorn them with a wide range of gifs. Choose the gif sticker and use them to your discretion.

Why should you be using this feature? Gifs are fun, and they’re a great way to express an emotion to your audience – especially if you don’t want to include a lot of text in your Stories. The choices are endless, so have a look at the many options Instagram provides its users.

4. Share Your Story Exclusively With Certain Followers

You no longer have to worry about your Mom commenting on your outfit choice (or your father questioning why you were out so late last night!)

Simply select the “Close Friends” button after clicking “Share Story”. All you have to do after that is choose who you want to include.

Why should you be using this feature? It gives all Instagrammers the power to share specific content, with specific audience members. 

Whether it’s a VIP discount code for a select few customers or an inside joke between friends, you now have the power to choose who you share your content with.

5. Give A Shoutout To Another User

Dying to broadcast who you’re hanging out with? Or maybe you want to get the attention of another brand or influencer?

Instagram has you covered! Select the “@mention” sticker and get tagging other users.

Why should you be using this feature? If you’re an aspiring influencer, trying to land brand collaborations and paid campaigns, this can be a great way to get a company or PR’s attention. Be sure to tag the brand within your stories when you use their products and/or services. The mention sticker highlights your interest in the account you’re tagging

This also goes for getting the attention of another influencer, if you’re keen to collaborate with them.

6. Gage Your Audience's Reaction To A New Idea, Product or Service With A Slider Emoji

Curious about your audience’s opinion on those twenty dollar furry jelly slides from your favorite e-commerce store?

Head on over to the stories section and pick the emoji slider icon (it is animated). Type up a question and then choose a suitable emoji. Once you’re done click share and await their response.

Why should you be using this feature? Story polls provide you with black-and-white answers from your audience, so the Emoji Slider is a great way to gage a feel on how excited your audience is about a particular topic.

This is a great way to obtain audience insights from your followers and find out just how interested they may be in your newest ideas or projects.

7. Change Up The Font

Yup, we know . . . using the same fonts, again and again, is tiresome! However, there's an easy way to switch it up. 
All you need to do to add some variety is click the “Classic” font (found on the top center of the screen).

Once you do so, it will change to another font option. You can repeatedly click on this to cycle through the font choices.

Why should you be using this feature? You’d be surprised how creative you can get with a handful of fonts and a color palette. They provide variety to your Stories and can help you highlight (or downplay) certain hashtags, brand shout outs, etc.

Get creative, play around with different colors and use the variety of fonts to get your audience’s attention – and your message across to your followers. 

8. Focus On The Details

Can’t afford an i-Phone X, but still want photos that are 10/10? Simply scroll through the picture setting to access the “Focus” setting, and fool your following into thinking you have the latest in smartphone technology.

Why should you be using this feature? If you’re looking to feature a specific product or do a detailed shot with the built-in, this is a great feature to help you get the perfect shop.

9. Repost Other Users' Instagram Stories

If your friend tags you in their story you now have the option to re-share the image to your story. When accounts tag you, a button now appears offering the option to share it to yours.

Why should you be using this feature? Encourage your customers to snap, share and tag your handles within their Insta Stories for a chance to be reposted. This is a great way to encourage content-generated content.

Build a sense of community by reposting your customers’ or fans’ Stories.

10. Repost Permanent Instagram Posts to Your Stories

Find a funny meme? You can now share posts that crack you up with your entire following within your Stories!

All you have to do is click the paper plane icon that can be found beside the comment button on other users’ permanent posts, before sharing it with your audience via Stories.

Why should you be using this feature? It’s another great way to connect with other influencers and brands, and to share inspirational content with your following.

While Instagram will automatically credit the account you’re reposting the image or video from, it’s always a good idea to tag back to the original creator.

What are your favorite Instagram Stories features? Let us know in the comments below.

By Mihika Vyas & Laura Andrea Kell

Image source: Shutterstock


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