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Are You Using Instagram Stories To Its Full Potential?

Instagram StoriesWith Instagram’s introduction of Polling for Instagram Stories, you might be asking yourself if you’re using the feature to its full potential. You’re not alone. It seems every week there is a new update to the popular social media app. You could be surprised as Stories in particular, has become more and more useful as a marketing tool. Here’s a guide to the ins and outs of Instagram Stories:


When posting a story with someone, or representing a brand, be sure to tag them. To do so, tap the “aA” button and start typing out the person/brand’s @ handle. As you begin to type out the handle you’ll see accounts pop up as Instagram tries to guess who you’re tagging. Once you see the account your seeking pop up, tap their icon to tag the text.
Are You Using Instagram Stories To Its Full Potential?

‘Swipe Up For More’

The option to add a link/ ‘Swipe Up For More’ on a story is currently only accessible to verified accounts or business accounts with over 10,000 followers. If you have this capability, click the link button and enter the link. If you don’t have this capability, use lingo like “link in bio” directing fans to your gallery to click the link (just make sure the link is in your bio!).

Text Options

Within stories you have a few text options. For type, select the “aA” button and begin typing. Once in typing mode tapping the “A” button at the top of your screen can adjust your type background color. For actual writing or drawing hit the pen icon. From here you have a selection of different pen styles. To adjust the size, select the size button to the left of your color options. You can also adjust your color by holding down on one of the color icons to open up an array of options. If you use the writing feature a lot, you may want to consider using a stylus for more ease and creativity.
Are You Using Instagram Stories To Its Full Potential?


If you are a little more carefree and fun on your stories, tap on your face to open up a selection of filters!

Previously Created Content

You can post photos or previously captured images from your gallery to Instagram Stories by simply swiping up when on the camera page or selecting the square landscape image in the left corner. The only catch here is that it has to be content taken in the past 24 hours. A work around is to take a screen shot of a photo you’d like to post, or to resend a video or photo to your phone to save the content the day you want to post it.

Direct Messaging

Instagram Stories aren’t just for public consumption anymore! You can direct message users individually or start a group. This feature is great if you want to reward top fans with special content or a shout out. The sky is the limit. Also keep in mind, Stories can be shared via Direct Message by selecting the paper airplane in the bottom right. That means fans can send your story to their friends, spreading the word and attracting new followers!

Hashtag and Location

To add a hashtag to your story either swipe up or hit the smile icon at the top of your screen. Choosing the official hashtag button adds your story to the designated story for that hashtag, giving you more potential views from people outside of your community. In this section you’ll also find Location, which has the same effect. When selected, your story will show up for the community story for that location, giving you the potential for more exposure. If you scroll down in this section you’ll also find an array of emojis and stickers (these are just for fun).
Are You Using Instagram Stories To Its Full Potential?


The newest addition to the Instagram Story family is Polling. To add a poll follow the same steps as Hashtag and Location, just swipe up or tap the smile icon. When adding a poll you’ll see you have the option to type in your question with a standard Yes or No answer, or you can customize it. In the example below, you can see I chose to ask my question in a creative way, and customize my answers to fit my personality. If you’re posting a video you may want to ask a question in your video. This is a great tool to see what content your fans like, want to see, or any additional insights you may be seeking. Let the fans be your tie breaker for your next album title, t-shirt design or set list.
Are You Using Instagram Stories To Its Full Potential?

Grid Lines

Lastly, with this update also came grid lines! These lines pop up as you move your text or emojis around the screen. The grid lines can be a helpful tool to line things up, or as you see here, helping you not put text or polls where your messaging box appears for viewers.
Are You Using Instagram Stories To Its Full Potential?

For more Instagram tips and tricks be sure to check out our 2017 Instagram Best Practices. Happy sharing!

Images Courtesy of Sondem/Adobe Stock and Ryan Whitman

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