Instagram Stories: Tips for Businesses

Instagram Stories is started as a Snapchat copy and yet it’s a lot more now. This is mainly due to the environment: Instagram has much more to offer its users and especially companies than Snapchat. Instagram is also much bigger than Snapchat, it’s connected to Facebook, and in many ways it’s more mature. In this Instagram Stories guide, we’ll summarize what you should know about the new feature and how to use it.

Let Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom do one thing

He didn’t even try to deny the model for “Instagram Stories”. In a background interview with TechCrunch, he admitted candidly that Snapchat deserves all the credit. But well, it would also have been very difficult to buy Instagram story views and  deny this connection. After all, even the name is the same.

The Instagram Stories can be imagined as an automatic presentation with photos and videos. His works can not only be spiced up with the well-known Instagram filters, but also quickly and spontaneously with writing, sketches and other playful elements. And like Snapchat, it’s all designed to be transient: Every element of a story disappears automatically after 24 hours.

But why use the Instagram Stories and not the original? This has to do with Instagram’s character and his place in the social media landscape.

Instagrams’ place in the social media landscape

Instagram reported 500 million active users in June 2016. A full 300 million of them are active every day. In Germany there are 9 million active users, as Instagram announced in early 2016.

Twitter/Vine has 12 million users per month in Germany (March 2016). However, this does not only mean registered users, but all Internet users. Worldwide, Twitter and Snapchat each have about 150 million daily active users (as of June 2016). This means that Instagram is currently about twice as large.

In the end, Snapchat turned out to be quite bulky for many users. The operation is unusual. It’s hard to find other users. There are hardly any offers for companies. And the tonality of Snapchat as a platform is not suitable for everyone. Only those who want to reach a certain, young target group are right here. If you want to know more: See our main topic “Snapchat for companies”.

About the character of Instagram

It’s a mobile born social network where everything revolves around the visual – mainly photos, but also short videos. While the “classic” instagram is about a presentation that is as sophisticated and tasteful as possible, the stories add a playful element that can be used to do a lot of things that were not possible or recommended before.

Video: Instagram Stories – Introduction for Companies

Much can be shown better in the moving image. Therefore I produced a video with the essential points and tips from this article. There I show you how the stories look like, how you create one and at the end I also go into how they can be used.

Taking photos and videos for the story

To start, either wipe to the right on the Instagram app start page or use the new camera icon in the upper left corner. This will take you to the new camera function, which is exclusively responsible for the stories.

For photos, tap the shutter release button; for videos, leave your finger on the shutter release button. Of course you can use the front as well as the back camera of your smartphone. In addition, the flash can be switched on and a practical “night mode” brings out the maximum in dim light.

Tips: When you record a video and move your finger up, you trigger the zoom function. Select the “Hands-free” option and you won’t have to leave your finger on the screen for videos. The “Boomerang” option allows you to record short videos that are played back and forward in a continuous loop.

Edit and publish

Edit photos and videos before publishing. Some of the typical Instagram filters are ready (you can find them by wiping left and right).

At the top right, you’ll find more tools: you can add text and mention other users as well – just like anywhere else. The corresponding user will be informed about this mention. In the story itself the name can then be touched and a preview of the profile opens.

If you like, you can work with some pen tools and colors to add markers, highlight something or let your creativity run wild. Once you have selected the pen, you have three different options to choose from (a felt-tip pen, a marker and a rather interesting looking “neon pen”). Below you can choose the colors.

Tip: Wipe to the left to find two more color collections. If you hold down a color circle with your finger, after a moment the complete color palette will open and you can choose as you like. After a tap on the symbol at the bottom left next to the colors, a slider opens: You can use it to determine the size of the pen.

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