Top 10 Tips For Using Instagram Stories to Grow Your Instagram

Top 10 Tips For Using Instagram Stories to Grow Your Instagram Twin Cities Collective Podcast

 

1. Upload images & videos from the past

2. Using Canva.com to create graphics & animations for instagram stories

3. Limit to under 10 stories a day (around 5ish)

4. Using Polls

5. Adding boomerangs, rewinds & stop motions

6.  Sharing Behind the scenes photos & making it personal

7.  Highlight your stories

8. Archiving Stories & cropping your photos/videos

9. Using apps like Storeo to cut videos into multiple stories. Utilize snapchat filters and download & upload to instagram stories

10. Adding effects like hashtags, locations, stickers, etc.... which can be featured in local hashtag stories & location stories & text

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 Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.

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Hey, what's up everyone?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 0:58

It's your girl, Jenna here from today's collective. I'm super excited about today's episode. Why? Because I had a lot of questions at the Instagram workshop last week about Instagram stories, and I didn't really cover it as much as I probably should have at the workshop. So I thought I would come out with a episode today, just specifically about Instagram stories and how you can utilize those. So without further ado, let's get started on that. So I just do want to say before we start next week, I will have an interview back again. But I just wanted to take this week just to do a solo episode and kind of dig deeper into this topic of Instagram stories. Well, what I realized is, over time, I've realized how important Instagram stories have become to growing our Instagram platform on Twin Cities collective, a lot of people come up to me and say they recognize me from Instagram stories. And it's because I'm on there every day. So I wanted to talk about that. So the first thing I wanted to mention is to use stories a lot, just as much as you post your pictures on Instagram, also either post them on the story or do something where you're telling people about your post, just getting people to watch and listen and know what you're talking about. So like for example, today, I told people about the post that we had just put on Instagram, which also got people to go to that post. So by using it as a call to action, where you're literally just talking to the camera and saying, hey, do this, do this go to our website, that is the best way to get people to take action, I have gotten so many good results from using our Instagram stories as the best way to connect directly with our audience. I have posted so many, you know videos of me talking but also just other updates, and things that I honestly think it works better than any other platform that I've ever used, including our own Instagram. So we have posts every day that we put up. But honestly, I've just found that, that the stories are what really works, and what's really the best way to get your point across. So I'm going to be talking about 10 different things that you can do to improve your story. So the first thing that you can do is you can actually upload images and videos that you have taken in advance, they used to have a 24 hour limit. And that has actually gone away, which has been super nice. Otherwise, you have to like copy it and save it today. And that was really kind of a hassle. So by uploading photos that you maybe would have just put on your Instagram or just pictures that don't maybe fit with your theme. That's a great place to put them because honestly, they go away after 24 hours as you know. So uploading old images and videos is a really great way. Another thing that you can do, and this is something I sort of mentioned at the workshop that I'm going to probably get some more tutorials on is I use an app called Canvas calm. And I actually don't use the app, but you can use the app, I use the website. And what I love about the website, I actually pay for the pro version of Canada. It's almost like Photoshop mixed with illustrator, which are again, both very expensive programs. But also, it's just way easier to use. And I use it probably every single day of my life, like I use Canvas so much. But what's cool is that you can actually create Instagram story animations. So the easiest way to do this as you just go to Canvas calm on your computer, and then you type in your custom dimensions. And for Instagram stories, it's 1080 by 1920. So you have it. So that's Instagram story shaped an Instagram story pixel, the pixels are all right for that. And then what you do is you create your graphic, or whatever you want on Instagram. And then you click when you export the animate button. And there's six different options that you can do to animate your Instagram graphic. So if you've ever seen us do this, for our podcast episodes, we actually can animate the podcasts art that I make for every episode for whoever the guest is, or whatever the topic is. And so what's cool about that is you can animate it however you want, you can animate it, and make it so easy for your audience to just be captivated by your Instagram story and be like, oh, wow, it's moving. Oh, wow, it's a graphic, it's really cool. I've always kind of been against using graphics on Instagram, like the actual Instagram platform just because

they can look kind of you know, overwhelming, and you just definitely want to have more photography on Instagram. And there's some accounts that you can use it sparingly and that's fine. But you just don't want to have an entire account be graphics, that I don't think that's a good idea. But with Instagram stories, you can have as many graphics as you want. Because there's no rules for Instagram stories, you can do as many as you want, as often as you want. And it's just a totally different platform than the Instagram platform itself. But saying that now that I said out loud, I do think that you don't want to do so many, many stories in a day, I would limit it to like 10. I don't think I've ever gone over 10. But there's some people I know who do more than 10. And I get a little bored. And I usually leave. So I would say max out at 10 stories a day. Because otherwise you're I think your message just kind of it kind of dissipates, I guess. So make sure that your story has a purpose. And it's something entertaining and something that people because if you have just boring stories, no one's going to go back to them. So make sure that your stories are entertaining, but also information on educational. One thing that I do that is super helpful. And it gets people actually involved in my stories is using the polls option, which is kind of new. It's something that has been developing over the last like I would say like two or three months, they've started coming with polls, but you can actually ask your audience. And this is way easier than Facebook polls, which I also use as well. But what's cool about Instagram polls is that you get you get two options yesterday know and it's very easy for someone to give you instant feedback now being 20th collective. And we have a lot of followers on Instagram, and we have a lot of people that are constantly wanting to know what's up with us. Having poles has been a really good way for me to kind of gauge whether or not people want what we want what we're giving. And so for example, I asked for our third session of the Instagram workshop whether or not people wanted that. And I think it was like 90% said yes. And so that to me, helped me decide to do a third one. So there's little things like that where you add a poll, and that's another way to get people excited about your business and all that. Another thing that's really cool that within the stories like

upload area, you can actually do cool features like boomerangs rewind stop motion, I have yet to do that. But if you know anything about me, I actually used to do stop motions as part of my business Jenna Redfield Creative and I would do it on my DSR. And I would basically do it lot of editing to make stop motions. But now they have that as part of the Instagram app. That's freakin cool and so easy for people to do. So I would recommend that if you're a product based business to check out doing the stop motion effect on Instagram stories, I'm not quite sure how it works, but I'm definitely gonna look into that. One thing people ask also is, what kind of content should they put on their Instagram stories. And I think the best things to put on Instagram Stories is the behind the scenes. So say you're a wedding photographer. And you just want to show just some behind the scenes of your day and what you're doing. I know you probably have your professional camera, but even just getting some behind the scenes videos, or behind the scenes photos of Hey, look, here's me at the wedding, it just shows that you're a real person. And it's a way to kind of humanize your brand. And that's really what the point of Instagram Stories has become is it's a way to just show that, hey, not everything is super curated. And here's just kind of me. And it's, it's it's a I think it's the best way that I found to be human on social media. with Twitter, yeah, you can kind of voice your opinions on Facebook, it's definitely a lot of sharing what you're interested in and sharing links and stuff. And YouTube, obviously, you can, you know, make that personal. But I think with Instagram stories, it's just like so in the moment, and it's so unique and authentic that I think it's the best way to get your brand human. Another thing that recently came out that I sort of mentioned is that you can highlight your posts now. So you need to be very strategic about which posts you highlight, because that's something that I think that a lot of people actually do watch. So I highlighted a fact that we are doing a YouTube workshop. And so that has been seen like, like five or 600 times, which originally it was only seen a couple of hundred times when I posted it be but because I highlighted that more people watch that. So highlighting your posts and putting them on your homepage is very easy. All you do is if you watch one of your posts, you can click the highlight button at the bottom right. And that kind of saves it. Another thing that Instagram is are doing is you can actually archive your stories and it doesn't automatically so you don't have to worry about downloading it, which I think was an issue for a lot of people. That was an issue for me, because I wanted to maybe reuse some of the footage I had filmed or something like that. And another recent thing that Instagram has changed is it used to be where you would crop your videos really weird if it was a shot like a regular video, but now they've allowed you to like basically pinch and zoom back. So you can actually put, like videos that are shot, correct, I guess correctly, in my opinion being a former video person. But yeah, so if you didn't know that, that's actually so I actually bought an app called resize for a story that I don't even need anymore, because Instagram has changed the way that you can upload. And so now it's very easy to upload any size, photo or video that you can use. Another thing I want to talk about is some of these cool apps. So I recently started Googling and found some apps that allow you to basically make your videos not so what's the word kind of jilted or where it's just kind of stopped, it's like 10 seconds stop at another video stop. So basically, it's called story Oh, so you can pick a video longer than 15 seconds. And then you can export it, and then it just shows all of it. And it doesn't like make it look like really weird when you separate it. So there are a lot of really cool apps, another one is called drool. And you can add really cool effects to your photos, and upload it to your story. So there's that one. There's also some ways that you can utilize Snapchat into your Instagram stories. If you have never used Snapchat, they have some really cool effects that Instagram has kind of gotten to and that's like some of the where your face looks kind of funny. And you can add those little almost like an emoji things where you're like the cat or the dog, the dog is drooling and has a little lick thing, what you can do is actually download your snapchats your Snapchat stories, and

then upload to Instagram. That's kind of what I've done in the past. What I like about Instagram more than Snapchat, though, is you can add locations. And that's the next thing I'm going to talk about is you can add where you are. And if you add where you are, you're much more likely to be featured in that location or that city's story. So for example, if I post something here at Studio co work, I can get added to the Golden Valley story. And I'm not quite sure how they pick which ones go in that story. But it's happened to me multiple times. So it depends on where you are. But it's very easy. When you're uploading your video, you just click that little button, and then you a new have up. Here's the options, you have location, temperature, the time, you can add a hashtag, which I think is super important. If you want to be featured on that, that hashtag story. You can add a pole, you can add a bunch of they usually have a bunch of like, almost like bit Mogi type stickers that you can add, which are super fun. And then obviously you can add emojis, but I believe I'm not sure if you can add bit mo Geez, which I think are really fun as well. But you can do that. In other ways if you want to do that off of Instagram, but I would recommend almost every time that I post a picture or a video on Insta stories, I use one of those, especially the location, or hashtag, I think that's, that's something that I would do. But also the hashtag, because those are ways that you can get your name out there, it's very similar to using it for regular photos. So those are some of my tips that I have for Instagram stories, I think my biggest tip is to just do it, try it out, you know whether or not you want to put your face on camera, I recommend doing it. With twins this collective I never put my face out there ever on our Instagram. But once I started doing on the stories, I feel like it's grown our Instagram so much more because people can connect with me. But also, it still keeps our Instagram looking fresh and clean, which is exactly what I wanted in the first place. That's kind of how Instagram works, you want it to look nice. And that's it's kind of a photographer's dream to to make your Instagram account looks so professional and consistent. And I get a lot of compliments on that because I do that a lot. But with Instagram stories, I can also then put my face on there and say, Hey guys, this is who is the person running this account. This is the person who is doing all the work behind the scenes. So I definitely recommend that you start doing stories and just try try the new things that you can do with it, I would suggest googling tips and start with watching other people's stories because that's the best way to learn is by observing and watching and learning and growing. So those are my tips today for Instagram stories. I think I covered everything that I can think of when it comes to how I use the stories on Twin Cities collective. I usually post about five stories a day, I would say, sometimes less, sometimes more, I would say I usually max it out at about five or six. And I definitely try to do at least one or two videos. But if I'm looking really bad that day, and I don't want to be on camera, I put up photos or previously taken stuff. I also make sure to add text that's so important because you know if people are at work, and they can't turn the volume up, you can still get your point across by adding the text. And again, it is only 10 seconds, so you don't have a lot of time to talk. One thing that I did get a question on that I did want to talk about is with responding to stories. A lot of people weren't sure what that what the what happens. But what it does is it basically sends you a DM so there's no real way to comment on on an Instagram story. And so that was something I just wanted to touch on. And one thing that I wish Instagram did was I really, really wish that they did something like with Have you guys ever played HQ? It's a live trivia game that's super popular right now. And basically what you can see is this. There's the is the comment and live. And I'm wondering if I wish they could do it where you could have the comments, like somehow or you could choose to see them or not? I don't know. But that's just one thing I did want to mention is that with Instagram stories, you can't really can't really comment on them, you have to send them a direct message. And it's kind of it's kind of annoying, because then no one can see your answer. I guess the only way you can do that is with polls. So if you are looking to kind of interact with someone, it's going to send them a direct message if you respond to their story. So that's why if you do want people to send you messages, that's probably the best way to do it, because I actually get a lot of messages from my stories. So I don't know, that's just my thought on

the the commenting on stories, and that part of it. So those are my tips, we are going to be talking more about the other strategy parts at our second and third Instagram workshop here to co work those are sold out. But we still have a few tickets left in our media kit workshop, as well as we are doing YouTube one next week. And also hopefully, what I really would love and I know that a lot of people struggle with this is their website. So I'm hoping that either in March or April, I will be doing a Squarespace. Do it yourself workshop. So I've been using Squarespace for I don't even know three years. And I think it's the best platform if you're starting out as a newbie, and you don't want to spend the time learning WordPress and all of my websites have been on Squarespace since I started using it. And I feel like I have a very good handle on the platform. And so I am really excited to teach people all of them some of my tricks and how to kind of just set it up for yourself if you've never set up a website, and you can't really afford to hire a web designer, this is something that I think would be really beneficial to a lot of people. So I'm really hoping that that will go up either in late March, early April. So that's going to be our next like big workshop series. And I'm hoping that a lot of people will be interested in that because I think that having a website is so important for your business. So let me know if you're interested in that. I definitely think I'm going to do it. So that's happening. And also we're going to be doing hopefully some more just like networking events as well. So hoping that will be really fun and something that people will be looking forward to so thanks guys so much for listening to this episode of the Twin Cities click the podcast with Jenna Redfield. again next week we will have a guest and I'm hoping it'll be a really good time. So thanks, guys and I'll talk to you next week. Thank thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Again this was recorded studio co work in Golden Valley You can learn more at Studio co work com thanks again to Nikolai hi last for the use of the music and the intros, outros, and to Melanie lead of my ability designs for the cover art design. Thanks again guys and we'll see you next time.