Instagram Stories is an In-App feature within Instagram that was first launched in August 2016. This app lets users post photos and videos which vanish after 24 hours.

Today, more than 250 million Instagram users share their Stories to increase engagement and gain more followers. This feature is loved for its ease of use and effectiveness of getting users and brands in front of their audience to keep them engaged. Here are a few tips to help you better understand and create Instagram Stories like a pro to enhance engagement:

Use Instagram stickers

Stickers provide a great way to liven up your photos and videos before posting them on your Instagram Stories. You can use the stickers from the smiley icon to boost engagement. You can also add a customized hashtag, poll, selfie and location stickers to your stories to gain more followers and increase engagement. These stickers open up your Instagram stories to other people who are doing the same thing and not just your follower.

For instance,

  • The location and hashtag help your story appear in Instagram searches for users using the same hashtag or are in the same location.
  • The poll sticker adds a 2-option poll to a user’s Instagram Story. It provides a great way to gauge whether your audience is engaging with the content on your Stories.
  • The selfie sticker allows you to take a selfie of your friend or someone else, which you can then use as an accessory on your Instagram Story.

Record hands-free

If you have used Instagram’s video recorder before, you know that you need to tap and hold on the record button throughout a recording. This can be very tiring especially when you are creating a lively video that needs more hand mobility. Fortunately, Instagram now allows people to record videos hands-free. It provides a hands-free feature in the camera lens option. All you need to do is tap the button when starting your recording and tapping when you want to stop.

Use the pen

This pen can be used to add more symbols, words, and embellishment to your Story. When you click on the pen icon on your screen after capturing a photo, it will open up a variety of options, including a variety colour and thickness of the pen stroke. Play around with your pen to stress on certain words or even highlight certain elements in your photo or video.

Allow viewers to share your stories

When you activate the share button on your Instagram story, you allow your followers to share your Story with their friends or family as a Direct Message. This not only helps increase your views but also engagement. To activate this feature, open your profile and tap the gear button. Move to the “story setting” and switch on the “Allow sharing” button.

Spice up your background colour

Instagram Story gives users the option to add or change the background colour of their Story. To add a background, click on the pen icon and then choose a colour. Then, doodle anywhere on your screen and hold down your finger until your preferred background colour appears. Use the eraser to add text or characters from the background.

Give other Instagram users a shout-out in your story

Instagram allows users to tag no more than 10 accounts in their stories. To mention someone in your story, tap on the “A” icon on the top of your screen. Starting with “@” enter the user’s first letter and scroll through the accounts that appear until you see the one you want to tag. Tap on it to add it to your Story.

Decorate your text

There are various ways you can jazz up the text on your Instagram Story. You can add some colour to your words, drop a shadow to the text on your story or turn the text into a rainbow.

Check your Instagram story viewers

Knowing who viewed your story is a great way to know what your audience is interested in. It will help you create the type of photos or videos that appeal to them and consequently boost engagement.

Centre your stickers and text

When you put your text or anything too high in your Story’s frame or too low, it gets cut off whenever viewers check your Story. Use the blue lines that appear vertically or horizontally in the frame when moving around to centre your word.

Incorporate music into your Story

Music makes your Instagram Stories more fun and interesting. To do this, turn on the music on your phone’s local streaming app and begin recording. When editing, check to see that the sound icon is turned on so that viewers can hear your music. If you do not want the music to be heard, tap on the sound icon “X” to mute it.

You can also use the photos and videos on your phone’s gallery to create Instagram Stories. Tap on the Instagram Story camera lens and click on the square icon on the bottom left side of your screen. Choose the photo or video you want to share, edit it using Instagram’s edits and then post it to your Story.

When properly executed, these tips will help you create killer Instagram Stories that will attract more followers and keep the existing ones hooked to your account. These are just some of the ways you can make your Instagram Stories stand out. Keep checking your Instagram for the latest updates and leverage them to gain a bigger following and engage more with your followers.