Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Instagram Story Tips + Tricks to Make You Look like a Pro

If you couldn't tell, Instagram is probably my favorite social media platform, but it can also be super intimidating. Everyone always wants to post the best photos and have the most aesthetically pleasing feed, including me. The one thing I love about Instagram is the "stories". Stories are where I can be real and open about what I'm doing every day, and explain a little more than a photo tile. 

I've been asked a handful of times how I make my Instagram stories eye-catching, engaging, and awesome. The truth is that I am really good at finding out things via the internet, trial and error, and random luck. In this blog post, I'm going to share some of the tips and tricks to posting quality Instagram stories.

     What are some good things to post on my stories?
I strive to catch my follower's eyes when I post stories. Yes, my daily life can be a little boring (when I work from 8AM - 5PM) but inspiration can strike at any moment. Some good ideas for stories are:
  • Daily updates - if your life is interesting
  • Outfit of the day pictures 
  • Small shopping hauls - keyword: small
  • Unboxings - everyone loves happy mail
  • Jokes - if you don't follow @thedailytay, you probably should
  • Casual conversation and questions - if you need advice, stories are a great way to quickly reach out and get answers

What people probably don't want to see:
  • Tons of video clips from the concert you went to
  • Tons of photos and videos of fireworks
  • Your minute-by-minute daily routine
Just being honest, ya know?

     Tips + Tricks
I feel like when a new feature is discovered, everyone thinks they are sly by not sharing or explaining how to use the new feature. While I'm sure I don't know every trick, I am going to share the ones that I commonly use in my stories with you.
  • Select colors from your photo - using the eyedropper (the left-most "color"), move your finger around the photo until the bubble turns to the color you like.
  • Get a solid color background - when you have the color you want to be selected, use the regular pen (left-most at the top) and hold down on the photo. If you want, use the eraser to erase part of the background to display your photo.
  • Get a shaded color overlay - the same concept as above, except you, can see the photo through the color. Instead of clicking the regular pen, select the chiseled tip pen and hold down on the photo. This should create a shaded overlay.
  • Use stickers and gifs - once you've taken your pictures or video, swipe up on the photo to reveal the add-on menu. Scroll past the interactive stickers to find loads of quotes, emojis, and other fun things to add to your story. If you want a gif, click the "gif" button and you'll be able to search for whatever gif you want.
  • Know when to mute the sound, or add music - taking a video in a loud place? I suggest muting the sound to avoid subjecting your followers to the loud noises. All you have to do is click the speaker at the top of the story to turn the sound off. Instagram stories also have this new feature where you can add music straight to the snap. Swipe up and select the "music" button to pick your song, it's that easy.
  • Use polls / rate slider / ask me anything - I've learned that using these small interactive stickers is a great way to see how many people watch your story and also how many people want to ENGAGE with you. Check them out and add them to your next story to check for yourself.
  • Tag your location - want your story to be seen by more local people? A good way to do this is to tag your location on the photo. Search for a location, or rely on your phone's GPS to suggest locations, this will help your followers know where you are.
  • Hide hashtags in your stories - another way to get your stories seen by more people. Since most popular hashtags have a story, I encourage you to take advantage of this free traffic to your page. Type your hashtags out as text, if you don't want them to be seen, shrink the text super small and hide them in a corner of the photo or behind a sticker. It works almost every time.
  • Share photos from your feed (or someone else's) to your story - sometimes photos don't show up in everyone's Instagram feed. To share a photo from your feed to your story, go to the photo in your feed, click the little paper airplane, and the first option should be "share to story". Once the photo is there, you can change the background color or tap the photo to change the style.

     What apps do I use to edit my stories?
It seems that when I ask people what apps they use to edit, no one wants to tell me because, apparently, it's a huuuge secret. I'm not about that life. You've asked and now I'm sharing.
  • Hype Type - adds moving text to photo. The only downside to this app is that you have to pay to remove the logo (which I do not). 
  • CutStory - clips videos into 15-second segments. Perfect for if you use Snapchat to record videos (because we all know the filters are better). I did pay a total of 99¢ to remove the logo, it was worth it.
  • Unfold - I seriously love this app for different styles for stories. You can add photos or videos from your camera roll into different frames, giving your stories a unique vibe. Any area you don't add a photo to will be white. The best part is that this app is free.
I remember when Instagram Stories first launched and people were confused and bloggers were nervous. Now, Stories have become a primary form of content for some people, myself included. While talking to your phone and documenting everything may seem weird at first, I do encourage you to give it a try! I love sharing my "secrets", so let me know if have any questions.


  1. This was totally the perfect post for you to write. IG is so your thing! I love watching your stories babe. XO.

  2. Bookmarking this! I feel like I am failing at stories but I LOVE watching other people's stories!!

  3. So helpful! I am going to start using Unfold app, and shaded color overlay is also something I'm excited to try. Thank you for sharing :D

  4. Victoria, this is very useful information. I am a big fan of stories and the Unfold app. There is nothing better than having a template pre made in which to plug in information. As I see you post a lot about travel and social media marketing, I have subscribed to your blog. Thanks again for this great information and content!

    🤘Jess ||