Instagram Story Features You Might Not Know About

Oooohhh weeeee!

There is *nothing* I love more (besides my dog, my husband, french fries, tacos, and wine…) than discovering a new Instagram Stories feature!!

And there’s some REALLY good ones (you won’t want to miss #5 and 6), so I’m sharing them with you today.

If you’re new to using Stories or feel like a bit of a beginner, I encourage you to check out this post first: 3 Ways Stories are Changing Instagram (in a GOOD way). I share some more background on *why* Instagram Stories are so important (and smart!) for your business.

10 Instagram Story Features - You Might Not Know About - Tips on how to Use Instagram Stories for Business - How to Add Highlight Cover Photos Without Cluttering Your Stories - How to Link to Instagram Story Highlights
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS; WHICH MEANS I MAY (AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU) EARN A COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. I ONLY RECOMMEND WHAT I LOVE + USE; AND APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT OF THE SHOP FILES!

USE THE INSTAGRAM STORIES ARCHIVE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE:

QUICK TECH TIP: How to View Instagram Story Archive

Go to your Profile > Click the Clock Icon with Arrow in the Upper Left.

Default view is to show past Stories, but you can also toggle to select “POSTS” if you ever archived an old post (instead of deleting it).

01 | Create a Style Guide Based on Your Personal “Bests”

Take note of past Stories you shared that you really liked. YOU can be your own best teacher.

I love scrolling though my old Stories and being my own biggest cheerleader, like omgggg that was good Kate!!! look at you – you were creative AF with those font combos!

01A | Take note of font or color combinations you put together to help develop your signature “Story style”. This can help eliminate decisions when creating content and makes your Stories more recognizable to your followers. Consistency helps us remember accounts!

01B | Look for themes in the type of content you share. Ask yourself if they align with either your business goals or personal topics you want to connect over. Being aware of those content buckets will help you do MORE OF THAT without having to constantly wonder “what should I post on Stories?”.

Creative repetition of a few content themes helps you stand out as the “go to” account or expert for that topic. Don’t be afraid to be (creatively) repetitious.

02 | See Past Insights, Poll Results, or Questions from Archives

Yeppp, that’s right. Even if your Story expired, you can still see how many views each Story received (can also view in Insights tab if you are a business account), check out poll results, and see answers/comments from the Question feature.

Scroll through your Archives:

  • Select the Story. The eye ball icon in the bottom left shows # of Viewers (you can no longer see actual accounts who viewed past the 24 hour limit)
  • Or click the eyeball icon > then tap the little stats chart to the left and see individualized insights (can also get to from the “Insights” section). You can see actions taken from this Story, Impressions, Navigation, etc.

BONUS: If you did a poll and missed the results, you can still go back to view. If you want to share, just screen shot and upload to a Story (if you click to “save” photo within the app, it won’t show with the results).

DOUBLE BONUS: On the “Questions” feature, you can even re-share/answer past “expired” results.

From the individual Story, click on the eyeball icon on the bottom left and you’ll see all the responses/questions sent in. You can choose to share them or respond individually even after the original Story has expired.

03 | Re-Share / Save or Organize Highlights from Archive

  • Re-share past content if you want to “refer back to” an earlier announcement or Story for a throwback of sorts. Click on individual Story > Share on bottom. Or tap three dots (…) and can opt to share as a Post in Feed too.
  • Save old Stories to your camera roll. This one kinda feels extra special because it reminded me just how much Instagram is there for us to connect with others. One night, Megan from @meganmartincreative shared that she lost all the photos on her phone from the past year… which included the majority of her son’s first year!! I was so sad for her, and then was like OMG wait!! She shares the cutest videos and photos on Stories of him… I reached out to tell her about the Archive feature + she was able to recover a lot of their little moments. Instagram at it’s finest!
  • Add older Stories to a newly created Stories Highlight. Admittedly, I don’t always have a great plan for what will go into my highlights. Often I recognize that a theme has naturally developed and I’ll go back and save related Stories to a new Highlight. Just go to your Archive, tap ‘Highlight’ in the bottom right + Add to Existing or Create new.

CLEAN UP YOUR STORIES

04 | Upload Multiple Photos At Once

I can’t stress this one enough. It has not only become one of my favorite updates Instagram has made, but I think it’s LEGIT important.

Too often I see people uploading individual Story frames that clearly all go together and are meant to “tell a story” (ya know, kinda the whole point of Stories) and yet there’s minutes of lag time in between each frame as they format text or re-record videos, etc.

When there’s lag time between posts that belong together, one of two things may happen:

ONE | Your followers only catch part of your message – they see the first couple frames before it rolls to the next person; and they miss your next uploads. Not everyone is on Stories 24/7 and there’s A LOT of Stories for them to get through – they may never get back to yours before the 24 hour expiration.

TWO | They catch the second half of your uploaded message, but now it’s disjointed or just doesn’t have the same impact as seeing the full big Story at once. We want to grab their attention, so telling a cohesive Story at once – especially if you’re encouraging them to take action – is really important to keep that momentum up.

BONUS | See how to upload multiple Instagram Stories with the mini video tutorial saved in my “IG STORIES TIPS” Highlight.

(oooh and YES – you can LINK to highlights. See #06 below for how!)

05 | Add Cover Photo to Your Highlights without Cluttering Your Stories

This 👏🏼is 👏🏼my 👏🏼FAVORITE.

Guys, I’m actually really sorry I didn’t share this earlier. I THOUGHT PEOPLE KNEW.

But gone are the days where you have to say “don’t mind my clutter, just updating my Story Highlight covers…”

How to update your Story Highlight Covers (without adding to Stories first):

ONE | Create your highlight or click on existing highlight.

TWO | Tap [… MORE] in bottom right corner.

THREE | Click ‘Edit Highlight’

FOUR | Click ‘Edit Cover’ 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. You can either select a different photo from within that highlight OR hit the little photo icon on the bottom left and your ENTIRE CAMERA ROLL WILL OPEN UP.

So whether you created colored covers within the Story app, created with Canva or Photoshop, or bought cute cover templates, you can update them seamlessly and without clutter. Just save the image to your camera roll + you’re ready to go! *cue all the excitement*

06 | Share a link to your Highlights

YESSSSSSSSSSS.

Okay. If you are making dope Stories that provide helpful information (think: sizing details, you answering FAQs, how-to tutorials, etc.) you can grab a link to that highlight and SHARE IT!

I think this is an AMAZING feature because (in case you still weren’t 100% bought in to Stories) it gives a little extra incentive to create Stories that have a purpose + intentionally provide value to your customers.

You could share a Highlight link in your emails or a blog post to not only help answer questions or supplement your content — but it also helps drive people over to your Instagram for a very specific purpose. And I love cross-promoting between platforms.

How to Copy a Link to Instagram Story Highlight:

ONE | Click on Highlight you want the link to

TWO | Tap [… MORE] in bottom right corner.

THREE | Select ‘Copy Highlight Link’

Instagram Stories Feature - How to Copy an Instagram Story Highlight Link

07 | Delete Date If Sharing Old Photos

Okay, this one certainly isn’t a firm rule.

And I’m sure most of you know this, but I still see it A LOT more than necessary. Most times when we’re sharing past photos from our camera roll, the date isn’t freaking relevant. It’s just cluttering up your image.

Unless it’s important context or you’re specifically sharing a throwback photo and want the date in there, please just delete it, okay?

Just press and hold the date + drag that sucker into the garbage can.

08 | “Erase” Clutter

This is my favorite 2.0

If you are sharing a screen shot of a DM conversation, a customer review, someone’s profile, etc… and there’s extra “stuff” that’s just not necessary — ERASE IT.

So this isn’t with the actual eraser tool, but rather take the pen tool — hit the ink dropper in the bottom left, tap the background of the area you want to “erase”, and now your ink will match 100% (sometimes with weird shadows/shades it’s not perfect, but this works REALLY well on the white backgrounds of DM conversations for instance).

Now just carefully go over the areas that are distracting from your main focus to “erase” them!

GramSlam is the course I took to elevate my Instagram Stories and use them with purpose to build + support my business. The course creator, Alex Beadon, is fantastic at showing video content creation at a high level, while still being attainable. I am an affiliate for this course because I strongly believe in the power of Instagram Stories as a means to CONNECT with your audience. It’s that connection that builds trust (especially if you use video!) which will translate into an easier selling process + a community of customers that can’t wait to support you.

MAKE YOUR STORIES STAND OUT

09| Resize / Tilt Photos

I love this simple trick when you want an easy way to make your Stories stand out or to make room for text on an otherwise busy photo.

If you choose to upload a photo or video from your Camera Roll, you can pinch the photo with two fingers to change the size (zoom in or out) and tilt the photo to a new angle.

Instagram will automatically pull some color tones from the photo to create a gradient background (have you been wondering how some people do that?).

It’s a fun, easy way to make your images stand out a little!

*PRO TIP* If you’re re-sharing a post or Story from another account, I HIGHLY recommend shrinking it down so it’s obvious that it’s a re-share. I often see full-screen shares and it be confusing for a bit without the obvious context that it’s being re-shared… like why is this person saying that about themselves? Ohhh never mind, it’s from someone else.

Don’t make your followers guess or figure out what the heck you’re trying to communicate!

FUN EXTRA FEATURE:

10 | View Current Public Story Reshares of an Instagram Post

If you have an Instagram post that’s getting a lot of action, there may be some Story re-shares that are out there circulating without you knowing. (people may not always tag you or you may miss the notification)

From the post in your Instagram feed, click the three dots in the upper right corner of the post.

If there are any current (aka live) Story reshares, you’ll have the option to click ‘View Story Reshares’ and view all the accounts currently sharing your post in their Stories.

10 Instagram Story Features You Might Not Know About - How to Add Instagram Story Highlight Covers without posting to Stories first

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