Instagram is an incredible platform to showcase photographs that represent you and your business and/or interests.
An interactive addition to Instagram is Instagram Stories, paired with Story Highlights. Story Highlights create an easy way to archive and categorize your favorite story posts to last forever as well as add a personal touch to your Instagram profile!
Instagram Stories is a feature within the Instagram app where users can capture and post related images and video content in a slideshow format. Content is available for only 24 hours from the time of posting. Stories allow the addition of text, drawings and emoticons to images or video clips.
Unlike regular Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights can live permanently on your profile. They’re like curated collections of Instagram Stories that your followers — both old and new — can tap into and watch any time they like.
Here are the 4 ways that Instagram Stories can improve your profile and how to effectively utilize these factors:
1. Categorize your Instagram Profile with Story Highlight Covers
Through the use of highlights, you can create a variety of categories for your story, which is a great way to separate business, personal life, hobbies, etc. Highlights allow for a cleaner and more professional look to your Instagram profile.
Instagram also allows for the use of Highlight Covers. These are previously posted stories you can choose to be the cover, which is what your followers first see when they click to view your highlight. A Highlight Cover can be a favorite photo or a graphic designed to fit with your Instagram page to create a clean and simple look. For the KHP Instagram, we used a FREE Canva.com Instagram Stories Template to design black-and-white graphics that fit the circle preview you see on our profile:
2. Increase Engagement Through Interactive Story Elements
By utilizing Instagram Stories, engagement is immediately increased. For example, Instagram will sometimes notify followers that you have posted to your story if you haven’t posted in a while. Instagram Stories also allow for a variety of interactions through polls, questions, quizzes, chats, hashtags, mentions, locations, and so much more. You can also view how many people have seen your story. The more people who see and engage with your stories, the more likely you are to consistently appear in their feed through your posts and stories (thanks Instagram algorithm!).
If you have a business Instagram, you can check insights on your stories:
3. Archive Special Memories to Story Highlights
Instagram Stories is great because you can post a silly story that will only last for 24 hours, or you can post an important memory and save it to a Story Highlight for your followers to view whenever. It is also a great way to archive promotions. Maybe you have a special promo code, a class you are teaching, or a meet-up; Instagram Highlights is a great way to keep the story up for longer than 24 hours and promote until the event ends, then you can delete it.
*Once you have created a story and you wish to save it to a highlight, simply go to the highlight you want to save it to, click “More” in the bottom right corner, click “Edit Highlight,” then you are shown your selected stories in the highlight, click “Archive,” then add the stories you wish to have on your highlight.
A great way to promote a new class, meet-up, blog post, etc. is to add the link to the story. This can be achieved by clicking the link icon in the top row when editing your story. This will then allow your followers to swipe up on your story and be redirected to the web page you linked.
4. Share More of Your Unique Personality
Instagram Stories is an amazing way to convey your personality to your followers, which may otherwise be lost in translation throughout your feed. This is especially helpful in a business Instagram profile where you may not always be allowed to let your personality shine in your posts, or a profile where you wish to maintain a certain aesthetic and feel that showing personality would disturb. If you find a particular post you wish to share to your followers, whether it’s a quote you admire, someone’s post involving you, an announcement, or anything else, add this content on your story:
For the KHP Instagram, we show personality through our variety of Highlight categories:
- The Team: Featuring contributors to Kelly Heck Photography.
- Words: Inspirational and motivational quotes.
- Cinema: Video project features.
- Favorite Photos: Kelly’s favorite photos.
- Behind the Lens: Behind-the-scenes on photo shoots.
- Adventure: Personal peeks into Kelly’s life.
- Learn: Education, tips, and anything to help you grow.
By introducing where we are through quick videos, posting our favorite quotes, showing what happens behind the scenes, and adding in pictures and videos of our adventures, we can connect more deeply with our followers. Stories, and highlights, allow us the freedom to re-share, but also show personality in posts that wouldn’t exactly fit with the business feed of the KHP Instagram.
Once you begin incorporating Instagram Stories and Story Highlights into your consistent posting, you will greatly improve upon active engagement from your followers. Your profile will be enhanced through Highlight Story Covers as well as the organization and categorization of the various aspects of your profile!
For more help on Instagram Stories, go to: