How to Schedule Engaging Instagram Stories

RSS

Social Media / RSS 137 Views

For digital marketers, Instagram Stories has become one of the most important social media tools. With more than 800 million active users, Instagram is a huge platform. It launched Instagram Stories in 2016, and the new feature is fast becoming the preferred storytelling platform for influencers and advertisers.

As an extension of your Instagram content, Instagram Stories has the added advantage that you can share events as they happen without filling up your regular Instagram feed with photos or videos that only have short-term interest.

Creating and scheduling an Instagram story takes a few steps, but it’s worth spending a few minutes to learn. This quick tutorial will teach you everything you need to know.

What Are Instagram Stories?

As we described in this post, Instagram Stories allow you to share video or photo collections. In addition to the usual Instagram filters, you can also add drawings, stickers, and emojis to enhance your stories. But the key difference between Instagram stories and regular posts is that stories are temporary—they disappear after 24 hours (just like Snapchat, Instagram’s competitor). Let’s take a closer look.

When you open the Instagram app, look at the top of the screen. Right underneath the Instagram banner (below the camera icon), you will see the word “stories”. Below that, there is a row of circles (starting with yourself) that show which of your Instagram friends have published stories.

Instagram stories are accessible from the top of your IG feed

Just tap one and it will pop open, along with a bar at the top of the screen, which shows how long the story runs. To scroll through photos, just tap the screen until the slideshow is over. As soon as the story ends, the next one will automatically start. You can also swipe right and left to toggle between stories. Watch a few stories to get a feel for how people use them.

Why Use Instagram Stories?

As a digital marketer, you can think of Instagram Stories as bonus content for your followers. Instagram stories can be used to share content from an event like a store opening. Or, you can give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at what you do, or a sneak preview of a product launch. These situations are great candidates for stories because they are “in-the-moment” events that become less interesting if you’re not following along while they happen. That means you can share things in real-time or throughout the day without fussing about choosing only the best images. This is valuable because you can regularly engage with people who are online without clogging your followers’ feeds.

Also, Instagram stories appear at the very top of the screen, which means it’s one of the first things people see when they open the app. That makes it another great opportunity to put your brand in front of your followers.

And, you can use Postcron to schedule your Instagram Stories so that you don’t miss opportunities to share engaging content with your followers.

How to Use Postcron to Schedule Your Instagram Stories

First, make sure that you have the Postcron app installed on your mobile device and login with Facebook, Twitter, or Google +. You can download Postcron for iOS from the App Store or Postcron for Android from Google Play.

Next, make sure that you have added your Instagram account to Postcron. To do this, go to the Instagram icon at the top of the screen and click on “profile,” and add your account name. After you add your account, you will see it appear along with the other social media networks you have connected to Postcron.

How to add a social media account to Postcron

Now you’re ready to start creating your Instagram story!

As usual, you can upload photos and videos to schedule for posting with Postcron. Choose the photo or video that you want to start your Instagram story. Don’t overthink it, but take the opportunity to be creative!

What is your “story” about? If you are sharing a special event, include photos or video from throughout the event so your followers feel like they were there with you. If it’s a sneak preview of a product launch, make sure that your followers know that they’re seeing something special. Looking for some inspiration? Have a peek at this short video for some ideas on how brands are using Instagram Stories.

Once you have selected the first photo or video, you can add text, hashtags, and geotags to go with it, but you can also do this step later—the flexibility is yours! Then, as usual, you select the date and time that you want to post it.

From Instagram post to Instagram story

When the posting time arrives, you will receive a notification that asks if you want to share it as a regular post or as a story. In this case, you want to share it as a story. Once you tap “your story,” the Instagram story editor will open. Here, you have another opportunity to add text, hashtags, geotags, drawings, stickers, or emojis. Want to point at someone specific? Draw an arrow! Want to replay a funny moment? Use the “boomerang” feature to create an entertaining GIF for your story. Here’s an example of what you can do:

Instagram stories let you add drawings to your photos for extra effect

Any text that you added when you uploaded the photo/video will still be available on your clipboard. All you need to do is tap “paste” to add it to your story. Then hit the post, and your story will be published for 24 hours!

You can add more photos and videos by repeating the steps. Each new photo or video will remain in your story for 24 hours.

Why Schedule Instagram Stories?

By scheduling your Instagram stories, you guarantee that you regularly put content in front of your followers. Once you are in the habit of scheduling content on a regular basis, your followers will look forward to seeing it. And if you consistently publish content that your followers engage with, your Instagram Stories will regularly appear at the top of their screen, which is exactly where you want to be.

With Instagram Stories, you also get to engage with your followers in a different way. Unlike regular Instagram posts, your followers can’t “like” an Instagram story. If they want to respond, they need to send you a direct message. Be sure to keep an eye out for these, and be ready to reply. To monitor your direct message, you can either swipe to the left from your timeline, or click on the button shown below.

screen shot of where to find button for Instagram direct messages

This kind of direct contact with your followers is the best kind of engagement there is and you don’t want to miss the opportunity, even if it’s just to thank them for following along.

How to Get the Most Out of Instagram Stories

Instagram also lets you know how many people have viewed your story. Monitor the numbers to track which stories your followers enjoy the most. Make note of what they were about, what kinds of photos and videos you featured, and what time of day you posted. All of this information will help you maximize the positive impact that Instagram stories can have on your business.

Have you tried scheduling your first Instagram story? How did it go? Tell us in the comments below! Also, let us know if there’s anything else you would like to know about using Instagram Stories!

Comments

Comments