Beginner's Guide to Instagram Stories: 
Updated: Sep 5, 2019
If you are reading this blog post, you are most likely wanting to know more about Instagram stories. Did we guess right? If yes, then you have come to the right place. Instagram currently has one billion active monthly users, 500 million Instagram accounts use Instagram stories every day, and 1/3 of most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses. A lot of information, right? Have no fear, Instagram is extremely easy to navigate around once you explore the app more. In this article, we will highlight a specific feature on Instagram known as an Instagram story.
What is an Instagram story?
Let's begin with the first question you may have, "What is an Instagram story"? Well class, we're happy you asked! Instagram stories are photos or videos that last for 24 hours and appear in chronological order from oldest to newest. For example, an Instagram story could be a photo of a rose in your backyard. You can share this image with your followers for 24 hours and then *poof*, that image goes away to Instagram never-land. The difference between an Instagram story and Instagram post is an Instagram post can be commented on and liked by your followers and remains on your profile forever unless deleted.
How do you make an Instagram story?
Login to your Instagram account and select the 'Home' icon in the left corner. On your newsfeed, select the [Your Story] with your profile picture in the top toolbar. Now, you are in story mode. You can either take a picture/video live or select a photo from your camera role.The ideal dimensions for Instagram Stories are 1080px wide by 1920px tall. An aspect ratio of 9:16.
If you would like to post a photo/video from your camera roll, select the small square icon in the lower-left corner. If you would like to take a photo or video live, select the large white circle on the bottom. Experiment with the bottom text. If you select, 'Boomerang', Instagram will allow you to create a Boomerang. Live stream to your followers by selecting 'Live'. Add music to your Instagram story. The possibilities are endless!
Let's create an Instagram story on the SociaLite Chicago Instagram. As you can see, we are posting an image of the SociaLite Chicago website. There is a smiley face drawn and a clock added to the image. How do you decorate your Instagram story? Select the smiling circle and square, the marker icon, or the [Aa] icon. The smiling circle and square add stickers to your photo or videos. Notice the clock icon in the photo. To draw on your photo or video, select the marker icon. To add text to your Instagram story, select the [Aa] icon. To save the photo or video, select the downward-facing arrow. Finally, select 'Your Story' to officially add your Instagram story to your profile for 24 hours. If you want to send the Instagram story to just a few people, select the 'Send To' arrow.
Do you want to delete your Instagram story? Go back to the home feed and select the 'Your Story' icon in the upper-left corner. Swipe up on the Instagram story you would like to delete. Select the garbage can icon to delete your Instagram story. Select the up arrow to send your Instagram story to another user. Select the down arrow to save your Instagram story. View how many people have seen your Instagram story by looking at the number next to the eyeball icon.
What is an Instagram highlight?
Instagram Stories Highlights allows you to group old stories together in a new section that sits below your Instagram bio. Those 24-hour-long Instagram Stories can now be stored on your Instagram account permanently by adding them to your Instagram stories highlight section. Let's make an Instagram Stories Highlight on the SociaLite Chicago Instagram account. Head to your live Instagram Story and select the icon in the lower-right corner labeled 'Highlight'.
Once selected, name your Instagram Stories Highlight. In this example, we named the new Highlight, 'SociaLite Fun!'.
Ta, da! You did it. Now your Instagram Story is officially on your Instagram Stories Highlights section on your profile. Select the 'View on Profile' option to see your Instagram Stories Highlight on your profile.
Notice the newly added Highlight below. All Instagram Stories Highlights are archived in this section. To add Instagram Stories made over 24 hours ago, select the [+] button labeled 'New' to create a new Instagram Stories Highlight. Follow the same procedure above to continue to add to your newly created Instagram Stories Highlight or create a new Highlight for your followers to engage with!
What are a few ideas for Instagram Stories?
Make live content
Create a poll on Instagram to ask what your followers think
Holidays or events
Give another user a shoutout by using the '@' button
Big announcements or other news
Why should I use the Instagram story feature?
50% of businesses on Instagram worldwide created at least one story during a typical month (EmbedSocial, 2019).
96% of US marketers surveyed plan to continue using Stories ads in the next 6 months (EmbedSocial, 2019).
Nearly 1.7 billion accounts use the Stories format daily (99firms, 2019).
1 in 4 Millennials and Gen Z-ers look for Stories of the products and services they want to buy (99firms, 2019).
You can update your followers in real-time!
There you have it, folks! This article will get you started with Instagram stories. Play around with the many features of Instagram stories to gain a better understanding. This super-cool piece is a great way to engage with your followers and showoff your personality. With a little creativity, you will be an Instagram story superstar in no time.