Tips for Instagram Stories

In the latest chapter of social media is the Instagram Story – the question for your small business though, may be how do you tell a good Instagram Story from a bad one?

The story function can be found at the top of the timeline on your Instagram timeline. By holding down on the circle that says ‘Your Story’ you can add a seven second image, film clip or textual post.

Instagram Stories need to be part of your social media strategy for many reasons. They mean you can give a personal touch to your business posts, and add human interest style stories. As each story remains for 24 hours, you don’t have to worry about posting at the right time, people can leisurely view the stories at any time over that day. It’s a great platform for posting exclusive news, (a new product teaser), start a live video from a live event, share memories or throwback posts, be spontaneous and post something on the day that you think is right, and engage with your audience and keep the brand alive.

So, how to tell a Good Instagram Story? Here’s our guide:

Style Guide and Content Calendar

Although it is great to be a bit more spontaneous with the stories function, and post something as and when you have something great to capture, or to stream live from a business event, as with all social media channels, it’s also good to plan, to be able to post relevant, evergreen content.

Include stories when creating your overall Instagram strategy and content calendar combining grid posts and stories, remember, people who don’t follow you can also view your stories, so they are important.One tip is to include polls and questions in your stories to boost interactions and engagement.

A style guide is recommended to keep a consistent look and feel to your stories, and be on brand. Using the same colours and fonts that reflect your business will mean regular followers and viewers will instantly recognise your stories if they keep to the same style and feel, and will increase brand awareness. There are also certain fonts that look good and some they do not, ensure you use the right ones.

Hashtags and GIFS

Adding hashtags and GIFS make a good Instagram Story, as they can help reach a wider audience. Just ensure you use them properly. It would be wise to create a list of popular, approved and relevant hashtags in your style guide that you can use regularly and double check them before you post, imagine the embarrassment of using #LOL for lots of love, instead of laugh out loud (classic mistake.)

GIFS are part of modern technology, so you can show your business is up to date, by using them in your stories. They can add a personal, fun touch to your posts. They can also be used to link your audience to another post. Currently, unless you have 10,000 or more followers, you can not add hyperlinks or outbound links to stories, but you could create a GIF guiding people to your profile, or to ‘swipe up’ to more information. 


One tip for a good Instagram Story is to ensure you source top images and photos. Good visuals are key, those seven seconds when people are viewing your story, need to leave an impact and lasting effect. You can get some advice on good places to source pictures here

Templates and apps

To give that finishing touch to your stories, there’s a number of apps you can use. Using particular templates too, can help create consistent content that enhances the brand feel and gives a polished look. Apps and templates are there to help you, for example VSCO enhances your video and photos and Canva helps with designing a post. Don’t be afraid to use them!


As always, we suggest looking at story analytics to ensure you learn and can improve from the statistics. They analytics will show how people are engaging, and which stories they like the most. Positive replies and lots of engagement shows a successful post.

Join in with our FREE Instagram Challenge next week to find out how to use Instagram Stories to attract your ideal client.