You might already have heard of Instagram’s latest feature, Instagram Stories, which has been a hot topic since its release. Very similar to Snapchat, this feature let’s you share images and videos that disappears 24 hours after being published. While Snapchat already works the exact same way, this could be a great update for those who already have a decent following on Instagram. Let’s look at how you can take advantage of Instagram Stories and engage your followers.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is a way for you to share pictures and videos with your followers, without disrupting the quality of your feed. You can either upload pictures from your phone that are taken during the last 24 hours (swipe down to reveal images) or take an image or video in the app itself.

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Instagram Stories by the people you follow is located in the top of the home feed. Simply press their icon/profile picture to view their story.

This is how Instagram describes their new feature:

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

How to Take Advantage of Instagram Stories

With the reach getting worse and worse for each day, and interactions being on an all time low for most users, Instagram Stories can be a real game changer.

What Content Should You Post?

So, what types of content should you post with your audience? First, I don’t believe there’s only one correct way to use Instagram Stories and a lot depends on what you already share on your Instagram profile. For photographers who normally post their best images, Instagram Stories can be the perfect place to share more information about the image, such as how you took it, stories from the trip or other facts that your followers find interesting.

Personally, I’ve found Instagram Stories to be a great place to bring my followers with me on my travels, share tips and tricks on photography and post production and also answer the questions I often get in my inbox. This lets me interact with the audience on a whole new level and they get to know the guy behind the camera.

Here’s some examples of what content you can share:

  • Behind the Scenes images and videos
  • Tips & Tricks or short tutorials about your photography or post production
  • Q&A with your followers
  • Your experiences when out travelling
  • An insight in your daily life
  • Before & After of your images

This list can go on and as I mentioned above the most important is to show who you are and give you’re audience another reason to interact with you.

Content marketing is another great use of Instagram Stories. When I’m out travelling or photographing for a company, or testing products in the field, I can post more without overwhelming peoples feed.

Instagram Stories or Snapchat?

When I first saw that Instagram had released their new feature, Instagram Stories, I got a bit disappointed and saw this as another desperate move to try to be it all. However, after giving it some thought I realised it has a huge potential and might be a game changer for both Instagram and Snapchat, and the users.

Instagram Stories is a huge advantage for those who already have a good audience on Instagram. After less than 10 hours my first upload to Instagram Stories had more than 3000 views. In the same amount of time I would be lucky to reach 120 people on Snapchat, as I haven’t been a member there for more than a few months. So, for me I find it much more useful to now only use Instagram Stories rather than spending time trying to build a new audience on a new platform.

However, if your audience is bigger on Snapchat, Instagram’s new feature might not be as useful for you. The good news, though, is that you can easily upload your snapchat content to your Instagram story.

How to Upload Snapchat Content to Instagram Stories

For those who will continue using Snapchat it’s easy to share the same content on both Instagram and Snapchat.

  1. Take an image or video and share it on Snapchat
  2. Save the image or video on your phone
  3. Open Instagram Stories
  4. Swipe down to reveal images and videos from your phone
  5. Upload the content you published on Snapchat

What do you think about Instagram Stories? Will you be using this feature? Let us know in the comments how you plan to take advantage of this new feature.