One Girl, Two Cities

5 Tips To Improve Your Instagram Stories

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When Instagram stories went live, I essentially stopped using Snapchat. The Herbivorous Butcher has a couple hundred Snapchat followers, and as I publish this post, we’re creeping up on 27,000 IG followers. Switching to Stories was a no brainer.

I enjoy perusing the Stories of accounts we follow and try to engage to deepen our connections with people. This means that I frequently come across Stories that could use a minor tweak or two to be more visually-friendly.

Stories are brief snapshots of people’s or business’ accounts and they’re only available to see for 24 hours, but you may as well make the most of them, right? What follows is a few tips for providing quality content for the people who take time out of their day for you.

1. Be strategic about where you place your text and the colors you use.

  • The line across the top and your account’s name take up space, so avoid moving your text to to the very top of your screen or they will overlap.
  • Try to change your font color so it contrasts the background of wherever you place it. If there are many colors going on in the background, consider coloring in behind the text to make it pop.

2. Limit the amount of text.

  • Stories scroll by quickly, so there isn’t much time to read text. I recommend going back and look at your own Story. Do you have enough time to read everything you wrote before it jumps to the next picture?
  • A short amount of text is great to help add extra information to your Story, but remember that people really just want to see and not read your content.

3. Don’t repurpose from Snapchat to IG.

  • If we see stickers on your Story, or the black bar of text, we know what you’re up to! Have patience, I’m confident that IG will add more options at some point. People follow you for a reason, and you owe it to them to provide original content.

4. Be thoughtful about the amount of Stories you post.

  • This is probably more of a personal preference, but if I see more than 6 dashes across someone’s story, I usually swipe through it. Sometimes I look at Stories as a quick time killer and don’t want to see someone’s 15-video recipe series or the 2-hour entirety of a concert.

5. Play around with size and tilt of your text.

  • You can shrink and enlarge your text, and I recommend erring on the side of shrinking it, even if only slightly. I follow a few people whose text ends up outside the borders of my screen so I can’t read it.
  • Sometimes your text may fit in a better place on your screen if you tilt it (hold two fingers on either side of it, then turn).

Bonus: Now that Instagram shows Stories in the Explore tab, color in behind your handle so it stand out better. That way, people can follow you more easily.

tips-for-instagram-stories-1

Make sure your text doesn’t overlap with the Story bar or your handle.

tips-for-instagram-stories-7

Color in behind your handle so it stands out.

Since most of the background is white, I changed my text to black so it pops.

Most of the background is white, so choosing a black text makes it pop. I also tilted it to follow the aesthetic of the edge of the feta.

Since the background is light, it would make more sense to color in black behind the text, or change the text to black.

The background is light here, making the text hard to read. It would make more sense to color in black behind the text, or change the text to black.

Since most of the background is white where the text it, the text would be better in black. Also notice how it runs into the account's handle.

Since most of the background is white where the text is, the text would be better in black. Also notice how it runs into the account’s handle/avatar.

Every phone is a little different, so this is an example of why it's a good idea to make your text smaller.

Every phone is a little different, so this is an example of why it’s a good idea to make your text smaller. It can help keep it from going outside the screen.

What are your thoughts in general on Instagram Stories? Were you a Snapchat user-turned Story user? Do you use both or neither? And if you have any other tips, I’d love for you to share in the comments!

My personal account is @1girl2cities and my work account is @theherbivorousb.

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5 thoughts on “5 Tips To Improve Your Instagram Stories

  1. Beth

    These are really good tips, I’m trying to use IG stories more for a broader audience and I still use Snapchat with most just my close friends. So I think IG stories is definitely a better tool for my “brand” – these tips are great and I’ll have to try them out!

  2. katie

    I haven’t dived into Instagram stories, but I love your tips! I’m not a repurpose person, I try to keep all channels unique, but its still good to know that the black bar is a giveaway of reusing snapchat.

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