Stories is one of the few places where Instagram allows a clickable link, so knowing how to add a link to Instagram Stories is a business essential for building your email list and sales. Here’s how to add a link to an IG Story and style it to match your branding.
How to add a link to Instagram Stories in three easy steps
Once you have created your Instagram Story and are ready to add a link:
Click on the Stickers button in the top navigation of four circles
2. Choose the link sticker and type in or paste your link. You can share the link as it is or customise the sticker text. Click ‘Done’ when you’re finished.
3. Customise the link’s styling by tapping the link – there are three options to suit various backgrounds.
Custom styling the Instagram Story sticker link
Instagram gives you three native link styles: bright blue, black with a pink and orange rainbow and white text on a transparent background. You can use any of these quickly and easily.
But with a few simple hacks, you can style the white text to work with your branding, so it’s visible against the background and appears in your brand colours. The first custom styling option is to use the Draw tool with one of your brand colours to swipe a fat line or two that is a bit longer that your link sticker. You can move the link sticker to sit on top of the coloured line.
The second custom styling option uses the text tool with a background. Hit the period / full stop and then as many spaces as you need to create a coloured block to run behind the white link. change the colour to one of your brand colours and put behind the white link. You may need to juggle the text slightly to hide it behind the link text.
The third custom styling option uses a block of colour from a sticker or a custom graphic of your own. You can search Instagram’s own stickers for colour blocks with text such as ‘orange rectangle’ – or whatever your brand colour might be. If you need to delete any unwanted stickers, drag them towards the bottom of the screen and a trash can in a circle will appear. Drag the sticker into the trash to delete. To add your own colour blocks, you’ll want shapes saved as PNGs with a transparent background.
Please note that for the PNG’s transparent background to stay hidden, you’ll need to cut and paste the sticker from your camera roll rather than adding it as a sticker or photo through Instagram’s sticker menu. You can do this by going into your camera roll, selecting the png file and clicking on ‘Copy photo’ in the menu at the bottom of the screen. Return to the Instagram app, click on the screen and hit ‘Paste’.
Can everyone post links on Instagram Stories?
Yes, every account can post links in Instagram Stories. Instagram introduced this in 2021, after the link only previously been available to accounts with more than 10,000 followers. Although Instagram does warn that new accounts and accounts that repeatedly share content that violates its Community Guidelines will not have access to the link sticker.
Why your business should be adding links to Instagram Stories
As much as you might love Instagram, your account can disappear at any time. You could be hacked or Instagram / parent company Meta could choose to remove your account. Therefore, you want to move as many followers as you can onto your own mailing list and links are an essential part of doing that.
Instagram offers links in your profile – up to five of them – and on Stories. It doesn’t offer them on regular grid posts, Carousels or Reels and Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has said (in 2023) that it’s extremely unlikely to add links to the feed.
In order to move followers from your Instagram account to your own mailing list, you want to be adding links to Instagram Stories regularly, that take viewers to a sign-up form to collect details such as a name and email address. You can entice them to do this with what’s known as a lead magnet or freebie, which they receive in return for their personal details. This might be something like an ebook, a template or checklist.
Whenever you are sharing a Story that relates to your lead magnet, share your lead magnet opt-in page so that anyone who is interested in that topic has the option of joining your mailing list and downloading your lead magnet.
Using Instagram Story link stickers also helps with engagement on your Stories: clicking those links is engagement and Instagram does love engagement!
Instagram Story views: everything you need to know in 2023
When you understand Instagram Story views on your account, you can use this to improve your content and have it shared more and grow, which is what we all want, right? Let’s go through everything you need to know about Instagram Story views, including what Instagram Story views are, how to see them, why you should be using Instagram Stories in 2023 and how to be seen by others. In other words, understanding Instagram Story views is a big step towards growing your Instagram account with your ideal followers.
WHAT ARE INSTAGRAM STORY VIEWS?
Instagram Story views are the number and names of accounts that have seen a particular Story. They’re visible for up to 48 hours, via Instagram’s Archive feature.
HOW TO SEE INSTAGRAM STORY VIEWS
There are two ways to see Instagram Story views.
The first, is by clicking on your Story while it’s live – in other words, in the first 24 hours of its life either in the Instagram phone app itself or on the desktop. You’ll see the total views and a list of accounts that have seen it.
You can also click on the Instagram hamburger menu (the set of narrow lines on the top right), choosing Archive / Stories / Stories Archive from a drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Story views are visible in the archive for 48 hours.
HOW TO TRACK INSTAGRAM STORY VIEWS
Given that Instagram Story views disappear after 48 hours, you have several options for tracking them. One is to track them manually, adding figures to a spreadsheet or Airtable every 24-48 hours. Another is to use a third-party tool such as Later’s scheduler in the Growth or Advanced plans. Later’s Free and Starter plans exclude this tracking.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR INSTAGRAM STORY VIEW DATA
Continuous monitoring of your Instagram Story views gives you a feedback loop on your most popular content and top Story followers. This helps you see your most successful content and the content that failed, so you can create more successful Stories and fewer failures. It also allows you to test new types of content, happily knowing that it will be clear within 24 hours whether you should continue.
WHEN TO POST ON INSTAGRAM STORIES FOR THE MOST VIEWS
One of the easiest ways to help increase Story views on your Instagram account is to post when your followers are online. You can find out when this is by checking your analytics. Analytics can be seen via the hamburger menu / Insights / Total followers and scrolling down to ‘Most active times’. Here, you’ll see a graph showing the days and hours when your followers are online the most.
This gives you a range of best times to post. From these, you can choose when you’re going to post and test what times consistently bring you in the most Story views.
HOW MANY INSTAGRAM STORIES SHOULD YOU POST A DAY?
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri suggested in mid-2021 that posting two Stories a day is right for growing your account. Other Instagram experts suggest posting regularly throughout the day so that whenever your followers visit Instagram – and usually it’s multiple times a day – there’s a new Story from you for them to see. Ultimately, you need to choose what is right for you, your business and your lifestyle. If you’re unsure, perhaps start with twice a day, at the start and end of business hours and see how that works.
A good rule of thumb for the maximum number of Stories a day, suggested by Fohr founder James Nord is that if you can’t easily count the number of white lines along the top of an account’s Stories, there are too many. Instagram allows you to post up to 100 Stories a day before it starts deleting the oldest ones, even before their 24 hours of life have expired.
WHAT HELPS YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES RANK HIGHER IN THE ALGORITHM?
Instagram explained on its blog in May 2023 that there are many factors that go into ranking your Instagram Stories, including:
VIEWING HISTORY: How often you view an account’s Stories, so the ones you view the most appear first
ENGAGEMENT HISTORY: How often you engage with that account’s Stories, such as responding with an emoji or message
CLOSENESS: Your relationship with the account overall.
This is similar to information Mosseri shared on his Instagram account in June 2021, explaining how the company tries to find content that best suits viewers, when he said ranking factors included post information such as whether the Story is a video or photo and account information such as how often it’s posted recently.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE USING INSTAGRAM STORIES IN 2023
Instagram Stories are one of the best ways to build relationships with your followers AND one of the best ways of being shared by other accounts, increasing the number of accounts seeing your content and potentially increasing your followers.
Stories are the ideal ‘snackable’ size of content for viewers with an ever-decreasing attention span. Photos last five seconds in the Stories feed and videos up to 60 seconds, which are perfect for simple ideas and updates. And because they’re so bite-sized, you can share a variety of topics that help viewers get to know you and your business.
They’re also easy to create when you’re pushed for time. You can go from “Oh, my followers might like this” to sharing it within minutes, unlike a grid post or Reel that do best with a thoughtful caption, carefully chosen hashtags and impactful visuals. They’re an update for your followers in between grid posts.
Also remember that when your Stories appear multiple times a day in someone’s Instagram account, it’s an excellent way for them to get to know, like and trust you, which in turn leads to bookings and sales for your business.
If you’re sceptical about this working, try going onto your Stories every day for a week and watching all of them. Check in with yourself after that week to see how you feel about those accounts, compared to the previous week. (If any accounts are posting an overwhelming number of Stories a day, you can mute them by going to their profile and tapping the ‘Following’ dropdown menu that will allow you to ‘Mute’ or hide their posts and/or Stories).
Stories are an important part of the Instagram ecosystem, given that everyone uses Instagram differently. Some people will look mainly at Stories and very little at regular grid posts. Others will go straight to Reels and others again will browse their feed, Stories and the explore page. Using Stories as well as grid posts and Reels increases the touch points of your account with your followers, increasing the chances of you being seen.
Creating an Instagram carousel – the grid posts with multiple photos/videos – can be a challenge and yet the upside is so high: greater engagement, content that serves your audience and is perfect for sharing and saving. Here’s what you need to know about creating a carousel for your business that gives you the most saves, likes and shares for your time. There’s even a free PDF checklist at the end of this post you can download.
WHAT IS AN INSTAGRAM CAROUSEL POST? HERE’S THE DEFINITION.
Carousels are the way you post multiple photos on Instagram on the grid. This grid post can have up to 10 photos, videos or a mix of the two. Viewers swipe through from right to left on the screen to view each slide, one at a time. A series of grey dots under the posts shows how many slides are in the carousel, with a blue dot marking the position of the current slide.
Carousels are the same as regular posts in other ways including captions, the ability to share, comment, like and save. Instagram introduced them early in 2017 as an ad format, extending that to all users soon afterwards.
WHAT SIZE TO MAKE YOUR CAROUSEL POSTS?
You can make carousel posts any size from square to a 4:5 ratio vertical or portrait image, as long as they have matching dimensions. If you try adding differently sized photos or videos, they will crop to the same shape as your first slide. If you’re choosing a non-square size, you might want to consider what your first photo will look like cropped in your grid.
In pixels, a 4:5 ratio for Instagram is 1080 pixels wide by 1350 pixels high. This format takes up the most amount of screen space available, so is the best format for impact in the scroll.
You can also use horizontal images or videos up to a 1.91:1 ratio, which is 1080 pixels wide by 566 pixels high. This is not an ideal format, because it takes up so little space in the feed, which means it’s easy to scroll past without noticing it. If you want to keep your images wide and narrow, you could use a photo or graphics editor to add white space above and below your image, helping it stand out in the feed.
Videos can last up to 60 seconds and need to be smaller than 4GB.
Be aware that your carousel will show in your Instagram feed as a square, with the top and bottom of your first slide hidden, so make sure that your design and any text you want seen is in the centre of the carousel’s first slide.
HOW TO CREATE AND POST AN INSTAGRAM CAROUSEL
How to create a carousel inside the Instagram app
Tap the + sign on the top right, next to the menu.
Tap the post option (with a grid icon).
This will bring up the ‘Recents’ album. Navigate to another album if needed and tap the multiple photo option.
Tap on the photos or videos you want to include in your carousel, in the order you want them to appear.
Tap ‘Next’ on the top right of your screen. Select any preferred filter options.
Write a caption, adding tags and other details as you would for a regular grid post.
Tap ‘Share’ on the top right of your screen!
How to create a carousel inside Facebook Creator Studio on desktop
Navigate to Creator Studio inside Facebook (find it in the options down the left of your screen on a desktop). This assumes you have a Facebook page attached to your Instagram account.
Create a new post and upload your carousel slides. They will automatically display in the order you uploaded them. You can drag and drop the slides into a different order if needed.
Add your caption and hashtags to the text area. Add your location, if wanted.
Schedule or publish your post. There’s also an option to save as a draft.
Please note: Facebook is replacing Creator Studio with Business Suite, on a gradual worldwide rollout. You can also create and schedule carousels inside third party apps such as Planoly and Later.
WHAT ENGAGEMENT DO CAROUSEL POSTS RECEIVE?
According to Social Insider, Carousels have an average engagement rate per post of 1.92%, compared to 1.74% for images and 1.45% for videos. The engagement rate hits 2% for posts where all 10 carousel slides are used – a great reason to think about using them all! However, most carousels have between two and four slides. Other studies suggest that carousel post engagement rates are even higher than this.
WHY DO CAROUSEL POSTS RECEIVE MORE ENGAGEMENT?
There are multiple reasons why carousel posts receive more engagement. One is time spent to see all of the post: looking at multiple photos or videos simply takes longer than looking at one.
Another reason for increased engagement with carousel posts is that Instagram can show your post multiple times in the feeds of your followers. If the first slide doesn’t stop the scroll, Instagram may show the second or third slides, to encourage swipe-throughs to the rest of the slides. This increases the chances of followers engaging with your post.
There’s also the fact that a post with multiple photos or videos is more likely to contain more value than those with a single slide, especially if you know your followers well and cater to their interests. This might be photos of a product and multiple details, a variety of styling for clothing or inspirational quotes on one theme.
Regina Anaejionu uses carousels for mini-lessons that lead into her courses for thought leaders. She’s creating huge value for her ideal clients, without even leaving Instagram. If they like what they read, they’re primed to click her bio and check out what else she could offer them.
INSTAGRAM CAROUSEL IDEAS
Multiple photos or videos can show many aspects of one product or idea or you can tell a story in bite-sized chunks spread across the slides. Curiosity is key here – make sure at least some of the information is shared in later slides, so viewers swipe all the way through your slides.
Carousel posts can act as cornerstone content for your feed, providing valuable information for your ideal audience. This can include:
User generated content, possibly with a cover image, so they fit your feed’s aesthetic.
An introduction to a product or service
A list of tips
A range of testimonials
Transformations: showcase ‘before’ and ‘after’ your service or product
Features on others in your niche
Your origin story
Want a list of 27 carousel ideas that work for any kind of business? You can download the list by clicking the image below and adding your email address.
INSTAGRAM CAROUSEL TEMPLATES
Instagram carousel templates help you create a set of cohesive slides which work together, without taking hours or needing a professional designer. This also allows you to concentrate on choosing your words and images or graphics carefully, to tell the story that best works for your business.
I’ve created multiple carousel templates for free online design tool Canva. You can find the templates here. Canva templates can be swapped out to your own brand’s colours and fonts in seconds, ready for your own text and photos or video.
Hopefully, you now have all the details you need to create your own engaging carousel on Instagram!
You always want your Instagram feed to show clearly what you or your business is about. One of the best ways you can do that is by regularly curating your feed using the archive Instagram post feature: here’s a step-by-step guide to archiving posts.
HOW TO ARCHIVE INSTAGRAM POSTS
The first step is to learn how to archive Instagram posts. To archive a post, click the three dots on the top right of the post and click the second option – to archive. Your post will disappear from your Instagram grid but the post and its insights are kept in the archive, where only you can see them.
HOW TO FIND ARCHIVED INSTAGRAM POSTS
You can find archived Instagram posts by going to your Instagram profile and clicking on the three lines at the top right of your account and clicking on Archive. It has a drop-down menu for you to access either posts or Stories. Click on the post option to see all your archived posts.
To move an archived post back to your grid, select the relevant archived post and select the option to ‘Show on profile’. It will automatically move back to your grid, showing in date order and containing all of its likes and comments.
INSTAGRAM ARCHIVE FEATURE INTRODUCTION
Instagram introduced its archive feature in mid-2017 after testing it several months earlier. At the time, many Instagrammers were removing posts that didn’t get the number of comments or likes they wanted, sometimes leading to moments of regret
Posts that are archived are only able to be seen by the account owner. They’re especially useful when you want to create Story highlights on a particular theme – just go into your Story archive and add the relevant Stories which expire after 24 hours.
HOW TO CURATE YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
Now that you know how to move Instagram posts into the archive and back again, have a good look at your grid. What does it say about you or your business? If someone glanced at the photos without reading the captions, would that give a clear picture of what you have to offer and your style – especially for creative businesses?
Try removing any posts that detract from the main message or style of your grid to leave behind a well curated feed that tells visitors in a few seconds what’s on offer. If your feed has a pattern, it may take a couple of rounds of changes to curate your feed so that it maintains an aesthetic look while showing only the very best of your work. This can work especially well if you’ve updated your brand or feed colours and want to phase in the new palette.
You could even try archiving some of the colours or content in your grid to test the look. If you don’t like it, just un-archive the posts In fact, any time you want to curate or freshen your Instagram feed, you can use the archiving feature, knowing you can always return a post if you change your mind.
Ever seen #TBT on a social media post and wondered what it meant? Here’s a quick explanation of what TBT means and how to use it on your own social media platforms.
WHAT DOES TBT MEAN?
TBT stands for throwback Thursday. It’s used when we want to share old photos or videos of ourselves and sometimes our businesses, to show what we were like many years ago. It’s a fun way for our followers to learn more about us and can apply to almost anything that has happened in the past.
WHICH PLATFORMS IS TBT USED ON?
TBT is most commonly used on Instagram and Twitter. As of June 2020, there are more than 500,000 photos with this hashtag on Instagram. If you’re looking for hashtag alternatives to TBT, # throwbackthursday has more than 50 million photos on Instagram and # throwbackthursdays is heading for more than 1.6 million. You could even use simply #throwback which has more than 110 million photos on Instagram.
HOW TO USE TBT ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Firstly, use the TBT tag on a Thursday. Although if you get your days muddled and still want to use your post, you could go with #flashbackfriday Use it as a signpost to your followers that you’re sharing nostalgic content.
One of the most useful ways of using TBT is for storytelling. People connect with and remember stories, and given that you have new people finding out about your business all the time, it can be useful to share the origin story of your business or services regularly.
Typically, you would share a photo or video, alongside a commentary explaining what’s going on in the photo and how different things are today. Music from YouTube or Spotify are other great links to share. You can share how far you or your business have come, comparing old branding such as logos or colours, premises or products with what’s on offer today and perhaps even pivotal moments along the way. TBT posts are often comedic or have a humorous slant, with vintage hairstyles or clothing that reflects an era such as big ’80s hair or ’70s flares. Nostalgia can trigger strong emotional responses too, making it especially memorable and shareable. Using this hashtag is similar to Facebook’s ‘Memories’ that appear on the anniversaries of their posting.
You can make a white background for Instagram in your flatlays and overhead photos in a few simple steps using just your phone camera and free apps available on iPhone and android. Scroll down for instructions and the best free apps to use in 2022.
To make a background white for Instagram, the most important thing to know that your phone camera has automatic settings for exposure. It chooses how light or dark to make your photo. This works well most of the time, but when your photo has a large light or white area, it will try to make it darker i.e. grey (if you want to know why, this article explains it well). So you can blame science for your grey photos – it’s not your fault.
The good news is you can override your phone camera’s auto settings. You do this by touching the screen while taking your photo. A yellow box with a sun on the side should appear. Simply slide your finger along the sun side of the square to increase light in your photo – and no more grey!
USING LIGHT FOR BETTER WHITE BACKGROUNDS
Your light source is important in getting clean white backgrounds. Where possible, use natural, indirect light from a window or glass door. This may mean timing your photos for when the sun is out and taking over a piece of floor or kitchen table in a good location. If there is too much light or it is too direct, sheer curtains can work wonders to diffuse and lessen the light. To remove shadows, you can reflect light into the shadows using white cardboard, aluminium foil from the kitchen or a shop-bought reflector. Just move the board or reflector around so that it bounces light from the window into the shadow. This usually means putting the reflector opposite the window or door letting in light and tipping it down slightly. Just try moving your reflector or board around while you watch the shadows to see when it’s working.
BALANCING LIGHT TEMPERATURE FOR A BRIGHT BACKGROUND
Light will look different colours in our photos depending on its temperature. Photos taken by candlelight for instance, will look yellower than ones taken with a flash. It’s one of the main reasons why you might want to take your photos during the day with natural light from a window or a door – your photos will have ‘white’ whites.
But if you haven’t been able to take your photos in those perfect conditions – and all of us have been there – some apps will help you correct that. Snapseed (free for iPhone and android) is my favourite app to do this in its tune image/warmth adjustments.
RETOUCHING YOUR WHITE BACKGROUND
The final step in how to make a background white is retouching and sharpening. The Retouch app (TouchRetouch – free for iPhone and android) is perfect to remove any dirt or smudges from your background. The app is called TouchRetouch in the app stores and has a green swirly logo on a black background. It removes smudges or dirty marks on your background in an instant.
You can whiten your background more using Snapseed in a couple of ways. The first is to go to Tools and Tune image (top left). Swipe your finger up the screen and a menu will appear: choose highlights. This is going to edit the brightest part of your photo, which is likely to be your white background. Slide your finger to the right to lighten.
The second way you can lighten your background is also in Snapseed. Go to tools and click on the Selective tool, which looks like a circle with a dot in the centre. This makes adjustments in a selected area for brightness, contrast, saturation and structure. It defaults to brightness, so use the slider at the top of your screen to slide further to the right to brighten your photo.
Once you have one area as white as you want, you can create another area to adjust by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen or tapping your finger on the original dot (which is probably showing up as a B after your brightness adjustments). A pop-up menu will allow you to copy this adjustment and paste in another area of the screen. Continue adding adjustment areas until your background is just the way you want and click on the tick on the bottom right.
When you’ve finished your adjustments, the last touch is to add a small amount of sharpening in Snapseed. In Tools, select the Details tool, which has a triangle icon. Slide your finger up the screen to see the menu and choose Sharpening. Slide your finger across the screen to the right to sharpen a little. This will give your photo an extra ‘pop’.
So there you have it – how to make a background white for Instagram using only your phone. I hope this makes your Instagram photos easier for you.