Instagram 101 Tutorial:
Everything you need to know you make IG stories, story highlights, and brand cohesive highlight covers.
I know there are lots of Instagrammers out there who already know all the tips and tricks of the “trade”. But it dawned on me recently that there are also a lot of people who don’t have an easy, accessible resource for learning how to best utilize Instagram.
Whether you use Instagram for your business or simply as a way to connect with family and friends, you probably want to have a visually cohesive feed.
After all, Instagram is a visual, image-centric app, so it only makes sense to think about the aesthetics of your IG. (However, it’s also totally fine to not give a flying rip about the “look” of your IG feed. If that’s you, then this blog post will probably not be of interest to you.
How to Find and Post Instagram Stories
This blog post is targeted for Instagram novices, so if any of this is old news to you just keep reading. I bet you’ll still glean a new tip or trick by reading further down.
For Insta newbies, there are two main places to post and interact with content on the ‘gram. Originally, Instagram only offered one place to share content, which was your grid or profile (i.e. the photo squares you see when you go to an Instagram account).
The second place to share content is through your Instagram story. Actually, there is also IG TV, but we aren’t going to focus on that in this blog post. You can find and view stories by clicking on the profile photo or via the top banner of your IG app.
How to Post an Instagram Story
You can post an Instagram story by clicking on your own profile photo or by clicking the camera icon in the top corner of the app when on your homepage feed.
Once you open the story, you can take a picture, video or boomerang within the app. You can also post from your camera roll by selecting the image in the bottom left corner.
Instagram stories are only live for 24 hours and then they disappear. That is, unless you add the story to a highlight.
What Are Instagram Story Highlights?
Instagram Story Highlights can be found below bio section of an Instagram account. See an example from my profile below:
Think of highlights like file folders–a simple way to save and categorize your stories. It’s a great option to be able to save your story memories. For brands, it’s a great way to showcase your brand identity and offerings.
You can brainstorm topics you typically post about and make sure to have a highlight for each of those topics. If you’re a mom posting on your personal account, you might make a highlight for each of your kids. If you’re a business, you could dedicate a highlight to each product or service you offer, along with other highlights, such as “About Us” and “Behind the Scenes.”
How to Make an IG Highlight:
To make a highlight, first post a story related to that highlight topic. Then select the “highlight” icon in the bottom right corner of your story.
Then, you can either create a new highlight or add it to an existing highlight.
When creating a new highlight, you’ll want to edit the highlight “folder” by naming it and selecting a cover photo.
It’s nice to have a cohesive look to your IG story highlight covers. You could keep it simple with one color for all the covers. You can also use covers with icons on them such as a an illustration of pie for a “dessert” highlight. You can use also make covers with a variety of colors that align with the colors on your Instagram grid. (More on how to do this further down.)
How to Update Your IG Highlight Cover Photo
To update the cover photo, select “edit cover.”
Not many people know this, but you do NOT need to upload a story post any longer to update your story cover photo any longer. You can simply go to edit cover, then click the image icon below the highlight cover name. Then, upload any image in your camera roll. Voila!
How to Make On-Brand Highlight Covers
If you’d like to make your own highlight covers, you can easily make them with a free Canva account. Go to http://www.canva.com and create a design from there. If it would help, I can do a tutorial on how to do this in Canva at another time. Just leave a comment and let me know if that would be helpful. You can also find pre-made design freebies from generous graphic designers like my friend Nikki Recchion. Check her designs out here!
To easily create cover photos that utilize the colors found in your Instagram feed (like I currently have done), my friend Nikki also did a great IG TV tutorial on this. Check out Nikki’s short video tutorial here. Thank you, Nikki!
There you have it! Everything you need to know about how to make IG stories, story highlights and brand cohesive highlight covers! I hope this is helpful.
*pin the image below to save to pinterest*