Improve Your Instagram Stories Skills for the Year Ahead


As the social media environment continues to evolve, people continue to look for new ways to connect online. From Instagram Stories stickers to sharing feed posts directly into Stories, Instagram is keen to stay ahead of the curve. This breakdown of updates  will help you know what to focus on in 2019, where the industry is headed, and how you can sharpen your Instagram skills for the year ahead:

1. Fun Stickers In Instagram Stories

Back in October, Instagram introduced its Poll sticker to Stories. In 2019, expect even more fun stickers like Countdown, Questions, and Polls to help brands engage with their followers through Stories.

The countdown sticker is the perfect feature to gain traction with your events and sales. Now when you share a story about an upcoming in-store sale, product launch, or event, you can add a sticker that counts down to a date and time that you set. Your followers can subscribe to your countdown event, which will send them a reminder when the time is up and your countdown is complete! This is a great strategy for engaging with your Instagram followers and getting your audience to opt-in to exciting special events or promotions.

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Your followers deserve to be heard. Instagram offers your followers a unique way to share their thoughts and opinions with you on any subject you can think of with a  Questions sticker. This feature allows users to answer questions in an open-ended format, dramatically increasing the potential for followers to provide you with their thoughts and opinions.

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A new poll sticker allows you to ask your followers to provide a rating with an emoji. For example, you can ask “How much do you love this dress?” with a smiley face emoji and your followers can slide the emoji left or right to cast their vote to mimic a scale of 1-10.

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2. Quick Reply Messages In Instagram Direct

Do you ever have frequent questions that you answer with the same type of responses? Now you can create Quick Reply messages that answer all of your FAQs and make it easy to respond! Quick replies are formatted responses you set up and then insert into a direct message to avoid having to type the same response time and time again to different people.

The average, everyday Instagram user likely does not have a need for this tool, which is why Instagram has limited this feature to business profiles. Businesses and marketers will find it extremely helpful and efficient to respond back to their followers in a timely manner.



3. Voice Messaging in DMs

The social media giant has added a voice messaging feature to its Direct Messages. This feature allows users to send each other audio messages up to one minute long in private and group chats. Users with the feature can record messages by holding down the microphone button. It will automatically send when you release the button, so if you don’t feel confident about sending it or want to re-record, you can slide your finger over to the trash can button to delete it!

With voice messages quickly becoming the preferred method of communication on messaging platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp, this new addition may be a welcome feature for some users.



4. Sharing Feed Posts In Stories

When you come across something in your feed that inspires you — like a post from a friend raising money for a cause or a photo of a new design from your favorite brand — you can now quickly share that post as a sticker to your story for your friends and followers to see. Any post shared to a story will include a link back to the original post and include the original poster’s username.

Only posts from public Instagram accounts can be shared to stories. If you have a public account and would like to opt-out from letting people share your posts to stories, you can do so within Instagram’s settings. Here’s how you can share a newsfeed post directly to your stories.

  1. Select the share function (looks like a little airplane) from the original post

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2) Select “Add post to your story”

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3) Add a frame, re-size, add text, gifs and stickers to your story.

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4) Tada! Your shared story is complete!

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Tip: Any post shared to a story will include the original poster’s username and a link back to the original post. Users can simply tap the story to be taken to the source.

 2019 is sure to be an exciting year for Instagrammers and brands using Instagram marketing. There are more ways to promote and sell your products, more ways to create exciting content, and more ways to get your audience to engage and take action.

What are some of the biggest Instagram trends that you’re excited about this year?