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How And Why You Should Be Using “Snapstagram”. A.K.A. Instagram Stories!

How To Use "Snapstagram". AKA Instagram Stories! Alex Tooby explains everything you need to know about Instagram Stories and how to use it to benefit your business! Read the blog and watch the complimentary video! Love love love her advice as always!


Alright, first things first. Let’s address how similar Instagram Stories is to Snapchat and how it’s just a littttttle bit awkward right now….


As someone who’s had their content stolen and mimicked many times I can imagine how Snapchat feels right now. (And I’m also kinda confused why they haven’t trademarked their stuff more carefully..?)

Anyway! Now that we’ve addressed that, let’s talk about Instagram Stories, or ‘Snapstagram’ as I like to call it.

At first I felt weird about it, and in about 4 hours I was totally HOOKED. Guys, this is going to be BIG. Like, really big! If you’re a brand on Instagram and you want to build an even stronger relationship with your audience (I mean, why wouldn’t you? Strong relationships = loyal customers) then Snapstagram is something you’re going to want to add to your Instagram strategy.

But let’s be clear: As I always always always say, those who are the most successful on Instagram stick very strongly to their focus, right? So just because you’re able to share every moment of your day to your IG followers, that doesn’t mean you should.

For example: my @menandcoffee Instagram story gives me the opportunity to share behind the scenes of a photoshoot, brewing coffee, talking about my favorite equipment, or showing off our brand merchandise. But, it does NOT give me the go ahead to start sharing clips of my cats playing, or the salad I made for dinner. Why? because that’s not what my audience wants. My audience is following me for Men & Coffee so I need to stay true to that and provide them what they want, just in a different way.

Another example is my @instawithalex account. This account is used to share Instagram and business tips, so my first Snapstagram story included me showing behind the scenes of adding new merchandise to my menandcoffee site as a way to monetize my account. See the correlation? If I had shared a video of my boyfriend doing a wheelie on his motorcycle a few of you might think thats cool, but majority of my followers would find it irrelevant.

So, before you send off that Snapstagram, make sure it’s relevant to the focus of your Instagram account, capiche?

Alright, NOW, I’ll show you the in’s and out’s of Instagram Stories and how you can use it for your unique business in the video below:


If you prefer to read then scroll down for the written guide. Keep in mind you will miss out on some nuggets of wisdom that I share in the video!



If you’ve fully updated your app and your mobile operating system you should see something like this when you visit your home feed on Instagram:

how to use instagram stories

Notice the new bar at the top with your followers profile pictures? Those are their stories! To watch what they’ve shared simply click on the profile photo and the story will open up. From there you can:

> TAP the screen to quickly go through their story
> SWIPE LEFT to skip their story entirely and automatically start the next person’s story
> CLICK the “send message” button to send a direct message to the author of the story
> CLICK the ‘x’ button in the top right to exit out of Instagram Stories and go back to your home feed.

From your home feed you can also start recording your own story. To do that, simply click the plus symbol in the top left:


Once you’ve done that, your camera will open up and from there you can:

> PRESS AND HOLD the centre button to record a video
> TAP the centre button once to take a photo

Photo Aug 04, 1 50 57 PMHere’s a photo I took of my kitty to use as an example. Contradictory to what I wrote above, I know, but isn’t he cuuutee??

From here you can:

> CLICK the checkmark to add the photo or video to your Instagram Story
> CLICK the cancel button to discard your photo or video and start over
> CLICK the button on the bottom right to download your image or video to your camera roll

You can also:

> CLICK the ‘Aa’ button to open your keyboard and type out any text you want to appear on your story.
> PRESS, HOLD & DRAG the text to place it wherever you wish
> CLICK the brush button to open the drawing area
> CLICK any color of your choice from the bottom and any brush stroke from the top
> PRESS, HOLD & DRAG to draw with the brush
> SWIPE LEFT to add a filter (not nearly as good as Snapchat’s though!)

Photo Aug 04, 1 51 23 PM

When you’re done making it look snazzy, click the checkmark to send your image or video to your Instagram Story for all your followers to see.

Watch your own story by clicking on your profile picture in your bio, or the “Your Story” button from your home feed:


When it opens click the number at the bottom of your story to open your analytics:

Photo Aug 04, 1 51 46 PM

From here you can:

> VIEW how many people have watched each section of your story
> VISIT the feeds of the people who have viewed by simply clicking on their usernames
> DOWNLOAD the story to your camera roll
> UPLOAD your story to your Instagram feed
> DELETE sections of your story

You can also customize who can view your story and send you messages by clicking the cog in the top left:



From here you can:

> BLOCK users from viewing your story, and
> CUSTOMIZE who you would like to be able to reply to your stories

And the last thing you need to know about Instagram Stories is that everything you share only lasts 24 hours! Some see this as a negative but I like it. It’s what makes Snapchat so engaging. Your audience has to watch or they risk missing it. So make sure your content is relevant, interesting and be sure to check your analytics before they’re gone!

Have fun!

*If you didn’t watch the video above, I highly encourage you do so to get the whole experience and find out exactly what I think is going to work the best on Snapstagram and WHY.

What do you think of Instagram Stories? Will you be using it for your account?

Let me know in the comments!


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> Keep on reading..

Leave a Reply

82 Comments on "How and Why You Should Be Using Instagram Stories"

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This is so awesome! I still have yet to grasp Snapchat lol but I already have a small following on Instagram so I’ll have to figure this one out and start it soon. Thanks so much for the info

Kandja Sylla

I am so new with the Instagram stories. I was new in snapchat and now we have it in IG lol! Still trying to get used to it. But I’ll miss the filters made by snapchat..so still exploring. But what you posted are really useful! Thanks for the share! xx

Megan Smith | Garlic Friday Design

Thanks for the update Alex!! It looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Rachel Going

This is an informative post which I will refer back to. Thank you


I was waiting for something like this! Had no idea you could pull photos taken in the last 24 hours, very informative!

Lisa // Oh, She Blogs!

Thanks for this! I’m not into Snapchat and I was dismayed to see this feature in Instagram, but I’m going to take your advice and try to find ways to incorporate my blog content into stories.

ali at iSocialYou

super cool Alex.. btw did you record did using reflect or any other screen capture tool?

Joey Crawford

I just updated to this, and was wondering what all the extra stuff was! Thanks for the blog, I’m going to go and play around with my Insta page now 🙂


Thanks Alex – on the case as usual!


It’s annoying that after a while the footage disappear….! And then all the analytics are gone too…


Super helpful Alex! Thanks for the insights. I will have to check that out!


thanks Alex for sharing this useful info.Appreciated

Dylan Cutler

Similar thoughts at first! haha but I see it taking off. How do you feel about using it to add my personality though? I understand most posts should be theme-related (food haha) but what about some regular life stuff?

Majo Bueno

Will be gone after 24hrs too? I think missed that little part =)


Thanks for the tutorial Alex!! Very helpful!! Ok. I like this. I can totally see ways to incorporate glimpses that are relevant but won’t mess up the flow of my highly planned and curated feed. I have not gotten into Snapchat as a user, because I could not grasp adding another channel. But….I’m already working hard on my insta so this allows me to stay on one channel and add something new.


Great video Alex! I’ve used it to show behind the scenes till now. And I think that is what is going to work best for me! Completely agree about the being focused part especially if you are using it for business.

Anisa Daud

The perfect summary! I was only just getting to grips with IG and when they added this I was like ‘omg no!’ but you’ve made it so easy to get to grips with – thank you! How often do you think businesses should make a new ‘story’?

LeAnn Rodriguez

This video really helps! I have watched the videos of others, but haven’t started to look into creating my own. Now I am looking forward to implementing this component of Instagram.

Hunter S. Jones

Thanks so much Alex! Let me get this straight. If I’ve saved a vid to my camera roll, I can simply upload it to IG? It’s that easy? Thanks again & let me know.


Thank u for the useful info! I was wondering how do u think instagram stories would be helpful for bloggers? Such as lifestyle bloggers as myself. I’d love to get tips on that.


I love it already. I’m pretty sure they’ll be doing many more updates in the next weeks few weeks.


Thanks so much Alex..I am so techy challenged sometimes so this will help so much! Y ou rock and thank for sharing with us!



Thank you for sharing such a detailed explanation 🙂


Thanks for this; it was really confusing me!

Mai Lyn Ngo

I agree! I actually like that I can make the stories more blog and business focused and reserve my Snapchat for personal things and other non curated mundane happenings in my life. I finally love the split!


I have been getting into the Instagram Stories but it’s a little frustrating because I feel like I have to post everything twice – once on snapchat and once on instagram 🙁

Bre | Maintaining Me

I was just thinking about looking into this and seeing how it could be used for my blog. Great post!


Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I’m having storage/space issues on my phone and can’t post video, but I am using stills. 🙂

Mama Munchkin

Great timing. I am hearing so much about this update and was curious to see if it was worth checking out but bc I have a large following on insta it looks like its a go for me. It will be way easier to jump in though after reading this and watching your video.

Jessica Sheppard

Love these tips and the tutorial on the new Instagram stories! It seems like everyone’s trying to figure it out, so this is a great step for all the newbies!

Hey Alex, thanks so much for the great tutorial! A couple things….For the commenters bummed that their story will be gone in 24 hours, you could totally post it to your feed if you want it to last. In fact, you could use iMovie on your phone (iOS) to link together about 5-6 stories to post a 60 second video. I personally like that I can post stuff to my story that I don’t want to “ugly” up my feed 😉 Also, if you’d like a marker color not provided in the 9 default colors, go ahead and press and… Read more »

I really just can’t get with this new update lol I rather just stick to snapchat!

Chrisy @ Homemade Hooplah

Thank you SO MUCH for the tutorial video! I’ve never used SnapChat so it’s a big help to see IG’s version in action since I have nothing else to compare it to.


Thanks for sharing your tutorial. Now I understand why I have been seeing people’s accounts at the top of my screen. What is the benefit of using Snapstagram rather than simply posting in your feed?

Ed Troxell Creative

Great post! I never got into the Snapchat thing but man, I am loving Instagram stories and it’s really helping my business. I am able to share my tips and resources easily and quickly with my followers.


I was instantly hooked! I never quite felt the same with Snapchat – I actually find this easier and lazier as it’s all in one and plus it already has a majority of my following here 🙂

I love to do sneak peeks of shoots, cute outfits im wearing and thrifting visits. 😉

Sammy | Bargainbaglady.com XX


Great information. It helped my confusion with the new format.


This is such a great explanation. I’ve been loving it so far, it’s been great to be able to expand upon my brand and share more with my audience.

La Belle Sirene 


thanks! great article. been wanting to try this. do you think a quick tutorial would be engaging? that would be relevant with our DIY decor products 🙂


Hi Alex,
I was just wondering if you’d noticed any difference with your engagement with your audience since using stories? I’m seeing a lot of people referencing large numbers watching, but with the fact that you have to send a message vs a comment on a post, I’m curious about the effect that it is having on relationship building. Have you seen any difference?

Heather Denniston

This is really good! I had no idea! I will definitely be playing with this. Thank you for the level of detail. THis is really great.


Thank you for such an excellent explanation! I find that a lot of my Instagram stories have nothing to do with anything. I’ve noticed that people have been able to change the font too. Have you seen this as well/know how its done?


This is a great post. I was wondering what that icons on top of the instagram feed mean. Now I know. Will try to come up with a story soon.

Melissa Chee

Great tips – especially to stay on brand

Debra Schroeder

Thanks for the tutorial. I haven’t tried Snapchat or Instagram Stories yet, but this guide will make it easy.


Helpful tutorial! I keep going back to Snapchat because I love so much the filters, emojis, and more.


I’m still working on snapchat and honestly still trying the tricks on it. Lol! I didn’t know you can do this with IG though. I appreciate your help! Thanks!


Thank you so much for this post! I am running the social media accounts for the NGO that I’m working with in Honduras and Instagram is something that I’m focusing on. I haven’t paid much attention to the Instagram stories yet but it’s definitely something that I need to work on implementing now. Thanks for all of the knowledge!

Cricket Plunkett

I’ve been struggling with how to use these! Thanks for the advice!


I love this tutorial. So clear and easy. I will use this as my guide to instagram.folo stories. Thank you.