How & Why You Should Use Instagram Stories | Alex Tooby


Attract more followers, increase engagement & make more sales!

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!



Learn how to attract followers, increase engagement & make more sales on Instagram!


Leave a Reply

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

newest oldest most voted

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 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…