How to Use Instagram’s Close Friends List for Marketing Your Business

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Psst, have you heard about Instagram’s Close Friends List? This feature allows you to send Instagram Stories to a hand-selected group of friends instead of anyone and everyone (if you have a public account). Sure, you could use your Close Friends list literally by sharing your beer pong victory or pictures of your sunburnt back to your closest friends… 

Or, you could use the close friends feature to take your Instagram marketing up a notch by curating an exclusive list of audience members. Giving select audience members a feeling of inclusion, importance, and a different look into your account. 

Curious about how to use Instagram’s Close Friends list for your business strategy? Well, look no further because not only will this article explain how to create a close friends list, but how you can use it to your business’s advantage!

How to Use Instagram Close Friends List for Marketing Your Business

Let’s start from the beginning. *drums fingers together*

There’s a few ways you can craft an ultra-exclusive Close Friends List. For example, you could post a poll or question sticker in your Instagram Stories requesting anyone who wants to know more to vote YES or drop their handle in the box to be added to your Close Friends List. 

You could also have a pop up on your website asking people to put in their Instagram handle to be added to your secret Instagram group where you’ll have behind the scenes footage and deals on new merch!

This simple option allows people to choose whether or not they’d like more content and exclusive offers from you! And it also gives them the chance to feel special and important, which as a customer is a win-win! 

If you’re not sure what the question and poll stickers are, we have a few blog posts that go over the different sticker features on the Instagram App. Like this one, How to Add Multiple Photos to An Instagram Story, or this crowd-pleaser, 5 Ways to Spark Endless Engagement with Instagram Stories

Moving on…

There is one minor catch-22, you have to be following someone to add them to your “Close Friends” list. Now, let’s go over how to make a “Close Friends” list on Instagram

Step 1: Go to your Instagram profile.

Step 2: Click the three lines icon in the top right corner.

Step 3: Press Close Friends.

Step 4: Tap Add next to the people you’d like on the list. You can also search for people individually. (Just remember, you need to be following them before adding them to the list!)

*Keep in mind, you can update this list at any time by adding and removing accounts. Pretty simple, eh?

How to share an Instagram Story to your “Close Friends” list:

Step 1: Create the Story.

Step 2: Press Close Friends in the bottom right corner.

How to post to Close Friends List on Instagram tutorial image

Using Instagram Stories for business marketing can be a great tool to reward your top followers and most loyal customers. Not sure how to use the “Close Friends” list for your business? Well, let’s go over a few different ways below that may spark some ideas and inspiration. 

Sales and exclusive offers

Your “Close Friends” list could be an exclusive VIP membership where you share discount codes, early access to new products, and personalized video messages. You could also tease the group to your entire audience, hinting about exclusive incentives and deals when they buy X amount of products. 

Additionally, your paying customers could be on your “Close Friends” list for additional valuable and exclusive content if you’re selling services. This method is rightfully so, the most common use for business accounts “Close Friends” list. 

Collaborate with Influencers

Another common use for this Instagram feature is creating a “Close Friends” list that only has your brand’s ambassadors and influencers for partnerships. You can add brands and individuals you already work with or would like to work with!

Then you can post opportunities for collaborations. You can share special offers and deals, give updates on new launches, and give discounts. This method is an excellent way for the people you work the most closely with to stay up-to-date, and it can make your communication and outreach much more minimal. 

This option for early access can give your ambassadors and influencers a feeling of loyalty and exclusivity as they’re kept in the loop. It can also provide them with the chance to ask questions directly or to respond to your Stories. Additionally, when you post to your ‘Close Friends’ list, your Stories have a green circle around them for everyone on the list, so they’ll know there’s some insider information for them.

Show behind the scenes footage

If you want your Instagram Stories to remain more business professional, allowing people to opt into your “Close Friends” list can be a great compromise! That way you’re not overly spamming your followers; however, those who want to know all the details, deals, and behind-the-scenes info can have easy access to it. 

Whether it’s giving a first look at new inventory, showcasing some of your sparkly personality, or previewing a new shop location. Behind the scenes, footage can be the most fun and playful way to use the “Close Friends” list and is a great way to keep parts of your business private while still having an air of exclusivity. 

This option allows you to show some vulnerability in a real way. You could share a thank you video, personal story, or give live updates. When you’re using the “Close Friends” list for behind-the-scenes footage, the world is truly your oyster.

No matter what type of business you have, you can use Instagram’s Close Friends List to your advantage

We’ve gone over some pretty solid ideas on how to use the Instagram “Close Friends” list to your advantage, but now let’s breeze over some more ideas… because why not?!

You could announce an Instagram Live you’ll be doing and include a question box allowing your closest friends the opportunity to get their questions in first. (We have another blog post on the benefits of Instagram Lives!)

The “Close Friends” feature can allow you to share a survey or questionnaire with your closest audience without getting swarmed with replies if you’d posted it to your regular Stories. That way, the feedback you’re getting is from trusted individuals and will remain mostly helpful. 

Another option is to use the “Close Friends” feature to invite accounts to participate in an Instagram challenge hosted by you. This secretive call to action can be exclusive enough to catch the people’s attention on that list and help you pull off a successful Instagram challenge!

Regardless of how you use the Close Friends list, this feature can be a great addition to your social media marketing strategy. With some planning and scheming, you can give your top followers and audience members a feeling of importance and inclusion. And what better way to thank and appreciate your followers than making them feel special and included?

Catch you later, alligators!

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How to Save, Download and Share Instagram Stories!

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Psst, did you know you can save, download and share not only your own Instagram Story but other accounts Stories too?! (Well, you may not be able to download someone else’s Story directly, but we’ll get into some legal workarounds later.) 

Instagram Stories are great at boosting your engagement, helping you maintain growth, and driving sales. And since Stories only last 24-hours, it’s a good idea to download, archive, and share them before they’re gone forever, and you potentially lose all your creative, hard work.

Additionally, with how much creativity can go into Instagram Stories, it’s a great place to find inspiration from other accounts. And you may even want to download someone else’s Story to help spark some ideas for your own Instagram Story. Or share another account’s Instagram post in your Stories to spread the love.

If you’re not sure how to download, share, or save Instagram Stories, then you’ve come to the right place because I’ll be walking you through each right down below.

How to save and download your Instagram Story

There’s plenty of perks to saving your Stories, and at the very least, archiving them! For one, you can repurpose them for later, whether it’s in a post, Story, or Highlight. (PS, we have a blog post on how to edit and delete Instagram Stories and Highlights!) 

You can also use them for inspiration and ideas for future Stories. And hey, maybe you can even make a scrapbook out of your Stories one day. Regardless of the reasoning, saving and downloading your Stories to your iPhone or Android camera roll is easy peasy.

Let’s break it down three-step-style right meow.

How to save an Instagram Story:

Step 1: After posting your Story, click on your profile picture to view it again. From there…

Step 2: Click the three-dot logo in the bottom right corner with the word More written under it.

Step 3: Press Save, and then your Story will be saved to your camera roll.

How to save an Instagram Story screenshot tutorial

See, what did I say? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Plus there’s always the option to archive your Stories on Instagram to save room on your phone. 

How to automatically Archive your Stories:

Step 1: Go to your Instagram account.

Step 2: Hit the three horizontal line button in the top right corner.

Step 3: Press Archive

Step 4: Click the three-dot ellipses in the top right corner.

Step 5:Choose Settings

Step 6: Swipe the option to Save Story to Archive.

But, what about other people’s Stories? Let’s say you see a Story you want to reshare or save, whether it’s an inspiring message, has useful information, or you find it creatively beautiful.

Well, can you save a photo/video from another account? While there may be some legal technicalities and technical holdups, there are a few workarounds that I’ll dive into down below.

How to download someone’s Instagram Story

Let’s say you’d like to save someone else’s Story to your phone. Right off the bat, Instagram’s Community Guidelines states that while you can share a public account’s post or Story, a private account is slightly different. And a general no-no is screenshotting or screen recording and then reposting without due credit, which would violate intellectual property rights. And when it comes to saving content onto your phone, technically, you need written permission to do so. 

But, let’s say you have written permission and you’re wanting to save someone’s content for creative or other purposes. First off, for photos, the easiest option is to take a screenshot. 

How to take a screenshot of someone’s Story:

Step 1: Click on the account’s Story, which you can do either on their profile or on your home screen.

Step 2: Navigate to the Story you’d like to screenshot.

Step 3: For an iPhone simultaneously hold down the side button and the volume up button. For an Android hold the volume down and side buttons down. And BAM, screenshot.

The screenshot will save directly to your camera roll. However, if it’s a video you want to keep then, that’s a slightly different story. And for that, I recommend screen recording.

How to take a screen recording for video:

Step 1: For both iPhone and Android, swipe down on your screen and hit the screen recording button. 

Step 2: Navigate to the video and boom, it’ll be recorded to your camera roll.

Step 3: To stop the recording, swipe down again and hit the screen recording button one more time.

Just keep in mind that downloading someone’s content requires written permission! And if you plan on resharing to your account, always tag the original poster. Pretty simple, right? So how about sharing someone else’s post to your Instagram Story? Are there even perks to repurposing another account’s content, and should you share your competition with your audience?

Well, friends, I’ll answer that in the next section. Let’s commence. 

How to share an Instagram post to your Story

A great way to maintain followers and grow your audience is by sharing similar accounts to your Stories. Want to know why that is? Well, people follow you because they’re interested in your niche, so by sharing other accounts, they’d be interested in you’re exposing them to more content they’d enjoy. And it gives you some easy content to put out there, especially when you’re scrambling for Story ideas.

Sharing other posts to your Stories also shows that the competition doesn’t threaten you and that you believe there’s room for everyone at the table, making you even more likable! Plus, that account could potentially give you a shout out too. See, it can be a win-win! 

So, how to share an Instagram post to your Story:

Step 1: Go to the post you’d like to share.

Step 2: Press the “paper airplane” button directly under the post.

Step 3: Click Add post to your story. And voila.

How to share a post to Instagram Stories tutorial screenshots

When you click on the paper airplane, there’s also an option to send the post to other accounts through a Direct Message. However, keep in mind that if the Instagram post is from a private account, only their followers will see it. Now sharing an Instagram post is easy as pie, but what about sharing someone’s Instagram Story?

How to share someone’s Instagram Story

There’s a few ways you can share another account’s Story directly to your Stories. The most common and easiest way is if it’s a Story you were tagged in. 

If someone tags you in their Story, it’ll pop up in your Direct Messages from them. From there, you can press on the Story and choose to share it to your Stories as well. Boom.

The second most common way is to share someone’s Story as a Direct Message. Again, this only works if they’re a public account or if you’re sending it to someone else who follows that same private account. 

How to share an Instagram Story as a Direct Message:

Step 1: Click on the account’s Stories and get to the one you’d like to share.

Step 2: In the bottom right corner, you’ll see that little paper airplane button again. Click it. 

Step 3: Choose who you’d like to send it to.

Step 4: Press Send

And like magic, that Story will be sent as a Direct Message to your chosen recipient(s). 

But what if you’re not conveniently tagged in a Story you’d like to share AND you have written permission from the account? Well, you can either take a screenshot if it’s a photo or do a screen recording if it’s a video. From there, it’ll be saved to your phone, where you can upload it to your account. Just don’t forget to credit the original poster!

Instagram has nifty tricks for sharing Instagram Stories

Instagram has made it incredibly easy to share and repurpose content, encouraging people to continue engaging on their app and grow their audience while making lasting friendships. With a few tweaks, you can be sending your sister cat videos, sharing a post to your Stories that made you tear up, and save your very own Stories to your camera roll for later use (or, you know, a scrapbook).

Regardless of how you use the app, they make it as convenient as possible to find, share, create, and save content is pretty incredible. How do you like to share content in your Stories? Comment below, and maybe you’ll spark some new ideas!

Later, gators.

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How to Edit and Delete Instagram Stories and Highlights!

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Instagram Stories are a crucial factor in not only your account’s engagement, but in retaining your audience members. In a study by Social Insider, they found that brands who posted at least 6 Stories a day were able to keep more than 70% of their viewers engaged enough to watch them until the end! 

This means Stories are an excellent place to share more content, spike engagement, and retain views! They’re the perfect place to show some personality, experiment with video, and try out different features. (All of which we’ll get into later! )

That same study from Social Insider also found that brands with over 10,000 followers reached 9% of their audience as long as they were consistent and posted engaging Stories every day. 

(Psst need some Instagram Story inspo? Read our post: 5 Ways to Spark Endless Engagement with Instagram Stories )

In a nutshell, the key to keeping your audience engaged and making sure your posts are popping up in the feed is through your Stories.  

And, with Instagram Stories only lasting 24 hours (with the exception of Highlights, which we’ll get into later ), they’re the perfect place to try new things and experiment! 

But, how do you edit Stories? And what is an Instagram Highlight, and how does one create a Highlight? Well, friends. Scroll down and learn how to add, edit, and delete Instagram Stories and Instagram Story Highlights.

How to Edit an Instagram Story

With all of the added features and stickers, Instagram Stories are a great place to get creative and show some personality! Whether you’re telling a story, resharing content, or mentioning a new post, with all the cool features, Stories are a great place to experiment. 

Now let’s talk about those features.

In Instagram Stories, you can add multiple photos, and music for a dramatic effect (love some dramatic effects ). Choose different fonts and colors, add GIFs, ask your audience questions, create a poll, use hashtags and location tags for additional eyes , along with tagging other accounts. 

To start, let’s first go over how to edit an Instagram Story.

Step 1: Go to your Instagram’s home screen and either swipe right or press on your profile picture to begin creating an Instagram Story.

Step 2: Before posting, you can click on the three-dot ellipses or the sticker button in the top-right corner to add the special features previously mentioned.

Step 3: Hit the right-facing arrow and post that creatively beautiful post.

Blog post image creating a story tutorial

But, wait. Oh, no. You posted it to your Close Friends list?! Have no fear; that’s an edit you can fix after posting. 

While you can’t edit a typo or something on the actual slide, there are a few things you can tweak after posting. 

Can you edit an Instagram Story after posting?

The answer is kind of, just not the post itself. Let’s say you noticed a major typo. Your best bet is to delete the Story and start over again. 

However, there are a few tweaks you can make to a Story’s settings after being published. 

So, let’s look at how to edit an Instagram Story after posting and what edits you can even do.

Step 1: Post a Story.

Step 2: Open your Story up again and press the three-dot ellipsis on the bottom-right corner.

Step 3: Click Story Settings

From here, you can:

1. Hide the Story from certain people, or switch it to Close Friends. 

  • The Close Friends feature allows you to hand-select a group of people to see specific Stories like a private Instagram Stories post.

2. Enable or disable sharing, which allows you to choose if people can share your Stories.

3. Decide who can reply to your Stories, whether it’s everybody, only people you follow, or nobody.

3. Save the post to your Camera Roll or even your Story Archive so you won’t lose the Story.

Now, let’s say you tagged the wrong account or have an unfortunate typo. Well, folks. Let’s get into deleting an Instagram Story right down there.

How to delete an Instagram Story

Since there isn’t a draft option in Stories (although there are for posts and reels!), it can be hard catching mistakes before publishing a Story. If you need to scrap the whole Story and start from scratch, then have no fear because it is easy peasy to do so, and the process is quite straightforward. 

Step 1: Open up the Story.

Step 2: Click the three-dot ellipses again on the bottom-right corner.

Step 3: Hit Delete

Step 4: Confirm and press Delete again. And boom. Story deleted.

How to delete an Instagram Story tutorial

You can even take it one step further and delete the Story from your Archives as if it never even happened.

Step 1: Go to your profile

Step 2: Hit the three-dot ellipsis (once again )

Step 3: Press Archive

Step 4: Under Stories Archive, choose the Story you’d like to delete

Step 5: Click Delete and done.  

How to delete an Instagram Story Archive tutorial image

Now that we’ve established how to edit and delete Stories, let’s take a moment to talk about Story Highlights below.

How to add Stories to your Highlights

Your favorite Stories or important ones to your account can also be highlighted and featured on your profile just above your posts. In a nutshell, they’re like curated collections of your favorite or most important Instagram Stories. 

Stories generally disappear into your Archives after 24 hours, but highlighting them allows your Stories to live on in the glory they deserve.

Highlighting Stories is pretty simple, and it provides a chance for potential followers to get a feel for your personality and the type of content you deliver outside of your feed. They’re also conveniently front-and-center on your Instagram account, occupying prime real estate space for potential followers to see your most valuable and best content.

Here’s how to create an Instagram Story Highlight:

Step 1: Go to your profile

Step 2: Hit the circle + button with the word “New” written under it (it’ll be in between your bio and feed)

Step 3: Click on the Stories you’d like to add

Step 4: Press Next

Step 5: Edit/upload a cover photo and name the Highlight

Step 6: Click Add, and your Highlight will be complete!

How to create Instagram Story Highlights tutorial

See, what did I say? It’s easy as pie. So you might as well save some of that hard work and keep a few Stories in your Highlights. Plus, it’s just as easy to delete a specific post from a Highlight or delete an entire Highlight altogether. 

Let’s discuss that next. 

How to delete an Instagram Story Highlight

Instagram Story Highlights are only semi-permanent since you can delete one specific Story, multiple Stories, or even an entire HIghlight at any time! This allows you to customize your Highlights and make sure they’re always up-to-date and ready for present and potential followers.

You can delete a specific Story from a Highlight in 4 simple steps:

  1. Click on the Highlight
  2. Tap Edit Highlight
  3. Here you can uncheck any of the Stories you’d like to remove from the Highlight
  4. Press Done and your updated Highlight will be saved 

You can also delete an entire HIghlight the same way. Simply press on the Highlight, uncheck all of the boxes, press Done. A little box will pop up asking if you’re sure you want to Delete Highlight. Double down   by pressing Delete, and it’ll be gone just like that.

Pretty nifty, right? With the customizable features, there’s really no excuse to start organizing and creating some curated Highlights. Especially considering you can edit and tweak them at any time!

Do Instagram Stories and Highlights make a difference?

The short answer is YES. Stories and Highlights are a vital factor in taking your audience behind the scenes and humanizing your account. While it can be intimidating posting a video of you talking or experimenting with some extra pizazz and personality, 

Stories are a reasonably safe space to try something new. Whether you’re discussing a subject, you’re passionate about, sharing a story you find hilarious, or creating a picture collage to promote a post. The world of Instagram Stories is your oyster. Look at how many people stay for the duration of your Stories. That’ll give you a good indicator of how successful the experiment was. 

Just take your time and double-check everything before posting, so you don’t have to delete the entire thing and start all over again!

You can also schedule your Stories ahead of time with Tailwind, giving you time to review them for edits before they’re published. And Tailwind’s Planner and Scheduler will also post your Instagram Stories during your specific audience’s peak engagement hours! It takes the guesswork out of your strategy, how cool is that?

Until next time, friends!

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Instagram Stories and Highlights are a chance to show your audience who you are and why they should follow you. Read this post to learn some tips and tricks for making Stories and Highlights that stand out!

Your Instagram Privacy Questions Answered!

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Between tracking bots, internet trolls, and Instagram’s (slightly confusing) privacy policy there’s a lot to consider when creating and maintaining an Instagram account. 

Instagram has come a long way in its privacy and security measures to help users feel safe. Even if you have a public account, there are several features and tweaks that can not only make it harder for potential bullies to reach you but can prevent your information from being tracked by bots.

So, if you have privacy concerns and are curious to find out what you can do to be safer on the app, then keep on reading, friends.

Now, let’s get to it.

The Great Debate: Public or Private Account 

The first thing to ask yourself is, what are you trying to accomplish with your account? Are you a business trying to make sales? If so, having a public account may be more beneficial. (We’ll get into this more later.)

But, if you’re using it for personal reasons or want exclusive access to content for followers only (hoping to give potential followers some FOMO), then private is the way to go.

The biggest difference between the two is with a public account; anyone can see and engage with your content. However, with a private account, only your followers can.

With a private account you also have to manually approve requests to follow you, adding another layer of security. And, private accounts also won’t pop up in searches or the Explore pages. 

But don’t let that discourage you from switching to private.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Reid Hailey, founder of the media company Doing Things said, “if you’re public, people just always see your stuff and they don’t feel the need to follow you.” For stagnant accounts, he recommends switching to private, saying, “that before one of his large accounts went private, it was growing at an average of 10,000 new followers per week. Once it flipped to private, that number jumped to 100,000.”

Private accounts are also less likely to be unfollowed. 

While public accounts allow users to quickly follow or unfollow, when someone clicks to unfollow a private account, a window pops up saying that they’ll have to request to follow again if they continue. Making unfollowing a private account a 2-step effort, or 3-step if they know they’ll want to request to follow again!

Other than not appearing in search results or the Explore page, there’s another giant catch 22 for private accounts. And it’s that business accounts are only offered to public accounts

Womp, womp, woooomp

If you don’t have an Instagram business account and you’re intrigued about whether switching to private will get you out of a growth rut, then scroll on down, friends, and let’s go over how to make the switch in 5 easy peasy steps!

How to Switch Your Instagram Account to Private

Step 1: Go to your profile

Step 2: Click the three line logo (menu button) on the top right of your home screen.

Step 3: Press Settings

Step 4: Choose Privacy

Step 5: Swipe on the option for Private Account

Instagram Privacy Questions Answered Blog Post Image showing how to set account to private

And just like that, people will have to request to follow you. ✌

Tweaks to Make Your Public Account Safer

Sure, having a private account doesn’t work for everyone. And while it may deter someone from unfollowing you, it could also make some less likely to follow your account in the first place. So, for all the people who can’t or don’t want to have a private account, this section is for you.

If you have a business account, or you want to show up in searches and appear on the Explore page, then there are still plenty of measures you can take to make your public profile safer and more private(ish). 

Whether it’s filtering direct messages and comments to block offensive content, restricting/blocking specific accounts, preventing bots from tracking your every click or getting ahead of hackers, Instagram now allows you to take matters into your own hands and set your own privacy settings. 

You just have to know where to go and what to click, which we’ll get into right meow!

A lot goes down in the DMs, so let’s start there…

Brands and Influencers have publicly noted that private DMs are where they get the most hate, and Instagram has rolled out a filter specifically for DMs to combat harassment and bullying. 

We have a blog post about that update Instagram’s New Anti-Bullying Filter!

Instagram is the first social media app that now allows users to filter DMs by flagging certain words and phrases and placing those messages in a Hidden Requests folder. 

This filter is the first of its kind, preventing anyone from sending you anything and requiring you to shuffle through potentially hundreds of offensive DMs. This change is revolutionary because it will make social media an emotionally and mentally safer place.

Social media has come a long way since it originally came about, allowing anyone to say anything to you which enabled abusive and degrading hate. Before, someone could even make multiple accounts to harass a particular account.

However, now you can use their pre-set filters and add additional words, phrases, and emojis to be automatically blocked so you don’t have to see anything which may trigger or upset you.

You can add these filters to both your DMs and comments in a few easy steps.

  • Step 1: Go to your account and click the three horizontal lines button in the top right corner.
  • Step 2: Press Settings
  • Step 3: Click Privacy
  • Step 4: Choose Messages

In this area you can choose who can send you direct messages and what people or phrases will require a message to go into a Message Requests folder.

You can also filter comments in the same place, just go to Privacy and click on Comments. Here you can block comments from certain accounts, you can allow comments from either everyone, or only friends. And you can also swipe Hide Offensive Comments, which enables the filter that requires comments that include words, phrases, or emojis Instagram has deemed offensive to be approved by you before they’re posted.

In that section you can also manually enter additional words, phrases, and emojis you’d like to be filtered. 

You can also report accounts for abusive hate and harassment, and Instagram will now automatically disable that account and block any preemptive accounts an individual may create. 

Speaking of blocking…

How to block an account

If you’re getting bullied online, or you’d feel safer to post without a particular person’s eyes watching, then you always have the option to block them. Doing so will also automatically remove them as your follower if you ever decide to unblock them again.

Now, here’s how to block an account:

  1. Hit the magnifying glass at the bottom of your Instagram home screen.
  2. Search the account name.
  3. Click on their account.
  4. Press the ellipses in the top right corner.
  5. And choose Block.

When you block someone, a window will pop up asking if you’d also like to block any new accounts the person may create in Instagram’s preemptive attempt to combat the internet trolls who create multiple accounts to harass someone.

Before this feature, an account that was blocked could make additional accounts to continue harassing someone. Now, any accounts created with the same email address or identifying characteristics will be automatically blocked.

This feature will help brands, Influencers, and individuals feel safer and BE safer on the Instagram.

 I mean, how does someone even have the time to make multiple accounts to harass someone? It blows my mind, yet, it happens more than you’d think.

Additionally, you can block someone straight from your DMs or your comments section. 

In your DMs, hit the information button in the top right corner; it’s a circled lower case “i.” Then click Block.

Blocking is a great feature that can help give you peace of mind and prevent bullying and harassment. However, blocking can be pretty final since it removes a person from your followers, and the person will sooner or later realize what has happened. 

Blocking doesn’t have to be forever either, if you change your mind you can always unblock them in 4 steps.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Hit Privacy
  3. Choose Blocked Accounts (towards the bottom of the page)
  4. Next to the person’s name you can click Unblock and voila! 
Instagram privacy questions answered blog post image, how to block an account.

If blocking feels like too much and you’d rather just take a break from someone’s account, then there’s always the option to mute them.

How to mute and/or restrict an account

Muting accounts allows you to remain friends with someone while blocking their Stories and/or posts from being in your feed. And Instagram won’t notify the person they’re muted, so it can be a win/win in many cases.

Now, let’s break down how to mute an account.

1 – Go to their profile.

2 – Click Following

3 – Press Mute

4 – Slide Posts and/or Stories

You can also restrict an account in the same place.

  1. Press Following
  2. Click Restrict
  3. Choose Restrict Account

Restricting an account controls how and if they can contact you. When a restricted person comments on a post it’ll look like it was posted on their end, however you’ll need to approve it in order for anyone else to see it. 

Instagram Privacy Questions blog post screenshot of a restricted comment

And any messages they send will be sent to your Message Requests adding a layer of protection between anything they say to you.

There’s also a third option, which is hiding your story from certain people. So, let’s say you’re going to a bachelorette party and you don’t want to shock dear Grandma; you can always hide your Stories from Grandma for the weekend. Just simply…

  1. Go to their profile
  2. Click the ellipses
  3. Press Hide Your Story

Now that we went over all the ways to protect your account from individuals let’s take on the third parties Instagram likes to share your information with.

Preventing Instagram bot tracking

Have you ever been scrolling on Facebook or Instagram, and suddenly an app pops up that’s similar to something you searched for earlier? Instagram has stated they will share your data and information with…

  • Partners who use their analytics services (the people who provide their statistics)
  • Advertisers
  • Partners offering goods and services
  • Vendors and service providers
  • Researchers and academics
  • Law enforcement or legal requests

Instagram may not advertise this, but they give you the option to revoke access to third-party apps and analytics. 

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Press Security 
  3. Choose Apps and Websites

Here you can view active and expired authorized apps, and you can either grant or deny access to them. Pretty nifty, right?

You can also tweak the tracking settings so Instagram can’t report your data to third parties, which disables personalized ads.

1 – From your profile, click the three-line logo in the top right corner again.

2 – Press Settings

3 – Hit Ads

4 – Click Data About Your Activity From Partners

5 – Switch the toggles off on all the listed accounts, and Instagram won’t be able to share your data and search history with their partners for paid advertisements. 

While having your information given to third parties may feel unsettling, these third parties are harmless and only want to find the people who are looking for their products. Hackers, on the other hand…

Get Ahead of the Hackers

Besides having a great password, Instagram has a feature that makes it MUCH more challenging for hackers to break into your account. And that feature is called two-factor authentication!

Enabling this feature is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost the security of your account. When you turn this feature on, Instagram will text you a code that it will use to confirm your identity before the person or device can log in. 

This means for someone to get into your account, they’d need to have access to your password and phone. So unless they’re super-secret spies like in the tv shows with a team of hackers at their disposal who can press a few buttons and have access to your entire life, this feature will keep the random hackers at bay. 

To turn this on, go to your profile one more time !

  1. Hit that Settings button like you mean it 
  2. Press Security
  3. Choose Two-Factor Authentication
  4. Choose your method for second verification, whether it’s your phone number or an additional app, then follow the instructions to verify, and you are good to go.

This method is so simple and effective that everyone should do it and put hackers out of business. 

Customize Your Settings to Make Yourself Comfortable

No matter why you’re on social media, whether it’s to keep up with friends or to market a business, you deserve to feel safe and secure. The better and safer you feel, the more you’ll be able to show up as yourself and grow your account. 

Instagram has come a long way in security to protect its users and therefore not lose accounts. Most of these options are easy to find and implement. You just have to know where to find the toggles and what they mean, which we just went over. So you’re all good to go now.

Customize your privacy settings, and then post more of you with peace of mind.

Until next time, alligators! 

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Instagram Story Template Guide: How to Find + Use Them

Instagram Story templates are a life-saver for busy marketers.

Whether you need a little something in your back pocket for creating beautiful Instagram Stories designs, need inspo for Stories content, or just want to save yourself some time – a good set of templates can make all the difference!

But how do you find a good set of Instagram Story templates, or even make your own?

That’s what we’re here to answer! In this blog post, we’re covering what an Instagram story template is, why you should use it – and our favorite apps and tools for creating Instagram Stories.

Benefits of Instagram Stories

Sooo… what is an Instagram Story template? Basically, it’s a pre-made Instagram Story sized design (9:16) with graphics, text, and even animations that you can customize to your brand.

In the past, most templates were made in programs like PhotoShop or apps like Canva, and allowed you to customize font styles, text placement, color palettes, and more!

However, Tailwind has launched our own version of “templates”. You upload your website and brand colors, your logo, and give us the text and the photos and we’ll mix it up and give you dozens of pin designs that you can just automatically select and load into Tailwind.

You can get ideas for designs you’d never have otherwise thought of, and the best part is, it only takes seconds to create a design.

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You Should Be Using Instagram Story Templates – Here’s Why!

If you haven’t already started looking for an IG Story Template or two, now is your chance! After all, having a stash of branded Instagram Stories templates is a smart move for your social media marketing strategy.

Here are the three main reasons why:

IG Story templates create recognizable Instagram branding for your business.

As your followers interact with more and more of your content and begin to recognize your distinct color palette, fonts and voice on Stories or Instagram posts, brand awareness is being built. And that’s valuable!

Instagram Story templates save you major time and energy.

When you have a stack of Instagram templates for all your content types (think: photos, text posts, collages, product features, etc.), you don’t have to puzzle over design details and putting everything together. Just pop in your content and go!

This is also important because Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours. You want to create quality content, but not spend a ton of time on a post that’s only there for a day!

Story templates will help you “Stop the Swipe.”

Clean, professional-looking designs are so eye-catching in a sea of (usually) unpolished photos and videos in the Stories feed. Your followers are more likely to pause and take notice of your Stories post when they look well-crafted. This gives more time for your various calls to action to be noticed!

So, you get the picture. Stories templates can really help you make more impact in less time!

Now that we have you convinced, let’s talk about the different types of Instagram Story templates and where you can find them in our resource list below!

Types of Instagram Story Templates

When you’re on the hunt for the perfect set of templates, it’s important to know where to look and what you need.

Depending on your technical skill, editing preferences, and branding needs, one type may make more sense than another!

The three types are Story prompt templates, mobile app Story templates, and downloadable Stories template packs. We’ll get into the details below:

1. Story Template Prompts and Inspiration

Figuring out how your Story should look is often just the first (and easiest!) step. Next, you’ll need to figure out what to post, and create enough content ideas to keep followers engaged and interested day after day!

That’s where Story prompts like Tailwind’s new Story Starters come in handy!

With this free download, you’ll get the best of both worlds: Story content inspiration, and free templates and instructions that help you make world-class Stories in just minutes.

Did we mention it’s free? That’s 4 weeks of daily content at your fingertips!

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2. Mobile App Story Templates

There are several popular mobile and web apps that make personalizing IG Story templates with your personal branding a breeze.

Template apps are usually favored by novice and beginner social graphic designers because you don’t need a lot of technical know-how to create and customize template designs. That’s why Tailwind Create is ideal, you don’t need any design or branding experience to create beautiful, engaging posts for your feed. 

Another major bonus? Tailwind Create is free, so you won’t break the bank!

Story creation in StorySwag mobile app
Editing a story in StorySwag

Our Favorite Instagram Story Templates

These are a few of our favorite examples for mobile or desktop. These come from our amazing users (who have some amazing brands of their own, if we may say so ourselves)!

If these seem like something you’d love to create for your own brand (in seconds might we add) give Tailwind Create a free trial!

Instagram Story Templates

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Schedule Your New Instagram Stories with Tailwind

Now that you have tons of templates and inspiration for new Stories content, why not take advantage of Tailwind’s new Story scheduling feature?

You can schedule Instagram Stories from your desktop or phone. Just upload your images and videos, add text, and find the best hashtags for your Story to increase reach!

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How to Promote Your Blog Posts on Instagram

Chances are, your blog post tells a story. Whether you’ve written about a recipe, fashion, or wellness, there’s an underlying story that your reader will connect with. At heart, your life was different before and after you encountered this topic, and your blog post can help inform a reader, sway them, or in some way change their lives, too!

An Insider’s Scoop on the Instagram Algorithm

It’s no secret: the Instagram algorithm is a mystery. Efforts to understand it, work with it and even outsmart it have fallen flat for users time and again!

Instagram itself has come out in recent days explaining more about how the Instagram algorithm benefits content – and penalizes harmful or abusive content (Shadowban, anyone?)

However, we recently got a little more insight into the algorithm, and specifically how to make it happy!

If you’re a follower of social media news, you may remember an article from an influencer coming out about her call with Instagram in December 2020, and the insider scoop she got about working with the algorithm.

At the time, social media partners – and even we – were a little hesitant to buy into the methods she reportedly was told.

That is, until Chloe Alysse was invited to a similar Partnership call from Instagram about a week ago! 

(It’s important to note that Chloe was contacted because of her successful Instagram Creator status in the sustainable fashion space, not because she was a Tailwind employee.) 

On the call she received a ton of tips and had her questions answered about how the Instagram algorithm really works, and most importantly, how to work with it to get your content seen.

Buckle up, because we’re picking Chloe’s brain over everything she learned in this article, including when to post, what to post, and how to set a strategy for your Instagram content that the algorithm will really, really like.

How to Make the Instagram Algorithm Happy

We know, we know. The Instagram algorithm seems fickle, and even tried and true recommendations from Instagram experts that used to succeed no longer seem to pass muster.

Is it even possible to make the algorithm happy?

Since my blog is not my full-time gig, I usually just post when I can find the time – I don’t give it the same focus that I do for my work here at Tailwind!

For a while, that didn’t seem to matter to the algorithm. Then, all of a sudden, my engagement tanked. When Instagram reached out, I was so excited but also hesitant to believe there was actually a solution.

But get this – it’s only been two weeks, and I’ve already noticed a major difference!

Chloe Alysse

The answer is definitely yes. The key lies in going back to the basics, and understanding what the purpose of an algorithm is, and how it “speaks” and “listens.”

Algorithms operate and learn through patterns and codes. Therefore, when you create a pattern on Instagram, the algorithm can then understand your pattern and know what to do with it!

There’s a method to the madness, and we’re breaking it down for each major type of Instagram content. Keep reading to find out more!

When to Post on Instagram (And Why!)

Consistency is key on Instagram.

Yeah, you’ve probably heard that a lot; it’s a word tossed around in expert advice…er…frequently. But, that expert advice is on the right track. Maybe the key that’s been missing is understanding exactly how consistent you need to be!
Here’s the scoop: It’s not actually about posting daily.

Your consistency on Instagram needs to be a lot more specific – because the factor that matters most is not that you post on a certain day, but that you post at the exact same time on the same day repeatedly.

I’ve never been great at batch working, but after having my conversation with Instagram, I decided to commit to it for this test. For so long, I’ve just posted whenever I could find the time.

Not only is batch working helping me to feel prepared and productive, it allows me to post at the same time each day, which has really helped my engagement so far.

Chloe Alysse

That’s not all though – the consistency train keeps on rollin’. It has to be that same type of content at the same time on the same day in your schedule. 

For example, if you usually post a carousel Instagram post at 3pm on Fridays, posting a single photo post next Friday is going to confuse the algorithm.

The trick is to remember that I have to post Reels and feed posts on the same day each week. For example, Mondays are feed post days for me and Tuesdays are Reels days!

Chloe Alysse

The less confused the algorithm is, the better when it comes to getting your content seen! 

Perhaps it’s because each piece of Instagram content serves a different purpose, which we’ll get into in a little bit.

First, let’s talk about setting a schedule on Instagram that works with this new information.

Setting Your New Instagram Posting Schedule

Sure, you could throw a dart at a clock and pick a random time that you’ve decided is your time to post. However, you can make a more informed decision here that results in maximum engagement with your audience.

Take a look at your Instagram Insights (located in your Professional Dashboard), and make note of the times when the peak audience is on Instagram in your time zone.

Or, kill two birds with one stone and head on over to your Tailwind Instagram scheduling dashboard!

Tap “Edit Time Slots” in the top right corner of your dashboard (above your Instagram 9-Grid Preview).

First, you’ll want to double check that your timezone is set correctly in the bottom right corner of your Weekly Posting Schedule screen.

A view of the Tailwind Instagram scheduling dashboard, showing a weekly posting schedule with times on each day of the week highlighted in green.

Next, take a look at your time slots! Your Tailwind SmartSchedule generates a posting schedule based on peak audience times on your Instagram account. You can stick with as many of these as you like, or add your own custom time slots! 

Though posting at peak times when your audience is on is important, consistency is even more important. And generally, adjusting your time slot an hour or two either way will still garner you plenty of engagement.

If you want to reach the level of consistency you need, it’s important to fit your posting times to your lifestyle and when you’ll be available to post and engage – not the other way around!

The most important tip I received was to make sure this schedule is realistic. Since I know I can’t post every day, I decided to commit to posting three times each week.

My Instagram partner encouraged me to think of this like a workout schedule. If you do yoga on Tuesday and Thursday mornings each week, you’ll see more results than if you do yoga every single day for a week and then skip the rest of the month because you wore yourself out!

Chloe Alysse

And if you can’t commit to posting every day, don’t beat yourself up! It’s better to post two or three days a week with precision than all over the board five days a week (in our opinion!).

The great thing is, once you have your cadence and your chosen time slots down, you can schedule the right content type to the right days and times months into the future with Tailwind’s Instagram scheduling tool.

Just pop your posts into your drafts and schedule away!

You can even double-check how they all look together with our Instagram 9-grid preview tool and make any adjustments to your feed before hitting “Schedule”.

With times and dates seeming so crucial to great performance with the Instagram algorithm, there’s never been a better time to try out an Instagram scheduler that can help keep you and your content on track.

Trust us on this – sign up for a free trial of Tailwind for Instagram today!

A view of nine Instagram post drafts in Tailwinds Instagram Scheduling 9-Grid Preview Visual Planner, with draft in the top right corner and the posting days and times at the bottom of each image.

What to Post on Instagram

Okay, we’ve talked about when to post to Instagram, and the why’s behind it. Let’s get to the next juicy topic: what to post on Instagram.

The first tidbit here is to generate content that appeals to your community (of course). You’ll want to understand why your community is following you, and then show that type of content.

This serves a few purposes. One, you’re going to get higher engagement on posts that speak to your followers’ interests and the original reason they hit that follow button. 

And while it may be tempting to experiment with new content topics and types, you’ll want to introduce these carefully, and tie them back to your original purpose as much as possible.

“Since my niche is sustainable fashion, I’ve decided to keep my feed posts within that topic and use Reels (which are meant to be for a wider audience) to experiment with other types of content like home decor and vlogs.

Before chatting with Instagram, I never would have thought to think of content planning this way! “

Chloe Alysse

The second reason? The algorithm, of course! The less curveballs and wild posts you throw out there, the more your followers – and the algorithm – will understand what your content is about and connect it to people interested in those topics.

Finally, an interesting tidbit to remember about creating all types of content on Instagram (before we dive into the specifics), is that the algorithm reacts more naturally to posts and Reels made and edited with the Instagram camera.

Instagram Feed Posts 

Instagram views feed posts as memories that you want to keep. In other words, evergreen content that will live forever.

This makes sense when you think about it – an Instagram feed post won’t disappear unless you archive or delete it.

Viewers can scroll down your feed and see posts from years ago, if they have the time to dig!

Each feature has its own purpose. While Stories are a way to share in the moment snapshots and Reels act as a mini trailer to reach new audiences, feed posts are all about the moments you want to remember forever.

They’re for your core audience, who are around cheering you on every day! Thinking about each feature differently has really helped my content planning!

Chloe Alysse

Instagram Reels

In contrast to feed posts, Instagram views Reels as a mini trailer for something you really want to show people. We know from the Reels algorithm update that tutorials, recipes, and humorous content work really well here.

We also know that as the newest feature to hit Instagram, the algorithm is focused on distributing Reels. Meaning reach and engagement for your account is easier to get with Reels than it is with a feed post or Story – at least for right now.

And as the latest Reels feature, Remix is getting a ton of that algorithm love, too. When you’re thinking about your content on Reels, strategize some Remix-able content and urge your followers and viewers to give it a try! 

Another Instagram Reels algorithm success tip? Make sure your song is part of the Instagram library – even if you upload it yourself!

Not doing this could result in your account being flagged, which will negatively affect engagement and reach. That’s what we’re all after, right?

So, to make the algorithm happy, make Reels. In fact, make lots of Reels. Chloe says:

“If you want to grow, Reels are the way to do it. Instagram always focuses on their latest features, and right now, Reels are in the spotlight!

That doesn’t mean you can ditch feed posts and Stories, but it does mean that your content calendar should feature Reels 60% of the time and feed posts 40% of the time.”

Chloe Alysse

Instagram Stories

One insight that surprised us from this call was that the algorithm works differently for Stories – where the name of the game is engagement.

“For Stories, the algorithm works completely differently. You can post whenever you want! My Instagram Partner did recommend at least once a day, but you don’t have to plan these out in advance.

Sharing behind the scenes and real-time moments are perfect for Stories!”

Chloe Alysse

Times and posting frequency don’t matter quite as much with this type of Instagram content. Posting at least one Story a day is good for your account, and you can post more! Just be careful not to oversaturate.

Instagram Hashtags and the Algorithm

With new updates like Instagram Search and hashtags being restricted for a good part of last year, some burning questions on hashtags came up on Chloe’s call, and she got the scoop.

Here are the best practices for using hashtags in an algorithm-friendly way:

Hashtags for minimalist fashion on Chloe Alysse instagram post

One surprising detail I learned had to do with hashtags! I thought it was best to use all 30 hashtags, but it’s actually better to carefully select 15.

Three of these hashtags should be tailored to your brand or niche, and the rest should be an attempt to find your ideal audience – so long as they still relate to your content. So think about who might enjoy this post that doesn’t follow you already, and use your remaining hashtags to attract them! “

Chloe Alysse
  • Use no more than 15 hashtags at a time
  • Dedicate at least 3 but no more than 5 that are tailored to you and your brand specifically
  • Use the rest of your hashtags to find NEW people, and keep them related to the content itself
  • The best hashtags to go for have 50,000 posts and relate to your content.
  • The rest of your hashtags should focus on other niches (again, find NEW people!)

And we know you’re wondering – what does the algorithm think about hashtags in the description versus in the first comment?

The answer is, it doesn’t matter where you put your hashtags. However, if you put them in a comment, you need to do it immediately. These two things should happen at the same time – which is why if you’re not using Tailwind’s Hashtags in First Comment feature, you should try it out!

With Hashtags in First Comment, the hashtags are posted immediately in the first comment as soon as your post is pushed live. There’s no clicking around to drop a list you’ve copied and pasted into the comments, wasting valuable seconds or minutes!

Bonus Tidbit: Why Am I Losing Instagram Followers?

One nasty side effect of losing followers, sometimes huge amounts in a day, is that it impacts your confidence in your content. However, there’s a much simpler explanation going on behind the scenes, and it isn’t that your followers hate you!

Instagram is purging bots, fake accounts and spam accounts DAILY, and Creators seem to be getting the worst of it. For some reason, Chloe says, Creators are targeted a lot.

Instagram is not exactly sure when this started happening, but they’re trying to clean up the platform. So if your follower growth chart looks a little like a rollercoaster, take heart that it may be some bad actors vanishing – and being replaced with real, authentic followers.

Test It Out for Two Months, The Results May Shock You!

With all these scheduling strategies for your Instagram content, plus hashtag tips, you should see a difference in your reach and engagement on Instagram in two months!

That’s two months of committing to an Instagram schedule and sticking to it. Seems like forever, but the results may shock you! You can even get your followers in on the action and tell them about your new posting schedule. Get them ready and excited for your content to arrive on the right day and time!

Plus, with an Instagram scheduling tool like Tailwind, these strategies could literally not be easier to implement. From adding your preferred time slots and scheduling the right content to each, to searching for a mix of hashtags to expose you to new users with our Hashtag Finder tool, we’ve got you covered!

In fact, you can schedule so far in advance on Tailwind, you could set up all your feed posts for the next few months today, and spend the rest of your time creating Reels for your followers!

Want to try it out? Sign up for free today!

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Our team member Chloe had the chance to speak to Instagram about how to create content with the algorithm in mind. Read the latest insights here!

Take Your Instagram Stories Up a Notch with Multiple Photos

Adding multiple photos to instagram story on iphone over green background.

Instagram and it’s creators have come a long way since the app launched in 2010. The platform used to be similar to Facebook, as another way to keep each other up-to-date by sharing #ThrowbackThursday pictures and our (at the time) not so Instagram-worthy lunches. #guiltyascharged

However, through the creativity of its users and app developers, Instagram has transformed into its own category of glory. And has now become the go-to app for many businesses and brands, holding a whole lot of rank in a company’s marketing authority and social media presence.

So, do you want to know the best way to stand out and keep the spotlight on yourself and establish a strong authority? Well, it’s through your Instagram Stories

A big turning point for Instagram was when they rolled out the Stories feature, taking it from an app geared towards sharing now-and-again special moments to everyday usability. Stories allow Instagram Creators and brands to show their daily moments, humanizing their brand and establishing deeper connections with their audience.

Stories are where people get to know you and, therefore, truly care about your account. And with engaging Stories, users can reach new heights and grow at rapid rates through consistent engagement!

While your posts are meant to draw new people in, the Stories are how you keep them intrigued and coming back for more with regular updates and bite-sized content. And the best part about Instagram Stories? Unless you save them as a highlight, they disappear in 24 hours, making Stories the perfect place to experiment and explore new creative ideas. 

So why not take your aesthetics up a notch and try something new? Like… adding multiple photos to one story, making a collage, or using several slides to tell a story and reference some “inside jokes” with your audience? 

There are plenty of ways to tell a story in your Stories creatively.

In this article, we’ll be going over them! And you’ll learn all about the different ways to visually appeal to your audience without doing a one-click photo and done. Instead, you’ll tap into your inner creativity to stand out .

How to Add Multiple Pictures to One Instagram Story

First, let’s talk about the Photo Sticker on Instagram Stories. 

This nifty little helper allows you to upload multiple photos on one slide! 

The photo sticker will enable you to take an average Instagram Story and make it into a visually appealing story for your audience. And potentially stimulate your audience’s creativity and show them something they may not have seen before. 

And when 500+ million people use Instagram Stories every day, and most are uploading one single picture to one single slide, adding multiple photos is sure to make you stand out.  

So, let’s discuss how to layer pictures in an Instagram Story thanks to the Photo Sticker!

Screenshot Instagram Stories 'photo sticker' circled with arrow.

How to Add Multiple Photos with Instagram Photo Sticker (Step by Step!)

Using the Instagram photo sticker to add multiple photos is super easy. Here’s how to do it!

Step 1: Open your Instagram Story camera and take or upload your first photo for the background.

Or, if you want a solid background color, you can snap a photo, hit the squiggly line in the top right of the screen, and then press the eyedropper to change the background color of your Instagram Story.

Once you find a shade you like, press down on the screen, and voila, the entire background will be that color.

These new and exciting features can give you optimal opportunities to execute new ideas!

Changing background color on Instagram Stories with dropper tool

Just think of Instagram Stories as a blank canvas.

You’re the talented artist trying to capture the attention of onlookers by standing out and showing them something they’re used to seeing, but in a new and stimulating way.

Speaking of blank canvases, you can even skip changing the background color and simply upload an Instagram Story background template! Search for hundreds of unique designs and customize them to your branding in Tailwind Create.

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Step Two: Find the Instagram Photo Sticker

Once you have a background photo or color, press the sticker button on the top right corner, and then click on the Photo Sticker to open your camera roll.

Step Three: Choose Your Photos

Choose a photo from your Camera roll, then another, and possibly… another. Shoot, maybe even a fourth. Sometimes the more, the merrier.

Screenshot adding photos over custom background color.


You can resize the photos by taking two fingers and bringing them closer together (the “zoom in” motion) to make the photo smaller or by spreading your fingers wider (the “zoom-out” motion) to make it larger. 

And if you don’t like the standard rounded edges, tap on the photo, and it’ll switch to square edges. 

Instagram also has custom layouts if you don’t want to worry about resizing, dragging, and dropping. Curious about how to find those? Well, keep on reading, friends!

How to Make a Collage Layout on Instagram Story

Suppose creating your own layout feels a little intimidating, but you’re down to try multiple photos in one Instagram Story. Maybe rearranging and tweaking isn’t your cup of tea. 

I get it. Trying new things can be scary, especially if visual arts aren’t your biggest passion. And sometimes, we need to start with a smaller step and test the waters. 

Well, in that case, you’re in luck because Instagram has its very own layout feature within Stories. And it makes picture layouts easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Step 1: Open Instagram Story Camera back up.

Step 2: Press the Layout template button located in the middle and left of the screen. Then choose how many images you’d like to include, which can be anywhere from 2-6 photos.

Creating a layout in Instagram Stories using Instagram's custom templates.

You can double-click each picture to move and adjust it to just the right spot. You can also zoom in or out to make it absolutely positively perfect. 

Whatever small tweak or adjustment you’d like to make, you can still do so in an Instagram Story layout. Making this a pretty fool-proof method for adding multiple pictures or videos to a slide. 

Even if you’re a seasoned Story professional, these layouts are an easy way to make some visual appeal without the added stress of choosing where to put the pictures and how to lay them out.

I know what you’re thinking, it can’t be that easy! But oh, it truly is. :’) 

And there’s one more method I’d like to discuss that makes creating multiple slides at once as easy as eating pie (unless you’re allergic, in which case, uh, my sincerest apologies). 

How to Upload Multiple Photo Stories at Once

You can also upload a story of multiple slides of photos at one time. Whether you’re sharing a recipe, telling a story, or showing your personality and humor, this is a great way to draw something out in a fun and creative way.

I think it’s safe to say we’re pros after my screenshots above, and we all know how to open up the Instagram Stories Camera and find the Photo Sticker. But let’s say you want to share a funny story over multiple slides? Or you want to share multiple layout slides, and you want to see how they look side by side before uploading?

Well, the good news is you can create multiple sides at once and even have custom or standard layouts on each, giving you some big creative bang for the buck.

Now, let’s get into adding multiple slides at once.

After clicking the Photo Sticker, you’ll see a little square inception button at the top right of the screen (a square within a square, intriguing indeed). Pressing it allows you to choose multiple images to tell an entire story, give a tutorial, or post a recipe all at once.

Adding multiple photos to Instagram Stories tutorial.

You can click on each slide individually to edit and tweak, allowing you to upload up to 10 slides at once! Gone are the days of recording one video at a time, followed by finally posting the follow-up several minutes later when most people have forgotten the original video. *eye twitch* (Been there, unfortunately, done that one too many times.)

This option allows you to post it all together and give one swift punch instead of some false starts. Making it easier than ever to post those longer Stories and create a memorable and significant impact while you still have your audience’s attention.

You can then customize each slide with even more creative elements, which we’ll get into next!

Adding Extra Creative Elements

Let’s say you’re an overachiever, a perfectionist, or possibly, want your Instagram Stories to look as visually appealing as possible. Well then, THIS section is just for you. 

We have another article on creative ways to spark engagement in your Stories, but here are a few more pointers to give those photos some extra pizazz and take it up another notch: 

  • The drawing feature
    • The squiggly line at the top of your Stories create screen allows you to doodle or even draw out words.
  • Adding GIFs and other elements
    • Whether it’s a funny GIF, sparkles, or a sticker, these options definitely help your story stand out.
  • Posting a poll
    • It’s the easiest way to get some engagement as it’s quick for your audience, and people love polls!
  • Tagging another account
    • Whether it’s a friend, a brand, or someone you admire, this option can possibly get reshared and also show your audience some other potentially great accounts to follow.
  • Using a relatable hashtag
    • Get your story on the front and center stage for new people with some hashtags.
  • Location Tag
    • This allows your story to pop up to people in the same area and get you even more visibility!
  • Asking a question
    • One of the most popular and effective ways to get engagement just requires your time to filter and answer questions. So pro tip, wait for a day where you have lots of time to answer questions.
Multiple photos and slides creative inspiration for Instagram Stories

Your Stories are a platform to try new avenues within your niche, showcase your personality, and express how unique you are as an individual. And to especially humanize a brand!

Make Your Stories Count

Stand out from the crowd, try something new, and tell a story in a new way. That’s how you get people to not only follow but to continue checking in and seeing what you’re up to next. Make your Stories visually stimulating and challenge your creativity by adding multiple photos and slides at once. You can even add music to your Instagram Stories for some emotion!

Your Stories are your place to experiment, shine, explore, and truly make the account your own.

Hook em’ in, and keep them coming back for more!  

Taking a photo and posting it is only the beginning, and making your photos stand out in Stories can be a fun challenge for both you and your audience. Whether it’s a visual story involving separate slides or you’re adding multiple photos in one Instagram Story, you can stand out as far as you allow yourself.

How do you make the photos in your Stories stand out? Comment below and I’ll catch you later alligators.

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How to add multiple photos to an Instagram Story, along with tutorials of different methods to make your Stories creatively stand out!

How to Add Music to Instagram Stories

A view of music list choices inside the Instagram Stories music sticker on a purple background.

Who remembers the nostalgic days on MySpace when you’d Google HTML codes to add features like hearts, custom background colors, and free-falling bananas on your page? (Okay, maybe the bananas belonged to my skateboarding middle school crush!)

Most importantly, you’d also pick out the song that would play whenever someone clicked on your profile. And it would show just how trendy and/or angsty your teenage self was feeling at the time. And ooooh, would it set the mood of your page!

Music streaming evokes memories, feelings, and ideas in your audience. It also shows creativity in a way that incites emotion! And sweet cheese and crackers, now you can add music on your Instagram Story, effectively taking your audience’s experience with your content to the next level.

And the best part is you’re not limited to one dramatic My Chemical Romance song, like in the days of MySpace! You can share many different songs depending on the mood you’re going for.

Okay, enough about Myspace. Suppose you’ve been wondering how to share music on your Instagram Stories, whether through the music sticker or another app like Spotify and SoundCloud.

Or maybe you’ve had troubles with the music feature and can’t get it to work. Well, why don’t you come with me to learn how to do all these things (on a magic carpet ride… )

And as always, there will be screenshots to show you this whole new world.

How to Customize and Add Music in an Instagram Story

There are a few different ways you can share your favorite songs through Instagram Stories music. The first and most common is uploading a Story background and adding an Instagram Stories sticker.

So, let’s break down how to add music to an Instagram Story through the music sticker.

1. Open your Instagram Stories camera, and upload a video or photo from your camera roll. 

2. Swipe up and click the MUSIC sticker.

This will give you access to thousands of songs through Instagram’s music library to choose from*, whether it’s on the “For You” tab, browsing by category, or searching for a song title in the search bar!

*Because of copyright laws, having a Business account limits your music options, which we’ll get into later.

3. Once you’ve selected a song, you can choose which portion of the song you’d like to be played to make sure you have just the right beat drop.

You can even tweak how long you’d like the clip to be, ranging from 1-15 seconds.

To make your music choice even more expressive and unique to your account, you can also choose different fonts and colors for the lyrics to display!  

a view of different text options for Instagram music sticker lyrics

Or, you can forgo the typography and stick to one of the two music sticker options that’ll have the song’s name, artist, and album cover.

These options allow you to add music in a way that sticks to your account’s aesthetic and your personal branding, which is pretty darn neat!

Now, let’s say you have a killer song that isn’t offered in Instagram’s music library, but you want to share it with the world?

That may be quite the pickle, but have no fear; we’ll tackle that together in the next section!

Did you know that you can plan, schedule, and post Instagram Stories with Tailwind’s Smart Marketing Assistant? Browse hundreds of Instagram Story background templates personalized to your brand in Tailwind Create, pick your favorites, and schedule them for the times when your Instagram followers are more active.

With handy push notifications, you can decorate your Instagram Story with all the stickers your heart desires, including the Instagram Music Sticker before sending your Story live! Try it out now and be prepared for amazement!

How to Add Music to Instagram Stories Without the Sticker

You can also add music to your Instagram Stories through the SoundCloud and Spotify app! While these options won’t directly play the music in your Stories, you can still share the song and album cover, and if someone clicks on the link, they’ll be taken to the respective app to listen. 

Easy peasy, right? Right. *Cue finger guns*

Related Reading: 5 Ways to Spark Endless Engagement with Instagram Stories

Adding a Song From Spotify or SoundCloud to Instagram Stories

Now, let’s go over how to add a link to your Instagram Story where music is concerned. Both Spotify and SoundCloud have the same steps for sharing a song to Instagram Stories. I’ll show you how to do it with screenshots in Spotify!

Step One: Open the Spotify or SoundCloud app. 

Step Two: Find the song title. You know, the one your heart wants to share with the world.

Step Three: Tap the ellipses icon at the top right corner.

Step Four: Scroll down and click Share.

Step Five: Press the Instagram icon, then, post it. And, voila, it’s ready to be shared in your Stories.

Just like that, your audience will be on the magic carpet ride to your intended mood. 

But, what if you’re still not able to share music in your Instagram Stories?

Don’t worry, friend, take my hand, and we’ll troubleshoot common issues Instagram users experience with the music sticker below!

Sharing Music to Instagram from Spotify

Why You Can’t Add Music to Your Instagram Story

Let’s say you followed all the steps, and you either don’t have the music sticker, or you can’t find specific songs you may have already seen in other stories. What then?

The most common reason the music sticker may not work is that this feature is only offered in the following select countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

If you live in one of those countries and it’s still not working, here are a couple more tips…

Update your app to the latest version. Not keeping your app up-to-date can cause glitches and things not to work correctly.

If most songs you want to share aren’t available, then it may be because you have an Instagram business account

Here’s what Instagram has to say about it:

“Based on these agreements, which are designed to protect artists, songwriters, and their works, many accounts have access to our licensed music library, but certain business accounts do not.”


Because of copyright laws and agreements, only royalty-free songs are available to most business accounts. Meaning, many popular and trendy songs won’t be offered unless you have an Instagram Creator account or a personal account.

However, all business accounts still have access to the Facebook Sound Collection of 9,000 royalty-free songs and sounds!

If you’re in one of the countries where this feature is offered, you have a creator account, and it’s still not working, then you can email Instagram’s Help Center at: [email protected]

Inspiring Creativity with Instagram Stories Music

Music is a gateway to the soul. It can broadcast your authentic personality and what you’re trying to say creatively. It can also give your audience a sneak peek into who you are and what you like.

Music also enhances emotions and moods, giving your Instagram Story added depth and meaning. 

So basically, it can give you an entirely new and memorable way to connect with your followers and enhance your engagement! 

Whether it’s showing them a portion of your new favorite song, or bonding over nostalgic lyrics, music gives you another window to connect with and make an imprint on your audience.

Plus, if you tag the band/artist, there’s always a chance for a re-share!

So, how do you share music in Instagram Stories? Let me know below!

Until next time, cool cats.

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 A step-by-step guide on how to add music to Instagram stories with and without the app sticker. Along with troubleshooting for most common user issues.